• Image of the reconstructed stockade at Fort Vancouver and Pearson Air Museum looking northeast from the Land Bridge.

    Fort Vancouver

    National Historic Site OR,WA

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  • Vistor Center Temporarily Relocates to Pearson Air Museum on Sep 15, 2014

    The Visitor Center operation will temporarily relocate to Pearson Air Museum, beginning on Monday, September 15, 2014, while the visitor center is rehabilitated. More »

  • The McLoughlin House Site Will Close at 2:00 pm This Saturday, October 18, 2014.

    The McLoughlin House unit of Fort Vancouver National Historic Site will close early this coming Saturday, October 18, to prepare for a community partnership event. The McLoughlin House will be open from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm this Saturday.

Interpreting the Village

Image of participants in the annual Brigade Encampment special event

Park staff and volunteers interpret the Village through programs such as the annual Brigade Encampment special event.

NPS Photo

The written story we have of Fort Vancouver, passed to us by the white inhabitants, says little about the diverse population of people involved in the operation of the Fort.

Since most of the Company employees and their families were illiterate, first-hand accounts of the daily life and social organization of the village do not exist. Thus, the primary connection we have to these people is the physical space they inhabited.

The village itself helps fill the gaps in the historical record through archaeological excavations and analyses of the material culture from the village area. This information is necessary for park personnel to provide multiple perspectives of the history of Fort Vancouver.

The village is a background for visitors to connect with the an astounding diversity of people; adding the perspectives of the less-educated, lower class, non-British ethnicities to the story.

Furthermore, the National Park Service is actively engaged in discussion with local Hawaiian and Native American communities, as the site's knowledge and interpretive activities expand to incorporate the area of the village and its inhabitants.

Research in the village has led to an increasing understanding of the physical space and layout of the village, and also illuminates issues of social organization within it.

Past archaeological work has revealed the location of several structures in the village, four of which were dwellings for workers.

Excavations in the Summer of 2001 helped verify the location of the Lower Mill Road and the connecting north-south road. This excavation also revealed the location of a fifth dwelling along the north-south road, which will be the focus of Summer 2002 excavations as well.

Using the information gained through archaeological research, park personnel have reconstructed roads and fence lines as they would have been historically.

At the entrance to the village a wooden gate was erected in 2001-- a powerful physical symbol of the village and its relationship separate from Fort Vancouver.

 

To continue learning about the Village, please click on one of the options below:

Did You Know?

Image of a ranger examining an excavation site

Due to its outstanding cultural resources on display and in situ, Fort Vancouver National Historic Site is known as the premiere historical archaeology site in the Pacific Northwest. More...