In April of 1896 fishermen from the Oregon side of the Columbia River "raided" a fish trap building project in Baker Bay on the north side of the river. The resulting confrontation between these gill netters and those wishing to build the fish trap resulted in the activation of the Washington National Guard and other military units. The guard patrolled "...eight miles of rough shoreline between Ilwaco and Chinook..." where a camp called Camp Paradise was located. Fort Finstopper was the camp closest to Ilwaco and was " named by reason of its being the point from which the first shot was fired upon a passing sail boat, to emphasize and enforce the order of 'come ashore.'" (Field). "Between two and three thousand men..." were on the Oregon shore during this period.


This coastal defense fort was located west of Marrowstone Point on Marrowstone Island in northeast Jefferson County. Built beginning in 1897 the fort was deactivated in 1937. It has been used for a number of activities since World War II and is now a state park.

It was named for Brig. General Daniel Webster Flagler, Chief of Ordnance of the United States Army at the time the fort was completed. It, with Forts Worden and Casey, provided for the main artillery defense of Puget Sound. (Hitchman, p. 95) (Jefferson Co.).

Fort Flagler State Park, encompassing 783 acres and surrounded on three sides by salt water, is located in Jefferson County on the north end of Marrowstone Island, across the bay from Port Townsend. Fort Flagler, along with the heavy batteries of Fort Worden and Fort Casey, guarded the entrance to Puget Sound.

These Coast Artillery posts, established in the late 1890s, became the first line of a fortification system designed to prevent a hostile fleet from reaching such targets as the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and the cities of Seattle, Tacoma, Olympia and Bremerton.

Construction was begun in 1897. By 1900 the initial installation of armament was completed along with barracks for units of the 3rd Artillery. Final construction was completed in 1907. Fort Flagler was placed in caretaker status in 1937 and many of its original buildings were removed. In 1940 it was reactivated with new construction for World War II and the Korean War, training engineers and troops for amphibious warfare.

Fort Flagler was closed on June 7, 1953 and purchased as a State Park in 1955. (Roberts, p. 832).

At Fort Flagler twenty six guns were constructed and emplaced in nine batteries by United States Engineers between 1897 and 1906. The nine batteries were named for U.S. Army officers and other officials who were generally killed in battle or who died in active service. Batteries were named: Battery Bankhead, Battery Calwell, Battery Downes, Battery Grattan, Battery Lee, Battery Rawlins, Battery Revere, Battery Wansboro and Battery Wilhelm. (Gregory, p. 115-116).


This United States military post was established on October 31, 1895 on a l,022 acre site in the northwest part of Spokane on the Spokane River. It was named for Colonel George Wright of the 9th Infantry of the United States Army who was active in the area in the 1850s. (Hitchman, p. 95) (Spokane Co.).

Originally known as Military Post at Spokane when it was established in 1895 Fort Wright was located at the western edge of the city of Spokane. Practically all of northeast Washington's military operations were consolidated there. The post was named in honor of the Pacific Northwest's noted Indian war leader during the 1850s and a brigadier general during the Civil War. He was drowned on July 30, 1865 in a shipwreck while en route to take command of the Department of the Columbia.

The post's solid brick buildings were turned over to the Army Air Corps in 1941 using the facilities for a series of different Air Force activities until 1961 when the post was abandoned and sold.

The major purchasers of the property were the Fort Wright College of the Holy Names, the Spokane Community College of Liberal Arts and the Spokane Lutheran School, today collectively called the Fort George Wright Historic District. (Roberts, p. 839).


Established in January, 1848. Located on the right bank of the Columbia River near the present Bonneville Dam, not far from the site of the later Fort Cascades. Established during the Cayuse War by the Oregon Volunteers to serve as a supply station and a base of operations for troops sent up the river from Oregon City.

Named for Colonel Cornelius Gilliam, Oregon Volunteers, who established the post. The post consisted of a few log cabins and was usually referred to simply as "the Cabins." (Fraser, p. 173).


A World War II Coast Artillery defense installation on Puget Sound, equipped with camouflaged batteries of 16 inch guns, Camp (Fort) Hayden was established in 1941 at the northwest tip of Clallam County near Cape Flattery and Crescent Bay. It was first named The Striped Peak Military Reservation but was changed to Camp Hayden on April 17, 1944 in honor of Brigadier General John L. Hayden, former commanding officer of the Harbor Defenses of Puget Sound.

In 1948 the post's sixteen inch guns near Tongue Point, east of Crescent Beach were scrapped because they were determined to be obsolete by the Army. In 1949 Camp (Fort) Hayden was declared surplus by the Department of the Army. Now a county park, the original gun emplacements are being used as a civil defense headquarters in case of an emergency. (Roberts, p. 832).


Located on Connell's Prairie eighteen miles southeast of Tacoma, Fort Hays was one of two cedar log blockhouses built in 1856 by Washington Territorial Volunteer troops and named for Major Gilmore Hays, 2nd Regiment. The site of Fort Hays is atop a hill overlooking Connell's Prairie. (Roberts, p. 832).

Fort Hays was a blockhouse built by the Washington Territorial Volunteers during the Indian War of 1855-56 on Connell's Prairie near the present town of Bonney Lake. Captain Gilmore Hays, commander of Company B of the Washington Volunteers was honored by his troops who named the fort for him. In his acknowledgement of the founding of the Fort Territorial Governor Isaac I. Stevens called Hays a major. (Reese, p. 45).

