Fort Vancouver National Historic Site
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News Releases
World War II Encampment Returns to Fort Vancouver National Historic Site - 07/11/19

The National Park Service at Fort Vancouver National Historic Site is pleased to announce that a World War II living history encampment will occur on Saturday, July 20, from 9 am to 5 pm. This free event is in partnership with the Living History Group Northwest, a local World War II living history organization.  

“The U.S. Army had over 160 years of history here, and the military story at Vancouver Barracks definitely includes World War II,” said Supervisory Park Ranger Bob Cromwell. “During World War II this was the Vancouver Port of Embarkation, and Army units were organized, equipped, and shipped out to combat theaters in Africa, Europe and the Pacific.”

The reenactors will portray members of various U.S. Army units from World War II, as well as the homefront workers commonly known as “Rosie the Riveter.” The volunteers will bring World War II uniforms, weapons, tents and equipment, including period Army jeeps, and trucks. The encampment will be set up to the west of Pearson Air Museum, and will include temporary exhibits inside of the museum’s Historic Hangar.

“We are excited to grow this partnership with the National Park Service to bring a World War II living history event to Fort Vancouver National Historic Site,” said Eric Porter, Unit Commander of the 113th Cavalry Living History Group. “This is the fourth year we have participated in this event at the park, and every year it just gets bigger!” 

The public is welcome to stroll through the encampment, talk to the living history reenactors, and get a close up view of uniforms and equipment. Pearson Air Museum will be open from 9 am to 5 pm during the event, and the public is encouraged to park in the museum’s parking lot, or along E 5th Street. 

What: World War II living history encampment

Who: Living History Group Northwest, in partnership with the National Park Service at Fort Vancouver National Historic Site

When: July 20, 9 am to 5 pm

Where: West of Pearson Air Museum, 1115 E 5th Street, Vancouver, WA 98661

Cost: Free

National Park Service and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to Welcome New Citizens at Naturalization Ceremony on July 3 - 06/28/19

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), in partnership with Fort Vancouver National Historic Site (NHS), will welcome new United States citizens at a naturalization ceremony taking place at the Historic Hangar at Pearson Air Museum on July 3, 2019.

At the ceremony, 40 new citizens representing countries from around the world will be sworn in by Richard Miller, Director of the USCIS Portland Field Office. Tracy Fortmann, Fort Vancouver NHS Superintendent, will welcome the candidates for citizenship and their families to this national park, which has a rich, multicultural history. The event’s keynote speaker will be Karen Hengerer, an active retiree who volunteers on voter registration projects and teaches classes for those getting ready for citizenship exams. The Vancouver Community Concert Band, under the direction of Erin Hanson, will provide patriotic music.

The USCIS invites new citizens, their families, friends, and the public to share in the long tradition of welcoming our new citizens. Naturalization ceremonies have been taking place at Fort Vancouver National Historic Site since 2010 as part of a national agreement between the National Park Service and the USCIS. Superintendent Fortmann stated, “The National Park System is uniquely American. The American people have chosen to set aside nationally significant places for all Americans, not just for today or for a few generations, but forever. It so seems fitting that we hold naturalization ceremonies on national park ground. As new citizens, national parks are now part of their legacy and future, as they are for all Americans!”

Fortmann further noted, “United States citizenship is something so many of us take for granted. It’s easy to forget how important it is, and what it means to new citizens and their families. As we welcome and congratulate these new Americans, I hope that everyone who joins us for this very special day will be reminded of the diverse community at Fort Vancouver on which our city was founded, and will remember the perseverance of their own ancestors, which allowed them to be with us today.”

What: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Naturalization Ceremony

Where: The Historic Hangar at Pearson Air Museum, part of Fort Vancouver National Historic Site. Located at 1115 E 5th Street, Vancouver, WA 98661.

When: July 3, 2019. The ceremony will begin promptly at noon. Please arrive no later than 11:45 am.

