Visiting the Bing Crosby House Museum

Growing up in a family of classic film fans I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t aware of Bing Crosby. White Christmas, Holiday Inn, The Bell’s of St. Mary’s…all were regularly screened in our household. We listened to his albums every Christmas and St. Patrick’s Day and the Road movies remain some of our favorites. So, on my recent trip to Washington I knew there was one place I had to visit – the Bing Crosby House Museum.

Harry Lillis or “Bing” Crosby was born in 1903 in Tacoma, WA. Three years later his family moved east to Spokane where his dad worked as a bookkeeper at a local brewery. In 1911, Bing’s father, Harry, and his brothers built a house near Gonzaga University and it would remain in the family until 1936.

Today, the home is owned by the university and is part of their campus. While the upper floors are used for offices the ground level is now a museum devoted to Spokane’s most famous son.

My sister, Shannon, and I were so eager to visit the home and made our way there one weekday afternoon. Inside, we met a pair of friendly volunteers who were happy to share their beloved museum with us.

Beautifully restored the home appears as it would while the Crosby’s lived there with the addition of displays devoted to Bing’s illustrious career.

The highlight of the collection is the Oscar he won for 1944’s Going My Way.

My personal favorite piece was the Bing Crosby Junior Juke. I want one!

We spent a good deal of time wandering around soaking everything in. It was so exciting to think that we were in the same home Bing grew up in!

Once we tore ourselves away we had one more stop in town.

Built in 1915, the Clemmer Theatre changed it’s name to the Bing Crosby Theater in 2006. Unfortunately, it wasn’t open when we visited but it was a true treat to see the marquee. I just love that Spokane hasn’t forgotten Bing. Though he’s been gone over 40 years his memory lives on in his hometown and I’m so glad I got to finally visit.

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