Fort Vancouver National Historic Site

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OVERVIEW: About this Audio-Described Brochure

Welcome to the audio-described version of Fort Vancouver National Historic Site's official print brochure. Through text and audio descriptions of photos, paintings, illustrations, and maps, this version interprets the two-sided color brochure that Fort Vancouver National Historic Site visitors receive. The brochure explores the history of the park, some of its highlights, and information for planning your visit. This audio version has been divided into 23 sections as a way to improve the listening experience. Sections 1 and 2 introduce this audio-described brochure and Fort Vancouver National Historic Site itself. Sections 3 to 12 cover the front of the brochure and include information regarding the 19th century Fort Vancouver fur trading post, artifacts found at the site from native people, fur traders, and the military, and the site's transition to a US Army post in the 1850s. Sections 13 to 23 cover the back of the brochure, which consists of a description and photos of the site in the early 20th century, descriptions of the history of Pearson Field, a large map of the site including park features and wayfinding information, a smaller location map of Fort Vancouver National Historic Site and the McLoughlin House, a small photo of McLoughlin House, information about getting to the park, accessibility, safety regulations, and contact information for the national park. 

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OVERVIEW: Fort Vancouver National Historic Site

Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, located in Vancouver, Washington, and the McLoughlin House Unit, located in Oregon City, Oregon, is part of the National Park Service, within the Department of the Interior. 

The 210-acre national park is situated along the north bank of the Columbia River at the southern edge of Vancouver, Washington. Fort Vancouver was first recognized as a national monument in 1948, and was later established as a national historic site in 1961. The McLoughlin House Unit in Oregon City became part of Fort Vancouver National Historic Site in 2003. This site preserves the retirement home of Fort Vancouver's Chief Factor Dr. John McLoughlin and his family. Each year, over one million visitors come to enjoy the unique experiences that only can be had at Fort Vancouver National Historic Site.  

At Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, the history of the Pacific Northwest is told at four unique sites, which contain countless stories. We invite you to explore the park's reconstructed British fur trade fort, military history at the US Army's Vancouver Barracks, the history of aviation at Pearson Air Museum, and pedestrian trails to the Fort Vancouver Village and the Columbia River Waterfront. 

To find out more about what resources might be available or to contact the park directly, visit the "Accessibility" and "More Information" sections at the end of this audio-described brochure.

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OVERVIEW: Front Side of Brochure

The front of the brochure begins with the distinctive National Park Service (NPS) black bar at the top, which includes the main title "Fort Vancouver" on the left and smaller text on the right stating "Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, Oregon / Washington" and "National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior" next to the NPS Arrowhead logo.

The front of the brochure includes information regarding the 19th century Fort Vancouver fur trading post, historic images, and images of artifacts from the national park's museum collection. The two most prominent images on the front of the brochure are a color painting depicting Fort Vancouver as it appeared in 1845 and a historic 1855 lithograph of the fort and the beginnings of the US Army post. Additionally, two historic paintings, two historic portraits, one contemporary portrait, thirteen photographs of artifacts, and text are displayed to convey more information. Topics including "Gathering Across Time and Cultures" and "From Furs to Fighting" are discussed. A special tribute to the many cultures who crossed paths at the fur trading fort is presented in the center.

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IMAGE and QUOTE: Gathering Across Time and Cultures

DESCRIBING: A landscape painting showing Fort Vancouver and the Columbia River.

SYNOPSIS: A landscape painting showing Fort Vancouver and its environs as it appeared in 1845. The painting shows Fort Vancouver, which consists of about 21 wooden buildings surrounded by a wooden stockade wall with a bastion in the northwest corner. To the north of the fort are orchards and fields. To the west and southwest of the fort are small wooden homes and other buildings clustered near a small pond. To the south of the fort is the Columbia River, and beyond that is the river's forested south bank.


A horizontally-oriented landscape painting showing Fort Vancouver and its environs as it appeared in 1845. The fort is viewed from the north, facing south. In the distant background of the painting is a forested area representing the south side of the Columbia River, what is now the State of Oregon. This forested area is bordered by the Columbia River, which runs right to left across the upper half of the painting. A sailing ship sits in the middle of the river, in the 12 o'clock position. Moving towards the foreground, on the north bank of the river are evergreen and deciduous trees and, in the 1 o'clock position, a cluster of wooden buildings near a small pond that empties into the river. In the two o'clock position, north of this cluster of buildings, are wooden post-on-sill style buildings, representing the homes of the Fort Vancouver Village. These buildings and homes are connected by earthen roads and paths.

In the center of the painting, in the 12 o'clock position, is Fort Vancouver. A grassy field with the stumps of felled trees lies between the north bank of the Columbia River and the fort's stockade. Fort Vancouver consists of a rectangular wooden stockade wall surrounding many wooden, rectangular or square buildings, some of which are painted white. Some of the buildings within the fort have smoke rising from chimneys. A large double-door gate along the north wall of the stockade is open, and the figures of people can be seen gathering at this entrance. An earthen path leads north-south from this entrance to another road, which crosses the painting in the foreground, east to west. 

Inside the stockade walls of Fort Vancouver are four large two-story warehouses in the fort's southwest corner. A tall flagpole with a Hudson's Bay Company flag is located near one of the warehouses. Two wooden buildings are located in the center of the fort. Along the fort's north wall are approximately 10 rectangular or square wooden buildings, three of which are painted white. Among these buildings along the north wall is a tall pole with a bell atop it. In the northwest corner of the fort is a bastion, an octagonal wooden lookout tower with a pointed roof. In the northeast corner, the fort's Bake House protrudes from the stockade wall. The Bake House is painted white, with its brick-lined ovens and two chimneys located outside the stockade wall for fire protection. Inside the stockade, along the eastern wall is a long, rectangular building. In the southeast corner are three additional buildings. In between the buildings located in the fort stockade are grassy areas and earthen paths. The figures of people can be seen walking between the buildings in these areas. 

Outside the stockade's southeast corner are four wooden buildings. Wooden fences delineate paths, roads, and fields surrounding the fort's stockade. North of the stockade wall, to the west of the entrance to the fort, is a large orchard. To the east of the entrance, north of the fort, is a partly-tilled field. The small figure of a worker with a horse and plough can be seen tilling this field.

North of this field and orchard is the east-west road that connects to the north-south road that leads towards the fort. A horse-drawn cart is traveling along the east-west road towards the fort's entrance. North of this earthen, east-west road are two large, two-story wooden buildings with wooden sheds behind them. To the west of these buildings, across the north-south road, is a wooden building with a large open door surrounded by a fenced yard. 

CREDIT: NPS/Richard Schlecht


All across the globe, people have been swept up in two centuries of mind-boggling change. Fort Vancouver’s residents and passersby lived that change as you are living today’s sweeping changes. 

