Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Mara Mihara Interview
Narrator: Mara Mihara
Interviewer: Megan Asaka
Location: Spokane, Washington
Date: April 27, 2006
Densho ID: denshovh-mmara-01-0008

<Begin Segment 8>

MA: I wanted to talk a little bit about your hotel. What was the name of the hotel?

MM: That, that one was Stevens, but it's not there anymore.

MA: And...

MM: All these buildings are knocked down, now.

MA: Can you describe, I guess, the building and what the hotel looked like?

MM: Oh, it was, it wasn't anything fancy or elaborate. And the floor upstairs, the top floor on the one whole side, it was housekeeping rooms. 'Cause a lot of these people that lived there, they were men who worked in the lumber, sawmill and all that. Well, anyway, they would, they wouldn't work in the wintertime, so they'd, they'd always come back to our hotel, and so it was kind of nice. But they would have the housekeeping, but it isn't like, it isn't like it was smelly like some places. They were really quiet people, quiet people that lived in our hotel.


MA: I guess going back a little bit to your hotel, the Stevens Hotel, did you have to work there like after school or on the weekends?

MM: No, uh-uh. Just my mother and my dad, and then they had a man that was, was, ever since we bought the place, he was with us, and he helped. And he was real good because he was an older fellow, and he was, he'd kind of stay up late lots of times because my mother, she had to come into the, where we lived, and then lot of times she wouldn't because she'd be sitting right out there where they'd read the newspapers and everything. But we never, we never did have any kind of problems, but that man always helped, and he kind of watched over, which was really nice.

MA: Was he an Issei man?

MM: No, he was a hakujin, Caucasian. And lot of times, my brother and my dad would always bring the wood, we had one whole room that was full of lumber, and they'd always stack it out, out here where the great big stove was. And my brother always used to kind of keep track of it there and make sure that it's full. But we were really lucky, our clientele, because they knew that my mother was gonna go get a piece of lumber or something, the men in the hotel would always go get it, put it in that stove, so we were lucky.

MA: So the clientele was more, they would stay there for a long time?

MM: Uh-huh, yeah. So we were... I think that most of the Nihonjin no hotels were like that, 'cause we never heard of anybody having any problems, you know.

<End Segment 8> - Copyright © 2006 Densho. All Rights Reserved.