The Roberts Mansion was built in 1889 in the Victorian Queen Anne style. EJ Roberts was a successful civil engineer having earned the distinction by age 28 of completing the longest expanse of railroad in the shortest period of time of anyone in the United States. His move to Spokane brought him into a close business and social relationship with D. C. Corbin, a local railroad builder. Roberts acted as chief engineer of Corbin’s railroads and invested in silver mines. He went on to become president of Union Iron Works, a local steel foundry. Corbin and Roberts owned a duck hunting ranch together. That ranch is still in the Roberts family five generations later.
The living descendants of EJ and Mary Tracy Roberts still residing in Spokane and elsewhere have provided information used in the restoration process. They have been most generous in providing family pictures, china, gowns, memorabilia, other clothing and items for the public to view on tours. This unusual personal link with the past makes a stay at the Roberts Mansion a truly memorable experience.
EJ and his wife Mary Tracy had five sons and a daughter. The 1900 census lists the Roberts family as having four staff members living on the property. The second floor of the carriage house provided facilities for the gardener. The remainder of the staff resided in the spacious third floor maid’s quarters. The home remained in the family until the death of their only daughter in 1959. The mansion subsequently became a rooming house, a group home, and apartments. It has been undergoing a rigorous restoration process for the last 23 years and is now open to the public as an Inn & Event venue.
History of the Roberts Mansion