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Contact: Cassandra Anderson, 360-816-6230
Contact: Kimm Fox-Middleton, 360-816-6243
Fort Vancouver National Historic Site
MEDIA RELEASE - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 31, 2009
Cassie Anderson, Park Guide
Kimm Fox-Middleton, Supervisory Park Ranger
FREE PROGRAMS ON OFFICERS' ROW CONTINUE THROUGHOUT THE SUMMER
VANCOUVER, WA -- Every Friday through September 18, 2009, the public is encouraged to continue to join costumed staff and volunteers as they interpret life at Vancouver Barracks in the second half of the nineteenth century. How did the officers of Vancouver Barracks spend their evenings, and what did their families do while on post? Find out every Friday with the Fort Vancouver National Historic Site’s "Evening on the Row" free program series.
Programs run from 6:30 to 7:30 PM and begin at the General O. O. Howard House, just south of the traffic circle on Fort Vancouver Way. All programs are free of charge. Themes vary weekly, please refer to the schedule below.
The "1867 Evening of Croquet" program provides a quick history, demonstration, and lesson of croquet. Croquet was a new and exciting game in 1867, with its official rules freshly published! Learn how to play alongside costumed staff and volunteers—just as the families at Vancouver Barracks would have done nearly a century and a half ago. Bring a picnic and spend the evening on the shaded lawn of the General O.O. Howard House.
Unlike the "1867 Evening of Croquet" program, the "Waltzing Through Time" event is not set in a specific year—it instead spans the 1850s to 1890s. Three couples--outfitted in costumes ranging from the mid to late nineteenth century—will dance to historic waltzes also ranging from the 1850s to 1890s. The waltzes will be played by costumed musicians on the porch of the General O.O. Howard House. This program is not only an opportunity to learn about the history of waltzing and the recreational and musical pastimes at Vancouver Barracks, but it’s also a chance to discuss changing fashions of the era. Enjoy the couples as they elegantly spin through decades at the Barracks, or learn from the waltzing instruction provided and give it a try yourself!
"This free series is an opportunity for us to bring Vancouver Barracks to life," explained park guide Cassie Anderson, one of the program's presenters. "Few people realize that families lived at the post from its establishment in 1849—these series strive to illuminate the lives of those people in Vancouver’s early history."
"The history of Army families and daily life at the Army's Fort Vancouver and Vancouver Barracks is often eclipsed by the well-known story of the fur trade and the Hudson's Bay Company headquarters here," noted Greg Shine, the site's chief ranger and historian. "These programs on Officers' Row help place Vancouver Barracks in historical context and provide an important window into the history of our community and the broader region. Plus, they are really fun!"
"Evening on the Row" Series weekly schedule:
August 7 – 1867 Evening of Croquet
August 14 – Waltzing Through Time
August 21 – TBA, call park guide Doug Halsey for details at 360.816.6242
August 28 – 1867 Evening of Croquet
September 4 – Waltzing Through Time
September 11 – Costumed park ranger will converse with guests at the Restaurant on the Reserve at the Grant House
September 18 – TBA, call park guide Cassie Anderson for details at 360.816.6230
WHAT: Demonstrations and discussions of life at Vancouver Barracks in the mid to late nineteenth century
WHEN: 6:30 – 7:30 PM, every Friday through September 18, 2009
WHERE: General O.O. Howard House, 750 Anderson Street, Vancouver WA 98661
WHO: Staff and volunteers of Fort Vancouver National Historic Site and of the Vancouver National Historic Reserve
HOW MUCH: All Evening on the Row programs are free of charge. Visitors are encouraged to bring their own picnic dinners for on "1867 Evening of Croquet" and "Waltzing Through Time" evenings.
For additional information about this and other special events offered by the National Park Service at the Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, please visit our website www.nps.gov/fova or call the Visitor Center at 360. 816.6230.
Background: Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, a unit of the National Park Service, is the heart of the Vancouver National Historic Reserve. 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 Reserve's vast array of public programs -- including living history events, festivals, cultural demonstrations, exhibits, active archaeology, and other special activities -- create a dynamic, fun, and unique tourist destination for people of all ages.