Fort Hall
Pop. 600

Nathaniel Wyeth built the original Fort Hall in 1834 primarily to store $3,000 worth of merchandise that Thomas Fitzpatrick and Milton Sublette were intending to purchase at the area’s annual fur trapper rendezvous. The two men ultimately refused the product, and Wyeth then decided to sell the merchandise from his fort to the Indians. With him, Wyeth brought over sixty other settlers, and together they erected Old Fort Hall in the form of a stockade, surrounded by a ten-foot wall. Wyeth named the fort in honor of his top New England financier, Henry Hall. Eventually, Fort Hall’s existence as a trade center combined with nearby Fort Boise to end the annual rendezvous between the Indians and traders. This was due to the forts’ permanent nature and ability to offer year-round trade to everyone.

The Hudson Bay Company, which operated Fort Boise, purchased Fort Hall from Wyeth in 1836 and continued its trading operations until 1856. Oregon Trail pioneers frequented both forts from 1843 to 1855, but Fort Hall was forced to close in 1856. Today, the site is located in the middle of tribal land and is marked with a National Historic Landmark. A full-size replica of Fort Hall stands in Pocatello’s Ross Park.

In 1870, a military post was established about forty miles away on Lincoln Creek. This fort became the second Fort Hall, but eventually it too was abandoned and its name was given to the headquarters of the Fort Hall Indian Reservation that President Andrew Johnson established in 1867 for the Shoshone-Bannock Indians. The town of Fort Hall now serves as the tribal headquarters.

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