Camp Connell was a temporary camp of the United States Army at the Michael Connell Donation Land Claim north and east of the Bonney Lake and was the same place. (Reese, p. 25).


Built during the Indian War of 1855-56 this fort was at the mouth of a small stream which enters the Snoqualmie River just below Fall City. It was constructed by the Northern Battalion of the Washington Territorial Volunteers which was on duty at nearby Fort Tilton. " evidently was later renamed Fort Patterson." (Hitchman, p. 95) (King Co).

A temporary block house outpost established during the general Indian uprising. Fort Henderson was located on the Snoqualmie River, near the mouth of Patterson Creek, below present Fall City in King County. It was built in 1856 by a detachment of the Washington Territorial Volunteers from Fort Tilton. It was also known as Fort Patterson. (Roberts, p. 833).


A large stockade with block houses at alternate corners was built on Mound Prairie in southwest Thurston County for protection during the Indian War of 1855-56. It was named for Captain Benjamin Henness of the Washington Territorial Volunteers who owned a nearby Donation Land Claim. (Hitchman, p. 95) (Thurston Co.).

A large stockade with block houses at diagonal corners and enclosing cabins and a school for children, Fort Henness was built by Grand Mound Prairie settlers during the 1855-56 Indian War. It was located near the town of Grand Mound in present Thurston County and named in honor of Captain Benjamin L. Henness of the Washington Territorial Volunteer Regiment although the defense had no military connection.

One writer, however, states that it was temporarily garrisoned by a company of volunteer militia. The fort was reportedly occupied by 224 people, representing thirty families who lived there for sixteen months during the emergency. (Roberts, p. 833).


Fort Hicks was built by volunteers during the Indian War of 1855-56 at Camp Montgomery on the Military Road between Fort Steilacoom and Puyallup near Spanaway Lake.

Urban East Hicks was a captain of the Pioneer Company of the Washington Territorial Volunteers who replaced Joseph White after the battle of Connell's Prairie on March 10, 1856. Hicks had a long and varied career and his published reminiscences present an interesting version of the early history of the Puget Sound Country. (Reese, p. 45).


Fort Lander was built by the Washington Territorial Volunteers during the Indian War of 1855-56 on the Duwamish River north of present Boeing Field. Materials for building the post were assembled in Seattle and barged up the river. The stockade was 98 feet long and 58 feet wide. It was named for Captain Edward Lander of the Volunteers. (Hitchman, p. 95) (King Co.).


Fort Lawton was a seven hundred and one acre military reservation on the west end of the Lawton Peninsula between Elliot and Shilshole Bays in Seattle. The land was donated by Seattle citizens between October 14, 1896 and February 17, 1898 and construction began in 1898. In 1900 the post was given the name Lawton for Major General Henry Ware Lawton who was killed during the Philippine Insurrection in 1899 in the battle of San Mateo on December 19 (Hitchman, p. 96) (King Co.).


Fort Lewis was founded during World War I as a military training cantonment as Camp Lewis. It became a Fort in 1927 and is considered the military center of the Northwest. It was named for Meriwether Lewis of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. (Hitchman, p. 96) (Pierce Co.).


A small fort was built in 1853 at Port Gamble to protect the community from attacks. The place was given the name Malikoff. (Hart, Tour Guide, p.47).


Captain Maurice Maloney was for a time commander of Fort Steilacoom during the Indian War of 1855-56. He was leading troops into eastern Washington in the early winter of 1855-56 but returned to the Puget Sound country where he was able to protect the settlers from additional Indian attacks.

The blockhouse named for him was at the Puyallup River Crossing near present Meridian Street in Puyallup. (Hitchman, p. 96) (Pierce Co.).

Fort Maloney was built on the north bank of the Puyallup River near the Meridian Street crossing of the Puyallup River. It was named for Maurice Maloney of Fort Steilacoom who had active field command of United States army troops in Western Washington in the fall and winter of 1855-6.

Maloney enlisted in the Army as a private on November 5, 1836, was commissioned a second lieutenant on November 27, 1846, and became a colonel on March 13, 1865. He fought in the battle of Chapultepec in the Mexican War in 1846 and commanded siege guns at Vicksburg in 1863. He retired December 15, 1870 and died January, 1872.

Forts Maloney and White are near each other. Whiting wrote that the post named for Maloney was a United States military post and the one named White was erected by the Washington Territorial Volunteers. (Reese, p. 45).

Fort Maloney was a typical blockhouse. It was identical with the corner blockhouses at Fort Bellingham, with the exception that the lower story had a very low ceiling, probably less than six and one half feet. Fort Maloney was built in 1856. (Whiting, p. 70).


Headquarters, Washington Territorial Volunteers,
Fort Mason, Walla Walla, August 25, 1856.
Lt. Colonel Steptoe, 9th Infantry, Commander.

...We are twenty-five miles from Fort Walla Walla, five miles from the Whitman valley and about seven miles from the sawmill claim of Whitman on Mill Creek. We are on a little tributary of Mill Creek, and about one mile from it.

Isaac I Stevens,
Governor, Washington Territorial Volunteers
(Whiting p. 71)

FORT MASON (At Point Wilson).

Fort Mason, Jefferson, County. In 1857 a small unfinished log hut, called Fort Mason stood upon it (Point Wilson). (Whiting, p. 71).


A blockhouse built by Washington Territorial Volunteers on South Prairie in Pierce County was named for James McAllister who was one of the first persons killed at the beginning of the Indian War of 1855-56. McAllister, from Thurston County, was an officer of Eaton's Rangers who were in pursuit of Leschi, War chief of the Nisquallies, when he and Michael Connell were killed. (Hitchman, p. 96) (Pierce Co.).

