Eastern and Southern Washington

Fort Arkansas | Basket Fort | Fort Bennett | Fort Boles | Fort Borst | Borst's Blockhouse
Camp at the Cabins | Fort Canby | Fort Cape Disappointment | Cape Shoalwater Res.
Fort Cascades | Cathlamet Post | Camp Chehalis | Fort Chehalis | Camp Chelan
Chinook Point Post | Columbia Barracks | Fort Columbia | Camp Colville | Fort Colvile
Fort Colville | Fort Cowlitz | Fort at Cowlitz Landing | Camp Curry | Fort Davis
Fort Gilliam | Grayland Beach Res. | Grayland Radar Station | Camp Hanford | Harney Depot
Fort Henness | Ilwaco Radar Station | Kalaloch Radar Station | Fort Lugenbeel | Markham Res.
Fort Mason (1) | Fort Naches | Camp Nechess River | Fort Nez Percés | Fort Okanogan
Pacific Beach Radar Station | Point Brown Res. | Fort Rains | Raymond Radar Station
Ruby Beach Radar Station | Fort Simcoe | Camp Spokane | Fort Spokane (1) | Fort Spokane (2)
Spokane House | Post at Spokane | Fort Taylor | Vancouver Arsenal | Vancouver Barracks
Camp Vancouver | Fort Vancouver (1) | Fort Vancouver (2) | Fort Walla Walla (1)
Fort Walla Walla (2) | Fort Waters | Westport Res. | Willapa Bay Radar Station
Fort George Wright | Yakima Valley Blockhouse

Northwestern Washington - page 1


Last Update: 20/MARCH/2010
Compiled by Phil and Pete Payette - ©2010 American Forts Network

Fort George Wright
(1895 - 1941/1961), Spokane
Originally called Post at Spokane. Consolidated all of northeast Washington's military activities. Became an Army Air Corps (Air Force) base in 1941. After closing, the post was home to three separate colleges; Spokane Falls Community College, Holy Names College (renamed Fort Wright College) until 1982, and the Mukogawa Fort Wright Institute since 1990.

Fort Spokane (1)
(1812 - 1813), Nine Mile Falls
A Pacific Fur Company post until 1813, when it was bought out by the North West Company. Located adjacent to Spokane House (see below).

Spokane House
(Riverside State Park)
(1810 - 1826), Nine Mile Falls
A North West Co. post on the east bank of the Spokane River. After 1821 it became a Hudson's Bay Co. trading post. (HBC records cover 1822 and 1823). The HBC enlarged the post in 1823 as a 130-by-122-foot log stockade with several interior buildings against the walls. In 1826 all operations were transferred to Fort Colvile. This was possibly the first permanent white settlement in the state.

Fort Spokane (2)
(Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area)
(1880 - 1899), Miles
Established as Camp Spokane when the troops from Camp Chelan transferred here. Replaced Fort Colville. Located on the south-side of the Spokane River about one mile from the Columbia River. It was renamed in 1882. Became an Indian School after it was abandoned until 1929. Several buildings still remain.

Fort Colvile
(1826 - 1871), Kettle Falls
A Hudson's Bay Co. 208-feet square palisaded trading post (note spelling) located on the east-side of the Columbia River about one mile west of town. It became the HBC regional headquarters after Spokane House was abandoned. The first gold rush in Washington occurred near here in 1855. Site now located under Lake Roosevelt. The original spelling was later altered by the Americans. See also Encyclopedia of Washington State History - Article #2

Fort Colville
(1859 - 1882), Colville
A Federal fort established upriver from the HBC post after the local gold rush had started. It was originally known as Harney Depot, then as Camp Colville. Located on the east-side of Mill Creek three miles east of town.

