The Fort Vancouver National Historic Site Social History Project presents professionally researched and written overviews of the historical importance of the Fort Vancouver National Site. The site, located in Vancouver, Washington, consists of 366 acres reserved by Congress in 1996. The publicly owned land encompasses a variety of historic, cultural, and natural resources, including the Hudson's Bay Company's Fort Vancouver, Pearson Air Museum, Vancouver's Water Resources Education Center, and the the U.S. Army's Vancouver Barracks and Officer's Row. Four partners administer the site cooperatively: the City of Vancouver, the United States Army, the State of Washington, and the National Park Service. The Center for Columbia River History is located on the site.
The project's three narrative studies, with directions for future research are available for downloading in PDF form by clicking on the links below.
- Part One: 1846-1898 (file size: 2.6 MG)
- Part Two: 1898-1920 (file size: 5.2 MG)
- Part Three: 1920-1942 (file size: 9.9 MG)
The Social History project, funded by the National Park Service, serves four needs:
- establishes a research agenda for future investigations of historical topics of the site;
- establishes research information for National Park Service interpretive and educational programs;
- provides narratives on selected historical topics;
- provides Web Site publications of selected materials generated by this work.
Part One of the project focuses attention on site topics from 1846-1898, including the relationship between Fort Vancouver's Hudson's Bay Company and the incoming U.S. military, and women at Vancouver Barracks. Part Two focuses on topics between 1898-1920, including the Spanish American War and World War I; Part Three focuses on site topics from 1920 to 1942, from the Great Depression to the onset of World War II.
Hard copies of the reports are available at Washington State Historical Society Research Center, the Oregon Historical Society Research Library, the Washington State University Vancouver Library, the Clark County Historical Musuem, the Portland State University Library, and the Fort Vancouver Regional Library.
The Columbia River Basin Project, 1997-2000
The Columbia River Basin Project (CRBP) directed the talents and expertise of a team of historians, teachers, librarians, archivists, computer specialists, and educators, to the creation of an integrated and interdisciplinary electronic library and learning center built from materials focused on the Columbia River Basin. The CRBP was funded by a $500,000 three-year grant from the U.S. Department of Education to the History Department at Portland State University. Three separate but linked programs comprised CRBP: The Community History Program; the Oral History Program; and the Integrated Curriculum program.
The "Columbia Communities" project was an extension of an earlier National Endowment for the Humanities-funded project that sought to document diverse community histories throughout the Columbia River Basin. The demonstration project focused on Moses Lake, Washington and Sandpoint, Idaho, and worked with local museums and volunteers to create and exchange exhibits and public programs. The Moses Lake and Sandpoint Web Sites are now available on the CCRH website.
Other community history Web Sites created by CRBP staff include Camas, Washington, the Columbia Slough, Cottage Grove, and Umatilla, Oregon, and a Columbia Basin Native Fishery Web Site. Project staff create "virtual" exhibits presented on the Center's web site. These are based on historical research and interviews that focus on community change since the building of the big dams on the Columbia and its tributaries. The community "exhibits," which include many primary documents, photographs, and oral histories, are designed to reach a wide audience, including the general public, teachers, and elementary, high school, and college students.
The Office of Oral History in the Oregon Historical Society (OHS) will produce seventy or more interviews in two projects about the Columbia River Basin. The first project will focus on groups and individuals who organized and acted in opposition to or with a different vision of management of the Columbia River by official agencies such as the Army Corps of Engineers, Bonneville Power Administration, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The second focuses on the premier agency in the review of Columbia River operations--the Northwest
Power Planning Council. OHS staff will interview key individuals who contributed to the shaping of policies that have had and continue to have enormous effect on the region. Interviews will be transcribed and published on the CCRH web site.
This project will develop collated materials about the Columbia River and make them available for classroom use by creating an interdisciplinary, integrated, and thematic curriculum on the Columbia River that can be used in classrooms throughout the region. The curricula will utilize the teaching disciplines of mathematics, literature, history, biological and physical sciences, and art. When completed and tested, it will provide a model for other integrated curricula using library materials. The curriculum program will tap the expertise of interdisciplinary teacher teams from two Columbia River Basin high schools--Stevenson High School in Stevenson, Washington, and St. Helens High School in St., Helens, Oregon--who will plan, implement, and eventually expand course offerings. The curriculum will be shared between the two schools and will be posted on the CCRH web site.
CRBP's Post-Doctoral Web Projects
Two Post-Doctoral Fellows have been integral to the Columbia Basin Project. From fall, 1997 through winter, 1998, Debra Sutphen worked on the Community History Web Site while teaching the Johnson Creek Capstone course at Portland State University and developing the Women and Timber Oral History Web Project. From Spring 1999 through Spring 2000, Katrine Barber worked on the Community History Web Site, taught two Johnson Creek Capstones courses, and developed a Celilo Falls Web Project.