Fort Vancouver
Cultural Landscape Report
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1825, spring Planted & sowed—potatoes, peas, beans Imported. Potato fields were planted behind the first stockade on the upper river terrace.
1825, fall seed received & sowed—spring wheat, oats, barley, Indian corn, timothy York Factory.
Indian corn not doing well.
1826 planted—spring wheat, potatoes, peas, barley, oats, Indian corn, timothy
harvested—wheat, oats, potatoes, barley, Indian corn, peas
Wheat imported across mtns. by Company express. Except for potatoes and barley, all 1826 harvest seed saved for spring 1827.
1827 seed-clover, buckwheat, wheat

seed—red wheat, white wheat, oats, barley

planted—peas, barley, oats, wheat
Gordon, Forsythe & Co.

Imported on ship "William & Mary" from London.
1828 planted—wheat, grey peas, early peas, barley, oats, Indian corn, potatoes
harvested—wheat, peas, barley, oats, Indian corn, potatoes
Harvest "very abundant" except white peas.

1825—1828 location of fields unknown, some were possibly on the bluff near the old stockade, others perhaps on Fort Plain.
1829 harvested—barley, wheat, white peas, grey peas, Indian corn (McLoughlin, John Dease, Jedidiah Smith)
seeds-clover, buckwheat, wheat
Location—after spring 1829, principal cultivation area on "beautiful plain" east of the new stockade.
Gordon, Forsythe & Co.
1830 harvested-barley, wheat, early peas, grey peas, white peas, Indian corn, oats (McLoughlin)
seeds—clover, buckwheat, wheat
Floods injury growing crops. Except for barley, all crops sown on 11 July, after water had fallen. So, location of fields probably below the stockade, nearer the river and low ground.
Gordon, Forsythe & Co.
1831 harvested—wheat, barley, oats, early peas, grey peas, white peas, Indian corn, potatoes (McLoughlin)
seeds—clover, buckwheat, wheat
seeds purchased-"Early Green Pease, Early White Pease, Early White Turnip, Early Yellow Turnip, Dutch Turnip, Lapland Turnip, Yellow Swedish Turnip, Flax, Hemp, Rye Grass, Timothy Grass, White Clover, Red Clover, Early Angus oats, Early potatoe, Winter Wheat".
Gordon, Forsythe & Co.
Seeds purchased from London—Gordon, Forsythe & Co. for the Columbia Dept.
1832 harvested—wheat, peas, barley, oats, potatoes, Indian corn, pumpkins, buckwheat (George Allan) George Allan noted, ". . .about 700 acres of land under cultivation."— for Fort Vancouver farm.
1833 planted-wheat, peas, barley.
harvested-wheat, peas, barley, oats, buckwheat (McLoughlin).
W. Tolmie notes there was ". . . farmsteading which is extensive & placed about 300 yards behind & above the fort." From the "upper prairie", viewing the plain below, he said, " . . . From this part to bank of river is a level plain generally 3/4 mile wide & divided by fences into large wheat & barley or pease fields or broad meadows."
1834 wheat, barley, peas, beans, corn, potatoes, oats (John K. Townsend, Cyrus Shepherd)
1835 harvested—wheat, peas, barley, oats, potatoes (McLoughlin, Roy. Samuel Parker, William Slacum)
1836 harvested—wheat, barley, oats, peas, potatoes, turnips, pumpkins, "corn but little" (Henry Spalding)
1837 planted-wheat, barley, peas, potatoes (James Douglas) By 1837, cattle penned at night on fields at Fort Plain to make the "poor miserable dry shingly soil" produce a crop.
1838 sowed (second crop)—peas, barely, buckwheat, potatoes
sowed—100 acres of wheat in Nov. after harvesting above summer crops. (James Douglas)
80 acres of best crop destroyed by flooding despite Douglas trying to put up "repeated embankments". Following flood, Douglas plowed, harrowed and sowed second crop.
Fort Plain—a maximum of 457 acres of cultivable land——178 acres poor, 76 acres good and 203 acres subject to inundation.
1841 harvested—wheat, barley, oats, peas, potatoes (McLoughlin, Duf lot de Mofras)

wheat (George Emmons)

Hordeum vulgare, barley; Avena sativa, oats; and Secale cereale, rye.
Location—Vancouver, Nisqually, & Cowlitz.