Fort Okanogan (State Park)
(1811 - 1860), Monse
Originally a Pacific Fur Co. 16-by-20-foot log trading post, this became the first permanent American settlement in the state. It was also the first U.S. flagged post in the state. Spelled in British/Canadian sources as Okanagan. Originally located on the Okanogan River half a mile from its mouth, four miles east of Brewster. The post was abandoned after the War of 1812, having been sold to the North West Company. The Hudson's Bay Company took over in 1821. The fort was rebuilt larger in 1830, with a bastioned stockade around four buildings, on a new site on the Columbia River less than one mile away, but was phased out beginning in 1846, not completely abandoned until 1860. The remains of the first fort partially remain, having been almost swept away in a 1894 flood. The Fort Okanogan Historical Museum is on the second site, operated by WA State Parks. See also Encyclopedia of Washington State History - Article #2

Camp Chelan
(1879 - 1880), Chelan
A temporary Army camp to control the Indian population. Originally located on Foster Creek, near Bridgeport, in 1879. Due to its remote location, the camp was abandoned and transferred to Camp Spokane.
(thanks to Russell Miller for additional info)

Fort Taylor
(1858), Starbuck
A temporary Army post used for only six weeks. Built of basalt rock with a hexagonal wood bastion (blockhouse). Located on the south bank of the Snake River at the mouth of the Tucannon River, two miles west of town.

Fort Walla Walla (2)
(1856 - 1911), Walla Walla
This Federal fort was located at three separate sites: the first was a stockaded blockhouse on the Walla Walla River just west of town; the second site (one month later) was another stockaded blockhouse with exterior huts at what is now 1st and Main Streets; and the third site was a mile and a half away on Mill Creek at the present-day V.A. Hospital. Intermittently garrisoned between 1864 and 1867. Became a livestock depot between 1867 and 1873. Permanently regarrisoned in 1873, with new Officers' quarters, barracks, and other buildings. Many of the original, but modified, buildings remain. The fort's buildings are arranged in a "broken wagonwheel" or semi-circle design. The "Pioneer Village" and the old fort make up the Fort Walla Walla Museum complex located at 755 Myra Road. Admission fee. The city was originally named Steptoeville.

Camp Curry
(1855 - 1856), near College Place
A fortified winter camp established by the OR Volunteers after the "Battle of Frenchtown" (December 1855), located on Mill Creek about two miles east of the Whitman Mission.

Fort Waters
(Whitman Mission National Historic Site)
(1848), near College Place
This was the rebuilt and renamed Waiilatpu Mission house (1836). Located six miles west of Walla Walla. The Methodist mission was burned by Cayuse Indians after the Whitman Massacre (November 1847). The OR Volunteers established the fort in March 1848 from the salvaged remains of the mission. Admission fee.

Fort Bennett
(1855), near Lowden
A temporary fortified position established by the OR Volunteers during the "Battle of Frenchtown" (December 1855), located on the Walla Walla River at the LaRocque Cabin, about seven miles east of the mouth of the Touchet River. Abandoned for winter quarters at Camp Curry.

Fort Walla Walla (1)
(1818 - 1860), Wallula
Originally this was Fort Nez Percés, a North West Co. fur post at the confluence of the Walla Walla and Columbia Rivers until 1821 when it was acquired by the Hudson's Bay Co. and renamed (HBC records cover 1827 - 1832). Its size was 200-feet square, with an outer wall 20-feet high, armed with four cannon and ten swivel guns. It was once considered to be the strongest fort west of the Rockies, and a major stop on the Oregon Trail. Attacked by Indians in 1855. The British finally abandoned the post in 1860, and it later burned down. The actual site is now under the waters of the Columbia River's McNary Dam.

This area was also the site of a Wallula Indian campsite at which the Lewis and Clark Expedition stayed in 1806. The exact site is under Lake Wallula. About 12 miles north of here is a campsite of the Lewis and Clark Expedition (1805) in Sacajawea State Park.

Fort Mason (1)
(1855 - 1856), near Wallula ?
An OR Volunteers blockhouse located somewhere in the Walla Walla River Valley (reportedly 23 miles from Fort Walla Walla (2)).

Fort Naches
(1856), near Naches
A temporary Army post officially called Camp Nechess River. It was an oval-shaped earthwork located about nine miles up the Naches River. Named Fort Na-Chess by its commanding officer, and "Basket Fort" by the local settlers because of the many gabions used in its construction.

