Thursday, September 16, 2021
Sept. 16, 2021

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New Fort Vancouver exhibit tells lesser-known tales

Through Aug. 28, walking tour explores barracks life in 1880s

By , Columbian Features editor
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A new outdoor exhibit at the Fort Vancouver National Historic Site explores what life was like at the Army post in the 1880s.
A new outdoor exhibit at the Fort Vancouver National Historic Site explores what life was like at the Army post in the 1880s. (Erik Robinson) Photo Gallery

A new outdoor exhibit and walking tour at Fort Vancouver National Historic Site explores barracks life in the 1880s.

“There’s a lot to sink your teeth into,” said Meagan Huff, curator at the historic site. “A lot of what was going on in the 1880s is relevant to what we’re talking about today in the news.”

Six interpretive panels, spaced between the Visitors Center and the East Barracks, will remain up until Aug. 28. You can see a map of the stations, as well as a series of articles, at the National Park Service’s Fort Vancouver website, nps.gov/fova.

The exhibit tells lesser-known stories from the U.S. Army post’s history, Huff said.

These include stories of Chinese immigrants who worked on Officers Row, Army wives who took jobs washing uniforms so they could stay with their husbands, and painful episodes in the post’s past, like the incarceration of Native Americans during the Indian Wars, Huff said.

“So many people come to our national park. We want to make sure everyone feels welcome and can see themselves reflected in the stories here and feel connected to the past,” Huff said.

Huff will lead free 45-minute walking tours at 9:30 a.m. Friday and Saturday, as well as Aug. 20 and 21. The tours, recommended for ages 10 and older, will begin at the parking lot at the intersection of Hatheway Road and Fort Vancouver Way.

Call 360-816-6230 to reserve a spot; the tours are limited to 20 participants.

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