Fort Vancouver National Historic Site
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News Releases
Upcoming Open House Highlights Youth Volunteers at Fort Vancouver National Historic Site - 07/18/17

On Saturday, July 29, 2017, from 10 am to 2 pm, Fort Vancouver National Historic Site's Youth Volunteer Program will host an Open House at the reconstructed Fort Vancouver. At the open house, students and adult aides from the program will demonstrate historic skills they have learned, and share what the school program has to offer for youth participants.

The Youth Volunteer Program is designed for youth ages 10 to 18, and is divided into two interacting tracks: the Dame School and the Young Engagé School. Both tracks are modeled after historic schools and other ways in which youth learned and developed skills at the Hudson's Bay Company's Fort Vancouver in the 1840s. Students in the program learn about the history of Fort Vancouver, and about everyday life in the 1800s. Students also develop hands-on skills in costumed and basic interpretation and gain practical experience in cultural demonstrations and other public programs.

Fort Vancouver National Historic Site Chief of Interpretation Bob Cromwell said, "The Youth Volunteer Program at this national park is a unique and wonderful way for young people to learn about history, and to gain important skills that will help them become great volunteers at our living history events." Cromwell continued, "Many of the skills they learn in the program -- public speaking, making presentations, and communicating effectively -- will also help them excel in their academic life and future careers."

To learn more about the Youth Volunteer Program, visit https://go.usa.gov/xR3FP

What: Youth Volunteer Program Open House

When: Saturday, July 29, 2017, from 10 am to 2 pm

Where: Reconstructed Fort Vancouver, 1001 E 5th Street, Vancouver, WA 98661

Cost: $5 for adults, youth ages 15 and under are free

Two-Day Event Highlights Military History at Fort Vancouver - 07/11/17

On Friday, July 21, and Saturday, July 22, a series of events at Fort Vancouver National Historic Site will highlight nearly 100 years of local military history.

Vintage Base Ball & Civil War Encampment

On July 22 from 9 am to 5 pm, volunteers from the 1st Oregon Volunteer Infantry, a local living history group, will set up a Civil War era encampment on the Vancouver Barracks Parade Ground. Visitors to the encampment will learn about military life during the 1860s and watch black powder musket demonstrations.

On July 22 at 6 pm, visitors will be invited to step back in time to watch a baseball game played by the rules of the 1860s. Costumed volunteers from the national park and the 1st Oregon Volunteer Infantry will portray two of the Pacific Northwest's earliest baseball teams: the Sherman Base Ball Club (consisting of Vancouver Barracks soldiers) and the Occidental Base Ball Club of the City of Vancouver. Vancouver's Mayor Pro Tem, Anne McEnerny-Ogle, will throw the first pitch.

Baseball (then called "base ball") in the 1860s was a very different game than it was today. The "hurler" - today's "pitcher" - threw to the striker's (batter's) liking, and there were no called or non-swinging strikes. Players wore no gloves, and could catch the ball on one bounce for an out. The game was played with an extensive code of conduct to ensure that all would play in a "gentlemanly" manner. For example, neither sliding into nor stealing bases were allowed. Along with the costumed players, volunteers will portray well-dressed "cranks" (base ball fans from the 1860s). Between innings, patriotic music from the 19th century will be played by the Vancouver Community Concert Band directed by Erin Hanson.

To learn more about early baseball history in Vancouver, the park's historic resource study, The National Game is Decidedly 'On the Fly': The Rise of Organized Base Ball in the Portland and Vancouver Area in 1867 can be downloaded as a PDF at http://go.usa.gov/5cmh

World War II Encampment

On July 21 and July 22 from 9 am to 5 pm, costumed living history volunteers from the 113th Cavalry Living History Group will host a World War II Encampment located just west of Pearson Air Museum. The camp will interpret Vancouver Barracks role as a wartime port of embarkation, where troops from various units were mustered together into combat formations for transportation to the various theaters of war throughout the world. Rare World War II equipment and vehicles will be a part of the encampment, while historic uniforms and photographs will be on exhibit in the Historic Hangar at Pearson Air Museum. Also in the Historic Hangar, vendors associated with the 113th Cavalry Living History Group will also be selling American World War II uniforms and equipment for re-enactors and other collectors.

Adventure Flight, LLC, of Lincoln, California will be operating a 1942 Cessna T50 "Bamboo Bomber," a World War II twin engine training airplane, from Pearson Field. The operators will be offering rides in this vintage "warbird" at a rate of $150 for a 15 minute ride, or $300 for a 30 minute ride. More information on this aircraft and the company can be found online at www.adventureflight.net

Thunder in the Mountains: Chief Joseph, Oliver Otis Howard, and the Nez Perce War

On July 22 from 1 pm to 3 pm, at the Fort Vancouver Visitor Center, author Daniel Sharfstein will discuss his new book, "Thunder in the Mountains: Chief Joseph, Oliver Otis Howard, and the Nez Perce War." Sharfstein's work illuminates one of the most enduring and tragic struggles in American history.