—Barbara Little, National Park Service archeologist

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TEXT: Stories from the past to the present

Welcome to a place where centuries of stories, both tragic and inspirational, are being uncovered. They center around an 1800s fur trading post, but go back to a time before European contact and reach into the present. People’s traditions and beliefs, and objects found by archeologists, tell these stories.

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TEXT: A place to meet and trade

Long before the trading post, this broad river terrace was home to many thousands of native people. In the spring, they hosted a gathering of thousands more from different tribes. They all came to this great regional crossroads to socialize and trade, and to welcome salmon returning from the ocean.

Despite disease and conflict, traditional ways continued as much as possible, even as the fort and village grew. The terrace continued to be a crossroads, now for native people mixing with people from Hawaii, Europe, Canada, and the United States. Some came by choice; some did not.

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IMAGES and TEXT: Klickitat Lodge

IMAGE 1 of 2: Portable Klickitat lodge painting 

DESCRIBING: A small watercolor painting of a Klickitat portable lodge.

SYNOPSIS: A painting of a Klickitat portable lodge, a home made of wide cedar planks with sloping sides leading up to a narrow, flat roof. It is built at the base of a tall, leaning tree. In the background is a forest of evergreen trees and a sloping grassy hill leading to the Columbia River. In the distant background is Mount Hood, a dormant, snow-covered volcano that comes to a single sharp peak. The painting is on a rectangular sheet of paper that shows signs of aging, including stains and discoloration.

CREDIT: Stark Museum of Art/Paul Kane

IMAGE 2 of 2: Klickitat lodge painting

DESCRIBING: A watercolor painting of a Klickitat lodge.

SYNOPSIS: A painting of a Klickitat lodge, a home made of wide cedar planks with a gabled roof. Grey smoke rises from a hole in the center of the roof. Cloth blankets, or possibly animal skins, cover the lodge's entrance. Green-leafed trees and bushes grow nearby.

CREDIT: Royal Ontario Museum/Paul Kane


Paul Kane painted this lodge near Fort Vancouver in 1855. He showed how the Klickitat used wide cedar planks and other materials to make a home that stayed warm and dry during wet winters. He also painted a portable lodge, which they used when they traveled on their seasonal rounds of gathering food.

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IMAGES and TEXT: Artifacts and Archaeology

IMAGE 1 of 9: Arrowheads and spear points

DESCRIBING: A photograph of five stone projectile points.

SYNOPSIS: A photograph of five stone projectile points of varying sizes and shapes, arranged in a semicircle.

IN-DEPTH DESCRIPTION: All of the arrowheads are made of chert stone. The leftmost arrowhead is a light gray color chert mottled with brown; it has a sharp point and deep notches at its base. The next projectile point to the right is very narrow, made of red and yellow chert. The next projectile point to the right is narrower without deep notches at its base; it is made of a yellowish brown chert with white running through it. The next projectile point to the right is small and narrow with a long stem; it is made of grayish brown chert. The last arrowhead on the right has a broken tip and deep notches at its base; it is made of dark red chert.

CAPTION: Hours of work were needed to turn stone into arrowheads and spear points.


IMAGE 2 of 9: Black pipe bowl

DESCRIBING: A photograph of a black pipe bowl carved from argillite. 

SYNOPSIS: A black pipe bowl carved from stone called argillite, turned at a 45 degree angle so we can see both its front and one side. The pipe bowl, turned upside down, is carved to look like a human, with eyes, a nose, a mouth, and a body. The eyes are carved as slits, the nose is long and the mouth is wide. The body is mostly undefined, with a scalloped edge near the bottom, the edge of the pipe bowl.

CAPTION:  Stone for this black pipe may have come from islands along the coast of British Columbia.


IMAGE 3 of 9: Stylized bird pipe

DESCRIBING: A photograph of a bird carved from light brown argillite.

SYNOPSIS: A fragment of a pipe stem, carved from a stone called argillite, in the shape of a bird that looks similar to a raven. The bird has a long beak and wide eyes. Light reflects off of the smooth underside of its beak. It is seen from the side. The wing that is visible from this view is decorated with a carved ovoid shape. At the bird's back and front, where this fragment attached to the larger pipe stem, the stone is broken and rough.

CAPTION: This stylized bird identifies a pipe from coastal people.


IMAGE 4 of 9: Trade beads

DESCRIBING: A photograph of an assortment of glass beads.

SYNOPSIS: An assortment of glass beads. The beads are generally spherical or cylindrical, and show a variety of colors including yellow, blue, white, and red. Some beads are decorated with striped designs. Some beads, which were excavated by archaeologists, still have dirt in their center hole.

IN-DEPTH DESCRIPTION: The glass beads included in this assortment are: two faceted blue-green beads; three faceted, cylindrical blue beads; one red bead with a dark center, which may be a dirt stain; 26 spherical white beads, which still have some dirt on them; one bead with blue and white vertical stripes; 20 spherical yellow beads; 8 red beads; 15 spherical blue beads, some of which are slightly misshapen; 11 spherical blue-green beads, some of which are slightly misshapen. One spherical bead is black with a looping white decoration inlaid in the glass. One cylindrical bead is dark blue with thin white vertical stripes. One bead is red with a white center. One bead is cylindrical and white, with green and orange glass decoration winding around it. One faceted bead is a light amber color. One faceted cylindrical bead has white at each end, but a colorful design on its body with green, yellow, and red.

CAPTION: Trade beads came in various shapes and colors; blue beads were among the favorites.


IMAGE 5 of 9: Coin

DESCRIBING: A photograph of a United States Coin.

SYNOPSIS: A 19th century United States coin with a hole drilled in it. The visible side of the coin shows an eagle facing left holding a shield with stars and stripes. Near the eagle's head, a small, round hole has been drilled through the coin. The coin is a dark copper color with some lighter patches where the metal has deteriorated.

CAPTION: Coins turned into ornaments when drilled with holes.


IMAGE 6 of 9: Beaver trap

DESCRIBING: A photograph of a metal beaver trap.

SYNOPSIS: An iron beaver trap, open, with a chain attached. The metal is a dark brown color with some small patches of rust.

IN-DEPTH DESCRIPTION: The beaver trap is set open. In the center of the trap are two jaw pieces, which are flattened iron strips bent into a half-rectangle shape.  The jaws do not have teeth, but are smooth on all sides. Between the open jaws is a metal piece shaped like a capital letter T, and in the center of that piece is a metal pan, a small, rectangular metal pedal that would be triggered by a beaver. On either side of the jaws are elongated U-shaped iron springs, which are pinched together to hold the jaws open. Attached to one of the springs is a metal chain that is slightly shorter than the length of the trap.

CAPTION:  A modern blacksmith forged this beaver trap based on pieces found by archeologists.


IMAGE 7 of 9: Spode dish

DESCRIBING: A photograph of a ceramic washbasin.

SYNOPSIS: A side view of a ceramic washbasin. The rim of the washbasin is wider than its base and flares down into the basin. The washbasin is white and decorated with a blue transfer print design. The design has a background of blue gridlines, covered with leafy vines and darker blue flowers. 

