The Friends of Multnomah Falls take their volunteers on an Interpretive Training Bus Tour each Spring. This past Saturday we visited Fort Vancouver. Fort Vancouver was a 19th century fur trading post that was the headquarters of the Hudson's Bay Company's Columbia Department.
I toured the site many years ago and was happy to see how much more wonderful it is now. We entered through a magnificent vegetable garden. It truly made you feel as if you were walking back in time to when the early settlers were living there.
The chives looked lovely, in bloom. There were lettuces of many varieties ready to eat and it was fun to try to identify each of the small vegetable plants as we walked through.
After entering the gate we got a wonderful and thorough history of the site from a National Park Service employee. We then walked towards the Fur Warehouse to learn more. I turned back to snap a photo of the Chief Factor's House which I would get to enter later. For information of each of these structures, click HERE.
I turned to my left and snapped a photo of the Counting House.
The Bastion was used for security for the fort.
Then I hurried on to catch up with the volunteers heading into the Fur Warehouse. This is where the furs were bundled and prepared for shipment to England.
A very colorfully dressed interpretive volunteer told us about the fur trade of the time and showed us the furs from different animals.
These are badgers. We were told that a fur company donated all these furs to them when it was closing down, so no new animals were harmed with the furs they have there on display.
Beaver fur was felted to make top hats which were the fashion of the day. Here are several different furs - wolf, fox, otter and others.
I asked our "French Canadian Voyageur" if I could get a photo of him outside. :-)
Next up was the Trading Post which is on the right. The Dispensary is on the left where health care was given.
I love the Trading Post! It's full of period items the fort dwellers and Indians needed. The native people would trade furs for beads, metal teapots, tobacco, meat, blankets, calico and much more.
I love the beads hanging there, I imagine there were more colorful ones back in the day.
The blankets were very important as the winters here are very cold and damp.
Wouldn't you love a bowl like those?
Next up was the Blacksmith Shop. We were thrilled to see three of the smiths at work.
The smith on the right was operating a huge ceiling hung bellows and shortly a bright fire came to life.
A display of just some of the things that are made here - then and now.
From the moment we arrived we were charmed by adults and many children dressed in period costume who were populating the fort. Here the youngsters were learning to put up tents on the grounds. Beyond them is the Bake House - which unfortunately we ran out time to visit. :-(
A lovely scene.
I hurried on to see inside the Chief Factors House - I loved how each of the rooms were painted bright primary colors. Wouldn't you love to sit down to a meal there?
What color would you call this? Jade? This is where the leaders in the fort dined together.
The parlour - what I love is how the people of that time had the same ideas of comfort and interior design that we still do today.
The children's room. See how the cots fold up for more play room for the day?
A bedroom. I love that bed!
This was a charming sampler on the wall. They had many more children but not all of them lived to adulthood.
After our tour we went to the Grant House on Officers Row for a wonderful lunch. Our group filled this entire room.
The Grant House.
A charming gazebo across from the Grant House.
After this we visited the Pearson Air Museum and then the bus went on to Troutdale to tour the Barn Museum and the Harlowe House. I hope you enjoyed visiting along with us!