Fort Vancouver National Historic Site is a fascinating destination located in Vancouver, Washington, just across the Columbia River from Portland, Oregon. The site is home to a reconstructed fort that was once the center of the Hudson’s Bay Company’s fur trading operations in the Pacific Northwest. Today, the fort and its surrounding grounds offer visitors a glimpse into the region’s rich history and culture.

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The fort was originally built in 1825 by the Hudson’s Bay Company, a British fur trading company that operated throughout the Pacific Northwest. The fort served as a hub for the company’s operations, including the trading of furs, salmon, and other goods with local Native American tribes. The fort was also a center of British influence in the region, and played a key role in the Oregon boundary dispute between the United States and Great Britain in the mid-19th century.

Today, visitors to Fort Vancouver National Historic Site can explore the reconstructed fort and its surrounding grounds, which include a variety of historic buildings and exhibits. The fort itself is a faithful reconstruction of the original structure, and features a variety of exhibits and demonstrations that showcase life in the 19th century. Visitors can see blacksmiths at work, watch demonstrations of traditional crafts, and learn about the daily life of the fort’s inhabitants.

One of the most popular attractions at Fort Vancouver National Historic Site is the annual Brigade Encampment, which takes place every summer. The encampment is a reenactment of the annual fur trading rendezvous that took place in the region in the 19th century, and features hundreds of reenactors in period dress, as well as demonstrations of traditional crafts, music, and dance.

For those interested in the history of the region’s Native American tribes, the site also offers a variety of exhibits and programs that explore the culture and traditions of the Chinook, Cowlitz, and other tribes that lived in the area. The site’s Visitor Center features a variety of exhibits and artifacts that showcase the region’s rich cultural heritage, as well as a bookstore and gift shop where visitors can purchase books, souvenirs, and other items related to the site’s history.

Overall, Fort Vancouver National Historic Site is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in the history and culture of the Pacific Northwest. With its fascinating exhibits, engaging programs, and beautiful grounds, the site offers visitors a unique and immersive experience that is sure to inspire and educate. Whether you’re a history buff, a nature lover, or just looking for a fun and educational day out, Fort Vancouver National Historic Site is a destination that should not be missed.

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