Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Fort Vancouver Washington

It is just amazing that I woke up to sunshine today! The last two days started out with cloudy skies and rain. I heard someone say yesterday that if you stand in one spot here too long you will get rooted! Maybe there is some truth to that here in the northwest. We toured Fort Vancouver yesterday. There are only a few reconstructed buildings on the site now of what was once a very important settlement in the Pacific Northwest. It was then headquarters for the Hudson Bay Company of England. When the United States acquired full authority of all the territory south of the 49th parallel, the Hudson Bay Company left and the fort was abandoned. What was interesting to me yesterday in our tour of the fort was the display of artifacts which archeologists have found over the years here.  Since 1948 more than one million artifacts have been recovered. The workers at the fort during the nineteenth century represented many nationalities. One artifact is a Peruvian coin, another is a carved pipe bowl which shows the culture of the Chinook Indian as well as the Hawaiian native. Another artifact is a brick that once was a part of the Roman ruins. After touring the fort we drove over to Officer Row. In 1849 the first US army post in the Pacific Northwest was established near Fort Vancouver. The base is now closed, but the officers homes have been restored and are being used as commercial buildings. One house has been opened to the public for tours, and that is the home of  Brigadier General George C. Marshall. He was Secretary of State at the time of the creation of the post-World War 11 European recovery plan. In the house is a copy of the Nobel Peace Prize he won because of his work on that recovery act, which is also called the Marshal Plan. He and his wife lived here from 1936-1938.

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