Fort Vancouver National Historic Site Facilities Will Be Open on July 4, 2019 - 06/25/19

The National Park Service welcomes you to Fort Vancouver National Historic Site to celebrate Independence Day! Due to the Independence Day at Fort Vancouver event, only visitors who have a disabled parking pass for their cars will be permitted to park on site on July 4, 2019. However, all park facilities, including the Visitor Center, the reconstructed Fort Vancouver, and Pearson Air Museum, will be open to pedestrian access after visitors enter through one of the three security checked gates.

As the fireworks show will not start until 10:05 pm, the park facilities will be open later than usual. Fort Vancouver and Pearson Air Museum will be open 12 pm to 8 pm. The park’s Visitor Center will be open from 12 pm to 5 pm. There is no fee to enter the Visitor Center or Pearson Air Museum. Entrance to the reconstructed Fort Vancouver stockade costs $10 for adults; youth ages 15 and under are free. America the Beautiful passes are honored.

The Bookstore at the Visitor Center, operated by the non-profit Friends of Fort Vancouver, will be open from 12 pm to 5 pm, with an extended shop located directly adjacent to the Visitor Center open until 8 pm. The Bookstore offers a wide variety of items related to the site, including books, artwork, jewelry, tea, and snacks.

National Park Service staff and volunteers will be dressed in period costumes throughout the reconstructed fort to help bring the site to life and present the lifeways of the 19th century fur trade. Civil War era and 1930s era US Army reenactors will be located just north of the reconstructed fort. The Visitor Center and Pearson Air Museum will have exhibits and films available for viewing as well.


What: Independence Day at Fort Vancouver National Historic Site. Learn more about this event, produced by the National Trust, at https://www.thehistorictrust.org/celebrate-freedom-events/independence-day/
 
Where: Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, including the reconstructed Hudson’s Bay Company Fort Vancouver, the Visitor Center, and Pearson Air Museum
 
When: Thursday, July 4, 2019, 12 pm to 8 pm
 
Cost: Entrance to the reconstructed Fort Vancouver is $10.00 for adults and free for children 15 and under. All interagency (America the Beautiful) passes are honored. Pearson Air Museum and the Visitor Center are free of charge.
 

National Park Service Commemorates Russian-American Aviation Achievement at Pearson Air Museum - 06/18/19

On Saturday, June 22, 2019, the National Park Service will commemorate the 82nd anniversary of the landing of the world's first transpolar flight at Pearson Field. This free, public wreath laying ceremony will take place at Pearson Air Museum, a part of Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, and will highlight the significance of this historic event to our community.

On the morning of June 20, 1937, pilot Valery Chkalov, along with co-pilot Georgi Baidukov and navigator Alexander Belyakov, landed at Pearson Field. Their flight from Moscow and over the North Pole, the first of its kind, had lasted 63 hours and 16 minutes.

"This signature aviation event was an incredible achievement that brought fame to Vancouver’s Pearson Field," said Fort Vancouver National Historic Site's Pearson Air Museum Manager Bob Cromwell. "The incredible journey made by Chkalov, Baidukov, and Belyakov was more than just a feat of human endurance and a technological achievement; it was a major moment in U.S.-Russian relations before the Second World War."

Join the National Park Service, Russian dignitaries from Washington D.C., and our partners at this brief program, which will include music provided by the Vancouver Community Concert Band, brief remarks, and a wreath laying ceremony at the memorial, located adjacent to the air museum. Following the wreath laying, complimentary refreshments will be provided. Visitors are also invited to tour A Red Bolt from the Blue, an exhibit at Pearson Air Museum that highlights the history of the transpolar flight.

Learn more about the history of the 1937 flight here.

WHATFrom Moscow to Russia: Valery Chkalov and the First Transpolar Flight, a public event honoring the 82nd anniversary of this historic flight. The focal point of this event is the wreath laying at the Chkalov Memorial.

WHEN: Saturday, June 22, 2019, 11 am

WHERE: Pearson Air Museum, 1115, E. Fifth Street, Vancouver, WA 98661

COST: Free