CAPTION: The fort’s store carried a few kinds of dishware, including Spode, a fine English china. Everyone used it, whatever their rank or income.


IMAGE 8 of 9: Marguerite McLoughlin

DESCRIBING: An oval black and white photograph of a woman.

SYNOPSIS: A black and white three-quarters-length portrait photograph of Marguerite McLoughlin, an elderly, heavy-set, Ojibwe-Swiss woman wearing a dark dress with a white lace collar. 

IN-DEPTH DESCRIPTION: The woman's hair appears to be dark gray, sleek, and is parted down the middle and pulled back, covering her ears. She is looking directly at the camera and is not smiling. She is wearing a dark, 1850s-style dress with long sleeves, a wide V-shaped seam that runs from each of her shoulders to her waist, and a small, high, white lace collar. Behind her is a solid black background.

CAPTION: Marguerite McLoughlin and her husband John, who ran the fur trading fort, symbolized cultures coming together. She was of Ojibwe-Swiss heritage; he was Canadian.


IMAGE 9 of 9: Field school student

DESCRIBING: A color photograph of an archaeologist in an excavation unit.

SYNOPSIS: A woman wearing work clothes and a hat and holding a trowel sits inside a square hole dug into a grassy field. The hole is about two feet deep. She is looking at the camera and smiling. She has long brown hair and is wearing glasses. Next to the square hole, resting on the ground near the edge, are a pair of work gloves and a black metal bin.

CAPTION: A field school student assists an archeologist by uncovering artifacts. Curator Theresa Langford says, “Pieces of our identity are captured in the objects we leave behind.”


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TEXT: Native and new

These names at right, taken from historic records, show the many cultures who crossed paths at the fur trading fort.

  • Cathlamet
  • Cayuse
  • Chehalis
  • Chinook
  • Clatsop
  • Cowichan
  • Cowlitz
  • Cree
  • Dalles
  • English
  • French-Canadian
  • Hawaiian
  • Iroquois
  • Kalama
  • Kalapuya
  • Kathlamet
  • Klallam
  • Klickitat
  • Métis
  • Mollala
  • Nesqually
  • Nez Perce
  • Nipissing
  • Okanagan
  • Pend d’Oreille
  • Quinault
  • Scottish
  • Shasta
  • Snake
  • Snohomish
  • Spokane
  • Stikene
  • Tillamook
  • Umatilla
  • Walla Walla
  • Wasco-Wishram
  • Willamette

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IMAGE: Lithograph of Fort Vancouver in 1855

DESCRIBING: A lithograph showing Fort Vancouver and Vancouver Barracks in 1855.

SYNOPSIS: A 19th century lithograph that shows a scene of Fort Vancouver, the Columbia River, and Vancouver Barracks in shades of green, brown, and blue. The viewer is facing east. On the far right side of the image is the Columbia River looking upstream towards Mt. Hood. The river and Mt. Hood are labeled. On the north bank of the river is Fort Vancouver, surrounded by gardens and orchards. In the foreground are earthen paths and small one-room cabins. A road runs east to west through the middle of the image. On the north side of the road are labeled areas showing the St. James Mission, fields and orchards of St. James Mission, and the US Army post.

IN-DEPTH DESCRIPTION: Fort Vancouver, located on the north bank of the Columbia River, consists of several buildings enclosed within a rectangular wooden stockade. A towering bastion stands in the northwest corner of the fort. The fort is labeled with the words "Hudson's Bay Company fort." To the east of the fort are orchards; to the north of the fort's stockade wall is a large garden surrounded by a wooden fence. In the foreground on the right side of the image, east of the fort, are three log cabins. An earthen path winds from the far right corner of the image towards a large earthen road that runs east to west north of the fort. On this curved section of path, six horses pull a wooden cart carrying four large barrels. Figures of four people can be seen walking this path. On the main east to west road is a cart carrying a person with a hat and a whip, pulled by two oxen.

North of the east-west road that divides the lithograph image in half, in the foreground of the image, is a two-story white building with a gabled roof topped by a cross. This building is labeled "Church, St. James Mission." North and east of the church are fenced areas with small buildings. In the foreground east of the church are a collection of trees labeled "Fields and orchards of St. James Mission."

North of the east-west road is a sloping hill that leads to an upper terrace. About eleven buildings, single and two-story, are located on this grassy slope. In the foreground on this slope is a semi-circle-shaped area that appears to be overgrown, contains some cross-shaped grave markers, and surrounded by a fence. On this slope, on the left-most edge of the lithograph, is a small building inside a stockade wall that resembles a smaller version of the wooden stockade that surrounds Fort Vancouver.

At the top of the terrace to the north, on the right side of the image, is a row of white military buildings with gabled and hipped roofs. In front of this row of buildings is an enormous flagpole topped by a waving American flag. A row of cannons sits beyond the flagpole, just at the point where the terrace begins to slope. The cannons are aimed down the hill, facing south towards the British Fort Vancouver. This area is labeled with the text "US Army post." Behind this row of buildings is a heavily forested area, thick with evergreen trees. 

In the far distance are rolling hills leading to the Columbia River Gorge and Mt. Hood, a dormant volcano that comes to a sharp peak and is covered by a cap of snow.



In 1855, artist Gustavus Sohon visited Fort Vancouver. His illustration shows a community shifting from a fur trading fort to a military post. A Catholic mission occupies the lower left of the scene.

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IMAGE and TEXT: From Furs to Fighting

IMAGE 1 of 6: Rifle cartridges

DESCRIBING: A color photo of a stack of 6 rifle cartridges.

SYNOPSIS: A color photo of a small stack of six .30-60 Springfield and .45-70 rifle cartridges. All of the metal cartridges are cylindrical with a round, flat side positioned closest to the camera with an additional circle stamped into it. The other ends of the cartridges appear to be nearly flattened from use. On the bottom row, one silver metal cartridge is placed sideways, facing away from the viewer at a 45-degree angle. Resting on top of this cartridge is a row of three cartridges, and on top of that, a row of two cartridges. 

IN-DEPTH DESCRIPTION: The five stacked cartridges are brass colored, with some areas worn away to show silver-colored metal beneath. One cartridge has deteriorated further and seems to have pink splotches on it. Light reflects off of the silver metal cartridge, which looks smooth despite patches of oxidation and deterioration.

CAPTION: A few of the many rifle cartridges found here.


IMAGE 2 of 6: Bugle

DESCRIBING: A color photo of a 19th century brass bugle.

SYNOPSIS: A color photo of a 19th century brass bugle with some dents and scratches. The bugle is placed on its side at a 45-degree angle, with the silver mouthpiece on the left and the bell facing right. The bell's body curves toward the mouthpiece and downwards, looping around to create an elongated oval shape with two vertical hand grips between the mouthpiece and bell. Light reflects against the instrument's brass features. The silver mouthpieces has some areas of brown or copper discoloration.

CAPTION: Private Moriarty blew his bugle to send messages at the post. 


