Lewis and Clark's Columbia River
Lewis & Clark's Columbia River - "200 Years Later"
"Fort Vancouver, Washington ... Village"
Includes ... The Village ... Kanaka Village ... Company Village ... Fort Vancouver ...
Image, 2011, Fort Vancouver, Kanaka Village, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Village information sign, Fort Vancouver, Washington. Image taken August 2, 2011.


The Village ...
The fields west of Fort Vancouver once was a thriving community of Hudson's Bay employees. Often referred to as the "Kanaka Village" or "Company Village", the community once housed 300 employees, with the majority being French-Canadians, Indians, Eupropeans, and Hawaiians.

Image, 2011, Fort Vancouver, Kanaka Village, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
House, "The Village", Fort Vancouver, Washington. Image taken August 2, 2011.


Reconstruction ...
On June 19, 2010, the two replica houses of the Fort Vancouver Village were dedicated. At one time 60 houses for Fort Vancouver employees occupied the field west of the Fort. According to the U.S. National Park Service website (2010),   "... The reconstructed houses are of the same architectural style as represented by historic images, accounts, and archaeological data. In addition, new wood fence lines have been added around these houses, reflecting an aspect of the historical landscape that is portrayed on some of the historical images of the Village. ..."

Image, 2011, Fort Vancouver, Kanaka Village, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Replica, "The Village", Fort Vancouver, Washington. Image taken August 2, 2011.
Image, 2011, Fort Vancouver, Kanaka Village, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
House, "The Village", Fort Vancouver, Washington. Image taken August 2, 2011.
Image, 2011, Fort Vancouver, Kanaka Village, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
House, "The Village", Fort Vancouver, Washington. Image taken August 2, 2011.
Image, 2011, Fort Vancouver, Kanaka Village, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
House, "The Village", Fort Vancouver, Washington. Image taken August 2, 2011.


"Kanaka Village" ...

"Established with the fort in 1829, the village was one of the largest settlements in the West during its time.

Housing the workers and their families, and the fur brigades when they returned from their expeditions, the population of the village exceeded 600 people during peak times.

Company employees, their wives, and children supported the Fort's extensive operations including several hundred square miles of agricultural land, a shipyard, distillery, tannery, sawmill, gristmill, and dairies.

During the late 1840s and early 1850s, slowing returns from trapping and growing numbers of settlers led to a shift in focus from the fur brigades to land-based mercantile opportunities.

With this change came a shift in the village activity and population. The numbers of Hawaiian employees increased, such that by the 1850s the village became known as "Kanaka Town," or "Kanaka Village," referring to the Hawaiian word for "person."

Not only was the village a living quarters for the Company employees, it was also crucial in establishing the U.S. Army as a permanent presence in the Pacific Northwest.

Arriving in 1849, the U.S. Army and the Hudson's Bay Company coexisted amicably -- at first. The Army rented many of the village buildings, hired Native American laborers, and made use of the trade available through the Fort's market.

In the early 1850s, the Army built several new buildings in the village area, including the Quartermaster Depot, shown in the photo, and Captain Rufus Ingalls' house, where Ulysses S. Grant lived from 1852 until 1853.

Increasing pressure on land in the West by American settlers and declining returns from trapping soured the relations between the Army and Fort Vancouver in the latter half of the 1850s.

The Hudson's Bay Company withdrew its operations to Victoria B.C. in June of 1860, leaving the Fort and village in the hands of the Army.

The Army occupied some of the buildings, but fire destroyed all visible traces of the establishment by 1866. After 1866, the Army used the Kanaka Village area in a variety of ways, from a drill ground to a motor pool.

With the creation of the Civilian Conservation Corps or CCC (1933-1942), the village area became the regional training facility and headquarters of the CCC. The CCC was responsible for many regional public works projects, such as Timberline Lodge.

From one of the largest, multiethnic communities in the West, through the coexistence of the U.S. Army and the Hudson's Bay Company, to the headquarters of the CCC in the middle of the 20th century, Kanaka Village holds great potential to provide visitors a unique experience of history."


Source:   U.S. National Park Service website, 2011, Fort Vancouver


Archaeological Dig ...

Image, 2011, Fort Vancouver, Archaeological Dig, Kanaka Village, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Archaeological dig at the Village grounds, Fort Vancouver, Washington. Image taken August 2, 2011.
Image, 2011, Fort Vancouver, Archaeological Dig, Kanaka Village, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Archaeological dig at the Village grounds, Fort Vancouver, Washington. Image taken August 2, 2011.


More ...


From the Journals of Lewis and Clark ...

Clark, November 4, 1805 ...





Clark, March 30, 1806 ...




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*River Miles [RM] are approximate, in statute miles, and were determined from USGS topo maps, obtained from NOAA nautical charts, or obtained from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers website, 2003

Sources:    [see Sources from Fort Vancouver];   

All Lewis and Clark quotations from Gary Moulton editions of the Lewis and Clark Journals, University of Nebraska Press, all attempts have been made to type the quotations exactly as in the Moulton editions, however typing errors introduced by this web author cannot be ruled out; location interpretation from variety of sources, including this website author.
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August 2016