This blockhouse was built at South Prairie under the direction of Captain C.W. Swindal during the Indian War of 1855-56. It was named for James McAllister, an officer in Eaton's Rangers of the Territorial Militia.

Camp Montgomery, April 20, 1856.
Governor Isaac I. Stevens, Commander in Chief

Sir: I moved forward on the 15th inst. for South Prairie, by the way of Connell's Prairie...On the 2nd encamped on South Prairie and two days after completed blockhouse, which I named Fort McAllister.

very respectfully,
C.W. Swindal, Captain,
Commanding Central Battalion
(Whiting, p. 72)


Fort Miller was on Tenalquot Prairie twelve miles southeast of Olympia in south central Thurston County. Territorial Governor Isaac I. Stevens ordered it built and it served mostly as a quartermaster depot. (Hitchman, p. 96) (Thurston Co).

William Winlock Miller was a senior officer of the Washington Territorial Volunteers. Whiting quotes a letter written from the Executive Office, Washington Territorial Volunteers at Olympia, dated March 5, 1856 to Quartermaster and Commissary General Miller, at Olympia.

Sir: You will build a blockhouse and corral on the Tenalquot, for the quartermaster's depot.

Isaac I. Stevens, Governor,
Washington Territory. 
(Whiting p. 73)


Indians and whites living on the Muckleshoot Prairie during the period of the Indian War of 1855-56 were protected by the construction of Fort Slaughter. The place was also called Fort Muckleshoot Prairie. William A. Slaughter was killed by Indians during the war on December 4, 1855 (Hitchman, p. 96).


Fort Naches was established by United States Army troops in June of 1856 under the direction of Colonel George Wright. It was on the south bank of the Naches River five miles west of Painted Rocks in the northwest portion of Yakima County. It was a large rectangular structure "...made of gabions." (Hitchman, p. 96) (Yakima Co).

Established in May, 1856. Located about nine miles above the mouth of the Naches River, a confluent of the Yakima. Established as a base of operations during the Indian campaign of 1856. Established by Colonel George Wright, 9th U.S. Infantry.

The fort consisted of a fieldwork constructed of large wickerworks of willow filled with earth (gabions). Because of the way it was constructed, the post was called the "basket fort" by the settlers in the area. Wright called it "Fort Na-chess."

In official listings, it is called "Camp on Nechess River." It was a temporary post, abandoned at the close of the campaign. (Fraser, p. 173).

Located about nine miles above the mouth of the Naches River where it joins the Yakima River in the present city of Yakima, Fort Naches was a temporary regular Army post established in May 1856 as a base for operations against hostile Indians. It was built by 9th Infantry troops commanded by Colonel George Wright.

The area's settlers named it "Basket Fort" because its large rectangle was constructed of wickerworks of willow filled with earth, known as gabions. Called Fort Na-Chess by Colonel Wright it was officially listed as Camp Nechess River. Fort Naches was abandoned at the end of the campaign. (Roberts, p. 834).

Fort Naches substantially consisted of one large rectangular structure. The building was near the bank of the Naches River. To the west and north were a series of half sunken outposts which were for the protection of sentries.

Headquarters, Northern District, Department of the Pacific
Camp on the Yakima River. Washington Territory, Kittitas Valley
June 20, 1856.

....I left Brevet Lt. Col. Steptoe with three companies of the occupy Fort NaChess. This is an important point as a depot.

G. Wright, Colonel
(Whiting p. 74)


A "see" reference in Roberts refers to Fort Walla. Fort Walla Walla was called Fort Nez Perce when built in 1818 by Alexander Ross and Donald McKenzie of the North West Company. Standing at the junction of the Walla Walla River with the Columbia, it served as a fur post and supply base for the Northwesters and after 1821 for the Hudson's Bay Company. See: Fort Walla Walla. The original fort was one hundred feet square, its structures of timber, after burning in 1841, it was rebuilt of adobe. (Corning, p. 90).


In May of 1833 the Hudson's Bay Company established a trading post near the shores of Puget Sound east and north of the mouth of the Nisqually River. In 1843 the post was moved farther inland to be closer to a more sure supply of wood and water. Names such as Nisqually House and Fort Nesqually have been used for this Puget Sound emporium of the company. (Hitchman, p. 96) (Pierce Co.).

Fort Nesqually was established by the Hudson's Bay Company in 1833. It was located on the water's edge and extended back from the bluff along the Sound to a small area of flat land. The institution developed and a stockaded Fort was built on the area back of the bluff. The area of this enterprise was within the grounds now occupied by the DuPont Company.

About twenty years ago I went over the site of old Fort Nesqually. The guide, furnished by the DuPont Company, pointed out to me the sunken ground which marked the line of the old stockade post. At the southeast corner the position of the bastion was clearly noticeable.

In 1843 Fort Nesqually was moved to a new location about two miles to the north. The name of the new post was spelled "Nisqually." (Whiting, p. 75-77).

"Throughout most of its existence, Fort Nisqually was the principal port for domestic and foreign trade on Puget Sound." (Hart, Pioneer Forts of the West p. 24). Hart quotes Tolmie writing in 1833 "....Commander of a trading post in a remote corner of the New World, with only a force of six effective men in the midst of treacherous bloodthirsty savages, with whom murder is familiar."


