Preservation in Progress in Your National Park!

Chinking the reconstructed Carpenter Shop

Justine Hanrahan, NPS

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News Release Date: August 31, 2012

Contact: Cassie Anderson, (360) 816-6247

Contact: Alex Patterson, (360) 816-6221

VANCOUVER, WA - The National Park Service is currently preserving multiple buildings at Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, your urban national park. Just in time for Campfires and Candlelight on September 8, the park's free annual signature event, park service staff are busy repainting the entire exterior of the Chief Factor's House and re-chinking the Carpenter Shop.

Fort Vancouver National Historic Site offers a wealth of structures and landscapes to the community. Since reconstruction began in 1966, replica Hudson's Bay Company buildings have helped the National Park Service share the story of the site with the visiting public. Two of the park's reconstructed fur trade era buildings - the Chief Factor's House and the Carpenter Shop - are undergoing preservation projects this summer, and three others - the Bake House, Counting House, and Fur Store - will be better improved this fall.

"The timing couldn't be better!" asserts Cassie Anderson, park ranger. "The re-chinking of the carpenter shop and new paint job of the Chief Factor's House will both be done by Campfires and Candlelight on September 8th. The Carpenter Shop will be warmer for volunteers and the public, and the structure of the Chief Factor's House will be protected from the elements for many more years to come. Also, the House absolutely gleams in the bright summer sun; the building will be striking once the paint dries."

The Carpenter Shop remains open to the public during re-chinking. The Chief Factor's House is open upon request. The grapes outside the Chief Factor's House have been left in place; paint will be touched up once the grapes are pruned in February.

"Chinking was a common method in the 19th century using materials such as rope, clay and straw to seal the cracks and voids between the horizontal timbers of post-on-sill structures," stated Chief of Facility Management Alex Patterson. He added, "Here on-site we were faced with identifying a modern equivalent which would reflect the appearance of historic chinking, but also be more durable and protect these historic structures.It was initially somewhat of a brainteaser for us. However, working with a local sealant expert, we came up with a material and method that will do the trick - protect the buildings and maintain the historic appearance."

In addition, the newest additions to the park - the 33 buildings of the East and South Vancouver Barracks - are currently undergoing caretaking procedures, such as window coverings, door covers, and site lighting upgrades, to ensure proper preservation of the historic structures and enable greater public access in the future. Campfires and Candlelight is a free event that features 150 costumed interpreters and your park illuminated by the soft glow of lanterns - check it out, September 8th!

WHERE: Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, 1001 East 5th Street.

WHEN: Preservation projects will be completed in time for Campfires and Candlelight on September 8, 2012. Campfires and Candlelight is free.

BACKGROUND: Fort Vancouver National Historic Site is one of the 397 national parks which make up the National Park System and it is located in both Washington and Oregon.This national park is also the heart of the Vancouver National Historic Reserve which is located in Vancouver, Washington. 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 National Park Service's vast array of public programs -- including living history events, festivals, cultural demonstrations, exhibits, active archaeology, and other special activities - serve communities in Washington and Oregon and create a dynamic, fun, and unique tourist destination for people of all ages.


Preservation in Progress
Cyclic painting of the reconstructed Chief Factor's House.

Justine Hanrahan, NPS

Last updated: February 28, 2015

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