IMAGE 3 of 6: Eagle emblem

DESCRIBING: A color photo depicting a bronze emblem of an eagle. 

SYNOPSIS: A color photo depicting a bronze eagle emblem. Light reflects off the eagle's wings, especially on the eagle's right wing, while the rest of the body and features are a darker brown color. The eagle has its thickly feathered wings spread out as it holds a long, thin banner in its beak that curves over its head and across the eagle's right wing; "E Pluribus Unum" is written on the banner. On the eagle's body is a shield with two rows of seven stars, vertical stripes below the stars, and a larger number 14 attached over the stripes. The eagle also has two taloned feet, and a thick, feathery tail in between. The eagle is holding two objects gripped in each of its talons: its left talon holds a bundle of arrows with the tips broken off, and its right talon holds an olive branch with lush, wide leaves. The eagle's head faces to its left.

CAPTION: An eagle emblem decorated a 14th Infantry helmet.


IMAGE 4 of 6: Oak-leaf emblem

DESCRIBING: A color photo of a brass oak-leaf emblem.

SYNOPSIS: A color photo of a brass oak-leaf emblem. The emblem has eight oak leaves sprouting from a circular center, with each leaf having around five rounded lobes. The emblem is light bronze color, with a few discolored spots in the center of the emblem, as well as on most of the leaves. The emblem is domed to fit the top of a helmet and has a hole in the center. 

CAPTION: This oak-leaf emblem carried a plume for a soldier’s hat.


IMAGE 5 of 6: Telescope

DESCRIBING: A color photo of a metal telescope.

SYNOPSIS: A color photo of a brass metal telescope. The telescope is placed on its side at a 45-degree angle, with the eyepiece on the left side, and the objective lens facing right. Light reflects along the top of the entire telescope. Faint black lines are incised along the optical tube, the long body of the telescope in between the eyepiece and optical lens. The eyepiece is made up of three collapsing tubes, while the lens is made up of two.

CAPTION: Civilian Jehu Switzler used his telescope to scout road locations.


IMAGE 6 of 6: Buffalo Soldiers

DESCRIBING: A black and white photograph of many Buffalo Soldiers.

SYNOPSIS: A black and white photograph depicting African American Buffalo Soldiers wearing 19th century Army uniforms lined up side-by-side in an open field with long rifles held in their white-gloved hands. The soldiers, who are all young men, are seen from the side. Their expressions are serious. Most of the soldiers face forward, towards the left side of the photograph, but a couple are looking at the camera. The soldiers stand in two rows starting from the bottom right of the photograph and extending diagonally all the way to the near-top left corner, making the exact number of soldiers uncountable. 

IN-DEPTH DESCRIPTION: Each soldier wears a military uniform, including a dark long-sleeved, collared shirt, long dark pants and dark boots to match. The soldiers also wear light-colored, wide-brimmed hats with either a Montana peak or a single crease at the top. The soldiers are wearing belts with bayonets attached. The butts of their rifles are resting on the ground, and each soldier holds his rifle by the barrel with one hand stacked on the other. The soldiers are standing in a uniform way, with their left foot forward and their right foot angled behind their left foot.

The soldiers stand in a dirt-covered field with sparse vegetation. In the background, there are grassy fields, small white houses and tall bushy trees against a light gray sky.

CAPTION: African American troops, known as Buffalo Soldiers, were stationed at the military post after fighting in the Spanish-American War of 1898.

CREDIT: Library of Congress/J.F. Jarvis


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TEXT: A central location for trade and troops

After opening in 1825, Fort Vancouver welcomed traders from across the region to this bountiful site. The fort was surrounded by trees for building and a river full of salmon. Its chief factor (director), John McLoughlin, shared food with emigrants who began arriving on the Oregon Trail in the late 1830s.

Within a decade, though, trouble began. The new American arrivals were taking the native people’s homelands for their own farms and industries. In 1846, the US and Britain settled the international boundary, putting this site into American hands.

Then the US Army arrived to keep order locally and to support American settlements. During the decades of Indian wars, the military post was a prison for people captured during conflict, and spiritual leaders and bands who refused to move to reservations.

Even before the Hudson’s Bay Company left in 1860, the Army began tearing down houses and other buildings. They created a parade ground, reduced farmland, and built dozens of new buildings. Their changes buried layers of objects—and thus, history—of people and cultures who had come before.

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OVERVIEW: Back Side of Brochure

The back side of the brochure begins with the distinctive National Park Service (NPS) black bar at the top containing the text "New Centuries, New Roles." This side is comprised of six historic, sepia-toned photographs; four contemporary, color photographs; descriptive text; and two color maps. 

The top half of the back side of the brochure focuses on Vancouver Barracks' Spruce Mill and airplane building efforts during World War I. This section also discusses the site during the 1930s and World War II. Photographs and descriptive text are provided. 

The large map in the bottom half of the back side of the brochure is a map of Fort Vancouver National Historic Site that includes wayfinding and information on amenities at the national park. The smaller additional map in the bottom right corner is a general wayfinding map showing the location of Fort Vancouver National Historic Site in Vancouver, Washington, relative to the McLoughlin House in Oregon City, Oregon. A small photograph of the McLoughlin House is also shown. 

The text section at the bottom of side two provides information about getting to the park, safety and regulations, accessibility, and additional contact information.

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IMAGE and TEXT: Preparing for War: From foot soldiers to airplane pilots

DESCRIBING: A sepia-toned historic photograph of troops on the Vancouver Barracks Parade Ground.

SYNOPSIS: A sepia-toned photograph taken from an elevated angle, about a 45 degree angle above ground level. The photograph shows soldiers marching in formation the Vancouver Barracks Parade Ground, a grassy field bisected by a paved path with some evergreen trees dotting the landscape. In the foreground, rows of soldiers stand shoulder-to-shoulder in three large groups. There are approximately 550 soldiers in view of the photograph, with additional rows of soldiers extending into the distance toward the horizon. All soldiers are wearing wide-brimmed hats with a Montana peak at the top. Each soldier is wearing a matching uniform with a jacket, pants, gaiters or leggings, and boots. Along the southern edge of the Parade Ground are groups of military and civilian spectators.

IN-DEPTH DESCRIPTION: Along the southern border of the Parade Ground, on the right side of the photograph, is a wide sidewalk.  On the righthand edge of the photograph, a line of covered porches attached to barracks buildings is partially visible. Soldiers stand along this wide sidewalk, watching the marching soldiers. A woman wearing a long white dress and hat is also watching the parade. Along this sidewalk, other groups of soldiers are walking east, into the distance. In the distance, tall evergreen trees line the horizon. The weather appears foggy.

Along the north edge of the Parade Ground is Officers' Row, a row of two-story homes, just visible through deciduous trees that have lost their leaves. Hedges divide the line of houses from the Parade Ground. The houses are painted a light color with dark roofs. Beyond the houses are evergreen trees.

