06 Jan Spokane Valley Heritage Museum honors Hutton Settlement for continuing founder’s legacy

Originally Published: October 31, 2019

Spokesman Review
By Rebecca White

As the Hutton Settlement nears the end of a celebration of its 100th year anniversary, it again has been honored by the Spokane Valley Heritage Museum for keeping its founder’s legacy by continuing to serve children who need a home.

Levi Hutton, an orphan himself, founded the Hutton Settlement after the death of his wife, May Arkwright Hutton, to provide for children in need. When the home opened its doors, it soon had between 60 and 80 children living there. Now there are 32 children and 15 young alumni living on the campus. 

Jayne Singleton, director of Spokane Valley Heritage Museum, said Hutton was chosen not only for its work to honor its history this year, but also for its continued efforts to keep Levi Hutton’s vision alive.

“They just clearly understood the vision of Levi Hutton and continued to work within that vision, providing a place for children to grow up that don’t have a good family background,” Singleton said.

Jessica Laughery, a spokeswoman for Hutton, said the settlement is still funded in the same way as when it was founded, from commercial real estate. This year was the first year the settlement launched a capital fundraising campaign to remodel the inside of its buildings and increase the capacity and improve facilities in its cottages. The organization already has raised $4.8 million of a $6 million goal since the campaign launched in January.

Laughery said Hutton also still offers the same activities and work for children as when Levi founded it, offering a community garden.

“The kids are still acting the same way Levi intended, with their work ethic, and working the garden,” she said.

She said the children today have a large number of needs, and the residence can’t house as many as it once did because children with trauma need space.

“While the need has changed and some of the types of needs, what we’re doing today is exactly the same as 100 years ago,” Laughery said. “We’re providing more for children than a place to live.” 

This year, Hutton celebrated its centennial by holding a family reunion of Hutton alumni, a community day and a play sharing the story of the settlement.

Singleton said past groups recognized by the museum, such as the West Valley School District, were honored for preserving a building. The district preserved and reused its historic arch when the new school was built. The museum has also honored individual persons’ efforts to keep Hutton history alive.

The Hutton Settlement will be honored during the museum’s 16th annual Heritage Program Fundraiser on Nov. 9. 

Singleton said the annual fundraiser will also include a presentation on the legacy of Liberty Lake, a town that was once the home of many Coeur d’Alene Indians and eventually became a well-known resort and tourist attraction. The resorts it was once known for have all closed.