Posted by: wadahp | July 19, 2010


VANCOUVER, WA – National Park Service and University archaeologists have discovered one of the homes of the multicultural village associated with Fort Vancouver. The Village was home for 600 to 1000 Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC) employees, their families, and visiting traders and travelers during the fur trade period.

“Explorations in this house and its surrounding landscape will shed new light on the lives of the diverse population that served this colonial capital of the Pacific Northwest in the 1830s and 1840s,” said Doug Wilson, National Park Service Archaeologist and Faculty Member of the Department of Anthropology at Portland State University. Wilson, who is directing the field school that is excavating the site, identified tiny glass trade beads, buttons, musket balls, bottle glass, and colorful Spode transferprint ceramics as evidence of the house and its immediate surroundings. “The people living in the village, in contrast to the “gentlemen” and their families inside the fort, left no written records. This excavation is a way to recover the history of this incredible community, which included people of many ancestries: American Indians from many tribes, Native Hawaiians, French Canadians, Europeans, Americans, and those of multiethnic origin – the Métis.” The Public Archaeology field school is a partnership of the Fort’s Northwest Cultural Resources Institute with Portland State University, Washington State University Vancouver, supported by grants from NPS and the Fort Vancouver National Trust.

Related to the field school, a new program at the Fort is bringing urban youth and families to the fort, to provide a hands-on experience with activities from the 19th century, to learn about the science of archaeology, and reconnect to the diverse histories of the Pacific Northwest through a series of day and overnight camps.  “This program demonstrates how diversity is not something new to the Pacific Northwest,” said Ranger Kimm Fox-Middleton.  “The history and archaeology at Fort Vancouver shows us how people of many different cultures worked together and interacted in the past.  We want to show kids that the history of the Pacific Northwest is for everyone.”

The field school will run one more week at the Village site until July 24, 2010.  The Village is west of the Fort Vancouver reconstruction north of the Vancouver Land Bridge.  The public is welcome to visit Tuesday through Saturday, from 9:00 am to 4:00 p.m.

The urban youth program will continue through September. Contact for the Urban youth program: Kimm Fox-Middleton, 360.816.6243.


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