Established in 1865, fort Mcdermit was first called Quinn river camp #33 on the east fork. Later, it was renamed in honor of military district commander Lt. Col. Charles McDermitt, who died while fighting Native Americans. Typically, the fort consisted of several adobe, stone, and frame buildings surrounding a square. Its purpose was to protect the Virginia city-Quinn river valley-Oregon road. Twenty-four years of operation made it the longest serving active army fort in Nevada. Its troops participated in the Modoc war and in conflicts with the Bannock and Shoshone tribes. It was the last of the Nevada army posts in service when converted into an Indian reservation school in 1889.