The Blockhouse

The Blockhouse (HM2445)

Location: Echo, OR 97826 Umatilla County
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Country: United States of America
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N 45° 44.504', W 119° 11.898'

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From our little castle 100 feet square ... we commended operations early the following morning, and are now in a picket, 100 feet square, seven feet high, and have one blockhouse half-built. — Luke, an Oregon Mounted Volunteer, from letter dated November 21, 1855

In November 1855, the Oregon Mounted Volunteers constructed a stockade and two blockhouses (or bastions) across the river from this site. The fort was built on the site of the "still smoldering" Utilla (sic) Indian Agency (1851-1855). It was named Fort Henrietta after Henrietta Haller, wife of a U.S. Army officer stationed at Fort The Dalles, in gratitude for her loan of the wagon to poorly supplied militia.
Militia documents suggest the fort was 100 feet by 100 feet, with round-log blockhouses at opposite corners. The stockade was constructed from nine-foot-long, split-cottonwood rails, placed in a two-foot deep trench. Archaeological excavations revealed the original stockade form by outlines of huge burnt logs, and "ghosts" of burnt posts were discovered in the stockade trench excavations. A splitting wedge, probably used to split the cottonwood logs was among the artifacts excavated from the stockade trench. A hewing hatchet, possibly used to construct the fort, was found on the edge of the field near the fort site.
The militia received
orders in April 1856 to abandon and destroy the fort. In May 1856, the commander filed a report stating that the fort had been destroyed. However, accounts of settlers and an 1859 survey indicate a building (possibly a blockhouse) remained standing and was used as a meeting place and arsenal.
Since no drawings were ever located, the replica built in 1985 resembles the 1855 Middle Blockhouse (Fort Rains) at the Cascades of the Columbia.
HM NumberHM2445
Placed ByCity of Echo
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Tuesday, December 26th, 2017 at 1:02pm PST -08:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)11T E 328991 N 5067703
Decimal Degrees45.74173333, -119.19830000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 45° 44.504', W 119° 11.898'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds45° 44' 30.24" N, 119° 11' 53.88" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)541
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling East
Closest Postal AddressAt or near Water Street, Echo OR 97826, US
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