The treaty with the Yakama Indians through Governor Stevens in 1855 took away from the Indians 29,000 square miles of their home land. All the battles with the whites in our area thereafter involved the subtribes of the Tieton and Cowiche Indians. In the following Puget Sound War of 1855-1856 the two tribes joined the Puyallup and Nisqually Indians. The tribe of the Yakamas living in the Cowiche Valley had a regular route from Ahtanum to Cowiche to the Wenas Valley. Chief Saluskin of the Yakamas lived at Cowiche near the Andrew Jackson Splawn place. The Indians’ feeling about the land was they could not “own” what God had given people, while the white mans’ was the opposite and there began the sticky place between them.
Two years after the peace treaty with the Yakima Indians had been signed, in 1857 Colonel George Wright and his command were engaged in a fight with Yakimas on the south bank of the Naches River near Eschbach Park. It was there Col. Wright built what the early settlers called the Basket Fort, built with the bottomless baskets filled with willow branches and earth and stones which made up the foundation walls.