Fort Colvile
Now flooded, Fort Colvile was a key depot and trade hub for the HBC's Columbia Department.1 Simpson chose the site for the fort, at Kettle Falls, to buttress company interests in the Columbia District, and hoped of its rise as a profitable alternative to Spokane House,2 which was established by the Northwest company in 1810, at the confluence of the Spokane and Little Spokane rivers.3
In August of 1825, John Work oversaw construction of the fort, but due to a lackadaisical construction team, the fort was not, as planned, completed for winter storage, and the HBC was forced to rely upon Spokane House.4
Fort Colvile's fate was dictated in part by the Oregon Territory boundary dispute and, following the 1846 treaty, the United States, perhaps uncharacteristically, continued to recognize British possessory rights over Fort Colvile.5 However, the fort dwindled in trade as conflicts with indigenous groups in the area rose, and, by 1859, the US Army established nearby, in the Colville Valley, their own Fort Colville—with two l's. The HBC officially abandoned Fort Colvile in 1871.6 Today, the site of the fort, and Kettle Falls, rests beneath the waters of Lake Roosevelt, as a result of the 1940 Grand Coulee Dam project.7
Mentions of this place in the documents
People in this document

Simpson, George

Work, John

Places in this document

Oregon Territory, or Columbia District

Spokane River

The Colonial Despatches Team. Fort Colvile. The Colonial Despatches of Vancouver Island and British Columbia 1846-1871, Edition 2.2, ed. The Colonial Despatches Team. Victoria, B.C.: University of Victoria. https://bcgenesis.uvic.ca/fort_colvile.html.

Last modified: 2020-12-02 13:40:34 -0800 (Wed, 02 Dec 2020) (SVN revision: 5008)