©Library of Congress
Tour the historic buildings of Fort Vancouver National Historic Site.
A U.S. Army camp was established nearby in 1849, and soldiers relaxing between the Indian Wars played polo at the fort. The Treaty of 1846 between the
Now a spiked wooden stockade surrounds six acres of buildings, including the blacksmith's shop, where iron and steel items needed for the fur trade industry were made; the bakery, where four men baked bread and biscuits for up to 300 people; and the Indian trade shop and dispensary, which housed the fur-trading operations, as well as the hospital and doctor's office and residence. The house of Dr. John McLoughlin, the administrator of the fort who later became known as the "Father of Oregon," is a roomy and elegant house with white-clapboard siding and a large front veranda. Costumed interpreters bring the fort to life, occasionally firing up the ovens and baking sea biscuits (rations for soldiers) or forming iron tools at the blacksmith's shop.
The visitor center has exhibits, a small store, and a film depicting the fort's early history. Near the fort is Officer's Row, a tree-lined street of 21 beautiful homes built between 1849 and 1906 for the officers of the fort. Two of the most impressive homes, the Marshall House and the Grant House, are open to the public. In 1996, the 366-acre Vancouver National Historic Reserve was established adjacent to the site. And in 2003, the McLoughlin House National Historic Site was added as part of the Fort Vancouver National Historic Site.
Hours of Operation:
Admission: $3 per individual; $5 per family
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Eric Peterson is a Denver-based author who has contributed to numerous guidebooks about the