Fort George Wright

Fort George Wright

In 1895, local residents purchased the area then known as Twickenham Park, which was deeded to the government for the construction of a military post. With Congress’ authorization, the $40,000 purchase of 1,022 acres (414 ha) was made in 1896.

Construction of the fort began in 1897 and it officially opened in 1899.

Between 1899 and 1940, it primarily housed mounted infantry units such as the 24th and 25th "Buffalo Soldier" Infantry regiments.

The 24th Infantry regiment contained the famous all-black “Buffalo Soldiers” who had fought bravely in the capture of San Juan Hill during the Spanish American War.

The regiment had endured many hardships. Only 24 of the 456 men of the regiment had not contracted Yellow Fever, and over 30 had died from it. When 107 tired men of the 24th arrived in Spokane in the spring of 1899 after a long train ride from Utah, they may have thought their troubles were over, but it was not to be.

The citizens of Spokane were shocked that the first troops stationed at the base were African-American. Protests were made to the War Department to have the men shipped elsewhere. After a year of tension, and despite the exemplarity behavior of the troops themselves, the 24th Infantry was sent to the Philippines.

When African-American soldiers of the 25th Infantry arrived in 1908, the population was less interested in the fort, and less inclined to stir up racial discontent.

In May 1976, the campus was listed as the Fort George Wright Historic District in the National Register of Historic Places.