CAPTION: Parade Ground. Their job done, soldiers from the Spruce Production Division await a parade in front of commanding officers. It is Armistice Day, November 11, 1918—time to recognize the end of the war.

CREDIT: Clark County Historical Museum/Gordon Stuart


With the new century came a new technology that would change the world—the airplane. By 1911, aviators were thrilling the spectators who gathered to watch their acrobatics over the military fields. In the First World War, planes became essential fighting machines. To make enough planes, the US military took over the logging industry to quickly log millions of spruce trees from the surrounding forests. In less than one year, the fort’s sprawling Spruce Mill (below) turned out enough lumber to produce over 120,000 airplanes. This massive war effort introduced motorized trucks and other changes to the logging industry.

Today small planes still take off and land at Pearson Field, a city airport. The park’s air museum houses early planes and exhibits of aviation history. Keeping stories alive—from native peoples to a fur trading fort, to a military post and airfield—is the role of Fort Vancouver National Historic Site ever since it was proclaimed a national monument in 1948.

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IMAGE and TEXT: Spruce Mill

DESCRIBING: A black and white photograph of the Vancouver Barracks Spruce Mill.

SYNOPSIS: A black and white photograph of the Vancouver Barracks Spruce Mill as it appeared in 1918. The mill complex includes a railroad line, industrial buildings, and rows of white canvas tents. Vancouver Barracks can be seen in the distance. The photograph has a label written on it that reads "A Section of the World's Largest Spruce 'Cut-Up' Plant, Vancouver Barracks, Wash. 1918" and a signature and logo for the photographer, Marcell. The weather appears foggy. 

IN-DEPTH DESCRIPTION: The photograph is panoramic. In the 10 to 11 o'clock position of the photograph, eight white two- and three-story buildings of Vancouver Barracks can be seen in the distance, with evergreen trees just barely visible behind. In the foreground is a block of 36 white canvas tents in three rows, bordered by paths made of wooden planks. The tents are square with partial walls and come to a tall peak in the center with a canvas doorway on one side, leading out to a wooden plank pathway. There are some simple, one-story wooden buildings among the tents. To the left of this block of tents, in the 10 o'clock position, is a tall, square, two-story building with a covered porch. A single tall evergreen tree nearby separates the block of tents from the more permanent buildings of Vancouver Barracks behind.

In the 12 o'clock position is a long warehouse, painted white with a dark roof. It is positioned in the photograph at an angle, with one end and one side visible. The warehouse has small, square windows along its side and chimneys along the peak of its gabled roof. Six rows of white square canvas tents extend in rows at a 45 degree angle from the camera in sets of six tents per row. Among the tents are three long buildings with roofs made of wooden slats and small windows along their sides. These buildings are raised from the ground with wooden beams. Wooden pathways connect the tents and buildings to keep workers at the mill off of the muddy ground below.

In the 1 o'clock position is a set of two railroad tracks with two trains sitting on them. A road runs along the left side of the railroad tracks. This road is lined by utility poles connected by power lines. A car driving on this road appears as a blur in this photograph. To the left of the railroad line are two cranes used for lifting cargo and stacks of wood and supplies. A railroad crossing can be seen along the lower edge of the photograph, with gates to stop traffic when trains pass.

Beyond the railroad track are a row of white, long, industrial mill buildings with barn-style roofs. Five smokestacks rise out of these industrial buildings. Smoke or steam rises from the buildings beyond it. In the hazy background is a flat landscape and the Columbia River.

In the 2 o'clock position, at the far right of the photograph, are a collection of one-story administrative buildings.

CAPTION: Spruce Mill workers lived in tents beside the mill where they turned trees into lumber for planes. This push for wood in the first world war revolutionized the lumber industry.

CREDIT: Library of Congress/Edward F. Marcell

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IMAGES and TEXT: Military at Fort Vancouver

Image 1 of 9: Post exchange

DESCRIBING: A black and white photograph.

SYNOPSIS: A horizontally-oriented black and white photograph of a group of men and women standing outside the open doorway to a building with a sign that reads "Post Exchange."

IN-DEPTH DESCRIPTION: A group of people including five women and eleven men pose on a porch in front of a building with wooden siding and a sign reading "Post Exchange." Some are standing, some are sitting on the edge of the wooden porch. They all appear to be white. The women are all standing; two of them wear white shirtwaist blouses and dark skirts, one of them wears a long sleeve dark blouse with a lighter colored apron. Five men are standing. One man appears to be wearing a partial military uniform with trousers, gaiters, a long sleeve shirt and a hat with a brim. One man is dressed similarly but has his shirtsleeves rolled to his elbows and is not wearing a hat. One man is wearing a white collared shirt with the sleeves rolled up and a dark colored apron; his arms are crossed over his chest. One man is dressed in a dark, double-breasted suit with a fedora-style hat. Two men are dressed in civilian clothing, including trousers, white shirts and vests.

In front of the group of standing men and women, five men are sitting on the edge of the building's porch. They appear to be wearing partial US Army uniforms, including trousers, boots and long sleeve shirts. Three of the sitting men have their shirtsleeves rolled up to their elbows; one is wearing a hat. Their knees are bent as they are sitting so low to the ground, and each man's arms are resting on his legs or knees.

The men and women in the photograph look towards the photographer. One man looks slightly to the right of the photographer. Some are smiling. It is a sunny day; some are squinting in the sun. The man wearing a fedora has a shadow across his face.

CREDIT: Clark County Historical Museum

CAPTION: People pose in front of the post exchange, or store, in 1910. The “PX” system began here in 1880; now most US military posts have a PX.

Image 2 of 9: Loyal Legion of Loggers and Lumbermen pin

DESCRIBING: A color photograph of a circular metal pin.

SYNOPSIS: A circular metal pin. The pin has a colorful design in red, white, and blue. The design is framed on either side by blue evergreen trees. In the center, the blue silhouette of a World War I-era warship rests on a white ocean. The sky behind the ship is red. Over the ship flies a biplane with white wings. At the end of each wing is a blue circle with a white star inside. Across the top of the pin are the letters LLLL. Along the bottom of the pin are the words "Authorized by the Secretary of War" and a logo depicting a crossed saw and ax and the letters "US."

CAPTION: Spruce Mill workers might have worn pins of the Loyal Legion of Loggers and Lumbermen. 

CREDIT: NPS/John F. Edwards

Image 3 of 9: Army nurses

DESCRIBING: A black and white photograph of two nurses.

SYNOPSIS: A black and white photograph of two nurses on the ground-level porch of a building on a sunny day. Both nurses are dressed in white dresses with stiffly-ironed white caps. 

IN-DEPTH DESCRIPTION: One nurse is standing; she is white with blonde hair and is resting her hands on the porch railing. A dark colored cape covers her shoulders and is tied at her neck. She is smiling at the camera and squinting in the sunlight. The other nurse is sitting on the railing with her hands crossed in her lap. She is also white and has darker hair. She is smiling at the camera, but slightly turned away from the viewer. Her legs are crossed at the ankle; she is wearing stockings and dark leather shoes.

