City of Walla Walla

Date Visited:   Monday, May 12, 2003
City Visited #:   343
County:   Walla Walla
Visited With:   Denny, David & Randy
City Name History:   Mentioned by Lewis and Clark in 1806 as Wollah Wollah and Wallow Wollahs, the name was first applied to the valley and river, and subsequently to county, fort, and city. The name comes from the Nez Perce word walatsa, meaning "running water", with repetition loosely translating as "many waters." In 1855, Isaac I. Stevens, who doubled as territorial governor and superintendent of Native-American affairs, made a peace treaty with the "Walla-Walla, Cayuses and Umatilla Tribes and Bands of Indians" at the present townsite. Despite this, the Indian War broke out, and Lt. Col. Edward J. Steptoe built a fort at the treaty campsite around which the city developed. It was known first as Walla-Walla, then Steptoeville, Wieletpu, and finally Walla Walla - the name under which it was incorporated on January 11, 1862.