Fort Simcoe

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Fort Simcoe (1856-1859) - Established on 8 Aug 1856 by Major Robert Seldon Garnett 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.

Fort Simcoe drawing, 1858 (University of Washington Archive)
Fort Simcoe Blockhouse (University of Washington Archive)
Fort Simcoe Commander's Residence (University of Washington Archive)

Fort Simcoe History

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 log and frame barracks and service buildings within the boundaries defined by the blockhouses.

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. 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).


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 1895-05 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

In 1956, Fort Simcoe became a state park, and in 1974 it was added to the National Register of Historic Places.


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

Maps & Images

Lat: 46.342765 Long: -120.837958

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