Dozens tour Father's Day founder's house

Dozens tour Father's Day founder's house

SPOKANE, Wash. - For people visiting 603 South Arthur Street in Spokane, it can be a little overwhelming to think it's the place where the founder of Father's Day once lived.

"I didn't believe him when he told me," Kelsey Jesser said. "I was like, really? I don't know."

Jesser and her boyfriend, Scott Hemingway planned to just drive by the house when they were invited in.

"It just so happened that we saw the open house sign as we were driving by and I was like, we should stop by and check it out because I've never done it," Hemingway said.

The couple was welcomed by the friendly faces of Jerry Numbers and his wife, Beverley.

The Numbers own the home now that use to belong to Sonora Smart Dodd, the "Mother of Father's Day."

"It's like living in a museum," Jerry Numbers said.

In 1910, Dodd began a lifelong journey to get fathers a day of recognition after hearing a sermon at a Spokane church about Mother's Day. 62 years later, President Richard Nixon signed a proclamation the permanently recognized the third Sunday of June as Father's Day. Today, the Numbers are making sure that Dodd's efforts don't go unknown.

"Many people stop by," Jerry Numbers said. "They say, 'wow did Father's Day start in Spokane?' And then the story goes on."

Each year, anywhere from 75 to 100 people come out to the house on Father's Day. The Numbers display many artifacts around the house that they received by loan to bring the story to life. The couple doesn't ask for donations, only for your signature in the "Dodd Guest Book" to show you were there.

"Sometimes it gets really crowded," Jerry Numbers said. "It has gotten really crowded. When we get so many in at one time it gets really hard to share the story with people because you got so many people."

He said that's why he prefers only a few people at a time, so those like Jesser and Hemingway get the full experience.

"It's great," Hemingway said. "I love what they've done with the house. It's amazing."