Vancouver Barracks Parade Ground

Vancouver Barracks Parade Ground (HM5CL)

Location: Vancouver, WA 98661 Clark County
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Country: United States of America
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N 45° 37.663', W 122° 39.616'

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On May 13, 1849, from the deck of the USS Massachusetts, the first U.S. Army troops in the Pacific Northwest spotted the Hudson's Bay Company's Fort Vancouver. "Mr. Douglas, the resident Governor received us very politely and Major Hatheway [U.S. Army] determined to encamp near Vancouver?" wrote an arriving soldier. The troops soon established themselves on high ground above the fort, beginning their assignment of keeping peace and providing support to Oregon Trail emigrants.

For over 150 years, the U.S. Army trained, drilled, marched off to war, and recuperated at Vancouver Barracks. From the 1850s to the 1870s, the troops were dispatched to fight the Indian Wars. In the following decades, they saw action I the Philippines, curbed labor riots in Tacoma, and attempted to keep order during the Alaska Gold Rush and strikes at Idaho mines.

Beginning in the 1800s, this parade ground became a gathering place for members of budding communities as well. "The regular dress parades at the barracks continue to attract large crowds every evening. Every [street] car and steamer in the afternoon is crowded with visitors from Portland" wrote a reporter in The Oregonian newspaper in 1899.

By World War I, as troops, spruce lumber for aircraft, mules and supplies were shipped out to support the war effort, Fort Lewis, near Olympia, WA, was under construction. Although Fort Lewis soon overshadowed Vancouver Barracks in military importance, this post remains home to the U.S. Army Reserve 104th and 396th Divisions, and the Washington National Guard, continuing the rich tradition of military service.
HM NumberHM5CL
Placed ByNational Park Service
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Friday, October 17th, 2014 at 9:47pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)10T E 526482 N 5052741
Decimal Degrees45.62771667, -122.66026667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 45° 37.663', W 122° 39.616'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds45° 37' 39.78" N, 122° 39' 36.96" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)360
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 851-1383 E Evergreen Blvd, Vancouver WA 98661, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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