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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Treasured globe back home where its long journey began

Monty Danner, owner of the Clark House, a historic bed-and-breakfast and restaurant in Hayden Lake, stands behind the large globe in the corner of the mansion's library, where it stood in 1910, the year Kaiser Wilhelm II gave the globe to Winifred Clark, the matriarch of the Clark family. 
 (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)

ALL’S RIGHT WITH the world as far as Monty Danner is concerned. He’s well aware of the continuing strife in the Middle East and horrors in Sudan. Monty’s thinking on a smaller scale. One look at a moss-colored 95-year-old globe of the world in the corner of his library and he’s at peace. After dozens of years in hotels and storage rooms, the globe that began its existence in Hayden Lake’s Clark House is finally home where it belongs.

“To see this beautiful piece in its proper surroundings and know it was a gift from a royal family …”

He can’t continue. He’s still overwhelmed that the globe Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany gave to Winifred Clark as a housewarming gift fills exactly the same space it filled 95 years ago.

Monty has lusted for the globe’s return since he learned of its existence in the late 1980s. He’d just bought the Clark House and saved the once grand lake home from a lighted match.

The home was so dilapidated and vandalized that the previous owners planned to let the local fire department burn it for practice. The state historical preservation officer persuaded the owners first to try selling the wreck for the cost of the land it occupied.

The house’s history fascinated Monty. He regularly visited Spokane’s library to learn anything he could about its original owners, F. Lewis Clark and his wife, Winifred.

The globe surfaced in a conversation with a librarian. She told Monty the globe came from Kaiser Wilhelm II and was at the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture, known then as the Cheney Cowles Museum.

Monty immediately arranged to see the globe. It sat in a museum storage room that didn’t offer the best view. Still, Monty left resolved to bring the globe back to Hayden Lake.

He poured years into renovating and restoring his new prize property and researching.

He learned that F. Lewis Clark earned his fortune in the lumber industry. The Clarks were high society in Spokane at the turn of the 20th century. In 1907, Lewis and Winifred traveled throughout Europe representing the United States in yacht races.

They won trophy after trophy until they reached Germany, where they finished second to Kaiser Wilhelm II. Wilhelm invited the Clarks to his palace in Berlin, then to his summer home on Lake Constance on Germany’s southern border with Switzerland.

His summer home enchanted the Clarks. It was a 14th century U-shaped castle with magnificent gardens and stunning views of the lake. The Clarks returned home determined to live near the water. They bought 1,400 acres on Hayden Lake and sent Boston architect George Canning Wales to Germany to study Wilhelm’s summer home.

The home Wales designed had formal rooms overlooking Hayden Lake and vistas from every room.

Wilhelm knew his home had inspired his friends to build something similar and had a globe of the world made in 1909 as a housewarming gift for Winifred. He gave Lewis a cannon.

When Winifred uncrated the gift in her new home in 1910, she found a globe about 4 feet in diameter supported in a mahogany cradle. Her first name and 1909 were engraved on the cradle.

A silver bar marked with degrees was attached to the globe to ease turning. Three lions’ heads were carved into the cradle. The globe’s three-legged stand ended in clawed feet.

Lewis disappeared in 1914 and never was found. Winifred lost her fortune and the Clark House in 1922. She sold the globe to Lewis Davenport in 1938.

He placed it in the mezzanine of the Davenport Hotel. When he died, he left his estate to the Northwest Museum. The globe, with the carving “Lewis 1938” added to the cradle, was part of the estate.

Monty tried for more than a decade to convince a succession of museum directors and board members to return the globe to the Clark House.

Newest director Bruce Eldredge offered him hope last year. Bruce visited Clark House several times. The wealth of history Monty had collected impressed him. The museum decided to lend the globe to Clark House for six months.

“We finally decided that Clark House as a business would take pretty good care of an object and would promote the area by using the object,” Bruce says. “That’s what tipped the scales for us.”

The only early interior photo Monty has of Clark House shows Winifred in the library with the globe in the corner.

Glass doors no longer protect the bookshelves and dining tables for Clark House guests have replaced some of the armchairs. But the globe is right where it belongs, now behind velvet stanchions to protect it from curious hands.

“It’s a great conversation piece,” Monty says, examining the 1909 world the globe captured. “I feel so honored to have it here.”

Right where it belongs.