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Lewis & Clark's Columbia River - "200 Years Later"
"Officers Row, Vancouver, Washington"
Includes ... Officers Row ... Vancouver National Historic Reserve ... Grant House ... Marshall House ... Howard House ... Townhouses ... The Golden Age of Postcards ...
Image, 2004, Marshall House on Officers Row, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
George C. Marshall House on Officers Row, Vancouver National Historic Reserve. Image taken March 8, 2004.


Officers Row ...
Vancouver, Washington's Officers Row is a beautiful tree-lined row of homes, now a part of the Vancouver National Historic Reserve. The oldest homes date to the early days of Vancouver Barracks in the mid-1800s, with the Ulysses S. Grant House being the first built. The homes served as residential housing for many of the soldiers, officers and families who were stationed there.

"... A grassroots effort to save the historic site began in the mid-1970s. In 1980, the property was declared surplus by the U.S. Army. In 1984, it was deeded to the city for $1. Following public debate on possible uses and finances, the city initiated a $10.9 million rehabilitation effort in 1987. Funding sources included $2.5 million from the state, $1.1 million from the city, $5.8 million in municipal bonds and $1.5 million from interest and early lease income. In 1988, the first tenants moved in. Today's Officers Row has residential units, office space plus the Grant, Marshall and Howard houses. ..." [City of Vancouver Website, 2006]

In 1974 Officers Row and the Fort Vancouver Barracks were listed on the National Register of Historic Places (District - #74001948). Nearby Fort Vancouver is also on the Register.


Image, 2006, General Headquarters, on Officers Row, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
"General Headquarters", on Officers Row, Vancouver National Historic Reserve. Once known as "General Headquarters", today a private residence. Image taken August 26, 2006.
Image, 2006, General Headquarters, on Officers Row, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Officers Row, Vancouver National Historic Reserve. Image taken August 26, 2006.


Vancouver National Historic Reserve ...
The 366-acre Vancouver National Historic Reserve is located in Vancouver, Washington, and was established in October 1996. It includes not only Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, but also adjacent historical areas, as Vancouver Barracks, Officer's Row, and Pearson Field. Lewis and Clark passed through this area on November 4, 1805, on their journey to the Pacific Ocean. Captain Clark walked upon the "Small Prarie", later known as "Jolie Prairie". On their return, their campsite of March 30, 1806 was on the "beautifull prarie".
[More]

Image, 2006, Vancouver Barracks, Vancouver, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Gazebo and Vancouver Barracks, Vancouver, Washington, as seen from Officer's Row. This entire area is part of the Vancouver National Historic Reserve. Image taken August 27, 2006.


Other Hudson's Bay Company and Fort Vancouver information ...



The Houses on Officer's Row
Grant House ...

The Grant House was constructed as the commanding officer's quarters and was the first house built on Officers' Row. The Grant House was named after Ulysses S. Grant, who was stationed at Vancouver Barracks in the 1850s as a quartermaster. He returned as a visitor to Vancouver Barracks in 1879 after serving two terms as President of the United States. The house was renamed in Grant's honor after he achieved his military and political success. The oldest building remaining at Vancouver Barracks, the Grant House later served as an officers club for over a quarter century. Today (2006) the Grant House open to the Public and houses "The Restaurant at the Historic Reserve".

Image, 2006, Grant House on Officers Row, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Grant House on Officers Row, Vancouver National Historic Reserve. Image taken August 27, 2006.
Image, 2006, Grant House on Officers Row, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Grant House on Officers Row, Vancouver National Historic Reserve. Image taken August 27, 2006.
Image, 2006, Grant House on Officers Row, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Grant House on Officers Row, Vancouver National Historic Reserve. Image taken August 27, 2006.
Image, 2006, Grant House on Officers Row, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Grant House on Officers Row, Vancouver National Historic Reserve. Image taken August 27, 2006.


Grant House ... decorated for Christmas ...

Image, 2007, Grant House on Officers Row, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Decorated for Christmas, Grant House on Officers Row, Vancouver National Historic Reserve. Image taken December 29, 2007.
Image, 2007, Grant House on Officers Row, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Decorated for Christmas, Grant House on Officers Row, Vancouver National Historic Reserve. Image taken December 29, 2007.
Image, 2007, Grant House on Officers Row, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Decorated for Christmas, Grant House on Officers Row, Vancouver National Historic Reserve. Image taken December 29, 2007.


Marshall House ...

The Marshall House was built in 1886, and replaced the Grant House as the home of the commanding officer of the Department of the Columbia. This Queen Anne Victorian home was named for George C. Marshall, commanding officer at Vancouver Barracks from 1936-38, and later U.S. Army Chief of Staff during World War II, Secretary of State and Secretary of Defense. Today (2006) the home is open to the Public and features 1800s-period antiques and houses the "Victorian Gift Shop".

