|The area of Fort Spokane was a U.S. Army fort from 1880 to 1898 and became an Indian boarding school from 1900 to 1907. Then it served as a hospital and offices before being abandoned in 1929.|
Fort Spokane was established to separate settlers in the south and reservation lands north of the Spokane and Columbia Rivers. The fort saw little action during its time as an Army post. Soldiers spent most of their time defending local tribes from encroaching white settlers who wanted to poach game, mine or build homes illegally on the Apokane and Colville reservations.
The Fort Spokane Indian Boarding School was one of almost 150 Indian boarding schools across the nation. Indain children were forcibly taken from their homes and sent away to these schools to be indoctrinated in the ways of the white man. The program was largely a failure and the tactics used by the teachers and administrators would, today, violate the Geneva Convention's rules on torture.
The intent was to strip the children of their native culture. The memories and scars of that time resonate to this day in Native American communities. After seven years in operation, under pressures from the tribes and some leaders in the Bureau of Indian Affairs, this school closed.
When the government abandoned the fort in 1929. the buildings weren't considered historically impoertant. Most were dismantled during the Great Depression and World War II. The materials were then used to build homes. Many of the residents of this area grew up in homes made from Fort Spokane lumber.
Fort Spokane was the last Western frontier fort built in the Pacific Northwest. It helped maintain order and "protect" the reservations from white settlers. Across the West, European settlemet led to clashes with Native Americans. Initially military forts were built to protect settlers during these clashes. Later forts such as Fort Spokane helped protect newly established Indian reservations from illegal settlement.
The grounds were tranferred to the National Park service in the 1960s and the four remaining buildings were restored.
Looking down on Frot Spokane
Entrance Fort Spokane Washington Territory
|Quartermaster Stable - built 1884|
Quartermaster Storehouse location
|The Administration Building was located across the parade ground from the Commanding Officer's residencve and was connected to Officers Row by a boardwalk.|
The structire first served as headquarters for LTC Henry Clay Merriam, who felt is surpassed all other post administration buildings he had see "for appearance and convenience."
Colonel Merriam, a Civil War veteran from Maine, was noted for his fair-handed negotiations with the local Indians.
|Soldiers of the Second and Fourth Infantry were joined by troops from the First and Second Cavalry on Fort Spokane. Cavalry supplemented the infantry by providing reconnaissance and a mobile strike force.|
Cavalry officers had to care for their own mounts, which were kept in sheds behind their houses. All other horses were cared for in this stable. Cleaning the stable, herdind horses and being detailed as a farrier or blacksmith wre routine jobs for the 50-60 members of a cavalry troop.
|All that remins of most of the fort's 45 buildings are stones and rocks that show where they were.|
The Quartermast Powder Magazine
Hospital Stewards Quarters
|More ruins. The one on the right was the morgue.|