Fort Lemhi

 

The site of what was once Fort Lemhi. The shelter at the left covers a remnant of an adobe wall. Photo by Kenneth Mays
The site of Fort Lemhi. The shelter at the left covers a remnant of an adobe wall. Photo by Kenneth Mays.

During the short period of 1855-1858, President Brigham Young sent a small number of men to establish a settlement some 400 miles north of Salt Lake City. Moreover, they were to preach to “remnants of the House of Jacob” who already inhabited the area. The small fort and crude dwellings came to be known as Fort Limhi, named after a king in the Book of Mormon.

The name was later changed to Fort Lemhi. The county in which the fort was situated and a branch of the Salmon River also adopted the name Lemhi as did a nearby mountain pass through which Lewis and Clark crossed the Continental Divide.

Fort Lemhi sign - 02

The structure seen here protects a remnant of the original wall of Fort Lemhi. Photo by Kenneth Mays.
The structure seen here protects a remnant of the original wall of Fort Lemhi. Photo by Kenneth Mays.

The settlers faced monumental challenges while building the fort and trying to make a living off the land. Hauling trees, clearing the land, insects and conflicts with Native Americans were constant challenges. The site was abandoned in early 1858. Little remains today of what was once Fort Lemhi. Small sections of an adobe wall survive from that day, but little else.

Map & Directions

Several historical markers identify the site.

Photos

Remaining section of an original wall of Fort Lemhi. Photo by Kenneth Mays.
Remaining section of an original wall of Fort Lemhi. Photo by Kenneth Mays.
Monument overlooking the site of Fort Lemhi. Photo by Kenneth Mays.
Monument overlooking the site of Fort Lemhi. Photo by Kenneth Mays.
Historical plaque adjacent to a remnant of adobe wall of Fort Lemhi. Photo by Kenneth Mays.
Historical plaque adjacent to a remnant of adobe wall of Fort Lemhi. Photo by Kenneth Mays.

Articles & Resources

Books

David L. Bigler, Fort Limhi: The Mormon Adventure in Oregon Territory, 1855-1858.

William G. Hartley, Mormon Historical Studies, Vol. 2, No. 2, 135.