(An establishment of the Pacific Fur Company)

August 31, 1811 "...till we reached the mouth of a smooth stream called Oakinachen, which we ascended about two miles...on the 1st of September we embarked and descended the Oakinachen again and landed on a level spot within a half mile of its mouth. On the south bank of the Oakinachen half mile from its mouth was the site pitched upon for the new settlement." (Alexander Ross, Adventure on the Oregon)

"We commenced erecting a small dwelling house sixteen by twenty feet, chiefly constructed of drift wood. The first thing I did after my friends left me was to patch up the house a little and put in a kind of cellar which I made in the middle of the house." (Alexander Ross).

Fort Okanagon of the Pacific Fur Company was relocated by the North West Company who had taken over the enterprise in October 1813. The North West company set up the next establishment about a half mile to the east and south of the Astor post near the bank of the Columbia River, which position they considered more advantageous. (Whiting, p. 78-79).

(An establishment of the North West Company)

Fort Okanagon, establishment of the North West Company was a continuation of the establishment which had been located on the Okanogan River about a half mile to the northwest, old Fort Okanogan established by the Pacific Fur Company. Removal to this new location was made in 1816.

The new establishment consisted of a palisaded enclosure fifteen feet high with bastions and within were four buildings. By the fall of 1816 the post consisted of a dwelling of four rooms and a dining hall for the person in charge, two houses for the men and other adequate and essential structures for trading and storage. All were surrounded by the stockade.

In 1821 Fort Okanogan was included in a merger of the Hudson's Bay Company and the North West Company. The institution was substantially abandoned in 1847 and partially maintained until 1859.

As late as the 1880s some of the buildings remained. Mr. James A. Henderson, an early Okanogan country pioneer said that he had camped in one of the buildings and while the logs were in a bad state of decay the structure still showed evidence of having had excellent workmanship in its construction. (Whiting, p. 79-80).


Fort Patterson was said to have consisted of a log structure situated on a small creek just below present Falls City, and was established as an outpost of Fort Tilton. Fort Patterson and Fort Henderson appear to have been one and the same institution. (Whiting, p. 81).

The Northern Battalion of the Washington Territorial volunteers built Fort Henderson near the mouth of a small stream which enters the Snoqualmie River just below present Falls City. It was named for Captain Henderson of the Territorial Volunteers and was later renamed Fort Patterson. (Hitchman, p. 95).


A stockade was built near the Mashel River on the Mashel Prairie by the Washington Territorial Volunteers. (Hitchman, p. 96) (Pierce Co.).

Built by the Washington Territorial Volunteers on Michel's Fork of the Nisqually River by Captain Miller's Company. Governor Isaac I. Steven's report to the territorial legislature, 1857. (Whiting, p. 82).


Built by the Washington Territorial Volunteers on the Joel Myers Claim on the Nisqually River. Isaac I. Stevens mentioned it in his 1857 report to the Territorial Legislature. (Whiting, p. 82).

Delbert McBride theorizes that the fort was named for Lord Fitzroy Somerset, 1st Baron Raglan, who died on June 18, 1855, shortly before the fort was built during the siege of Sebastopol in the Crimean War. Mr. McBride indicates that newspaper publicity had made Baron Raglan an international hero. (Reese, p. 46).


Major Gabriel Rains of the United States Army ordered the construction of this fort on the north bank of the Columbia River at Middle Cascades in present Skamania County. It was to serve as a military center during the Indian War of 1855-56 (Hitchman, p. 96) (Skamania Co.).

Established in 1856. Located on Sheridan's Point on the north side of the Columbia River, a little to the east of the present town of North Bonneville. The post consisted of a blockhouse erected for the protection of the settlers of the area.

Erected by Major Gabriel Rains, 4th U.S. Infantry, who had been appointed Brigadier General of Oregon Volunteers during the Indian Wars of 1855-56. The post was not a U.S. Army post and was, apparently, never garrisoned. It was washed away during a period of high water in 1876. (Fraser, p. 173-74).


A blockhouse and palisade on the north bank of the Columbia River south of Washougal in Clark County was given the name Fort Riggs when it was built by the Clark County Rangers of the Washington Territorial Volunteers during the Indian War of 1855.

It was named for Reuben Riggs who had a land claim on the fort site. (Hitchman, p. 96) (Clark Co.).

Fort Riggs, Washougal District, Clark County, W.T. 
April 10, 1856.
Captain William Kelly,

...We the farmers of Washougal District unanimously agree, that the block house ordered to be built by His Excellency I. I. Stevens, built on the land claim of Colonel Ruben Riggs, near the bank of the Columbia River, in Clark County and that the name be known as Fort Riggs...

J.D. Biles, 1st Lt. Clark County Rangers,
Washington Territorial Volunteers
(Whiting, p. 83)


Fort Sales was a pioneer's cabin garrisoned by soldiers during the Indian War of 1855-56 to protect the overland route of communication between Steilacoom and the settlements in the Puyallup Valley. It was located near present sales Road south of the Tacoma City limits.

James Sales, one of the first white children born in Tacoma, was interviewed when he was eighty-four years old in the As Told By the Pioneers project. He recalled the fort was a log building "...which until 1856 held a number of soldiers and which was reserved until 1923 but was then cut down and sold for firewood." (Reese, p. 98).


On August 8, 1856 Major Robert S. Garnett and two companies of the United States Army established a post on Agency Creek thirty-eight miles southwest of Yakima. It operated until May 22, 1859. That same year the fort became a center for the Yakima Indian Agency and School.

It is now a state park.

