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Contact: Bob Cromwell, Acting Chief Ranger, 360-816-6253
Fort Vancouver National Historic Site is pleased to announce upcoming dates for the 2016-2017 season of its popular Lantern Tour series. These guided tours lead visitors on after dark, history-themed excursions through the national park.
"After hours, the sounds of the city are hushed and the only light in the park is by flickering lanterns," said Park Guide Justine Hanrahan, "There is something serene about exploring the park by candlelight with a park ranger. Lantern Tours are a special way for our community to connect with our past."
This season, the park will offer three separate Lantern Tour programs: Lantern Tours: An Evening at the Fort, Lantern Tours: Walking Vancouver Barracks, and Lantern Tours: An Evening at The McLoughlin House.
Lantern Tours: An Evening at the Fort takes place inside of the Fort Vancouver stockade. Visitors are treated to historical vignettes in each building as a park ranger guides them through the reconstructed fort. These vignettes transport the visitor back in time to exhibit what life was like at Fort Vancouver in the 1840s. This year, historical vignettes will explore the theatrical plays presented on board the HMS Modeste, a British warship that often visited the fort, in February 1846. Both residents of Fort Vancouver and American settlers were invited to the fort to observe the first theatrical group of its kind in Oregon. These Lantern Tours begin at 7 pm, but visitors must arrive at 6:45 pm. Admission is $15 per adult, and $10 per youth.
Lantern Tours: Walking Vancouver Barracks explores the U.S. Military history of the site. Each adult carries a lantern as a park ranger guides the group on an outdoor walking tour of the historic Army post. Visitors will learn about Ulysses S. Grant, Oliver Otis Howard, George C. Marshall, William S. Harney, and other significant figures in Vancouver Barracks' history. These tours are entirely outdoors, and they cover about a half mile over some uneven and unpaved ground. These tours begin at 7 pm, but visitors must arrive at 6:45 pm. Admission is $10 per adult and $7 per youth.
Lantern Tours: An Evening at the McLoughlin House are held in Oregon City at the McLoughlin House, a unit of Fort Vancouver National Historic Site. Visitors are invited to explore the life of Dr. John McLoughlin, the Chief Factor of Fort Vancouver who was later known as the "Father of Oregon," on these ranger-led tours. These tours take place in McLoughlin's retirement home in Oregon City, where he moved in 1846. Two tours will be held at the house on November 5, 2016, starting at 6 pm and 7:30 pm. Visitors must arrive 15 minutes before the start of their selected tour. Admission is $10 per adult and $7 per youth.
Reservations for October tours are open now. All tour dates can be reserved and pre-paid starting on October 1, 2016. All reservations must be pre-paid over the phone or in person at the Contact Station at the reconstructed Fort Vancouver. Reservations are non-refundable and non-transferable. All three Lantern Tours take place at least partially outdoors, and will occur rain or shine. Tour attendees are encouraged to dress appropriately for weather conditions. Due to program length, Lantern Tours are not recommended for children under the age of 10. To make a reservation, call 360-816-6244.
The Lantern Tour schedule for the 2016-2017 season is as follows: