Fort Vancouver
Cultural Landscape Report
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This historic period encompasses a time of political, economic, social, and physical transition at Fort Vancouver. During this period, the vast holdings of the Company at Vancouver were dismantled, as, in the wake of the treaty of 1846, increasing numbers of American settlers laid claims to its fields and buildings. The arrival of the United States Army in 1849 had the most significant effect on the Company depot, as the settlement of the Company's claims dragged on in Washington D.C. and London, and the originally cordial relationship between the U.S. military--which established a reservation on the Fort Vancouver site--and the Fort's managers disintegrated. The headquarters for the Columbia Department were split, with the principal administrative tasks moved from Fort Vancouver to Victoria on Vancouver Island in May-June of 1849, almost concurrent with the arrival of the U.S. military. Many employees deserted in the late '40s, heading for the gold fields of California, reducing the number of hands available for farming. The fort, so long under the administration of one dominant individual, experienced many changes in administrators throughout this politically uneasy period. The herds of livestock were moved further north; those remaining were rounded up or slaughtered by the new settlers. Cultivated fields and associated farm structures were appropriated by settlers claiming them under the donation land claim act. Towards the end of this period, Fort Vancouver farm reported losses, rather than profits. Finally, in May and June of 1860, all remaining stores and movable equipment were loaded on the steamer Otter, and shipped to Victoria, and the Hudson's Bay Company's Fort Vancouver was abandoned to the Americans.

Administrative and Political Context

While the Oregon Treaty between the United States and Great Britain, settled in June of 1846, guaranteed the Hudson's Bay Company's "possessory rights" in territory south of the 49th parallel, in practical terms British hegemony, influence and holdings, as expressed through the Company, was rapidly drawing to a close. On the international scene, meetings, envoys, and diplomatic missives passed back and forth between London and Washington, D.C., in an attempt to settle the value of the claims of the Hudson's Bay Company and its subsidiary, the Puget's Sound Agricultural Company, in what was now American territory. Throughout this period, negotiations to settle the companies' claims remained unresolved.

American Immigration and Settlement

During this period, the population of the "Oregon Country" increased dramatically. In 1845, a census ordered by the provisional government showed a total of 2,109 white people. By 1849, a census of the Oregon Territory, ordered by Governor Joseph Lane, showed a population of 9,083, 8,785 of which were U.S. citizens; 304 of these resided in Vancouver and Lewis Counties, north of the Columbia River. The federal census of 1850 showed a total population of 13,294; 1,049 were north of Columbia River. [852] By 1860, the federal census showed a population of 52,465 in the new state of Oregon; Washington Territory that year had a population of 11,594, which included the lands soon to become Idaho Territory.

The meetings of early American--and former Company--settlers in the Willamette Valley in the early 1840s had culminated in 1843 with the establishment of a provisional government in Oregon Country. At this session, a land law was enacted providing for the establishment of claims of free land--in 640 acres sections--by individuals; it was later amended to require the making of improvements and occupancy by the claimant or his tenant. In 1844 taxes were established to pay the expenses of the government. As noted previously, the Hudson's Bay Company determined to cooperate with the fledgling authorities for its own protection, and in 1845 a new district of the territory, north of the Columbia, called Vancouver, was established. In August of 1848 the Congress of the United States passed an act creating the Oregon Territory, which was signed into law on August 14. By 1852, thousands of immigrants had traversed the Oregon Trail, settling throughout the territory; that year alone close to 13,000 people arrived in Oregon Territory, which included both Vancouver and Lewis counties, north of the Columbia River. In March of 1853 Washington Territory was created by the federal government, which included the lands on which Fort Vancouver was located. In February of 1859 Oregon was admitted to the Union as a free state.

By 1850, clashes between the Territorial government and the British were escalating: the Hudson's Bay Company schooner, Cadboro, was seized in 1850 for carrying goods from Victoria to Nisqually without customs declarations, and the following year, the Beaver was seized for not reporting to Olympia before landing a passenger at Nisqually. These seizures, despite the guarantee of free navigation assured the Company by the 1846 treaty, exacerbated strained relations, and contributed to the Company's decision to withdraw from Fort Vancouver by the end of the 1850s.