The name is from the Yakima Indian word Sim-ku-wee meaning saddle. It refers to a saddle on a ridge north of the Fort. (Hitchman, p. 96) (Yakima Co.).

Established August 8, 1856. Located in the Simcoe Valley, roughly midway between Simcoe and Toppenish Creeks, in the present Yakima County. Established during the Yakima War as a base of operations against the Indians and for the protection of the settlers.

Colonel George Wright, 9th U.S. Infantry ordered construction under the supervision of Major Robert S. Garnett, 9th U.S. Infantry. The valley and creek, from which the name of the post was derived, were named for John Simcoe, the first lieutenant governor of Upper Canada.

It was abandoned on May 22, 1859, as it was no longer considered useful. The buildings were transferred to the Interior Department to serve as headquarters for the Yakima Indian agency, which occupied the site until 1922. (Fraser, p. 174).

Colonel George Wright was assigned the command of the Columbia District in January, 1856. He was instructed to cause to be established three forts, two in the Yakima country and one in the Walla Walla area. The three forts established were: Fort Simcoe, Fort NaChess and Fort Walla Walla. is respectfully suggested that the post established by Colonel Steptoe be called Fort Walla Walla and that of Major Garnett Fort Simcoe.

George Wright, Colonel 9th Infantry
Fort Vancouver, September 20, 1856
(Whiting p. 84)

Herbert Hart noted that Garnett's quarters "...took on the appearance of a mansion..." and that soon after the troops were moved to Fort Colville the Indian Service took over "...Garnett's elaborate layout." (Hart, p. 140-41).


Fort Skookum, February 14, 1856.
Governor Isaac I. Stevens,
Commander in Chief, Volunteer Forces

Sir: I am at the post where you ordered me, and have built a rude fort on a point of land where I first built the blockhouse. The bay forms two lines and we have thrown up a stockade of timber about ten feet high, having two blockhouses so as to rake the sides of the stockade each way.

We have also put up five dwelling houses, which the families occupy...

Very respectfully, Your obedient servant, Calvin Swindal,
Captain, Washington Territorial Volunteers.


Fort Slaughter was built in July 1856 by troops of the United States Army on Muckleshoot Prairie. It was named for William A. Slaughter who was killed by Indians on December 4, 1855 (Hitchman, p. 96) (King Co.).

Located on Muckleshoot Prairie, near the junction of the White and Green Rivers. Erected under the direction of Captain Erasmus Darwin Keyes, 3rd U.S. Artillery. Named for First Lieutenant William A. Slaughter, 4th U. S. Infantry, who was killed by Indians on December 4, 1855.

The location of Fort Slaughter was approximately two hundred eighty feet south and one hundred forty feet east of the intersection of the present Ray Road and the old McClellan Military Road. The old freight road ran between the blockhouses and the log quarters.

"....MuckleShute has two blockhouses and an excellent stockade, and I have directed that log quarters for one company be erected at that place. Silas Casey, Lt. Colonel, 9th Infantry, Comm. Puget Sound District." (Whiting, p. 87).

This blockhouse was maintained until August, 1857. In official reports it is usually referred to as Muckleshoot Prairie. (Fraser, p. 169).


This United States Army post was a half a mile from the Spokane River three quarters of a mile from the spot where the Spokane joins the Columbia River.

The 640 acre military reservation was established February 11, 1882. Troops were withdrawn on April 17, 1898 and the post was abandoned on August 28, 1899. (Hitchman, p. 96) (Lincoln Co.).

Established as Camp Spokane on October 21, 1880. Located near the junction of the Spokane and Columbia Rivers. The post replaced Fort Colville and was intended to protect both the Indians and the settlers; however, by the time the post was established, friction between whites and Indians in the area was largely a thing of the past.

Established by Major Leslie Smith, 2nd U.S. Infantry. Originally called Camp Spokane, the post was designated a Fort in 1881. The garrison was withdrawn in 1898 at the time of the Spanish-American War, and the post was abandoned on August 26, 1899.

The military reservation was transferred to the Interior Department August 28, 1899, to be used as an Indian school. (Fraser, p. 174).

Originally named Camp Spokane on October 21, 1880 it was renamed a fort on January 12, 1882 when six companies of infantry and cavalry were located there. It was supposed to serve as a control point in keeping the peace between the whites and Indians and as a guardian along the Canadian border, but it saw little more than occasional police activity ...It was used as an Indian school until 1914 and as an Indian hospital until 1929. (Hart, p. 173).


In 1812 John Clarke, an employee of the Pacific Fur Company owned by John Jacob Astor, built a fort and trading post near the confluence of the Spokane and Little Spokane Rivers calling it Fort Jacob. On October 6, 1813 the post was acquired by the Northwest Company and the name of the place was changed to Spokane House.

In 1821 the Hudson's Bay Company assumed control of the post and operated it until 1826. (Hitchman, p. 97) (Spokane Co).

Fort Spokane was situated about 200 feet southeasterly from the east bank of the Spokane River; it was 900 feet south and 280 feet west of the center point of Sections 31 and 32 (T.27) and Sections 6 and 5 (T.26), both Range 42 East Willamette Meridian.

The distances from the intersection of Sections 31, 32, 6 and 5 were supplied by Mr. Louis R. Caywood.


Founded in May of 1849 by the U.S. First Artillery on the farm of a recently deceased Englishman, Joseph Thomas Heath, this post operated as the military center on Puget Sound until 1868 when it was abandoned. It was later the site of Western State Hospital. (Hitchman, p. 97) (Pierce Co.).

