Fort Henness

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Fort Henness (1855-1856) - A large stockade with two blockhouses first established in 1855 during the Washington Indian Wars by Grand Mound Prairie settlers in Thurston County, Washington. Named after Captain Benjamin I. Henness, Washington Territorial Volunteers. Abandoned as a fortification about 1856.

Fort Henness Marker Text
Fort Henness Plan
Fort Henness Site


The Grand Mound settlers called their stockade, Fort Henness, named for Captain Benjamin L. Henness, a local settler. A monument marks the spot across from the cemetery on Mound Prairie. More than 240 adults and children from 30 families occupied Fort Henness for 16 months from the spring of 1855 to the summer of 1856.

Construction of the stockade began by digging a rectangular trench 100 x 130 feet and four feet deep. Trees 12-16 inches in diameter were cut down and sawed them into 16 feet lengths and then lined up vertically on the outer edge of the trench.

Two blockhouses were built on opposing corners with a 3-4-foot overhang over the stockade wall. Gun slits were bored at regular intervals. Each family lived in a lean-to built against the outer stockade walls. There was a well dug in the meeting room at the center of the fort, which also included a separate school room and a separate barracks for single men.

Current Status

Marker and plan sign at the fort site across from the Grand Mound Cemetery Entrance. A separate Masonic marker is also on the site but does not appear to be fort related.

Location: Across from the entrance to
Grand Mound Cemetery, Thurston County, Washington.

Maps & Images

Lat: 46.822345 Long: -123.021652

  • Multi Maps from ACME
  • Maps from Bing
  • Maps from Google
  • Elevation: 184'

GPS Locations:

See Also:



Fortification ID:

  • WA0173 - Fort Henness

Visited: 22 Sep 2015

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