CAPTION: These two Army nurses were among the 20,000 registered nurses recruited for the war.

CREDIT: Clark County Historical Museum

Image 4 of 9:  Pearson Field’s hangars

DESCRIBING: A black and white photo of airplane hangars at Pearson Field.

SYNOPSIS: Two airplane hangars sit in a grassy field. Both have checkerboard pattern roofs, and are otherwise painted white with black trim. Both hangars have windows along either side of the building, and large doors that roll open at one end. One of the hangars has its doors partially open; inside we can see only darkness and the faint outlines of windows on the other side of the building. This hangar has text painted in large dark letters above its open doors that reads, "Army Air Corps, Pearson Field." 

In front of the hangers is a large group of men and women, who are standing among dark colored 1920s-style cars. They are generally looking somewhere to the north of the hangars, towards the photograph's left side and out of our view. The photograph is taken as though the viewer is a member of this crowd, looking towards the hangars rather than towards what the crowd seems to be focused on. 

IN-DEPTH DESCRIPTION: The people in the crowd in the foreground of the photograph are dressed in 1920s-style clothing. Individuals are seen from the back or side. A woman in the foreground is wearing a light colored trench coat and a white cloche-style hat. Many men are wearing long jackets and fedora hats. A few people are holding umbrellas. The crowd is surrounding at least four dark early 20th century-style cars, which are parked among them.

CAPTION: In the 1920s, the Pearson Field’s hangars and landing strips replaced the Spruce Mill complex.


Image 5 of 9: Collar disc pin

DESCRIBING: A color photograph of a round US Army insignia.

SYNOPSIS: A round, brass collar disc pin. The outer edge of the pin has a raised rim and the interior is patterned. In the center of the pin are the large letters US and the number 7. There are some slight light brown patches of oxidation.

CAPTION: A soldier in the 7th Infantry would have worn this collar disc (pin).  


Image 6 of 9: Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) patch

DESCRIBING: A color photograph of a shield-shaped patch.

SYNOPSIS: A color photograph of a shield-shaped, embroidered felt patch. The patch is embroidered on red felt. The shield shape is outlined in green. At the top, the letters "C.C.C." are embroidered in yellow thread with a green line underneath. Below these letters, the shield is divided into two sections by a green embroidered line. On the left half of the design is a surveyor's level embroidered in yellow thread. On the right half of the design is an evergreen tree embroidered in green thread.


Image 7 of 9: Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) participants

DESCRIBING: A black and white photo of a group of young men.

SYNOPSIS: A black and white photo of a group of nine young men wearing Civilian Conservation Corps uniforms. All of the men are fair skinned. Five of the men are standing in a row; four are sitting in a row in front of them. The sitting man on the far right is holding a white dog in his lap.

IN-DEPTH DESCRIPTION: The standing men are of varying heights and look at the photographer with unsmiling expressions. Three have their hands folded behind their backs. They are wearing long sleeved shirts, fully buttoned, with dark colored neckties tucked into the shirt buttons.

The sitting men are relaxed. One man has his hands in his pockets; two others have their hands crossed in their laps. The man on the far right of the photo is cradling a small, long-haired white dog in his lap, holding its paws. One of the sitting men smiles good-naturedly at the photographer; he is the only one of the men with his tie untucked. The man holding the dog looks as though he might be about to laugh, or to lose his grip on the dog.

Behind the men is a wooden building with windows.

CAPTION: Participants in the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), a job program of the Great Depression, came here for training to work in the national forests. 


Image 8 of 9: Female historic reenactors

DESCRIBING: A color photograph of two historic reenactors.

SYNOPSIS: A color photograph of two historic reenactors sitting in the front seat of a World War II-era Army jeep. Both reenactors are white women. One is dressed as a Women's Army Nurse Corps officer; the other is dressed as a shipyard worker. Behind them it is sunset in the orchard in front of the reconstructed Fort Vancouver at Fort Vancouver National Historic Site. White tents can be seen over the shipyard worker's shoulder, a further part of the special event they are participating in.

IN-DEPTH DESCRIPTION: The photographer is standing close to the women. They fill the frame; the photograph only shows the olive green seat back, steering wheel, and gear shift of the Army jeep in which they are sitting. 

The reenactor dressed as the Women's Army Nurse Corps officer is wearing a light khaki-colored blouse and tie, with the end of the tie tucked into the shirt's buttons. She is wearing an olive green skirt and is leaning casually with one elbow on the jeep's steering wheel. She wears an olive green military cap with a brass eagle insignia pinned to its front. She has strawberry blonde hair pulled into a bun at the back of her neck. She is wearing red lipstick and smiling at the camera.

The reenactor dressed as a shipyard worker sits in the jeep seat to the right of the other woman. She is dressed in an olive green drab jumpsuit that is loose-fitting and buttons to a V in the middle of her chest. Her blonde hair is tucked under a light-colored, patterned kerchief. She is wearing red lipstick and smiling at the camera.

CAPTION: Fort Vancouver bustled with soldiers and civilian workers during World War II. These historic reenactors portray two roles of women during this period—“Wendy the Welder,” who assembled ships, and an Army nurse.

CREDIT: Monroe Photography/Cassie and David Monroe

Image 9 of 9: Garrison flag

DESCRIBING: A color photograph of national park rangers raising a flag on a flagpole.

SYNOPSIS: A color photograph showing two rows of several national park rangers working together to raise an enormous garrison flag on the Parade Ground flagpole, located in a grassy field. The group of fifteen national park rangers includes men and women wearing National Park Service uniforms consisting of olive green pants, gray shirts, and wide brimmed straw hats. The garrison flag is a extremely large sized American flag. It is attached to a large white flagpole, nearly as wide across as the ranger standing nearest to it, and is in the process of being raised. Some national park rangers hold on to the far end of the flag to prevent it touching the ground. In the background are a group of members of the public gathered to watch the event. Green evergreen trees grow not far in the background. The sky is overcast and cloudy.

CAPTION: May 29, 2017, park rangers raise a garrison flag in the same place where one flew in the 1800s. Flown for ceremonies and some holidays, this flag can be seen for miles.

CREDIT: NPS/Junelle Lawry

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MAP: Fort Vancouver National Historic Site

DESCRIBING: A color, wayfinding map of Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, park features, and environs.

SYNOPSIS: The Fort Vancouver National Historic Site map is a horizontal, rectangular, northerly, bird's eye view wayfinding map of Fort Vancouver National Historic Site in Vancouver, Washington. The Visitor Center is located in the northeast corner of the site, just inside the East Evergreen Boulevard entrance to the park. The map shows the locations of the main park areas: Fort Vancouver, Pearson Air Museum, Pearson Air Field, South Barracks, and East Barracks, and Parade Grounds. Other park features shown include restrooms, information stations, parking lots, and picnic areas. Accessible parking is located at all parking areas. The historic site is bounded by East Evergreen Boulevard to the north, East Reserve Street to the east, the Columbia River to the south, and I-5 and Fort Vancouver Way to the west. Areas outside the park boundaries are visible but covered by a white semi-transparent layer.