Emmons noted that adjoining the Fort a small bed of wheat was sown as a sample.
Crops observed by Brackenridge according to C. Pickering.
1842 white wheat and yellow wheat Received by Russians—origin uncertain, either Vancouver or Cowlitz.
1843 wheat (McLoughlin) oats and wheat harvested at Mill Plain (Thomas Lowe)
1844 wheat, peas, oats, barley (McLoughlin)
barley, tares, clover, potatoes, cole seed
Crops planted on Fort Plain in vicinity of stockade according to 1844 map (within current FOVA study boundary except for cole seed which was east of current boundary).
1845 wheat, peas, oats, barely (McLoughlin)
M.T. Simmons testified that the fields in the immediate vicinity of the fort were "laid down principally in timothy".

Joel Palmer noted that a three mile stretch of the "prairie along the river" had been abandoned for cultivation due to flooding which washed away the fences there too.
1846 wheat, oats, barley, potatoes, peas —240 acres planted in turnips & colewort (James Douglas, Peter S. Ogden)

seeds—clover, buckwheat, wheat
Gordon, Forsythe & Gordon, Thompson & Co.
Dugald MacTavish later testified 500 acres of farm "under fence" on Fort Plain at time of 1846 treaty.

1846 Covington farm map and 1844 Peers map indicate 120 to 220 acres under fence on Fort Plain. Dugald Mactavish later testified 200 acres was cultivated with wheat or other grain and the remainder was planted in timothy and clover, very little of which was under fence.

Company inventory lists 8,362 yards of fence adjoining the fort. Witnesses said there was more land in cultivation than, was listed on inventory, but it was not listed.
1847 wheat, peas, oats, barley, potatoes (J. Douglas, and Ogden)
1848 wheat, peas, oats (Douglas and Ogden)
1849 timothy William Crate noted the Company had sown "a good deal of land above and below the fort with timothy grass.
1850 wheat (Ogden) HBC compensated for 8 acres of wheat and considerable fencing in a meadow north of fort where the U.S. Army to build officers' houses (current Officers' Row).
1851 wheat, oats, barley (Ogden)
1852 wheat (John Ballenden) Ballenden leased 3/4 of garden, "the upper half of the field immediately below the fort," two fields north of Upper Mill Road, and a piece of ground bet. the new army barracks and the HBC's barn, to Col. Bonneville for one year.

Ballenden complained to Simpson that during the last few years, not more than 100 acres, excluding the Mill Plain, had been cultivated.
early 1850s oats Oats grown in field east of school houses.
1853 grain

Ogden reports yield "good".

Dr. Henry Tuzo reports that by 1853 2,000 acres on Fort Plain and Lower Plain enclosed and sown with timothy grass.
1854 seeds—clover, buckwheat, wheat Gordon, Forsythe & Gordon, Thompson & Co.

I.N. Ebey reported that since the treaty, in the vicinity of the grist mill and saw mill, "cultivated land and enclosures have been reduced to about 1,000 acres. . .".

From 1853-54 on, harvests reported as losses.
1855 oats Floods in June put all of Fort Plain under water and threatened oat field.
Farm reported losses.
ca. 1858—59 potatoes William Crate testified that just before the Company left, that the Army took possession of the last potato field-possibly the field directly south of the fort where potatoes indicated on 1844 map. This area noted as "public pasture" on 1859 military map.
At time of departure, HBC cultivated 2 fields east of fort, approx. 50 acres. In front of stockade, 2 small enclosures with 12 acres.

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Last Updated: 27-Oct-2003