Simcoe Valley
According to this despatch, the Simcoe Valley housed Colonel Steptoe's headquarters.1 It is likely that these “headquarters” were Fort Simcoe which was located in this valley. The Simcoe Valley is located in Washington State, United States and it was recorded by Colonel George Wright that this was the traditional territory of the “Klikitats.”2 The name Simcoe is from the Indigenous sim-ku-ee meaning saddle hill. The Yakama peoples used it as a geographic place name to designate a very evident saddle-like dip in a ridge north of the site.3
Fort Simcoe was located approximately 61 kilometers southwest of a city called Yakima (established before the current city of Yakima) and was built on the southern boundary of the Simcoe Valley. The proximity to the valley was important for the Fort's establishment as it was close to where the Indigenous groups camped during the winter months. Therefore, the oak-studded region between Simcoe and Toppenish creeks produced the best area to set up a fort to do trade.4
The Fort was located 106 kilometers from Fort Dalles. In September 1856, a wagon road was constructed in order to connect the two forts together -- making the journey through the valley more passable. Although, the weather in the valley was said to be better than that farther north.5
Today, Fort Simcoe is one of the few remaining pre-Civil War forts even though it operated for only three years. It now serves as a museum.6
Mentions of this place in the documents
People in this document

Steptoe, Edward

Places in this document

The Dalles

The Colonial Despatches Team. Simcoe Valley. 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/simcoe_valley.html.

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