Fort Simcoe (State Park)
(1856 - 1859), near White Swan, Yakima Indian Reservation
The Army's base of operations during the Yakima War. The post was used as the Yakima Indian Agency after the garrison transferred to Fort Colville in 1859. It was abandoned in 1923. The state leased the park property from the Yakima Nation in 1953. The fort has been restored and contains three Officers' quarters (1857 - 1858), one of four original blockhouses (1856), and the Commandant's House (1857 - 1858).

Yakima Valley Blockhouse
(1856), near Yakima ?
A Federal blockhouse, apparently not officially called a fort, built somewhere in the Yakima River Valley (Yakima Valley Gap).

Camp Hanford
(Hanford Reservation, U.S. Dept. of Energy)
(1942 - 1944, 1950 - 1961), near Richland
An Army anti-aircraft defense headquarters base camp, located about 10 miles northwest of town, for the protection of the Atomic Energy Commission's Hanford plutonium production facility. There were 16 batteries (four guns each) of 120mm AA guns from 1951 - 1956 in various locations around the AEC reservation (North Slope: H-01, H-04, H-10, H-12, H-21, H-8(?), H-90; Central Area: H-40 (200 East Hill), H-42 (Army Loop Road), H-50 (Army Loop Road), H-51 (Army Loop Road), H-61, H-80; Riverland: H-70 (Base Camp 130, abandoned 1954), H-71 (abandoned 1954), H-72). NIKE-AJAX missiles were emplaced in 1955 - 1958 (H-06 (Saddle Mt.), H-12 (Othello), H-52 (Rattlesnake Mt.), H-83 (Priest Rapids)). NIKE-HERCULES missiles were emplaced in 1958 - 1960 only at H-06 (Saddle Mt.). The camp was turned over to the AEC in 1961 after the air defense mission was eliminated by the Army. The AEC facility is presently run by the U.S. Dept. of Energy.

Fort Cascades
(1855 - 1861), North Bonneville
A group of three Federal two-story timber blockhouses built at the "Cascades", the lower of the two sets of rapids on the Columbia River. The first blockhouse was built at the foot of the rapids, also known as the Lower Blockhouse. A second blockhouse was located about five miles upriver at the head of the rapids, known as the Upper Blockhouse, or Fort Lugenbeel. A third blockhouse, known as the Middle Blockhouse, or Fort Rains, was located about halfway between the two others. A flood destroyed all three in 1876. Timbers from Fort Rains were used to reconstruct the post one-half mile west of the Bonneville Dam, by the Skamania County Historical Society.
(thanks to Marshall Sitrin for additional info)

Fort Gilliam
(1848), North Bonneville
A temporary post and supply depot established by the OR Volunteers. Also called Camp at the Cabins.

Fort Vancouver (1) (National Historic Site)
(Fort Vancouver National Site)
(1824 - 1860), Vancouver
A Hudson's Bay Co. trading post (HBC records last to 1866), the headquarters and main depot for trading operations in the Pacific Northwest since moving from Fort George (Astoria) in Oregon. It was a 325-by-732-foot log stockade with one blockhouse, enclosing two dozen buildings. The post burned down in 1866. The current structure is a replica. The original site is located on the old Pearson Army Airfield, marked out in concrete strips. See also HBC Heritage

Vancouver Barracks (National Historic Site)
(Fort Vancouver National Site)
(1849 - 1947/2011), Vancouver
Established by the U.S. Army on land leased by the HBC, originally called Camp Vancouver (1849 - 1850). Renamed Columbia Barracks (1850 - 1853) after the construction of quarters, followed by Fort Vancouver (2) (1853 - 1879), and finally Vancouver Barracks. Vancouver Arsenal was established in 1859. The post was a regional headquarters and supply base through most of its history. During the two World Wars it was a Regular Army mobilization center and training camp. Pearson Army Airfield was established in 1911, formally named in 1925. It is still an operating civilian airport. The post once consisted of over 300 buildings, located in the area bounded by Evergreen Highway, 4th Ave., and East and West Reserve Streets. After closure by the Regular Army after WWII it became an Army Reserve and National Guard center. Officers' Row was deeded to the city in 1984. Officer's Row National Historic District contains 21 restored homes. The last Army units will leave the remaining 30 or so buildings in 2011 to a new training center on the city's east side. See also Encyclopedia of Washington State History - Article #2 by D. Colt Denfeld

Fort Cowlitz
(1856), near Toledo
A U.S. Army post, also known as Fort at Cowlitz Landing. Actual site washed away by floods, located about one and one-half miles west (downstream) of town. American settlers came here in 1849.

