• 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

Free Urban Campfire Program Warms Up Fall at Fort Vancouver National Historic Site October 13 & 27

A company employee begins to tell a story
A Hudson's Bay Company employee begins to tell a story
Christopher Communications

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News Release Date: October 11, 2012
Contact: Cassie Anderson, (360) 816-6247

VANCOUVER, WA - The National Park Service at Fort Vancouver National Historic Site is pleased to announce Tales of the Engagé, Saturdays, October 13 and 27 from 7:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m.Both programs are free of charge and take place by the fire in the cozy atmosphere of the fort's lantern-lit, 1840s kitchen.

Ranger led campfire programs symbolize national parks.At Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, the only national park in the Portland/Vancouver metropolitan area, the symbolic campfire program has an urban twist.Located in the heart of city, the National Park Service in Vancouver, Washington offers Tales of the Engagé - a costumed storytelling program that explores the adventures, experiences, music, and lives of the engagé, or contracted working class people of the fur trade.

"Celebrate fall by the warmth of a fire, and experience the fort at night!" says Cassie Anderson, park ranger. "Tales of the Engagé is a dynamic program, great for all ages. Best of all, it's free!"

"An engagé was a working class person; often someone who couldn't read or write," Anderson continues, "Information and stories were passed down orally, so we continue that legacy today with our urban campfire storytelling program, Tales of the Engagé."

A fire lit program of stories and tall tales, visitors will hear of the life of the men who signed contracts with the Hudson's Bay Company, and the families that accompanied them throughout North America. Representing the majority of the work force of the British Hudson's Bay Company, these men (and women) were trappers, blacksmiths, carpenters, herders, dairymen, laborers, and much more. Their lives of adventure and hardship - so different from the clerks and gentlemen -created a rich story-telling tradition.

Costumed staff and volunteers portray the working class people of Fort Vancouver's past to share adventurous tales and harrowing stories of fur trade survival.An evening of storytelling by the hearth of the fire brings the past to life in this metropolitan area.

For more information about this program and other programs by the National Park Service please call the Visitor Center at 360.816.6230. COST: Free!

WHERE: Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, 1001 E 5th Street, Vancouver, WA 98661. Park on the lot immediately south of E 5th St, walk down the path toward the stockade fence, enter the reconstructed fort through the gate, and grab a seat in the fire-lit 1840s kitchen.

WHEN: October 13, 7:00-8:00 p.m. and October 27, 7:00-8:00 p.m.

BACKGROUND: Fort Vancouver National Historic Site is one of the 398 national parks which make up the National Park System and it is located in both Washington and Oregon.This national park is also the heart of the Vancouver National Historic Reserve which is located in Vancouver, Washington. The Vancouver National Historic Reserve brings together a national park, a premier archaeological site, the region's first military post, an international fur trade emporium, one of the oldest operating airfields, the first national historic site west of the Mississippi River, and a waterfront trail and environmental center on the banks of the Columbia River. The partners of the Reserve teach visitors about the fur trade, early military life, natural history, and pioneers in aviation, all within the context of Vancouver's role in regional and national development. The National Park Service's vast array of public programs -- including living history events, festivals, cultural demonstrations, exhibits, active archaeology, and other special activities - serve communities in Washington and Oregon and create a dynamic, fun, and unique tourist destination for people of all ages.

-NPS-

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