Looking for free land and opportunities to create better lives for themselves, many immigrants began to view the Hudson's Bay Company lands as subject to the Donation Land Claim Law--particularly after news of the 1846 treaty arrived. At Nisqually, Cowlitz, and other former posts--and particularly at Fort Vancouver--the Company fought a losing battle to eject squatters from their lands. In the mid-1840s, in an effort to protect the Company's lands at Fort Vancouver, fourteen employees--among them Thomas Lowe, James Douglas, Forbes Barclay--laid claims of 640 acres each--the maximum allowed under the Donation Land Claim law of the Oregon Provisional Government--to the lands at Fort Vancouver. This effort was largely for naught--although litigation by some individuals such as Forbes Barclay forestalled some claim jumpers for a few years. By 1860, most Company employees had either sold "their" claims, having settled elsewhere, or abandoned them.

In 1848 the troublesome Henry Williamson and others platted a town site on his claim west of the stockade at Fort Vancouver, naming it Vancouver City. When he left for California in 1849, where he was shot and killed at Sutter's Fort, claim to the town site was established by Amos Short, who had been in dispute with Williamson and Dr. David Gardner over the site since his arrival. By 1850 the federal census listed ninety-five houses in the newly established Vancouver County, of which Vancouver City was the county seat. In the ensuing decade, town development included two schools, a ferry service, saloons, boarding houses, a courthouse, a livery stable/dance hall and theater, and other buildings. In 1857 the town was incorporated, and in 1859 it was a serious, although unsuccessful, contender for the Washington Territorial capitol.

Despite the assistance offered immigrants passing through Fort Vancouver by McLoughlin in the early 1830s and '40s, there was a great deal of resentment towards the Hudson's Bay Company by settlers. With an effective monopoly established on imported, manufactured goods, as well as control of agricultural material necessary for survival-seed, agricultural implements, and livestock--the Company was viewed as a barrier to progress and civilization. The policy of taking part of the settler's production of wheat and increase in cattle, in exchange for the original loan by the Company, has already been discussed. In addition, until the early 1840s settlers were obliged to process their wheat into flour at the Company's mills at Oregon City and Fort Vancouver, and to trade produce or borrow on credit from Company stores at Champoeg, Oregon City and Fort Vancouver for any manufactured goods. Father J.B.Z. Bolduc noted in 1845:"...Since the country has been inhabited not a bit of fabric has been made; which compels a recourse to the Company for lesser things as well as for those that are important...there is no money at all, everything is done by barter. The things which the farmers give for the merchandise that is furnished them are various grains, and particularly wheat, for which they receive only the value of three shillings per minot...From this it comes about that many are poor and in debt." [853]

By 1846, a number of Americans had established stores and mills, at which paper money they floated could be redeemed for goods. However, even then the Company stores were the best stocked and most reliable. Pioneer William Barlow stated that in 1846:

All the merchants floated more or less paper money, which was only redeemable at their own store, and you had to take just what they had to sell or take nothing. That was what made some a great deal better than others. Abernethy's [in Oregon City] was considered the poorest paper, though you could get flour and lumber at his mills, gunflints and remnants at his store. Ermatinger, or the Hudson's Bay store, was gilt-edged. You could get all kinds of substantial goods at that store if you had their paper. The way this paper was floated was through the agency of Dr. McLoughlin. He had a large flour mill, three run of fine French burrs and they made as good flour there then as any mill does in Oregon today. He bought the bulk of all the wheat that was raised in Oregon at that time, paid the farmer or whoever had the wheat with paper on Ermatinger or the Hudson's Bay store. They in turn would pass it to the credit of the wheat man, then he would draw orders in favor of any person or persons to the full amount due him and those orders were good until they were taken in. It made no difference how many hands they had passed through or when it was presented, it would be put to your credit; and you could draw on it a dollar at a time or take it all up then if you wished... " [854]

By 1850, with an increase in the number of American ships entering Oregon, the development of reliable money, and the increase in settlers, and subsequently merchants and manufacturers--and concomitant number of available goods in the territory--the Company's monopoly was effectively broken. The number of mills and stores owned and operated by Americans had increased dramatically. The principal town in Oregon Territory was Portland, which superseded Oregon City, the original goal of most immigrants in the 1830s and 1840s, due to its more favorable location as a port for deep sea vessels and its relative ease of access to the interior of the country. Most rural settlement occurred in the Willamette Valley, for the same reasons McLoughlin had, in the late 1820s, recommended it to his retiring engages: ease of access via rivers, fertile soil, moderate climate, and the like. Small towns sprang up throughout the valley, including Salem, established as the territorial capitol in 1854-5; McMinnville; the communal settlement at Aurora; Marysville (by 1853, Corvallis); Albany, and many others, often centering on grist or sawmills, or missionary institutions. Some were situated due to favorable transportation networks, such as Champoeg, established, like Oregon City, by the Hudson's Bay Company, before any significant number of Americans had entered the country.

