Ever wonder who works in the buildings in Vancouver Barracks? We did, and decided it was time to find out. After all, the Army plans to leave the barracks by this time next year. So, with help from the Army, the National Park Service and the Fort Vancouver National Trust we set out to learn the history and current use of each building in the West, East and South barracks. We figured a huge print map in The Columbian would be fascinating. But then we realized by creating an interactive map for www.columbian.com we could have a lasting, living document. Columbian artist Marsha Matta created the interactive map. We hope you enjoy clicking around the map and finding explanations, photographs and videos. Our thanks to dozens of persons who work in Vancouver Barracks for helping us with the project. —Dave Kern, project editor
« Back All those buildings in Vancouver Barracks and Officers Row need no longer be a mystery. Click around our interactive map, created by Columbian artist Marsha Matta. You'll find photos, descriptions and videos. Take your time because there's plenty to see.
« Back Grab a glimpse of 160 years of military history with our stories and photos. Learn about units that have drilled in the barracks, including the "Timberwolves."
« Back Could a hotel, an arts facility and other commercial buildings be in West Barracks' future? With the success of the Red Cross building as a place for special occasions, the folks at the Fort Vancouver National Trust are hoping to make big things happen.
« Back Read more about the Red Cross building and the Artillery Barracks and read a historian's account of 160 years at Vancouver Barracks.
Each stair in this U.S. Army Reserve administration building on the Fort Vancouver National Site carries a message for a boot-clad foot — and the soldier attached to it. Left foot: “I will never accept defeat.” Right foot: “I will never quit.” Left foot: “I will never leave a fallen comrade.” Up it goes to the top.
Opened on Nov. 29, 1880, the Vancouver Barracks Post Exchange Shoppette was the first store of its kind — a haven for servicemen and veterans to shop at deeply discounted prices. Yet the original shop that served as the prototype for the thousands of post exchanges that now exist worldwide may disappear.
The Army Reserve and Washington National Guard occupy 27 buildings in the East and South Barracks. Vancouver Barracks hosts a family resource center for identification cards and family support, a post exchange, and a beauty and barber shop. 1825: Hudson’s Bay Co. builds Fort Vancouver near the Columbia River, laying the foundation for future Vancouver Barracks.
Vancouver Barracks is home to about 850 Army Reservists. By summer 2011, plans call for all soldiers to be out of the barracks. Their missions include training potential soldiers through summer programs; supporting ROTC summer programs; providing drill sergeants for Army Basic Training; training prospective drill sergeants; and training medical professionals for wartime and peacetime duty. The tents you see near Fifth Street are for the medical professionals to train in a field-like environment.