Established August 28, 1849. Located near the present town of Steilacoom, a few miles south of Tacoma, near the head, but more than a mile east of Puget Sound. Established to protect the settlers in the area, principally those in the vicinity of the Hudson's Bay Company's Fort Nisqually from Indian depredations.

Established by Captain Bennett H. Hill, 1st U.S. Artillery. The post was located on land belonging to the Hudson's Bay Company. The first buildings were erected under the direction of Second Lieutenant Grier Tallmadge, 4th U.S. Artillery, acting assistant quartermaster.

Originally referred to as the "Post on Puget Sound" or simply "Steilacoom." Named for the Steilacoom River, a small stream near the post.

It was abandoned on April 22, 1868. On April 15, 1874, a portion of the reservation was donated to the Territory of Washington, which established there the Western State Hospital for the Insane.

The remaining portion of the military reservation was transferred to the Interior Department on July 22, 1884. The post buildings were sold on January 15, 1870. (Fraser, p. 174-75).

Fort Steilacoom served as a headquarters and supply depot during the Indian War of 1855-56. At the opening of the war the Puyallup Valley was evacuated with a number of settlers coming to the fort for protection. After the war Leschi, war chief of the Nisqually Indians, was held in the guardhouse at the jail until he was executed by civilian authorities. The fort could be considered the "center of civilization" in the area for nearly twenty years. (Reese, p. 46).

Herbert Hart noted in his book Old Forts of the Northwest that the post "...was attacked and almost captured by Indians in 1855." (Hart, p. 37). No other account of this attack and near capture has been found.


Fort Stevens was built on Yelm Prairie as a blockhouse with a stockade during the Indian War of 1855. The Washington Territorial Volunteers used the place as a supply depot and named it for Isaac I. Stevens, Territorial Governor and Indian Agent. (Hitchman, p. 97) (Thurston Co.).


Established August 11, 1858, on the left bank of the Snake River at the mouth of the Tucannon River. Established by Colonel George Wright, 9th U.S. Infantry. Used as a base of operations in the campaign against the hostile Spokane, Coeur d'Alene and Palouse Indians in the Spokane country.

The post was built of basalt rock with hexagonal bastions of alder. Named for First Lieutenant Oliver Hazard Perry Taylor, 1st U.S. Dragoons, who was killed in action against the Spokane Indians on May 17, 1858.

Abandoned on October 2, 1858, when Colonel Wright and his command recrossed the Snake river at the close of the campaign. (Fraser, p. 175).

Fort Taylor was used only for six weeks as a base of operations against the hostile Spokane, Coeur d'Alene, and Palouse Indians, Fort Taylor was located on the left bank of the Snake River at the mouth of the Tucannon, two miles east of the present town of Starbuck in Columbia County. 

Established by Colonel George Wright on August 11, 1858 the post was constructed of basalt rock with hexagonal bastions of alder and named in honor of First Lieutenant Oliver Hazard Perry Taylor, 1st U. S. Dragoons, who was killed during a fight with Spokane Indians on May 17, 1858.

The post was abandoned on October 2, 1858, when the campaign against the Indian hostiles ended. (Roberts, p. 837).


Located near the community of Thomas on the south bank of the Green River this establishment was built by regular army troops during the Indian War of 1855-56. It was a twenty-six foot square blockhouse built of logs and cedar shakes. (Hitchman, p. 97 ) (King Co.) (Please note that this post is listed as Fort Taylor in Mr. Hitchman's book).

Fort Thomas was named in honor of John M. Thomas, on whose land claim the fort was erected. Fort Thomas was situated on the Thomas donation claim on the green River. It was located about 260 feet east of the Kent-Auburn Road (in 1933) and on the south bank at the point where the river makes an abrupt turn to the west.

The Fort Thomas blockhouse was similar in design to the Fort Bellingham and Fort Maloney blockhouses. The ground plan was about twenty-six feet square. The blockhouse was built with round logs which were notched and crossed at intersecting lines. A shake roof covered the structure.


Built by the Northern Battalion of the Washington Territorial Volunteers, Fort Tilton was a headquarters and supply depot established in February 1856 and occupied until March of that year.

James Tilton, Esq.
Adjutant General, Washington Territorial Volunteers

Sir: look for a location to establish a fort according to instructions when I selected the present site which I have taken the liberty to name Fort is situated ...three miles below (Snoqualmie) Falls. 

J. J. H. Van Bokkelen. Captain. Company G. 
2nd Washington Territorial Volunteers.

Fort Tilton, April 27, 1856.
Adjutant General James Tilton.
Washington Territorial Volunteers.

Sir: I have some time since completed a very substantial blockhouse at this point.

S.D. Howe, Captain, Company I. Northern Battalion.


Fort Townsend was on Port Townsend Bay two and a half miles south of Port Townsend. It was established after the close of the Indian War on October 26,1856 and was abandoned in 1893. 421 acres of the post is included in Old Fort Townsend State Park. (Hitchman, p. 97) (Jefferson Co.) (Please note that this post is listed as Fort Tilton in Mr. Hitchman's book).

Established October 26, 1856. Located on the west side of Port Townsend Bay at the entrance to Puget Sound. Established to protect the settlers in the area from hostile Indians.

Established by Captain Granville O. Haller, 4th U.S. Infantry. Ordered abandoned on June 11, 1861.

In May, 1862, the collector of customs at Port Townsend authorized by Brigadier General George Wright to take possession of the buildings at the post and make use of them for a marine hospital until such time as they were required for military use.