U.S. Army

After Indians killed Marcus Whitman, his wife Narcissa, and fourteen others at the Whitman Waiilatpu station in November of 1847, the federal government promised to send troops to Oregon for the protection of settlers. It was not until 1849, however, that federal troops arrived in Oregon: two companies of artillery, the L and M First Artillery, arrived at Astoria on May 9, under the command of Brevet Major J.S. Hathaway via the U.S.S. Massachusetts, under orders to establish a post at the mouth of the Willamette River. In September and October, a rifle regiment dispatched overland from Fort Leavenworth under the command of Brevet-Colonel W.W. Loring straggled into Camp Vancouver, where Hathaway had established camp on the hill behind the Fort Vancouver stockade. The U.S. Army and the Hudson's Bay Company were to exist side by side in amity for a few years. However, the rapid increase in population, due principally to immigration from the states, the establishment of American government and laws, and the establishment of American social institutions greatly altered the political, economic and social climate by the end of this period: by 1860 the Hudson's Bay Company was considered an interloper with no practical claim to the vast holdings it had controlled for decades. At the end of this period, under increasing strained relations between the U.S. Army and the Company's employees at Fort Vancouver, the Hudson's Bay Company vacated the post.

Saint James Mission

The Bishop of Nisqually, A.M.A. Blanchet, filed a claim to 640 acres at Vancouver, centered around St. James Catholic Church in May of 1853, based on the Oregon Territory Organic Act, passed by Congress in 1848, which basically guaranteed the claims of any religious mission made prior to the passage of the law. [855] Chief Factor Ogden vigorously protested the claim to the surveyor general, pointing out that the church occupied Company land. [856] In January of 1854, Isaac Ebey noted, "...The claim of land upon which Fort Vancovuer stands is at this time claimed by Bishop Blanchette, bishop of Nisqually, as a Catholic mission, by virtue of a provision in the act of Congress organizing Washington Territory, approved March 3, 1853. The bishop has notified the surveyor general of Oregon of his claim, embracing six hundred and forty acres. The same claimed by James Graham, chief clerk to the Hudson's Bay Company at Fort Vancouver...There may be other claims upon this citizens under the donation law; if so, I was unable to find them." [857]

In fact, the east edge of the Short claim overlapped the west edge of the St. James Mission claim, and the army reserve encompassed much of the mission claim as well. Army Quartermaster Rufus Ingalls noted in 1859 that it was an "...attempt on part of subsequent post commanders to curtail the Mission enclosures authorized to be put up by Col Bonneville that made the Bishop fly to the President and the officer ever dreamed that this mission would put forth so preposterous a claim as the one in question..." [858] In addition, Clark county laid claim to a portion of the area for a county seat, and a claim to most of the area claimed by the mission was also made on behalf of the town of Vancouver in 1859. And, of course, underlying all these claims were the possessory rights guaranteed by the 1846 treaty of the Hudson's Bay Company. The mission's claim was not to be resolved until 1895, when, through the appeals process, it reached the United States Supreme Court: the final ruling limited the claim to the land actually occupied--less than .44 acres--in 1848. [859]

In 1856, Bishop Augustine Magliore A. Blanchet, in charge of the dioceses of Walla Walla, Fort Hall and Colville since the mid 1840s, requested a mission from the Sisters of Charity of the House of Providence in Montreal: five volunteered, arriving by ship via Panama in December of that year. The nuns--three professed sisters and two postulants--were apparently initially lodged in the attic of the St. James Mission's bishop's house. Legend says that by the spring of 1857, the nuns established a convent in a fur storage building within the stockade of the Hudson's Bay Company, or in an "old fur storage building abandoned by the Hudson Bay Company and later turned into a barn." [860] This does not correlate with the U.S. Army inventory of Hudson's Bay Company structures in 1860, which makes no mention of any stockade building's use as a convent, nor does there appear to be any reference to it in any communications from Company employees at the stockade through 1860. What does seem likely, is that the convent was established in the rectory of the church: it is located there on a map prepared in 1866. Also, the 1860 census of Clark County lists a building associated with the St. James Mission as occupied by eleven nuns, twenty-two female orphans, and six domestic servants.

