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Michael has a BA in History & American Studies and an MSc in American History from the University of Edinburgh. He comes from a proud military family and has spent most of his career as an educator in the Middle East and Asia. Please consider reading our editorial policy to understand how and why we publish the resources we do.

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Part of our in-depth series exploring the Mountain Pacific Forts

Picture of Fort Vancouver

History

Fort Vancouver was the administrative headquarters and main supply depot for the Hudson's Bay Company's fur trading operations in the immense Columbia Department. Under the leadership of John McLoughlin, the fort became the center of political, cultural, and commercial activities in the Pacific Northwest. When American immigrants arrived in the Oregon Country during the 1830s and 1840s, Fort Vancouver provided them with essential supplies to begin their new settlements.

In 1996, the 366-acre Vancouver National Historic Reserve was established to protect adjacent, historically significant historical areas. It includes Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, as well as Vancouver Barracks, Officers' Row, Pearson Field, The Water Resources Education Center, and portions of the Columbia River waterfront.

The McLoughlin House in Oregon City, Oregon, restored to honor the life and accomplishments of Dr. John McLoughlin, “the Father of Oregon,” has recently been turned over for administration by the National Park Service from the McLoughlin Memorial Association, who have been stewards of the house since 1909. The McLoughlin House will be managed by the Superintendent and staff of Fort Vancouver National Historic Site.

Contact Information

If you would like more information on Fort Vancouver site history, please contact: Tracy Fortmann: 360-696-7655 ext. #13. Contact by e-mail: [email protected]

For Group tours and resevations contact: Nadine Renfro at [email protected] or 360-696-7655 x17.

Driving Directions

From I-5, take the Mill Plain exit and head east. Turn south onto Fort Vancouver Way. At the traffic circle, go east on Evergreen Boulevard and follow signs to the Fort Vancouver Visitor Center. The reconstructed fort site is south of the visitor center - follow the parkroad which connects the visitor center parking lot to the fort parking lot.

From I-205, go west on Highway 14 about six miles, then take I-5 north. From I-5, take the Mill Plain exit and head east. Turn south onto Fort Vancouver Way. At the traffic circle, go east on Evergreen Boulevard and follow signs to the Fort Vancouver Visitor Center. The reconstructed fort site is south of the visitor center - follow the park road which connects the visitor center parking lot to the fort parking lot.

Daily Hours for all Buildings

Hours beginning late May, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily

Closed on Thanksgiving, December 24-25, and New Year's Day.

Guided Tours

Cultural demonstrations and one-hour guided tours of the reconstructed fort are offered daily. Please call the Vancouver National Historic Reserve Visitor Center after 9:30 a.m. the morning of your visit at 360-696-7655 x10, for the daily tour schedule. Blacksmiths labor in the Blacksmith Shop from 10:00 to 4:30, seven days a week. Groups of 15 or more people are requested to make a reservation for a tour two weeks prior to their visit.

Communities and Related Links
Fort Vancouver Web Site
Vancouver

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