June 11, 2012
Today we are preparing for next week's field school. A backhoe is removing asphalt from two areas in the South Barracks, corresponding to two house sites in the Village.
This area was the site of a major intersection in the Village, where a road leading to the Village intersected with what is now East 5th Street. In 1846, to the west of this road were located the houses of three French Canadian servants of the Hudson's Bay Company: Charlebois, Little Proulx, and de Roche. The location where this photo was taken corresponds to Little Proulx's House.
There are very few records available to tell us who Little Proulx was, but church records indicate that his full name was probably Francois Proulx. On January 31, 1845, at the age of 31, Proulx married a Chinook woman named Catherine. Witnesses at their wedding were their neighbors in the Village, Charles and Nancy de Roche. Baptism and burial records tell us that the Proulxs had a daughter, Louise, at Fort Vancouver, who was born and died in 1852. There are no records of Little Proulx at Fort Vancouver after 1852.
According to historic maps, these houses were probably demolished around 1855, and the wood was salvaged by settlers and U.S. Army soldiers to use as firewood and building materials.
This summer, excavations in this historically residential area will reveal more information about what life was like in Fort Vancouver's employee Village.