The superior of the Sisters of Charity mission was Esther Pariseau, Sister Joseph of the Sacred Heart. She was born in Quebec in 1823, and joined the Sisters of Providence in Montreal in 1843. Daughter of a carriage-maker, she was proficient in carpentry and woodworking; later her skills in planning and organization would become evident. Mother Joseph is credited with erecting a series of small structures, referred to as "the Providence enclosure," apparently on the site of the St. James Mission, to minister to the needs of the area's population--both native and white. [861] Rufus Ingalls, in January of 1859, noted that "Most of the improvements which pertain to the Mission have been created with our consent [the army's] by Mr. Broullet the Vicar General of the Dioceses, since my return here in 1856. This gentleman has opened fine schools for both sexes, has a hospital for the indigent sick." [862] The school apparently began operation in 1857 under the supervision of Mother Joseph, who also organized an orphanage for both boys and girls. As noted above, the 1860 census noted twenty-two female orphans lodging with the nuns; it also listed a third structure with two "perceptors" and fifteen male orphans. The latter structure, which can be seen on an army map prepared under the command of Brigadier General W.S. Harney in 1860, later became known as Holy Angels College.

Operations at Fort Vancouver


With the retirement of McLoughlin in 1846, the superintendency of the Columbia Department fell to the two remaining members of the Board of Management appointed by London, James Douglas and Peter Skene Ogden. As noted earlier, in the winter of 1846-47, Governor Simpson ordered Douglas to inventory the holdings and improvements of all "...farms, lands and other property of every description..." belonging to the Hudson's Bay Company and the Puget's Sound Agricultural Company. By May of 1846, Henry Peers, who prepared the larger 1844 map, was employed in taking surveys of the back plains " order to have claims taken on them by people in the Company Service." [863]

In the spring of 1849, the Columbia Department was split in two; James Douglas was moved to Fort Victoria in June to administer the principal activities of the Company's west coast operations, and a succession of managers at Fort Vancouver were appointed to administer the post there. In 1853, the split was formalized, with the Oregon Department Headquarters located at Fort Vancouver, and the Western Department Headquarters at Fort Victoria. This administrative split was to continue, with the Oregon Department of decreasing importance within the Company's operations, until the abandonment of Fort Vancouver in 1860. The first resident manager at Fort Vancouver after Douglas' removal was Ogden, who supervised operations until December 6, 1851, when he went on leave. He was succeeded by John Ballenden, a Chief Factor and former Company accountant, in Outfit 1851-52 and 1852-53. Ballenden was relieved by Ogden, who had returned from leave, and who was assisted by a clerk who supervised the routine operations of the Fort Vancouver farm, James Grahame, appointed a chief trader in Outfit 1854-55. The Board of Management for the Oregon Department consisted of Ogden and another old hand, Dugald Mactavish, for Outfits 1853-54 and 1854-55. After Ogden's death in September of 1854, Mactavish continued as manager of the Department until June of 1858, with William Tolmie, now manager of the Puget's Sound Agricultural Company farm at Nisqually, acting as co-manager in Outfits 1856-57 and 1858-59. James Grahame was appointed manager between 1859 and 1860.

The discovery of gold in California greatly reduced the size of the work force at the Company's Vancouver post. The number of servants listed on the rolls between 1846 and 1849 decreased by over two-thirds, as employees headed south to try their luck in the gold fields. The price of labor raised the cost of producing crops and raising livestock, leading some Company managers to suggest that provisions could be bought for less than the cost of raising them. [864] Theodore Talbot, a U.S. Army officer who arrived in May of 1849 at Fort Vancouver wrote to his mother on May 25:

It is next to impossible to get a white person to work steadily, for the highest wages. The H.B. Company have lost nearly all their employees being obliged to hire Indians and even they charge 4 and 5 $ a day for their paltry services. Mr. Douglas the R. Governor of the H.B. Compy. has left this place since our arrival to assume command of their new Head Quarters, at Victoria, Vancouver's Island. Peter Ogden Esq. succeeds in the charge of Fort Vancouver. We have found them very kind and willing to furnish us every assistance, but the present state of things renders them almost helpless. They are very anxious to leave the American part of Oregon. [865]