The Hudson's Bay Co. operated an agricultural station known as Cowlitz Farm, located a few miles northeast (upstream) of Cowlitz Landing, beginning in 1837. It was not fortified. It was in operation until about 1860.
(additional info provided by Karen Johnson)

Fort Arkansas
(1855), near Toledo ?
A settlers' blockhouse located somewhere on the Cowlitz River.

Fort Davis
(1850's ?), near Littell
A blockhouse located on the Chehalis River near the Claquato church.
(info provided by Karen Johnson)

Fort Borst (park)
(1855 - 1856), Centralia
Also known as Joseph Borst's Blockhouse. Originally a settlers' temporary defense and later a militia supply depot. Moved to the park from its original site near the Skookumchuck River.

Fort Henness
(1855 - 1856), Grand Mound
A settlers' stockade with two blockhouses, and enclosing several cabins, named for Benjamin Henness. Provided refuge for 30 families. Used by the WA militia on occasion. Located two miles north of town, just south of Scatter Creek.

Cathlamet Trading Post
(1846 - unknown), Cathlamet
A Hudson's Bay Co. trading post.

¤ HARBOR DEFENSES of the COLUMBIA RIVER (partial) (see also Ft. Stevens, OR)
Harbor Defense of the Columbia - FORT WIKI

¤ Fort Canby
(Cape Disappointment State Park)
(1862 - 1950), Ilwaco
Originally named Fort Cape Disappointment in 1864, although fortifications existed since 1862. Renamed in 1875. Some remains of the Civil War-era fortifications still exist. They were Tower (Right) Battery, Left Battery, and Center Battery. The fort was later a subpost of Fort Stevens in Oregon. The main garrison area is located on Baker Bay. Endicott batteries here are Battery Francis Guenther (1921 - 1942) fenced-off, Battery Harvey Allen (1906 - 1945), Battery Elijah O'Flyng (1906 - 1918) built on the site of Center Battery, Battery 247 (1944 - 1947), and Anti Motor Torpedo Boat Battery 2 (1943 - 1946). Also located here are the North Head (1898) and Cape Disappointment (1856) Lighthouses and the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center. Overnight stays are available at the two North Head Light Keepers' residences. See also Lighthouses on Cape Disappointment from Encyclopedia of Washington State History

Several fire-control and observation stations were once located at North Head. One still exists. Another fire-control station is still located at Tioga (Long Beach), five miles north of North Head Light.

The Army Signal Corps operated an early warning air defense radar at the Ilwaco Radar Station (1942 - 1944), also known as Station B-69.

¤ Fort Columbia (State Park)
(1896 - 1948), Chinook
Originally called Chinook Point Post. The fort was a subpost of Fort Stevens in Oregon. The Columbia River was mined during wartime, controlled by a mine casemate here. The mine casemate and several fire-control and observation stations still exist. Batteries here are Battery Jules Ord (1898 - 1917), of which gun #3 was originally named Battery William Neary and now buried, Battery William Murphy (1900 - 1945), Battery 246 (1940's) never armed (present guns came from Fort McAndrew, Newfoundland in 1993), and Battery Frank Crenshaw (1900 - 1920). Became a state park in 1950. Overnight stays are available in two restored quarters on Officers' Row.
Photos of Battery 246 by Matt Hunter || See also Fort Columbia info from FunBeach.com

Raymond Radar Station
(1942 - 1944), near Raymond
A WWII early warning air defense radar station, also known as Station L-63, one of a chain of 65 stations built along the entire Pacific Coast.