Re-established on July 1, 1874 when Camp Steele on San Juan Island was abandoned. Although the post was small, it was the only military post in the area and was considered necessary to protect the settlers from Indian depredations and to guard the Indian reservations on the west side of the sound from the encroachment of settlers.

The post was partly destroyed by fire in the winter of 1894-95, and the garrison was withdrawn for that reason. The military reservation was transferred to the Interior Department on June 18, 1895; however, the order was rescinded on May 1, 1896, and the reservation was returned to the War Department. The post was not regarrisoned. (Fraser, p. 175-76).


Fort Vancouver was founded on March 19, 1825 by the Hudson's Bay Company on the north bank of the Columbia River at the present site of Vancouver, Washington. The company moved its operations to Vancouver from Fort George at Astoria to the inland site.

In 1849 following the settlement of the boundary dispute between the United States and Great Britain the site was used by United States Army troops and for a period of time was known as Columbia Barracks. On July 30, 1853 the name once again became Fort Vancouver. (Hitchman, p. 97).

Originally erected by the Hudson's Bay Company in 1824-25 for Vancouver is located at the present town of Vancouver, on the right bank of the Columbia River opposite Portland, Oregon and 124 miles above the mouth of the river.

Named Fort Vancouver on March 19, 1825 for Captain George Vancouver, English navigator and explorer. The company did not entirely withdraw from the post until 1860.

The United States military post was established on May 15, 1849. The first troops to arrive in Oregon were two companies of the First U.S. Artillery, commanded by Captain John S. Hatheway, who arrived at the mouth of the Columbia River by sea from New York on May 13, 1849.

One company was stationed near Fort Vancouver and the other at Nisqually on Puget Sound. The post was first called Columbia Barracks.

It was not garrisoned until 1850 because quarters were not available for the troops. Colonel Persifer F. Smith, Mounted Riflemen, commanding the Pacific Division, ordered the erection of quarters which were constructed under the supervision of Captain Rufus Ingalls, assistant quartermaster.

The other buildings, originally occupied by the military were leased from the Hudson's Bay Company. The military post was designated Fort Vancouver on July 13, 1853. Vancouver Arsenal was established in connection with the post in 1859.

The name of the post was changed to Vancouver Barracks on April 5, 1879 and abandoned in 1947 although it continues as a sub-post of the Military Reservation at Fort Lewis. (Fraser, p. 176-77)

FORT WALLA WALLA (Post of the United States Army)

The first of the United States military posts given the name Walla Walla was founded in 1856 on Mill Creek directly west of Kibler five miles northeast of Walla Walla. Colonel Edward J. Steptoe was in charge of building the blockhouse and stockade which was occupied from September to October 1856.

The second military post was on the north side of Mill Creek six miles east of the junction of the Walla Walla River with Mill Creek. It was built in October and November 1856 by the United States Army " protection against hostile Indians..." and had no stockade.

The third post was built in 1857 in what is now the city of Walla Walla. Finally consisting of 613 acres the post was deactivated in 1889 and abandoned in 1911. (Hitchman, p. 97) (Walla Walla Co.). The post was turned over to the Veteran's Administration in 1921 and many of the buildings still remain.

Established September 23, 1856. Located in the Walla Valley at the present town of Walla. In 1858 the post was moved to a new site about one and a half miles form the original location.

Established by Major Edward J. Steptoe, 9th U.S. Infantry. Intended to control the hostile Indians of the area and to protect the lines of transportation and travel. The post was garrisoned irregularly from 1864 to 1867. During the years 1867 to 1873, it was used as a depot for wintering public animals.

Reoccupied in August, 1873. Finally abandoned on March 31, 1911, and placed in the hands of a caretaker. The site is now occupied by a Veteran's Administration Hospital. (Fraser, p. 177).

FORT WALLA WALLA (Fur Trading Post)

In 1818 the Northwest Company built a fur trading post one half mile north of the mouth of the Walla River fronting on the Columbia River. It was acquired in 1821 by the Hudson's Bay Company and continued operation until 1857 having been rebuilt at least twice.

The town of Wallula was later built on the site. The first name of the post was Fort Nez Perce. "...It is often referred to as Old Fort Walla, to distinguish it from later forts bearing the same name." (Hitchman, p. 97) (Walla Co.).


Fort Ward was built as a coastal defense post on Bainbridge Island at Bean's Point. It was named for Colonel George Hull Ward of the 15th Massachusetts Infantry who died at the Battle of Gettysburg during the Civil War on July 3, 1863. (Hitchman, p. 97).

Construction of this coast artillery fortification was begun on February 1, 1900, occupying 375 acres on Bainbridge Island and a like number on the mainland across Rich's Passage, commanding the entrance of Port Orchard Bay, both of which lead to the vital Puget Sound Naval Shipyard.

Officially designated Fort Ward on Jun 12, 1903, it mounted five Endicott-period batteries of three, five and eight inch guns. Abandoned as a coast defense in 1934, the sites of the fort were turned over to the United States Navy four years later. (Roberts, p. 838).

Fort Ward had four batteries: Battery Nash, Battery Thornburgh, Battery Vinton and Battery Warner. (Gregory, p. 123-24).


Fort Waters was built in March of 1848 by the Oregon Riflemen under the command of Colonel Cornelius Gilliam on the site of the Whitman Mission four miles west of Walla. Following the Whitman Massacre his mission was burned and some of the material from the buildings was used to construct this refuge against Indians. (Hitchman, p. 97) (Walla Co.).

