100,000-149,999 SparkPoints 147,814

Silver Spies Visit Vancouver WA

Friday, May 31, 2013

Welcome to Vancouver, the 4th largest city in the state of Washington! You have made it almost the entire way across the country to come visit my home town. I hope you enjoy your visit to the “Original Vancouver”. It is the oldest permanent non-native settlement in Pacific Northwest.
One of the favorite sayings about my city:
Vancouver not B.C.
Washington not D.C
Clark County not Nevada
Near Portland, Or. not Maine”

Vancouver is located on the North side of the Columbia River. We are considered a Suburb of Portland Oregon, but Vancouver has been in existence much longer. The first Europeans landed here in 1775, and Lewis and Clark camped here in 1806. Merriweather Lewis said the “area was "the only desired situation for settlement west of the Rocky Mountains." The first permanent European settlement did not occur until 1824, when Fort Vancouver was established as a fur trading post of the Hudson's Bay Company. From that time on, the area was settled by both the US and Britain under a "joint occupation" agreement. “ (wikipedia)

Here is a sketch of what the Fort originally looked like in 1845

And what the rebuilt Fort Vancouver Historical Site looks like today.

Shall we plan to come back to the Fort tonight, for one of the Lantern Tours?

For now, let's head north to the more modern part of the National Historical Site...to Officer's Row. Many famous military personnel have lived here over the years.
Notable soldiers who served at Vancouver Barracks:
Gen. Ulysses S. Grant
Gen. George McClellan
Gen. Philip Sheridan
Gen. O.O. Howard
Gen. George C. Marshall
This is the George C. Marshall house.

This is the Ulysses S Grant House where we can relax and have lunch. General Grant never actually lived in the house. It is the oldest of all the houses on Officer's Row, build in 1853.

There are many more military houses from the late 1800's along officers row, most are now private homes and offices. The Grant house is now a restaurant and the Marshall house is used for weddings and events.

Now let's head on down to the river...we can walk over the highway via the Land Bridge.

Our Land Bridge is quite famous! It was designed by Maya Lin, the same woman who designed the Vietnan Memorial in Washington DC.

As we cross over the bridge, we will stop at three Overlooks. the first is the Village Overlook. You will see the word People, and all the Native American words for People that were used by the tribes along the Columbia.

Next we come to the Prairie Overlook

Next is the River Overlook

Along this portion of the Land Bridge you will learn about "Vancouver", with pictures from the time of the Hudson Bay Company, up to the Kaiser Shipyards of WWII.
As we leave the Land Bridge, we will pass under the Portal, which honors the Native peoples of the Columbia.

Over to your right is Old Apple Tree Park. The tree was planted in 1826, and is the oldest apple tree in the Northwest. It is considered to be the Matriarch of Washington's apple industry.

Now, let's go for a walk along the Mightly Columbia River! At this point, the river is over a mile wide! The Renaissance Trail will take us to downtown.

In this last photo we are looking at the Interstate 5 bridge. The portion of the bridge closest to us was opened in 1917, the span to the west was built in 1958. This is one of two bridges that link Vancouver with Portland. This pair of bridges handle over 150,000 vehicles a day!

Esther Short Park is the beginning of the waterfront trail, and our city's cultural hub.

The park was established in 1853, and is the oldest public park in the state of Washington. This sculpture stands at the north entrance to the park in honor of Esther and her 10 children. It is called The Pioneer Mother.

This is also where our Farmer's Market is held every Saturday and Sunday from Early April through October.

Well, this is only a small portion of my home town...I hope you have enjoyed your visit! I leave you with a few more notable items about Vancouver WA!

One of the oldest continuously operated airports in the country (Pearson Field, 1905-present)

World’s largest spruce lumber mill for airplane construction during World War I

Pearson Field, landing site of first transpolar flight (Soviet, 1937)

Major shipbuilding center during World War II

Vancouver honored with "All-America City" distinction (1957 and 1987)
Share This Post With Others
Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Thanks for sharing this tour of your city, very cool! Looks like a road trip needs to be made to check this place out. I have never been to that part of the country, but have been around the world several times. I love adventure so will add this place to the list.

    Hope you feel better soon!

    1554 days ago
    Thank you for showing me so much of your city! A really good blog. Love the photos.
    1595 days ago
    Thank you for sharing with us. I would have loved to see more of your parks and recreational areas. Still it is very interesting.
    1596 days ago
    Thank you for the beautiful tour! You really have some interesting architecture there! Love all the old homes! The land bridge is pretty cool. The pictures of the trail along the river are great! I could so picture myself taking a walk or run there!
    1597 days ago
    I feel so darn learned right now!! emoticon
    1599 days ago
    What a beautiful city! I can't even name my favorite things because there are so many. Thanks for the tour and for reminding me that I have much to explore on the west coast!
    1599 days ago
    oh! Thanks so much for the tour! I've been to Portland before....love your part of the country!!!
    1599 days ago
  • LUCYLU22
    Thank you so much for sharing about Vancouver, WA! I did not realize how close to Portland, OR it is! It is such a beautiful city, and I absolutely love the Land Bridge! I would love walking there. What a fabulous Farmer's Market, too! I definitely need to make a trip up that way, I know I would totally love it, so would my family! I see vacation trip in our future!
    1599 days ago

    Comment edited on: 5/31/2013 2:57:01 PM
    What Dar said! As I started to type, I read hers and it was exactly what I was going to say. Great tour, thanks. I loved the land bridge, how cool. Do they have races there?
    1599 days ago
    Wow, so pretty! I just added Vancouver to my bucket list after seeing this.
    1599 days ago
    What a nice tour and photos. Love that area for walking and am thinking about doing Race for the Homeless again. Enjoy this nice weekend!
    1599 days ago
    Great blog!! I would be in seventh Heaven with that Farmer's Market! Ours only goes for 2 months in the late summer. emoticon

    Awesome job!! emoticon
    1599 days ago
    Thanks for the blog entry. I lived in Portland for 10 years. I am guilty of considering Vancouver a Suburb of Portland Oregon. The pictures are great! Makes me want to move back.
    1599 days ago
  • JMOUSE99
    Very cool blog. I now know more about the "other" Vancouver than I ever did (I live in the BC Vancouver). I always wanted to go for a Columbia River cruise, but I have not yet made it past Seattle. Now I'll make sure to add Vancouver to my hypothetical vacation!
    1599 days ago

    Comment edited on: 5/31/2013 11:33:11 AM
    That was really awesome Robin! Thanks for the tour.
    1600 days ago
  • FITAT50
    Loved our tour of Vancouver (not B.C.) WA! The Land Bridge is impressive and I'm so jealous of your Farmer's Market! I love old architecture and would love to see the inside of those homes on Officer's Row.

    Thanks for hosting us on our Summer Road Tour!
    1600 days ago
    What a beautiful post! I have been to Whidbey Island in Washington, but I missed seeing Vancouver..
    Next trip out, I'll visit Vancouver.
    I live in New Hampshire.
    1600 days ago
    Awesome blog on Vancouver, thanks so much for posting it! It's such an interesting city yet so many people know so little about it. I've lived here for about 34 years yet I still haven't been on the land bridge. I definitely would like to visit it soon. Thanks again! emoticon
    1600 days ago
  • Add Your Comment to the Blog Post

    Log in to post a comment

    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.