Harbor Defense of Willapa Harbor - FORT WIKI

¤¤ Cape Shoalwater Military Reservation
(1919 - 1932, 1942 - 1944), North Cove
Located here were three unnamed batteries; two 6-inch naval guns (1919 - 1932) at Cape Shoalwater, a four-gun mortar battery (1919) with post barracks, north of town, never armed, now covered; and a two-gun 155mm battery on Panama mounts (1942 - 1943), ruins now in the surf at Wash Away Beach. Grass-covered mounds still exist (?) at the location of the 6-inch naval guns, which were later transferred to Fort Worden. The mortar battery site is located in a present-day waste dump.
(thanks to Al Grobmeier of the Coast Defense Study Group for information)

The Army Signal Corps operated an early warning air defense radar at the Willapa Bay Radar Station (1942 - 1944), located in the vicinity of North Cove and Cape Shoalwater. (NOTE: this may possibly be the same site as the Grayland Radar Station listed below.)

¤¤ Grayland Beach Military Reservation
(Grayland Beach State Park)
(1942 - 1944), Grayland
A two-gun 155mm battery on Panama mounts.

The Army Signal Corps operated an early warning air defense radar at the Grayland Radar Station (1942 - 1944), also known as Station B-62 (SCR-270). It was no longer operational after 1944.

Harbor Defense of Grays Harbor - FORT WIKI

¤¤¤ Westport Military Reservation
(Westhaven Beach State Park)
(1918 - 1919, 1942 - 1944), Westport
Located here were two WWI unnamed batteries (1918 - 1919, two 5-inch naval guns and four 12-inch mortars). The mortar emplacements were never armed, and are now covered, located at South Ave. and Forrest Street. The 5-inch gun battery at Sprague Ave. and Hoquiam Street no longer exists. In 1942 South Battery (two 155mm guns on Panama mounts) was built at the 5-inch gun site. It was soon replaced with Battery 2B (1942 - 1944) two 6-inch naval guns.

North Battery, two 155mm guns on Panama mounts (1942), was built at the present-day Westport City Park (one mount remains). It was replaced by Battery 2A two 6-inch naval guns (1942 - 1944), located across Elizabeth Street. Also located in the area were several 75mm field guns. The Westport Light was built in 1898. Westport Light State Park

¤¤¤ Markham Military Reservation
(1942), Markham
Located here was a two-gun 155mm battery on Panama mounts (1942), near the present-day Ocean Spray Cranberry plant. Mounts still remain on school property.

¤¤¤ Point Brown (Brown's Point) Military Reservation
(1942 - 1944), Ocean Shores
Located across the inlet from Westport, near the present-day boat marina, was Battery 1 (1942 - 1944) four 6-inch naval guns. Only one gun block remains (in surf). Four 12-inch railway mortars were also sited here (transferred from Fort Stevens in 1942).

¤¤¤ NOTE: There were five fire-control stations in WWII for these defenses. None remain.

(thanks to Al Grobmeier and Greg Hagge of the CDSG for information)

Camp Chehalis
(1860 - 1861), near Hoquiam
A temporary Federal camp located at the mouth of the Chehalis River. Established to protect settlers. Also called Fort Chehalis, but never officially designated a fort.

Pacific Beach Radar Station
(1942 - 1945, 1949 - 1952), Pacific Beach
A WWII early warning air defense radar station. This was also known as Station J-61 (SCR-516 radar), one of a chain of 65 stations built along the entire Pacific Coast. The site was later used by the Air Force for a LASHUP radar (AN/TPS-1B until replaced by AN/CPS-5 in 1950), known as Site L-35.

Kalaloch Radar Station
(1942 - 1944), Kalaloch
A WWII early warning air defense radar station.

Ruby Beach Radar Station
(1942 - 1944), Ruby Beach
A WWII early warning air defense radar station. This was also known as Station B-57 (SCR-270 radar), one of a chain of 65 stations built along the entire Pacific Coast. It was no longer operational after 1944.

NEED MORE INFO: Fort Boles (1860's) (location ?).

Towns: Boistfort in Lewis County.

Northwestern Washington - page 1

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