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Contact: Bob Cromwell, 360-816-6253
Contact: Doug Wilson
VANCOUVER NATIONAL HISTORIC RESERVE (HISTORIC DISTRICT) NOW LISTED ON NATIONAL REGISTER OF HISTORIC PLACES
Vancouver, WA - We are pleased to announce that the Vancouver National Historic Reserve (Historic District) was added to the National Register of Historic Places on January 5, 2007.
Located in Vancouver, Washington, the newly designated Historic District encompasses approximately 252 acres of the 366-acre Historic Reserve that was congressionally created in 1996, and includes several nationally significant sites that contribute to its National Register status, including Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, the Officers Row National Historic District (including the Grant House, the O.O. Howard House, and the Marshall House), the Vancouver Barracks National Historic District, Pearson Air Museum, the Jack Murdock Aviation Center, Pearson Airfield, Old Apple Tree Park, and Waterfront Park.
Outside of the Historic District boundary, the Historic Reserve also contains the Water Resources Education Center, Waterfront Park and the Kaiser Shipyards Tower Overlook.
The Historic Reserve is managed by the National Park Service, the City of Vancouver, the U.S. Army Reserve, and the State of Washington in cooperation with the Vancouver National Historic Reserve Trust.
This consortium of agencies has been working together for the past decade to manage and interpret the varied historic sites that make up the Historic Reserve, which truly makes it One Place across Time.
This cooperation is reflected in the joint application for National Register of Historic Places status, elevating the Historic Reserve to the highest level of National historical significance.
The Historic Reserve already had many specific sites listed on the National Register of Historic Places, including: Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, the Officers Row National Historic District, and the Grant House.
In addition, the Historic Reserve is considered the premier historic archaeological site in the Pacific Northwest, with no less than nine recorded archaeological sites, many of which are also on the National Register.
Archaeological research throughout the Historic Reserve for the past 60 years has resulted in an incredible archaeological collection of over 2 million artifacts. Having the Historic Reserve on the National Register reflects its overall importance to the history of the region and the nation.
This new designation places the Historic Reserve on an equal status with other National Register sites, such as Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello in Virginia, the Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania, Plymouth Rock in Massachusetts, the Alamo in Texas, and Sutter’s Fort in California.
In addition to the Historic Reserve, twenty-seven other properties from twelve states and one territory were added to the National Register in the month of January, 2007. The Historic Reserve partners received formal notification this month.
In response, Fort Vancouver National Historic Site Superintendent Tracy Fortmann exclaimed, “It is extremely exciting to have the Vancouver National Historic Reserve listed on the National Register of Historic Places. This designation showcases both the multiple threads of history that run throughout the Historic Reserve, as well as the multi-agency cooperation that it takes to manage the Historic Reserve and preserve its resources for generations to come.”
The City of Vancouver’s Mayor, Royce Pollard, concurred. “Although a great deal of work went into preparing this nomination, it was well worth it! We greatly appreciate the National Park Service taking the lead in preparing the nomination. The National Register status speaks volumes with regard to the international significance of the Historic Reserve.”
Elson Strahan, President of the Vancouver National Historic Reserve Trust, shared the enthusiasm of Fortmann and Pollard. “It is tremendously gratifying to see the Historic Reserve listed along with other magnificent places in our country, such as Mount Vernon, the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, Mount Rushmore, and the Lincoln Memorial,” Strahan stated. “This designation will contribute greatly in our efforts to foster cultural tourism at the Vancouver National Historic Reserve.”
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.