Site of Old Fort Klamath - Klamath County, OR
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member thebeav69
N 42° 41.646 W 121° 58.336
10T E 584183 N 4727358
Quick Description: A roadside historical marker mentions the site of Old Fort Klamath and is mentioned in Oregon's American Guide Series.
Location: Oregon, United States
Date Posted: 1/27/2015 2:14:34 PM
Waymark Code: WMN9W9
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member Math Teacher
Views: 0

Long Description:
The SITE OF OLD FORT KLAMATH (R) is at 105.7 m.; from 1863 to 1890 this was an army post from which the government carried on Indian campaigns. It was here that the notorious Captain Jack, leader in the Modoc War (see below), Schonchin Jack, Black Jim, and Boston Charley were hanged for the treacherous killing of General E. R. S. Canby and the Reverend E. Thomas, Superintendent of Indian Affairs, and the wounding of A. B. Meacham, the three peace commissioners who were advancing under a flag of truce, April II, 1873, in an effort to reach peaceful settlement of the bloody and costly war. Other lives were saved by the intervention of Winema, the Indian interpreter and the heroine of the Modoc Wars. Their graves on the parade grounds of the old fort are marked.

--- Oregon: End of the Trail, 1940

This Fort Klamath roadside historical marker memorializes the history of Fort Klamath, which was established in 1863 and abandoned in 1889. This fort was built in order to aid in overseeing nearby Klamath Agency Indian Reservation as well as to protect the influx of settlers emigrating through this area from potential attacks by the Natives who saw many incoming settlers as foreigners stealing their ancestral lands.

The former Fort Klamath site is now a park museum and contains no traces of its former existence with the exception of four graves of Modoc Indians who were executed by hanging at this location in 1873 for war crimes committed during the Modoc Indian War of 1872-73. They were Captain Jack, Schonchin John, Black Jim and Boston Charley. There is a replica of the former fort guardhouse which is the museum building and holds historical artifacts and displays.

The historical marker plaque says the following:

SITE OF
FORT KLAMATH
ESTABLISHED 1863
ABANDONED 1889
SOLDIERS WERE STATIONED
HERE FOR PROTECTION OF SETTLERS
AND TRAVELERS IN EARLY DAYS
PLACED BY
EULALONA CHAPTER. DAUGHTERS OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION
KLAMATH FALLS, ORE.

This marker was originally dedicated on March 4, 1939 and was restored and re-dedicated August 21, 1961.

*NOTE* The Fort Klamath Park Museum is only open from the months of June through September.

Visitors to the Fort Klamath Museum Park during summer months will be educated on the history of Fort Klamath as well as other events that happened here over the years while this fort was in service. There is a sign near the entrance to the park that says 'FORT KLAMATH FRONTIER MILITARY POST ESTABLISHED 1863'. There is a monument that stands near the building that houses the Fort Klamath Museum (fort guard house replica) within the park and has a metal plaque that reads:

FT. KLAMATH
FRONTIER POST

ESTABLISHED FOR THE PROMOTION OF PEACEFUL RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN THE INDIANS AND THE EARLY SETTLERS BY THE OREGON VOLUNTEER CALVARY IN 1863. THE POST WAS ABANDONED BY THE UNITED STATES ARMY IN 1890. NOW PRESERVED

AS A
KLAMATH COUNTY PARK
FOR ALL PEOPLE
DEDICATED AUGUST 1973

This Park Museum was also registered as a U.S. National Historic Place in 1971. The Klamath County Museum also has a page devoted to this site here. There is also another historic waymark very close to this monument and highlights the first-ever sawmill that operated in Klamath County by the Fort Klamath Army Post and can be waymarked here and here.

I personally feel the most poignant aspect of this historical site are the four graves of Modoc Indians who were hanged on October 3, 1873 at Fort Klamath for their part in fighting against the U.S. Army in the Modoc Indian War of 1872-3. To the best of my knowledge, the four natives who were hung - Captain Jack, Schonchin John, Black Jim and Boston Charley - have their bodies buried here at the grave site. Two other Modocs sentenced to die had their sentences commuted to life imprisonment at Alcatraz Island in San Fransisco. The four hangings and subsequent burials of these four men was a sobering end to the longstanding war and is still talked about to this day in numerous books, monuments and talks by local historians.

Book: Oregon: End of the Trail

Page Number(s) of Excerpt: 398

Year Originally Published: 1940

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