IN-DEPTH DESCRIPTION: The Fort Vancouver National Historic Site map includes wayfinding and natural feature information and is shown from a northerly, bird's eye view perspective at an approximate foreground scale of one inch equals 100 meters. The Visitor Center is located in the northeast corner of the park. The map legend includes icons for the park's restrooms, information centers, parking lots, and picnic areas. Accessible parking is located at all parking areas. The park is bounded by East Evergreen Boulevard to the north, East Reserve Street, an airport, and an industrial area to the east, the Columbia River, railroad tracks, and SR-14 to the south, and I-5 and Fort Vancouver Way to the west. East Fifth Street runs parallel to East Evergreen Boulevard and bisects the park into northern and southern areas.  

The following is a description of the Fort Vancouver National Historic Site map described in a clockwise direction, starting at the Visitor Center just inside the East Evergreen Boulevard entrance to the park at the 1 o'clock position. The Visitor Center includes a parking lot, restrooms, and an information center. The Japanese Memorial is a small monument located directly west of the Visitor Center. Two picnic areas are located to the south of the Visitor Center in the Great Meadow, a grassy area with many trees. Two small, unlabeled administrative buildings are located to the east of the Visitor Center at the junction of East Evergreen Boulevard and East Reserve Street.

Pearson Air Museum is housed in two airplane hangars at the 2 o'clock position south of East Fifth Street. The museum has restrooms and a parking lot accessed from East Fifth Street. Just west of Pearson Air Museum south of East Fifth Street is the Chkalov Monument, a small outdoor sculpture. An unlabeled square building is located just west of the monument. Nearby is one entrance to the Spruce Mill Trail, which is marked in a yellow dashed line. The Spruce Mill Trail is a loop that leads from the Pearson Air Museum complex to the front gate of the reconstructed Fort Vancouver.

Pearson Field, a municipal airfield airstrip, runs parallel to and north of SR-14, the railroad tracks, and the Columbia River from 4 o'clock to 6 o'clock. Grassy areas fill in the spaces between Pearson Air Museum, Pearson Field, and the reconstructed Fort Vancouver.

The reconstructed fur trade-era Fort Vancouver is located in the center of the map. The fort is surrounded by a wooden stockade wall. Labeled buildings inside the fort are the Chief Factor's House, Bakehouse, Blacksmith Shop, Indian Trade Shop, Fur Store, Bastion, Carpenter Shop, Counting House, and Jail. Next to the Fur Store is a white flagpole flying a Hudson's Bay Company flag, a red flag with a Union Jack and the letters HBC. Paved paths lead between the buildings. An icon indicates the location of restrooms inside the fort. Outside of the stockade wall, directly to the north, is the Garden, a rectangular outdoor area where small plants can be seen growing. Fort Vancouver is accessed from the parking lot south of East Fifth Street, and a picnic area is located across the street to the north. 

A paved park road with vehicle access leads from directly across from the Fort Vancouver parking lot on East Fifth Street to the Visitor Center parking lot at East Evergreen Boulevard. This park road curves across a grassy area with some trees, up the hill to the north of the fort and towards the Visitor Center.

The Orchard is located west of the Bastion and west stockade wall. The orchard is a collection of approximately 30 trees arranged neatly in diagonal rows.

From East Fifth Street, north of the fort and orchard, a trail extends south from the street and west past the orchard and towards the Fort Vancouver Village, which consists of two reconstructed one-room cabins, then turns south towards the Land Bridge, a pedestrian bridge that crosses over SR-14, a wide, multi-lane highway that runs east to west along the bottom third of the map.

Along the bottom edge of the map, the Columbia River is shown in blue south of SR-14 and the railroad tracks. In the 7 o'clock position, the Land Bridge connects pedestrians from the Fort Vancouver Village to the Fort Vancouver Waterfront. The Land Bridge is a pedestrian bridge that crosses over SR-14 and underneath the railroad berm. It leads from the Fort Vancouver Village to Old Apple Tree Park and the Fort Vancouver Waterfront a park situated along the river south of SR-14 and the railroad tracks that has a parking lot and a picnic area. 

Old Apple Tree Park is located in the 8 o'clock position between the railroad tracks and SR-14. The South Barracks is shown in the 9 o'clock position, to the north of the Village area and south of East Fifth Street. One unlabeled brick building is seen in the South Barracks area.

North of East Fifth Street from the 9 o'clock to the 11 o'clock position is the East Barracks. The East Barracks is bounded on the west side by Fort Vancouver Way, which runs north to south. McClellan Road travels east to west through the East Barracks, and can be accessed from Fort Vancouver Way. McClellan Way continues east to connect to the park road, which leads either to the Visitor Center or East Fifth Street and the reconstructed fort. Along McClellan Road are three large two-story double infantry barracks buildings and one two-story administrative building. Several other early 20th century military buildings are located in the East Barracks, connected by roads and paths. A parking area is located adjacent to McClellan Road. The area is bisected diagonally from southwest to northeast by Alvord Road, which is closed to vehicles. The Clark County War Veteran's Memorial is located in the East Barracks on the east side of Fort Vancouver Way.

North of the double infantry barracks buildings, in the 12 o'clock position, is the Parade Ground, a open grassy field dotted by evergreen and deciduous trees. In the center of the Parade Ground is a large flagpole. To the east of the flagpole is a white gazebo-style Bandstand. East Evergreen Boulevard runs along the northern edge of the Parade Ground.

The Fort Vancouver Visitor Center is accessed from East Evergreen Boulevard. The reconstructed Fort Vancouver and Pearson Air Museum are accessed from East Fifth Street. Pedestrian trails are shown as yellow dashed lines throughout the park. The Discovery Historic Loop Trail connects most of the park's features, including the Land Bridge, Old Apple Tree Park, and the Fort Vancouver Waterfront. A historic trail leads along the south stockade wall of the fort; this trail can be accessed from the north side of the Land Bridge. This trail also connects to points east along East Fifth Street outside of the park and beyond the map's limits. The Spruce Mill Trail connects Fort Vancouver with the Chkalov Monument and Pearson Air Museum. Trails are accessible to walkers, joggers, bicyclists, and wheelchair users. 




This view from the air shows one of the many reasons why city residents treasure this park. Its fields and paths are perfect for all kinds of outdoor activities and events. Plus, the river is just a Land Bridge away. And on a sunny day the view is spectacular.

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IMAGE and TEXT: Today, still a place for exploration and discovery

DESCRIBING: A small, horizontal, color photograph of a traditional canoe and paddlers on the Columbia River. 

