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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Walla Walla in Walla Walla County, Washington — The American West (Northwest)
 

Welcome to the Prince's Cabin

 
 
Welcome to the Prince's Cabin Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, August 14, 2020
1. Welcome to the Prince's Cabin Marker
Captions: Fig. 1: The site of the Pásxapa village as seen looking south and east from the Whitman monument. The cabin stood to the right of the red barn. The city of Walla Walla is visible in the distance.; Fig. 1: The cabin on the Peterson farm in 2005.; Fig. 3 (right): 1940s aerial of the Smith Farm looking west towards the Whitman monument, showing the shed covering the Peterson cabin (A), the pattered believed by Robin Peterson to be the original location (B), the Smith family farmhouse, now demolished ©, and the red barn visible in Fig.1 (D). The Old Oregon trail and wagon road passed by just south of the property.
Inscription.  Based on architectural design and textual evidence, the cabin standing before you is believed to have been built in 1837 by Hudson's Bay traders for a Cayuse leader called "the Prince."

The Prince's cabin is thought to be the oldest standing cabin in the state of Washington. It originally stood at a Cayuse wintering place just upstream of Marcus and Narcissa Whitman's Presbyterian mission, two miles east of the Frenchtown Historic Site. Narcissa Whitman refers to its presence in a letter from January 1944, telling of the recent move by an immigrant family from the crowded mission building to "the Prince's house up the river." After the killing of the Whitmans in 1847, and during the ensuing war of 1855, the village site and the cabin were likely abandoned.
The land and cabin were acquired by the Smith family around 1888. Oral history indicates the cabin was moved from its original location "across water". If so, this move would have taken place early on, perhaps when Marcus Whitman rerouted a portion of the river for his mill race. But 1860, the first Government Land Office survey of the area notes a house on the precise
Welcome to the Prince's Cabin Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, August 14, 2020
2. Welcome to the Prince's Cabin Marker
The marker is in the foreground and the cabin is in the background.
spot where the cabin was located when Kriss and Robin Peterson purchased the property in 1990. It was Robin Peterson who recognized the cabin as a fur trade relic and began the process of researching its origins and construction. In 2013, his widow Kriss Peterson donated the cabin to the Frenchtown Historical Foundation, to be moved, restored and interpreted at the historic site.
In 1855, the Cayuse, Walla Walla, and Umatilla Indian Tribes signed a treaty ceding more than 6.4 million acres of what is now northeastern Oregon and southeastern Washington to the United States, including the Frenchtown area. Although the treaty was ratified by Congress in 1859, the last Cayuse were not forced off the land in this area until 1861, when white settlers demanded their removal, threatening to hang hostages if they stayed. In the same year, Albert and Elizabeth Blanchard laid claim to the property where the cabin still stood. The Homestead Act of 1862 officially opened the land up for settlement, and the Blanchards filed their land patent in Vancouver, Washington in 1866.
 
Erected 2016 by Frenchtown Historical Foundation.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Notable BuildingsSettlements & Settlers.
 
Location. 46° 2.991′ N, 118° 
Thanks to All Who Helped plaque image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, August 14, 2020
3. Thanks to All Who Helped plaque
Click on the image to enlarge it.
30.725′ W. Marker is in Walla Walla, Washington, in Walla Walla County. Marker can be reached from Old Highway 12 near U.S. 12, on the left when traveling east. The marker and cabin are located near the Frenchtown Historical Foundation kiosk. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 8519 Old Highway 12, Walla Walla WA 99362, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Hudson's Bay Company (here, next to this marker); The Prince (here, next to this marker); French-Canadian Cabin Design (here, next to this marker); St. Rose Mission (about 700 feet away, measured in a direct line); Local Tribes (approx. 0.2 miles away); Frenchtown (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Battle of Walla Walla (approx. 0.2 miles away); Saint Rose Mission (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Walla Walla.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on October 28, 2020. It was originally submitted on October 28, 2020, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. This page has been viewed 39 times since then and 4 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on October 28, 2020, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California.
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Mar. 6, 2021