Fort Canby is within the Lewis and Clark National and State Historical Park. Built in 1864, it was one of the earliest forts in Washington, was named for Major General Edward Richard Canby. An important base in pioneer days, overlooking the Columbia River entrance, it has been on the inactive list for some time.
On January 28, 1875, it was renamed to honor Maj. Gen. Edward Richard Sprigg Canby, who was killed in the Modoc war. It once had several large batteries of coast artillery weapons, and with Fort Columbia and Fort Stevens constituted the defense of the mouth of the Columbia River. General Canby was serving as one of the peace commissioners who attempted to settle the Modoc War in southern Oregon. On April 11, 1873 two of the commissioners, including General Canby were murdered during the negotiations. The Army went into action and by April 17, 1873 the war was over and three of the Indian leaders were later captured, tried at Fort Klamath, hanged, beheaded and their heads were sent to the Smithsonian Institution.