Thursday, December 6, 2018

Pinkney City, Washington

Hi!  This is a  resend of this morning's post.  

Many thanks to an alert, careful reader for letting me know that  I mistyped the year 1925 instead of 1825 in two places in the blog.  

The first mistype was in the second paragraph second sentence; the second mistype was in the last source in the footnotes.  I have corrected both of the dates below.  I also added another source that I used.

The mistypes are confusing to the reader, so I decided I should send out this post notifying you of the correct year.

By Kris Krell

Pinkney City, Washington

Colville, Washington, county seat of Stevens County, about 65 miles north of Spokane and approximately 45 miles south of the Canadian border, was incorporated in 1890 but was founded some years earlier.  

This frontier town, named Pinkney City, began in 1859 as it was located next to the military Fort Colville. Fort Colville was started in 1825 by the British Hudson Bay Company (HBC) when the HBC moved its fur-trading post from the Spokane House to this new location.  The HBC spelling was Colvile.  

Pinkney provided for the needs of the fort and the surrounding territory.  Pinkney City was named after Captain (later major) Pinkney Lugenbeel (also sometimes spelled Lougenbeel) (1819-1886), the first commander at the fort. 

The Colville River Valley region where Pinkney City was located was in a fertile land area, and the homesteaders there raised cattle and horses, planted and harvested wheat and other crops, and engaged in logging. 

Around 1859, a post office came to serve the fort as well as the surrounding area.  By this time, Pinkney had become the county seat, and Pinkney City was renamed Fort Colville, so that the post office and the county seat would have the same name. 

Fort Colville closed in 1882.  After the closure, Pinkney City began to decline, so, people, businesses and even some buildings relocated to and established Colville named after the unoccupied fort.  Colville was platted February 28, 1883.

Colville’s first school was a hand-hewn log building and is located at the Keller Historical Center that is

“the home of the Stevens County Historical Society Museum.  The Keller House, also includes a machinery museum, a home-stead  cabin, and a Forest Service fire lookout are among the many buildings on display on over seven acres of a pristine park-like setting.
The museum houses a very extensive collection of native American artifacts of tribes from all parts of the nation as well as all local tribes.  The rest of the building is filled with remnants of days gone by and contains several well-organized displays of life as it was in the younger years of Stevens County.
An extensive gun display is exhibited in one area of the museum. There are also numerous display cases depicting the progress of the local lumber and fur trading industries, schools, missions, agriculture and pioneer life.”
Also included in various displays are discussions of local history, dating from the 1811 visit of David Thompson to the area through the era of both Fort Colville and Pinkney City to the present day.
Indians and the Hudson Bay Co. also played a large role in the county's early history, and they are included, along with several prominent pioneers and "founding fathers," in exhibits throughout the museum.”

I’m disappointed to write that all the times my husband and I have been in Colville, we’ve never visited the Museum.  I’m putting it on my “things that I must do in 2019!”
Colville’s 1959 centennial celebration organizers date Colville’s beginnings from the founding of Pinkney.  By that thinking, Colville is the second oldest town east of the Cascades exceeded only by Walla Walla.   

Sources:  Colville-Thumbnail History, 2010,  Fort Colville (Hudson’s Bay Company), 1825-1871, 2009, City of Colville, The Stevens County Historical Society Museum.

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