By 1850 fur-trading at Fort Vancouver had become a minor--if not insignificant part of the company's business there. Even by 1846 the trade had been on the decline, and the Whitman Massacre in 1847, the Cayuse War, and the Indian wars of 1855-56 affected communication with inland posts and consequently the fur trade. The stockade played a brief role during the mid-50s Indian wars, when settlers in the area, erroneously anticipating the battles might extend downriver, briefly sought shelter within the fort's pickets.

The depot remained an important sales center until at least the early 1850s: in 1849 Fort Vancouver profits on sales exceeded £17,000. [866] However, as noted earlier, competition from merchants in Portland, in other Oregon towns, and in the growing Vancouver City appears to have affected the post's ability to maintain profits even in this aspect of its operations. Agricultural operations began to decline soon after the treaty was signed, with American squatters taking up possession of most of the lands beyond the immediate vicinity of the stockade, and with the U.S. Army gradually altering the landscape beyond the stockade to suit its purposes. By the mid 1850s it appears the Company was essentially occupying the post and what acreage it could protect in the immediate vicinity of the stockade, in order to assert its claims before the British and American Joint Commission.

Hudson's Bay Company Activities

For a few years, activities within the stockade continued much as usual. American P.W. Crawford, describing the fort stockade in 1847 noted that the "Apothacury hall or doctors shop where Medicine is served out to whites and natives..." and the "...wholesale & Retail store with numerous clerks in Attendance The Chief of which is a young Scotchman from near Edinburgh..." and a "Store house where Casks of Sugar Molases and larger Groceries are Kept and dealt out by a Red River Scotch half Breed--The Baker has his shop and Fixtures in the North East Corner The Black Smith Shop is in the South East Corner..." and he mentions the carpenter and cooper's shop. The Catholic Church, he said, had French Canadian priests. [867]

Artist Paul Kane, at Fort Vancouver in the winter of 1846-47, indicated some of the amusements enjoyed at the post continued. In the spring of 1847 he noted, "I found plenty of amusement with the officers of the 'Modeste,' who had built stables, and selected some very good horses. With these we ran races, and chased the wild calves; the object of the latter exercise consisted principally in showing the dexterity of the rider, in stooping from his saddle and throwing the calf head-over-heels by the tail...These sports we occasionally varied by shooting and fishing, ducks and geese and seal being in great quantities in the neighbourhood of the fort." [868]

The post was still intact enough in October of 1849 to impress the Catholic priest Honore Timothee Lempfrit, who noted in his journal that "Fort Vancouver is a very important place where the Hudson's Bay Company has a magnificent establishment." [869]

The U.S. Army arrived as the Company was experiencing a high rate of employee desertion in 1849. In the fall of 1849, Peter Skene Ogden, as manager of Fort Vancouver and the Oregon Department, rented vacant and under-used buildings to the army in and around the stockade, including the two fairly new schoolhouses, a house and stable northwest of the schools, the first floor of the fur store within the stockade, several dwellings in Kanaka Village, and the stables erected by the crew of the Modeste near the river on Fort Plain. In 1850, several additional structures were rented to the army in Kanaka Village and along the river, including the Company's hospital, and the Lattie house west of the Catholic church, the garden of which had been threatened in the 1844 fire.

The Company continued to operate the farm at Fort Vancouver, despite encroachments by settlers and the U.S. Army, and, according to Thomas Lowe, continued to import goods for sale until at least the spring of 1852. Apparently operations within the stockade-blacksmithing, cooperage, carpentry, and so forth--continued at a reduced level until 1856. Henry Atkinson Tuzo, who arrived in 1853, said that until 1856 "...the Company enjoyed undisturbed use and possession of their property..." [870] By 1853, however, even the merchandising operations at the fort appear to have become somewhat desultory. On March 28, a young army officer, Bradford Ripley Alden wrote to his wife, "These English people in the Hudson's Bay store are unlike any business people we have seen. In their large store every thing lies about open and neglected. They manifest no anxiety to sell you anything altho' they are very polite. The store, too, is shut up for an hour at 12 M. and closes altogether at sunset." [871]

