Fort Ter-Waw lasted only 5 years

March 05, 2007 11:00 pm

By Hilary Corrigan

Triplicate staff writer

The name came from the Yurok term for "beautiful place."

Fort Ter-Waw, or Terwer, itself, though, would not stay there long.

Set up by Lt. George Crook in 1857, the station of buildings took up about 80 acres on the Klamath River's north bank above the waterway's mouth and washed away several times, according to information from the California State Military Museum. It would disappear by 1862.

Throughout the period, white settlers, gold prospectors, miners and farmers tried to claim the Klamath reservation lands and the military tried to relocate other tribes to the section, according to historical materials from the Humboldt County Department of Public Works.

In the early 1860s, Brig. Gen. George Wright ordered troops' relocation to Camp Lincoln, under construction in Smith River Valley, just northeast of Crescent City.

It was about that time that Wright sent a message to his headquarters in San Francisco asking for more military men to kill American Indians living in the northern California region, according to California Gene-alogy and History Archives.

"The Indian difficulties in the Humboldt District have been growing worse and worse for years, and I am determined to settle them now for the last time," Wright wrote. "Every Indian that you may capture, and who has been engaged in hostilities present or past, shall be hung on the spot. Spare the women and children."