Friday, September 2, 2016
Frenchtown Historic Site
Frenchtown was never very large, more a settlement of scattered cabins than a town. The first cabin was built in 1823 by Joseph LaRocque. Approximately 50 families of French Canadian Metís descent lived in the area by 1872. The St. Rose of Lima Mission was built on the historic site in 1876 but nothing remains of it except for a cross marking the cemetery location.
The Battle of Walla Walla, a conflict involving Native Americans (Walla Walla, Cayuse, Palouse and Yakama) and 350 Oregon Mounted Volunteer took place on the site in 1855. The tribes had signed a treaty with the understanding that they would have several years to move onto a reservation however settlers began claiming the land before the treaty have even been ratified which led to a four day battle and the defeat the Native Americans.
A short trail with interpretive signs leads to the cemetery site. A cabin that may be the oldest existing cabin in Washington State has been relocated to the site.
The trail is surfaced with crushed stone and will be accessible after it has become compacted but currently it’s too loose. A short road may be used for closer access to the cemetery, bypassing the trail. The cabin is not open for touring.
The parking lot is large enough for RVs.
Site 46.04945, -118.51144