SYNOPSIS: A photograph of tribal pullers, or paddlers, and their guests participating in an annual multi-tribe canoe journey on the Columbia River. The eleven pullers are paddling away from the viewer at a 10-degree angle to the left in a traditional dugout canoe, which is a narrow, low-profile, wooden canoe painted black with blue trim with the front and back ends angled up away from the water. The inside of the canoe is painted red. The pullers sit in a single-file line wearing orange life vests and paddling one paddle each in an alternating pattern on the right and left sides of the canoe.

CAPTION: Tribal pullers (paddlers) guide a traditional canoe.



Welcome to a place where the stories of many cultures are being revealed. The objects and stories come from decades of careful digging, research, discussion, and thought. Explore the park and see how other cultures contribute to your own history.

Start at the visitor center, which has exhibits and films. Walkways connect most features of the park. Pearson Air Museum displays planes and tells the story of aviation. Talk to the volunteers and rangers who bring history to life at the stockade and village. Cross the Land Bridge, which has reunited the fort with the waterfront one hundred years after the railroad separated the two.

As you explore the park, look for signs of ongoing discovery. Archeologists, students, and volunteers work here every day to uncover the many layers of stories this place has witnessed. Add your own experience to the history of Fort Vancouver.

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TEXT: Getting to the Park

From I-5, exit at Mill Plain Boulevard; follow the signs to the visitor center on East Evergreen Boulevard. • From I-205, exit at WA 14. Go west on WA 14 about six miles and take I-5 North. Exit on Mill Plain Boulevard; follow signs to the park.

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TEXT: Safety and Regulations

Walk carefully—the ground is uneven. Don’t let a slip or fall spoil your visit. 

  • Keep your children close. 
  • Federal law protects all cultural and natural resources. 
  • Firearms regulations are on the park website.

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IMAGE, MAP, and TEXT: McLoughlin House

IMAGE: McLoughlin House

DESCRIBING: A small, rectangular, color photograph of the front of the McLoughlin House

SYNOPSIS: A view of the McLoughlin House from the perspective of a viewer facing the front right corner. The two-story, white, wooden, Georgian home built in 1846 is surrounded by shaped landscaping immediately adjacent to the home, a grassy park, a fountain in the foreground, and larger deciduous trees around the perimeter of the photograph, which shade the home and park. Blue sky and bright sunshine are in the background behind and above the home. Some sunlight is dappled on the roof, right side of the home, and on the fountain and park.  

IN-DEPTH DESCRIPTION: An angled view of the McLoughlin House, a white, wooden two-story, Georgian home built in 1846. The home is oriented with the right front corner closest to the viewer. The home's features include a brown roof with hips and ridges, nine double-pane windows on the front and six double pane windows along the right side all symmetrically spaced. A wide brick chimney protrudes from the right side of the roof. Five concrete steps lead from the dark green front door to a sidewalk. The front door is surrounded by side and top window transoms. A grand copper fountain surrounded by a concrete pool and a grassy park is in the foreground of the photograph. Landscaping frames the home's front and side, and large trees shade the home and property on a sunny day. A large tree in the foreground obscures the upper left side of the home. An American flag can be seen behind the home along the right edge of the photograph. 


MAP: Fort Vancouver National Historic Site and McLoughlin House area map

DESCRIBING: A small, color, general wayfinding map of the relative locations of Fort Vancouver National Historic Site and the McLoughlin House Unit at a scale of one inch equals 25 miles. 

SYNOPSIS: An overview map of the locations of Fort Vancouver National Historic Site in Vancouver, Washington, to the north and the McLoughlin House in Oregon City, Oregon, to the south. Fort Vancouver National Historic Site in Vancouver, Washington, is centered in the map and is shown on the north side of the Columbia River, which separates Washington and Oregon States. Interstates 5, 205, and 84 are shown as yellow lines for general wayfinding information. 

IN-DEPTH DESCRIPTION: The map of Fort Vancouver National Historic Site and McLoughlin House Unit is oriented with north toward the top of the map and the urban areas of Vancouver, Washington, and Portland, Oregon, shaded dark gray in the center of the map. The states are separated by the Columbia River, shown in blue flowing east (2 o'clock) to northwest (11 o'clock). Washington is shown shaded light grey north of the Columbia River, and Oregon is shown in beige south of the Columbia for the remaining extent of the map. A dark green square along the banks of the Columbia River in Vancouver depicts the location of Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, noted with a dark green text box with white text and leader pointing to the square. The location of the McLoughlin House is in Oregon City, Oregon, about 20 miles south of Fort Vancouver National Historic Site and at the southern edge of the Portland metro area. Interstate highways are shown as yellow lines. I-5 runs north-south through the center of Portland and Vancouver, I-205 creates an eastern beltway around the east sides of Vancouver and Portland connecting back to I-5 on the northern and southern ends. I-84 runs parallel to the Columbia River in an east to west fashion to the center of Portland, connecting I-205 and ending at I-5.



The home of the John McLoughlin family is part of Fort Vancouver National Historic Site. He retired here after decades of running the fur trading post. Find out how he affected the Pacific Northwest during the 1800s and beyond. This site is in Oregon City, OR, about 30 minutes from the Fort Vancouver visitor center. Limited hours; be sure to check the park website or call before going. Brochure available at the site or on the park website.

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OVERVIEW: Accessibility

Fort Vancouver National Historic Site staff are committed to making the park and its facilities, services, and programs accessible to individuals with mobility, hearing, and/or vision impairments. 

For information, go to the visitor center, ask a ranger, call 360-816-6230, or check the park website

PARKING: ADA Accessible Parking is available at all parking lots.

VISITOR CENTER ACCESSIBLILTY: The Fort Vancouver Visitor Center is located at 1501 East Evergreen Boulevard, Vancouver, WA 98661. The Visitor Center parking lot is paved and sidewalks lead to the Visitor Center itself. ADA Accessible parking is available. It is always free to visit.

Visitor feedback is the best way we can improve our accessibility services. Comments and suggestions are always welcome.

ACCESSIBLE FEATURES: There are several accessible shared-use trail routes. From the parking lot at 1001 E. Fifth Street to and within the reconstructed fort. To and from Pearson Air Museum and its parking lots, From the parking lots at the Columbia River Waterfront Park to Discovery Trail, and the park trail from the E. Fifth Street trail head to the Village and Land Bridge

Accessible viewpoints are available, including the veranda of the Chief Factor's House inside the reconstructed fort (accessible via wheelchair lift), and on the Land Bridge and Columbia River Waterfront.

The park's restrooms in Vancouver, WA, are accessible for people with disabilities, and are located inside the reconstructed fort, the Visitor Center, and Pearson Air Museum. The restroom at the McLoughlin House Unit in Oregon City, OR, is not yet accessible, but plans to address this critical need are in progress.

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OVERVIEW: More Information

For emergencies, call 911

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Fort Vancouver National Historic Site is one of over 400 parks in the National Park System. To learn more about national parks, visit

ADDRESS: 501 E Fifth Street, Building 400, Vancouver, WA 98661

PHONE: 360-816-6230


National Park Foundation
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