Its county seat is Republic. Ferry County is 2, square miles in area. By the census, the population was 7, with a density of 3. Today there is little mining, and timber and agriculture have declined from their former importance. Yet much of the scenic beauty of Ferry County remains undiminished, and tourism, hunting, and fishing help sustain the economy. First Peoples The original inhabitants of what is now Ferry County were several semi-nomadic Indian tribes, with the Colville predominating.
Their principal and time-honored fishing, rendezvous, and trading point was Kettle Falls on the Columbia River where it forms the boundary between present-day Stevens and Ferry counties.
Inthe North West Company fur trader and cartographer, David Thompsonreached Kettle Falls but did not establish a fur post in the area. Although located just inside present-day Stevens County, the fort exerted its influence over a large area, including the future Ferry County.
Indians already had vast intertribal trading networks and, with the coming of the fur trade, engaged in that enterprise as well. After the demise of the fur trade, many of these HBC employees remained in the area, marrying into local Indian families. In Aprilthe Colville Reservation was established by executive order. Originally a vast part of present Ferry and Okanogan counties, the new reservation underwent a series of boundary changes and reductions in size.
Some of the tribes from farther south, the Columbia, Chelan, Entiat, and Wenatchi official tribal spellingall under Chief Moses, were given an option to accept individual allotments along the Columbia River and Lake Chelan or to join with the Colvilles on the reservation.
Most chose the latter option. The Northern Okanogans under Chief Joseph Tonasket, who owned large herds of cattle and horses, moved onto the reservation in or Bysome of the remaining Chief Joseph band of the Nez Perce, who had been exiled to present Oklahoma after the Nez Perce War, were allowed to relocate to the Colville Reservation, although that area had not been their ancestral home.
These were the Nez Perce who wished to follow traditional ways: At least the Indians retained permanent hunting and fishing rights to the area. After minerals, especially gold, were discovered in the region, the northern half was opened to prospectors on February 21, Byapproximately 12, mining claims had been staked in Ferry County.