What is Fort Vancouver?

Fort Vancouver was a central hub for trading in the Pacific Northwest. The Fort was owned by the Hudson's Bay Company, and the fort was run by the Chief Factor that was chosen by the company. Fort Vancouver was established in the mid 1820’s, but burned in a large fire in 1866. The current Fort is a recreation of the old fort and all of the buildings are in their original locations.

Chief Factor:

        The Chief Factor was kind of like the president of the fort, he made sure things at the fort ran smoothly. The Chief Factor that ran the Fort for the longest time was John McLoughlin. There was also the chief trader at the Fort, which was kind of like the vice president of Fort Vancouver, he helped make sure trade ran well. A famous chief trader, Peter S. Ogden second in command while McLoughlin ran the Fort.


        Fort Vancouver had a huge impact on the world of the past. The Fort was the center hub in the Northwest for the fur trade. It was also one of the first permanent settlements that was west of the Mississippi. The Fort also helped create the major community we call Vancouver, Washington. One could almost call it the New York of the 1800’s. Without Fort Vancouver the Pacific Northwest would not have flourished as quickly as it did. Fort Vancouver was a diverse settlement, and was the largest settlement in the West. One could get into a canoe, paddle into the center of the pond, or the Columbia River, and hear 7 different languages being spoken.  A very rare thing for the time. The Fort had such a diverse population of French Canadians, Europeans, Native Americans, and Hawaiians (sailors would pick up on their way north), that it had it’s own language called Chinuk Wawa.