Closure Update: Monday, February 10, 2014
After our onsite crew assessed the safety of the site and access via Fifth St, we're going to keep the reconstructed fort site (1001 E. Fifth St.) closed to the public today. The Visitor Center will still open at Noon.
Document Available for Public Review
The East and South Vancouver Barracks Investigation Summary and Engineering Evaluation/Cost Analysis document is now available for public review. Click here for more info. More »
The original Kitchen must have been a busy, bustling place throughout the day, from well before sunrise until late evening: steaming kettles, cuts of meat roasting over glowing embers, the rhythmic sound of vegetables being chopped, stacks of dishes awaiting washing in wooden tubs, servants scurrying about, and the air fragrant with cooking smells, pipe tobacco and sweaty bodies.
Many activities vital to the good order of the fort’s daily routine would have taken place in the Kitchen. Not just cooking, but also dish washing, heating shaving water for the residents of the Big House and Bachelors Hall, candle making, pickling meats and vegetables, and polishing the clerks’ shoes, to name a few.
There is no record of how many people actually worked in the Kitchen other than the two stewards and the gardener, but a half-dozen or more doesn’t seem unrealistic in view of the staggering amount of work that had to be accomplished every day.
You are invited to step into the reconstructed Kitchen and perhaps catch the fragrance of roasting meat or maybe the tantalizing aroma of a freshly baked tart. The staff and volunteers that work in the kitchen are constantly busy, demonstrating the ways of cooking in the early 19th century and telling about the farms, gardens, and orchards that supplied the meat, vegetables, and fruit to the table.
Did You Know?
Did you know that a number of U.S. Army generals served at Fort Vancouver NHS’s Vancouver Barracks early in their careers? The list includes Generals Oliver O. Howard, George C. Marshall, Ulysses S. Grant, George B. McClellan, Phillip Sheridan, William T. Sherman, Omar Bradley and George Pickett. More...