early pioneer William Fleet

By the time the Scheibner Brothers set up their sawmill William Fleet had been on the land for a while. Born in 1836 New York, at the age of 19 William Sailed around the Horn and started a career in the far west as a millwright and pack train manager. For the next twenty-five plus years William Fleet traveled between New Mexico, California, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and finally into Washington State with Dan Paul. While Paul settled around the Coulee City area, Fleet continued up into the Steamboat Rock area where he bought an old drover camp used by Jack Hardly as a stop-over in the Grand Coulee. William Fleet improved on the choice land by Northrup Creek at the base of Castle Rock, adding a house, barn and several other outbuildings created the first homestead around Steamboat Rock in 1883. A well-known and liked bachelor, Fleet had run a small but profitable cattle operation at the base of Castle Rock where he also worked as a millwright and helped establish the Scheibner Sawmill. In 1889 William Fleet retired back to New York, but the story of his land would continue.

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