Established September 23, 1848. Located on the site of the Waiilatpu, which had been destroyed following the Whitman Massacre. Established by Lieutenant Colonel Cornelius Gilliam, Oregon Volunteers to serve as a base of operations during the Cayuse War.

The post was constructed from the remains of the mission buildings. It was named for Lieutenant Colonel James Waters of the Oregon volunteers. (Fraser, p. 177).


This pioneer fort at the crossing of the Puyallup River was called Fort White. Captain J.A. White commanded the Pioneer Company of the Washington Territorial Volunteers and it was probably named for him. Joseph White of Thurston County commanded the company until after the battle at Connell's Prairie on March 10, 1856. He resigned and Urban East Hicks was elected. It is also possible that the Fort was named for its location near the confluence of the White River with the Puyallup River near the present shopping center on Meridian Street in Puyallup. (Reese, p. 46).


Construction of this coast artillery defense located on Goat Island, two miles southwest of LaConner in Skagit County was begun in 1909 and completed in 1911. Named in honor of Dr. Marcus Whitman, victim of an Indian massacre in 1847. Fort Whitman included, in addition to its Endicott-period six inch gun battery, the commanding officers quarters, administration building, two 20 by 100 foot barracks, kitchen and mess hall, and other utility buildings.

The post was transferred to Washington state as a wildlife refuge in 1947. (Roberts, p. 838-39).

Battery Harrison was a battery of four inch guns at Fort Whitman on Goat Island in Skagit County facing Deception Pass. Construction was begun by the U.S. Engineers in 1909 and completed two years later. The battery was named for Colonel George Francis Harrison. Colonel Harrison was a member of the class of 1869 of the United States Military Academy. He served in the 2nd and 7th Artillery and died March 26, 1909. (Gregory, p. 124).


Prior to 1900 a military reservation was established on Point Wilson, near Port Townsend, Washington. The post prior to the turn of the century was sometimes referred to as Fort Wilson but never officially. In 1900 General Orders Number 43 designated "Fort Worden" as the name for this military installation. (Whiting, p. 133).


This United States Military post was established on the Wilson Point Military Reservation near Port Townsend. General Orders No.43 designated the name "Fort Worden." It is named in honor of Admiral John L. Worden of the United States Navy. (Whiting, p. 135)

Admiral Worden was the commander of the Monitor, the ironclad which battled the Confederate Merrimac at Hampton Roads, March 1862. He served as Superintendent of the United States Naval Academy in 1870 and died in Washington D.C. October 18, 1897. (Gregory, p.101).

The guns at Fort Worden were manufactured and assembled over a period of years between 1898 and 1910. The organization of twelve batteries, equipped with forty guns maintained commanding positions. The batteries were: Battery Ash, Battery Benson, Battery Brannon, Battery Kinzie, Battery Powell, Battery Putnam, Battery Quarles, Battery Randol, Battery Stoddard, Battery Tolles, Battery Vicars, and Battery Walker. (Gregory, p. 119-123).


This name was given to the Spanish fort built near Neah Bay in March of 1792 by the Spanish in their attempt to solidify their claims to the Northwest Coast of North America. (Roberts, p. 836).


In April 1856, during the Indian War emergency, a large temporary log blockhouse was erected by Washington Territorial Volunteer troops in the town of Olympia in Thurston County. It was on the public square at the corner of Main and 6th Streets, today's Capital Park. (Roberts, p. 835).


The Spanish in March 1792 established a settlement protected by a fort at Neah Bay, just north of the main part of today's town of Neah Bay, at the extreme northwestern tip of present Clallam County. The fortified settlement was called Nunez Gaona by the Spaniards. Its site is most probably located on the present Makah Indian Reservation. (Roberts, p. 836).


The Northwest Company founded a fur trading post in 1810 which was followed in 1812 by the Pacific Fur Company building a post nearby. The two competed for a short period of time and eventually operations were moved to the newly established Fort Spokane. See: Fort Spokane.


Cardle, Doug. About Those King County Place-Names Seattle: Coastal Press, 1989.

Corning, Howard McKinley. Dictionary of Oregon History Portland: Binfords and Mort, 1956.

Field, Virgil. History of the Washington National Guard 

Fraser, Robert W. Forts of the West Military forts and presidios and posts commonly called forts west of the Mississippi River to 1898 by Robert W. Fraser. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1965.

Gregory, V. J. Keepers at the Gate Port Townsend: Port Townsend Publishing Company, 1976.

Hart, Herbert M. Old Forts of the Northwest Seattle: Superior Publishing Company, 1963.

Hart, Herbert M. Tour Guide to Old Forts of Oregon, Idaho, Washington and California Volume III Boulder, Colorado: Pruett Publishing Company, 1981.

Hitchman, Robert. Place Names of Washington State Tacoma: Washington State Historical Society, 1985.

Huddleston, Joe D. Fort Lewis, a History Fort Lewis, Washington, 1983.

Hussey, John. Chinook Point and the story of Fort Columbia Olympia: Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission, 1967.

Hussey, John A. A short history of Fort Canby, Washington San Francisco: National Park Service, Region Four, 1957.

Reese, Gary Fuller. Origins of Pierce County Place Names Tacoma: R and M Press, 1989.

Roberts, Robert B. Encyclopedia of Historic Forts New York: MacMillan, 1988.

Whiting, J. S. Forts of the State of Washington A record of military and semi-military establishments designated as Forts, from May 29, 1792 to November 15, 1951. Seattle: Kelly Printing Company, 1951.