Fort Simcoe

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Fort Simcoe (1856-1859) - Established on 8 Aug 1856 during the Yakima War by Major Robert Seldon Garnett (Cullum 1085), and Companies G and F of the 9th U.S. Infantry Regiment. The fort was located at the "bubbling spring" on Toppenish Creek near the site of Haller's defeat, Yakima County, Washington. Major Garnett was the first commander at Fort Simcoe. Abandoned in 1859 and became Yakima Indian Agency.

Fort Simcoe 1857-1858 Captain's Quarters.)
Fort Simcoe 1854 Blockhouse.
Fort Simcoe Commanding Officer Quarters (1857-1858)

Fort Simcoe History

Fort Simcoe drawing, 1858 (University of Washington Archive)
Fort Simco Reproduction Barracks.

Fort Simcoe was designed by architect Louis Scholl who also designed Fort Dalles. It had a blockhouses at each corner of the post but no stockade, each blockhouse was a standalone fortification. A 420' square parade ground was surrounded by officers quarters, log and frame barracks and service buildings within the boundaries defined by the blockhouses.

West Side East Side North Side South Side
3 Captains Qtrs 2 Warehouses 2 Lieutenants Qtrs 2 Lieutenants Qtrs
Commanders Qtrs Flagpole 2 Enlisted Barracks 2 Enlisted Barracks
Guardhouse
Surgeons Qtrs/Infirmary

Behind the buildings surrounding the parade were the servants quarters, laundress quarters, kitchens and latrines. The post garrisoned about 350 personnel.

The fort was used as the Yakima Indian Agency beginning in 1859 after the garrison transferred to Fort Colville. It was abandoned in 1923. The state leased the state park property from the Yakima Nation in 1953. In 1956, Fort Simcoe became a state park, and in 1974 it was added to the National Register of Historic Places.


Fort Simcoe Commanders List (edit list)
Assumed Relieved Rank Name Cullum Notes
1856-08 1856-10 Major Garnett, Robert S. 1085
1856-11 1857-04 Captain Woodruff, Dickinson N/A
1857-05 1858-09 Major Garnett, Robert S. 1085
1858-10 1859-05 Captain Archer, James N/A
Dates are formatted in yyyy-mm-dd to sort correctly.
The Cullum Number is the graduation order from the United States Military Academy by year and class rank and links to a page for the officer on the website version of the Cullum Register. Listings without a Cullum Number indicate that the person was not a graduate of the United States Military Academy.

Current Status

Fort Simcoe State Park Plan.

Must See! The fort has been restored and contains three original officers quarters (1857-1858), one original blockhouses (1856), and the original Commandant's House (1857-1858). In addition to the five original buildings, four buildings have been replicated including a barracks, the guardhouse and two blockhouses. The four original officer's quarters have period furnishings. This is a fine example of the 1850s Washington Indian wars period forts and is probably the most complete. The park is located some 30 miles to the west of Toppenish in Yakima County on the Yakima Indian Reservation. Access from I-82 or US 97 at Toppenish. The grounds are open daily from April 1 to October 1 but the restored officers quarters with interior furnishing and the interpretive center are currently open to the public 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Wednesday through Sunday. Tours the rest of the year may be made by appointment, call 509-874-2372. (as of 2016)


Location: Near White Swan on the Yakima Indian Reservation, Washington (30 miles west of Toppenish, Yakima County, Washington)

Maps & Images

Lat: 46.34277 Long: -120.83796

See Also:

Sources:

Links:

Visited: 22 Aug 2016

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