Places To Go
In 1880, a board of Army officers selected a central location at the confluence of the Columbia and Spokane Rivers for a new military post. Fort Spokane was one of the final military forts built on the Western Frontier. It served as a military post until 1898 when the troops were withdrawn and moved to Fort George Wright in Spokane.
In 1899, the Department of the Army allowed the Bureau of Indian Affairs to use that as their home office. The Bureau of Indian Affairs opened an Indian boarding school in 1900 originally enrolling 83 students and climbing to 229 students by 1902. By 1908 enrollment had fallen to 31 students and by 1914 the school was closed.
From 1914 until 1929, Fort Spokane continued to serve in the form of a turberculosis sanitarium and Indian hospital.
Today, four of the original 45 buildings still stand. The Guardhouse, completed in 1892, houses the Visitor Center and Museum. The Quartermaster Mule Barn (1884), Powder Magazine (1888), and Reservior (1889) can be viewed on the Sentinel and Bluff Trails.
St. Paul's Mission
Established in 1845, by Father DeSmet and two assistants, Father Ravalli and Father Hoecken, to serve the over 800 Indians that assembled annually at Kettle Falls to harvest salmon. The building still standing today was built in 1847.
Take the short, self-guided walk that begins to the left of St. Paul's Mission to see the Sharpening Stone, overlook the site where Kettle Falls is submerged, and overlook the site where Fort Colvile once stood.
Stop by the Kettle Falls Information Center in Kettle Falls to see historic pictures of the actual Kettle Falls.
For more information, check out Historic and Cultural Places.
Did You Know?
The park offers a variety of engaging activites for school groups. These include A River Mile, where students adopt and study a mile of the river. Duty, Discipline, and Devotion allow classes to experience what it was like to be a student or soldier at Fort Spokane. Contact us for information.