Perched 450 feet above the Spokane River, The Cliff House Estate was built in 1924 by Royal Newton Riblet. An inventor and mechanical genius, Riblet not only developed patented devices such as a pattern sprinkler system, a mechanical parking garage, and the square wheel tractor, but he also served as chief engineer and designer of his beautiful home and estate.
The Cliff House, the three-story Florentine mansion which served as Riblet’s home for over 45 years, was erected on the edge of a towering basalt rock face and boasts privileged panoramic views of Liberty Lake, the Spokane Valley, and Downtown Spokane. It is complemented by an arched gatehouse, stone workshop, over four acres of terraced gardens, two and a half acres of vineyards and orchards, a life-sized checkerboard, and a 6,000 gallon swimming pool which was carved from the basalt landscape.
Over the years, Riblet and his seventh wife, Mildred, would welcome friends, family and other guests to their estate, with approximately 7,000 visitors touring the grounds in the first eight years alone. Guests would reach the estate via a five passenger tram which spanned the Spokane River, and would often gather for ice cream socials in the open air stone gazebo, or to play croquet on the paved court which juts out over the river valley below.
In 1979 the estate was registered as a national historic landmark, and in 1984 Arbor Crest purchased the site to serve as their beautiful new headquarters. Today, Riblet’s legacy in Spokane lives on as Arbor Crest has made The Cliff House a premier destination for special celebrations and wine tasting in the Inland Northwest. We continue to carry on in the Riblet tradition by welcoming close to 35,000 visitors to the estate annually, from all over the world.
The Cliff House Estate
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