Today's conflicts over diversity, national identity, immigration, and foreign policy have their roots in America's pivot from post-Civil War Reconstruction to Western conquest, when a demand for civil rights and a fear of "others" were routinely at odds. "Thunder in the Mountains" is the story of a defining American struggle, brought to life by two of the most remarkable men in American history. By taking these debates back to their earliest days, Sharfstein helps to clarify how we continue to live in the world the Civil War made.

This event is sponsored by the Friends of Fort Vancouver. Copies of Sharfstein's book will be available for sale at the Fort Vancouver Visitor Center, operated by the Friends of Fort Vancouver.
Summary

What: Two days of military history at Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, featuring a Civil War-era encampment, a World War II-era encampment, the national park's annual Vintage Base Ball game, and a lecture by author Daniel Sharfstein.

Where and When:

World War II Encampment: Friday, July 21, 2017, and Saturday, July 22, 2017, 9 am to 5 pm, near Pearson Air Museum

Civil War-era Army Encampment: Saturday, July 22, 2017, 9 am to 5 pm, on the Vancouver Barracks Parade Ground

Vintage Base Ball Game: Saturday, July 22, 2017, 6 pm, on the Vancouver Barracks Parade Ground

Thunder in the Mountains: Chief Joseph, Oliver Otis Howard, and the Nez Perce War: Saturday, July 22, 2017, 1 pm to 3 pm, at the Fort Vancouver Visitor Center

Cost: All events are free.

On the Water Workshop Explores Boat-Building and Maritime History - 07/06/17

Wind & Oar Boat School and the National Park Service at Fort Vancouver National Historic Site will be offering On the Water, a hands-on workshop exploring maritime history for youth ages 10 to 15. Participants will apply math and science skills to build a simple skiff, rotating through several stations over the course of the week-long workshop. Along with the boat building activities, they will learn about the maritime heritage of the Pacific Northwest, with topics including waterways as transportation routes, early Euro-American exploration, maritime fur trade, 19th century carpentry and blacksmithing, and human manipulation of the Columbia River.

The workshop will take place at the Historic Hangar at Pearson Air Museum, Monday, July 31 through Friday, August 4, 2017. Two sessions will be offered: Session A (9 am to 1 pm) or Session B (12 pm to 4 pm). The final day of the workshop will be 9 am to 4pm for all participants, and will include launching the boat at Vancouver Lake. This workshop is for participants ages 10-15. Each session is limited to 10 participants, with reservations on a first-come, first-served basis.

"Fort Vancouver had the region's first boat yards, and the first steam powered ship, the S.S. Beaver, was built and launched from the post's wharf," said Chief of Interpretation Bob Cromwell. "This program draws inspiration from this history, and we welcome this new partnership with Wind & Oar Boat School, bringing hands-on, STEM related lessons that highlight the maritime history of the park."

On completing a course with Wind & Oar, a student commented to Executive Director Peter Crim, "I liked how everyone got a chance to help, I felt very included. I also enjoyed learning how to apply what we learned in math to something cool. This kinda answered the question - what do we need math for?"

This project is supported by the Washington State Historical Society with funds provided by the James B. Castles Endowment.

What: On the Water workshop at Fort Vancouver National Historic Site.

Where: The workshop will be held in the Historic Hangar at Pearson Air Museum, 1115 E 5th Street, Vancouver, WA 98661

When: July 31 through August 4, Session A (9 am to 1 pm) or Session B (12 pm to 4 pm).

Cost: Free -- but reservations are required. For reservations call (360) 816-6244.

Participants should bring a sack lunch each day and closed-toed shoes. Safety glasses and life jackets will be provided. Parents or guardians MUST provide all transportation, including to Vancouver Lake the afternoon of the final day.

Fort Vancouver National Historic Site Facilities Will be Open on Independence Day - 06/27/17

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, visitors' cars will not be permitted to enter or park in the park on July 4. 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 pm, the park facilities will be open later than usual, with both Fort Vancouver and Pearson Air Museum operating from 12 pm to 8 pm, and the park's Visitor Center and Bookstore operating from 12 pm to 5 pm. The usual fees will apply to enter the fort ($5.00 for adults, children 15 and under are free), while there is no fee to enter the Visitor Center or Pearson Air Museum.

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. The Visitor Center and Pearson Air Museum will have exhibits and films available for viewing as well.

The non-profit Friends of Fort Vancouver National Historic Site will operate the bookstore at the park's Visitor Center from 12 pm to 5 pm, and they will also be operating a sales tent area on E. 5th Street, adjacent to the main entry path to the fort from 12 pm to 8 pm.

Visitors are welcome to take a flight in a vintage 1930 bi-plane which will be operating from the taxiway adjacent to Pearson Air Museum. The operator, Nostalgic Warbird & Biplane Rides, piloted by Mike Carpentiero will be operating throughout the day. For more information on the costs of bi-plane rides, please visit http://nostalgicwarbirdrides.com/, or call (512) 203-2341.

What: Independence Day at Fort Vancouver National Historic Site. Learn more about this event, produced by the Fort Vancouver National Trust, at http://4th.fortvan.org/

Where: Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, including the reconstructed Hudson's Bay Company Fort Vancouver, the Visitor Center, and Pearson Air Museum

When: Tuesday, July 4, 2017, 12 pm to 8 pm

Cost: Entrance to the reconstructed Fort Vancouver is $5.00 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.