Image, 2006, Marshall House on Officers Row, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Marshall House on Officers Row, Vancouver National Historic Reserve. Image taken August 27, 2006.
Image, 2006, Marshall House on Officers Row, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Marshall House on Officers Row, Vancouver National Historic Reserve. Image taken August 27, 2006.
Image, 2006, Marshall House on Officers Row, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Marshall House on Officers Row, Vancouver National Historic Reserve. Image taken August 26, 2006.
Image, 2006, Marshall House on Officers Row, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Marshall House on Officers Row, Vancouver National Historic Reserve. Image taken August 26, 2006.
Image, 2006, Marshall House on Officers Row, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Marshall House on Officers Row, Vancouver National Historic Reserve. Image taken August 26, 2006.


Marshall House ... October 7, 2007 ...

Image, 2007, Marshall House on Officers Row, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Marshall House on Officers Row, Vancouver National Historic Reserve. Image taken October 7, 2007.
Image, 2007, Marshall House on Officers Row, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Marshall House on Officers Row, Vancouver National Historic Reserve. Image taken October 7, 2007.
Image, 2007, Marshall House on Officers Row, click to enlarge
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Stairs, Marshall House on Officers Row, Vancouver National Historic Reserve. Image taken October 7, 2007.
Image, 2007, Marshall House on Officers Row, click to enlarge
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Door glass, Marshall House on Officers Row, Vancouver National Historic Reserve. Image taken October 7, 2007.
Image, 2007, Marshall House on Officers Row, click to enlarge
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Stained Glass, Marshall House on Officers Row, Vancouver National Historic Reserve. Image taken October 7, 2007.
Image, 2007, Marshall House on Officers Row, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Chandelier, Marshall House on Officers Row, Vancouver National Historic Reserve. Image taken October 7, 2007.
Image, 2007, Marshall House on Officers Row, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Painting, Mount Hood, Marshall House on Officers Row, Vancouver National Historic Reserve. Image taken October 7, 2007.
Image, 2007, Marshall House on Officers Row, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
On the fireplace mantle, David E. Wieprecht photograph, Marshall House on Officers Row, Vancouver National Historic Reserve. Image taken October 7, 2007.
Image, 2007, Marshall House on Officers Row, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
David E. Wieprecht, 1947-2007, Marshall House on Officers Row, Vancouver National Historic Reserve. Image taken October 7, 2007.
Image, 2007, Marshall House on Officers Row, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Flag, Marshall House on Officers Row, Vancouver National Historic Reserve. Image taken October 7, 2007.
Image, 2007, Marshall House on Officers Row, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Playing Taps, Marshall House on Officers Row, Vancouver National Historic Reserve. Image taken October 7, 2007.


Howard House ...

The Howard House was the last historic structure to be rehabilitated on Officers Row. The house was built in 1879 and is an example of late-19th century Italianate-style architecture. It was named after General Oliver Otis Howard, Commander of the U.S. Army's Department of the Columbia in Vancouver between 1874 and 1880, and recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor in the Civil War. Howard University in Washington, D.C. was also named after General Howard. Today (2006) the Howard House serves as a visitor information center for the Vancouver National Historic Reserve.

Image, 2005, Howard House on Officers Row, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
General O.O. Howard House on Officers Row, Vancouver National Historic Reserve. Image taken July 3, 2005.
Image, 2005, Howard House, Vancouver Reserve, Washington, click to enlarge
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Howard House, Vancouver Reserve, Washington. Image taken July 3, 2005.
Image, 2005, Howard House, Vancouver Reserve, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Howard House, Vancouver Reserve, Washington. Image taken July 3, 2005.


Townhouses ...

Many of the homes along Officers Row are rented to offices or private families.

Penny Postcard, Officers Row, General Headquarters, Vancouver, Washington, ca.1918
Click image to enlarge
Penny Postcard: Officer's Row, "General Headquarters", Vancouver, Washington, ca.1918. Penny Postcard, Postmarked 1918, "General Headquarters, Department of the Columbia, Vancouver, Wash. On the North Bank Road.". Published by Portland Post Card Co., Portland, Oregon. Card #P1415. In the private collection of Lyn Topinka.
Image, 2006, General Headquarters, on Officers Row, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
"General Headquarters", on Officers Row, Vancouver National Historic Reserve. Image taken August 26, 2006.
Image, 2006, General Headquarters, on Officers Row, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
"General Headquarters", on Officers Row, Vancouver National Historic Reserve. Image taken August 26, 2006.
Image, 2006, General Headquarters, on Officers Row, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
"General Headquarters", on Officers Row, Vancouver National Historic Reserve. Image taken August 26, 2006.


"The Golden Age of Postcards" ...

The early 1900s was the "Golden Age of Postcards". The "Penny Postcard" became a popular way to send greetings to friends and family. Today the "Penny Postcard" has become an image of history.

Penny Postcard, Officers Row, General Headquarters, Vancouver, Washington, ca.1918
Click image to enlarge
Penny Postcard: Officer's Row, "General Headquarters", Vancouver, Washington, ca.1918. Penny Postcard, Postmarked 1918, "General Headquarters, Department of the Columbia, Vancouver, Wash. On the North Bank Road.". Published by Portland Post Card Co., Portland, Oregon. Card #P1415. In the private collection of Lyn Topinka.


From the Journals of Lewis and Clark ...

