The Carpenter Shop

A man in 1840s clothing works on a carpentry project.
The Carpenter Shop at Fort Vancouver National Historic Site.

NPS Photo

Quick Facts
Fort Vancouver National Historic Site

Historical/Interpretive Information/Exhibits, Wheelchair Accessible

From crafting necessary furniture to framing and roofing a warehouse, the extensive Hudson's Bay Company (HBC) operation based at Fort Vancouver relied upon skilled carpenters for its success.

Unlike the products of other skilled artisans purchased and imported to Fort Vancouver - like ceramics, cloth, and glass - HBC officials recognized an economic benefit in hiring carpenters and having them employed onsite to meet the diverse construction and repair needs at the fort, and at outlying mills and farms.

Three to five carpenters, apprentices, and assistants staffed the Carpenter Shop. These craftsmen could build framing for the sturdily-constructed Canadian-style buildings, and also do finish work, joining, and repairs. Most of the furniture and window frames and sills used here were built in the Carpenter Shop. The building and repairing of wheels, carts and wagons was also part of a carpenter's job, along with crafting wooden parts for ploughs and other farm equipment. 

The original Carpenter Shop at Fort Vancouver was either constructed - or moved here from another location within the stockade - in 1844. Unlike other buildings which often changed function over time, this building remained the Carpenter Shop until 1860, when the Hudson's Bay Company ceased operations at Fort Vancouver.

The Carpenter Shop you can visit today at Fort Vancouver National Historic Site is a reconstruction built on the archaeological footprint of the original structure.

Fort Vancouver National Historic Site

Last updated: September 8, 2020