Two-Day Event Highlights Military History at Fort Vancouver

Vintage baseball played on the Vancouver Barracks Parade Ground
The national park's annual free Vintage Base Ball game brings history to life through one of America's favorite pastimes.

NPS Photo by Troy Wayrynen

Subscribe RSS Icon | What is RSS
News Release Date: July 11, 2017

Contact: Bob Cromwell, Chief of Interpretation, 360-816-6253

Contact: Bobby Gutierrez, Park Ranger, 360-816-6247

On Friday, July 21, and Saturday, July 22, a series of events at Fort Vancouver National Historic Site will highlight nearly 100 years of local military history.

Vintage Base Ball & Civil War Encampment

On July 22 from 9 am to 5 pm, volunteers from the 1st Oregon Volunteer Infantry, a local living history group, will set up a Civil War era encampment on the Vancouver Barracks Parade Ground. Visitors to the encampment will learn about military life during the 1860s and watch black powder musket demonstrations.

On July 22 at 6 pm, visitors will be invited to step back in time to watch a baseball game played by the rules of the 1860s. Costumed volunteers from the national park and the 1st Oregon Volunteer Infantry will portray two of the Pacific Northwest's earliest baseball teams: the Sherman Base Ball Club (consisting of Vancouver Barracks soldiers) and the Occidental Base Ball Club of the City of Vancouver. Vancouver's Mayor Pro Tem, Anne McEnerny-Ogle, will throw the first pitch. 

Baseball (then called "base ball") in the 1860s was a very different game than it was today. The "hurler" - today's "pitcher" - threw to the striker's (batter's) liking, and there were no called or non-swinging strikes. Players wore no gloves, and could catch the ball on one bounce for an out. The game was played with an extensive code of conduct to ensure that all would play in a "gentlemanly" manner. For example, neither sliding into nor stealing bases were allowed. Along with the costumed players, volunteers will portray well-dressed "cranks" (base ball fans from the 1860s). Between innings, patriotic music from the 19th century will be played by the Vancouver Community Concert Band directed by Erin Hanson.

To learn more about early baseball history in Vancouver, the park's historic resource study, The National Game is Decidedly 'On the Fly': The Rise of Organized Base Ball in the Portland and Vancouver Area in 1867 can be downloaded as a PDF at http://go.usa.gov/5cmh

World War II Encampment

On July 21 and July 22 from 9 am to 5 pm, costumed living history volunteers from the 113th Cavalry Living History Group will host a World War II Encampment located just west of Pearson Air Museum. The camp will interpret Vancouver Barracks role as a wartime port of embarkation, where troops from various units were mustered together into combat formations for transportation to the various theaters of war throughout the world. Rare World War II equipment and vehicles will be a part of the encampment, while historic uniforms and photographs will be on exhibit in the Historic Hangar at Pearson Air Museum. Also in the Historic Hangar, vendors associated with the 113th Cavalry Living History Group will also be selling American World War II uniforms and equipment for re-enactors and other collectors. 

Adventure Flight, LLC, of Lincoln, California will be operating a 1942 Cessna T50 "Bamboo Bomber," a World War II twin engine training airplane, from Pearson Field. The operators will be offering rides in this vintage "warbird" at a rate of $150 for a 15 minute ride, or $300 for a 30 minute ride. More information on this aircraft and the company can be found online at www.adventureflight.net

Thunder in the Mountains: Chief Joseph, Oliver Otis Howard, and the Nez Perce War

On July 22 from 1 pm to 3 pm, at the Fort Vancouver Visitor Center, author Daniel Sharfstein will discuss his new book, Thunder in the Mountains: Chief Joseph, Oliver Otis Howard, and the Nez Perce War. Sharfstein's work illuminates one of the most enduring and tragic struggles in American history.

Today's conflicts over diversity, national identity, immigration, and foreign policy have their roots in America's pivot from post-Civil War Reconstruction to Western conquest, when a demand for civil rights and a fear of "others" were routinely at odds. Thunder in the Mountains is the story of a defining American struggle, brought to life by two of the most remarkable men in American history. By taking these debates back to their earliest days, Sharfstein helps to clarify how we continue to live in the world the Civil War made.

This event is sponsored by the Friends of Fort Vancouver. Copies of Sharfstein's book will be available for sale at the Fort Vancouver Visitor Center, operated by the Friends of Fort Vancouver.

Summary


What: Two days of military history at Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, featuring a Civil War-era encampment, a World War II-era encampment, the national park's annual Vintage Base Ball game, and a lecture by author Daniel Sharfstein.

Where and When
 
  • World War II Encampment: Friday, July 21, 2017, and Saturday, July 22, 2017, 9 am to 5 pm, near Pearson Air Museum
  • Civil War-era Army Encampment: Saturday, July 22, 2017, 9 am to 5 pm, on the Vancouver Barracks Parade Ground
  • Vintage Base Ball Game: Saturday, July 22, 2017, 6 pm, on the Vancouver Barracks Parade Ground
  • Thunder in the Mountains: Chief Joseph, Oliver Otis Howard, and the Nez Perce War: Saturday, July 22, 2017, 1 pm to 3 pm, at the Fort Vancouver Visitor Center
Cost: All events are free.

 

 
Poster showing World War II reenactors riding in jeeps.
The 113th Cavalry Living History Group NorthWest will host a World War II encampment at Pearson Air Museum on July 21 and July 22.

113th Cavalry Living History Group NorthWest

Last updated: July 11, 2017

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

612 E Reserve St
Vancouver , WA 98661

Phone:

(360) 816-6230

Contact Us