This site honors the trading post built by the North West Company of Canada as Fort Nez Percés and rebuilt by the Hudson's Bay Company as Fort Walla Walla in the early 1800's. In 1811, David Thompson of the Northwest Company led a fur trading party down the Columbia River and planted a British flag at the mouth of the Snake River, claiming sovereignty over this region for Britain. Thompson and his party then met Walla Walla Chief Yellept at Wallula, where Thompson promised to build a trading post. In 1818, the North West Company built Fort Nez Percés at the mouth of the Walla Walla River, which later was known as Fort Walla Walla after it was rebuilt by the HBC in 1821. The Wallula fort served as the Hudson's Bay Company center for the outfitting and supplying of all of the Company's inland empire fur brigades, as well as for trading with local tribes. For more information,
The trading posts at Wallula were on the north bank of the mouth of the Walla Walla River, now inundated by the backwaters of McNary Dam. The stones placed in the ground where you stand were recovered from the foundations of the old forts before the area was flooded. The closest accessible point to where the historic forts originally stood is on US 730 as you enter Wallula Gap, just past Milepost 5. There you will find a Wallula History Site with additional signage relating to
the fascinating Geology of the area, the Native Peoples who lived and gathered here, the Lewis & Clark Expedition which camped near there on its way to the Pacific Ocean and again on its way east, the Fur Traders who were the first Europeans to settle in the area, the Steamboats which docked at Wallula near the old fort and opened the inland region to modern travel and trade, the Railroads that once brought 15-30 trains a day to Wallula, the three Towns of Wallula, and the flooding of the area by Lake Wallula after completion of McNary Dam. Just beyond the Wallula History Site are the legendary Two Sisters pillars shown behind the fort in the historic sketches below, which you should also visit.
go to www.ww2020.net/historic-sites