Clark, November 4, 1805 ...
A cloudy cool morning wind from the West we Set out at 1/2 past 8 oClock [from their camp on the north side of Government Island, approximately across from Fisher's Landing], one man Shannon Set out early to walk on the Island [Government Island] to kill Something, he joined us at the lower point with a Buck. This island is 6 miles long and near 3 miles wide thinly timbered     (Tide rose last night 18 inches perpndicular at Camp) near the lower point of this diamond Island [Government Island] is The head of a large Island Seperated from a Small one by a narrow chanel [Lewis and Clark show two large islands on their maps, both in today's Government Island area], and both Situated nearest the Lard Side, those Islands [even today the Government Island reach is a complex of many islands] as also the bottoms are thickly Covered with Pine &c. river wide, Country low on both Sides; [since 1983 the Interstate 205 bridge crosses Government Island connecting Oregon to Washington]     on the Main Lard Shore a Short distance below the last Island we landed at a village of 25 Houses: [near Portland International Airport]; ...     This village contains about 200 men of the Skil-loot nation ...

at 7 miles below this village passed the upper point of a large Island [Hayden Island] nearest the Lard Side, a Small Prarie [Jolie Prairie, today the location of Fort Vancouver and Pearson Airpark. Lewis and Clark camp on this prairie on their return] in which there is a pond [one of the many ponds which use to dot this area] opposit on the Stard. here I landed and walked on Shore, about 3 miles a fine open Prarie for about 1 mile, back of which the countrey rises gradually and wood land comencies Such as white oake, pine of different kinds, wild crabs with the taste and flavour of the common crab and Several Species of undergroth of which I am not acquainted, a few Cottonwood trees & the Ash of this countrey grow Scattered on the river bank, ...     joined Capt. Lewis at a place he had landed with the party for Diner. ...

dureing the time we were at dinner those fellows Stold my pipe Tomahawk which They were Smoking with [Tomahawk pipe, thus giving rise to the name Tomahawk Island] ...    we proceeded on

[The men have passed through the area which, 20 years later, Dr. John McLoughlin would choose for a trading post of the Hudson's Bay Company, later to become Fort Vancouver and eventually the city of Vancouver, Washington.]

met a large & a Small Canoe from below, with 12 men the large Canoe was ornimented with Images carved in wood the figures of <man &> a Bear in front & a man in Stern, Painted & fixed verry netely on the <bow & Stern> of the Canoe, rising to near the hight of a man [Lewis and Clark then named Hayden Island "Image Canoe Island"]     two Indians verry finely Dressed & with hats on was in this canoe passed the lower point of the Island [Hayden Island] which is nine miles in length haveing passed 2 Islands on the Stard Side of this large Island [the location of Vancouver Landing and since 1917 the Interstate 5 Bridge connecting Oregon to Washington State], three Small Islands at its lower point [The downstream end of Hayden Island was at one time composed of small islands. One of these, Pearcy Island, would become today's Kelley Point.]. the Indians make Signs that a village is Situated back of those Islands on the Lard. Side and I believe that a Chanel is Still on the Lrd. Side [it wasn't until Lewis and Clark's return trip they would discover the mouth of the Willamette River] as a Canoe passed in between the Small Islands, and made Signs that way, probably to traffick with Some of the nativs liveing on another Chanel, at 3 miles lower [Sauvie Island is located at this stretch, but it is not until the return that Lewis and Clark recognize it as a separate island], and 12 Leagues below quick Sand river [Sandy River] passed a village of four large houses on The Lard. Side [on Sauvie Island], near which we had a full view of Mt. Helien [Mount St. Helens, Washington] which is perhaps the highest pinical in America from their base it bears N. 25 E about 90 miles- This is the mountain I Saw from the Muscle Shell rapid [Umatilla Rapids, Captain Clark actually saw Mount Adams] on the 19th of October last Covered with Snow, it rises Something in the form of a Sugar lofe- about a mile lower passed a Single house on the Lard. Side, and one on the Stard. Side, passed a village on each Side and Camped near a house on the Stard. Side [Post Office Lake vicinity, today within the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge] we proceeded on untill one hour after dark with a view to get clear of the nativs who was constantly about us, and troublesom, finding that we could not get Shut of those people for one night, we landed and Encamped on the Stard. Side ...

This evening we Saw vines much resembling the raspberry which is verry thick in the bottoms. A range of high hills at about 5 miles on the Lard Side [Portland's West Hills'] which runs S. E. & N W. Covered with tall timber the bottoms below in this range of hills and the river is rich and leavel, Saw White geese with a part of their wings black. The river here is 1 miles wide, and current jentle. opposite to our camp on a Small Sandy Island [one of the small sandy islands prevelent in this stretch of the Columbia. Today the Willow Bar Islands on the east side of Sauvie Island lie across from Post Office Lake.] the brant & geese make Such a noise that it will be impossible for me to Sleap. we made 29 miles to day





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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: City of Vancouver website, 2004, 2006; National Register of Historic Places website, 2005; U.S. National Park Service website, 2004, Fort Vancouver National Historic Site.

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 2011