The old fur-trading Fort Walla Walla (Fort Nez Perce) was established downstream on the Columbia River at the site of modern-day Wallula in 1818; the mission of Marcus Whitman was built (1836) nearby modern Walla Walla. Wagon trains began bringing settlers in the 1840s, and Steptoeville (later Walla Walla) grew around the U.S. military Fort Walla Walla (est. 1856). The name was changed when the settlement became county seat in 1859. Walla Walla is a district headquarters of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. It is also the seat of Whitman College, Walla Walla Univ., and the state penitentiary. The Whitman mission nearby has been restored as a national historic site.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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