NPS Photo by John Edwards
the Hawaiian or “Sandwich Islands,” the nineteenth century trade hub of the Pacific. Sailing vessels worldwide stopped regularly at “Owyhee” for recreation, supplies and ship repair, simultaneously developing a “lively exchange of commodities” amongst nations.
The HBC exchange might include trading furs for Boston’s knives and copper pans, swapped for Hawaiian sandalwood or whale oil, bartered for Cantonese silk and tea for Northwest use. Hawaiian imports included items such as hogs, sugar cane, salt, molasses, coffee, wicker baskets, and sweet potatoes. By the 1830s, Fort Vancouver exported produce, wheat, flour, lumber, and salmon. Northwest timber built Hawaii’s European style homes, while Hawaiian coral supplied lime for fertilizer and whitewash, and mortar for the Fort’s chimneys. Meanwhile, the now traditional lomi lomi salmon served at present-day luaus remains a forgotten legacy of the fur trade era.
Did You Know?
As the fur trade-era depot and headquarters for the Hudson's Bay Company's Columbia Department, did you know that over 61,000 animal pelts were shipped from Fort Vancouver to England in 1843 alone? This and many other stories are interpreted at Fort Vancouver National Historic Site. More...