As the decade passed, many of the improvements beyond the stockade were allowed to fall into ruin or were destroyed by settlers and the army. Alexander C. Anderson, who served at Fort Vancouver in 1852-53 said, " was only within the immediate limits of the Fort that it was found possible to make restorations to prevent decay. I say within the immediate limits of the fort, because outside there was no protection, in fact, against the outrages of unprincipled persons around." [872]

Hudson's Bay Company Agriculture

According to a Company Chief Factor, Archibald McKinlay, who testified on behalf of the Company to the British and American Joint Commission, crops were raised at Fort Vancouver until 1849 or 1850. McKinlay, who had charge of purchasing grain from the American settlers said that the wheat raised to fill the contracts with the Russians in Alaska was raised at Fort Vancouver until 1846, and that the contracts after that year were "filled by me at Oregon City and Champoeg by purchase. The farm, he said, "...from 1846 and upwards...began to be ruined." While staying at the fort in 1849-50, he observed that compared with 1840, "...comparatively there was very little land under cultivation." [873]

Beset by squatters appropriating fields and improvements on all lands beyond the immediate vicinity of the stockade, suffering from a reduced labor force due to desertions, laboring under taxes and duties imposed by the territorial government, and facing increasing competition from settlers no longer beholden to the Company, the managers of the farm during this period attempted to maintain a holding action on its operations. By the early 1850s it was apparent the farm could no longer operate at a profit--the cheap labor supply was gone, and ability to use hands on the payroll for the fur trade during the off season was no longer possible. The ability of the farm to absorb disasters like drought or flooding was reduced, along with the acreage cultivated. When the various managers reported excessive costs to Simpson and London, and urged either the sale of the lands or the cessation of farming altogether, they were told to continue the agricultural operations as a strategy to protect the Company's claims. The governor and committee foresaw that land not cultivated would be viewed as "abandoned," or "vacated," and that maintaining possession was the principal means by which the Company could be assured of a favorable settlement with the United States government. Sowing and harvesting, then, for at least the last eight years of Fort Vancouver's operation, continued, although at an increasing loss to the Company. The vast herds of cattle and horses, and flocks of sheep had vanished from the farm. By the end of 1852 most of Fort Vancouver's livestock had been sent to other posts or sold; later testimony by some former Company employees indicated that many cattle were "wantonly" slaughtered by American settlers.

Field Crop Production

In 1847 John Work wrote "The crops this year have been deficient and a scarcity is apprehended." [874] Douglas and Ogden reported a general crop failure throughout the country. "It was with great difficulty that we managed to collect 8000 bushels in the Wallamette, but fortunately we had a large stock remaining on hand...The yield of the Company's Farm at this place did not exceed a third of the preceeding years... 1500 bushels wheat, 1200 pease, 1300 oats, 100 barley, 2670 potatoes." [875] The following year, production was more in line with "average" year yields, with Douglas reporting a harvest of 6,000 bushels of wheat, 1,500 of peas, 2,000 of oats. In October, Douglas and Ogden told London they were buying all available wheat from the Willamette Valley settlers in anticipation of higher prices in 1849; news of the discovery of gold at Sutter's mill at what is now Coloma, California in 1848, had reached Fort Vancouver that summer. [876]

In the fall of 1850, production at Fort Vancouver appears have stabilized: Ogden reported the crops were "most favorable." In fact, wheat production had soared to the extent that there was a surplus the Company was unable to unload. However, the Company still purchased a large amount of grain from American settlers in the Willamette Valley and elsewhere; it was the only means by which they could collect on the debts owed them for loans and outstanding credit accounts. [877] In the spring of 1851 Ogden reported a heavy demand for provisions and high prices for wheat, which they "...make every exertion to sow." [878] Reports on the harvest differ: Ogden reported the crops were "most abundant," but John Ballenden, arriving in December of 1851, reported that the harvest was "poor." [879] Ballenden noted that it cost the company at least three dollars per bushel to raise wheat, compared to a dollar or a dollar twenty-five per bushel in price when purchased from the Willamette Valley settlers. Within a few months of his arrival at Fort Vancouver, he had leased the Mill Plain farm to three settlers in exchange for a portion of the produce, and reported to Eden Colvile that he planned to turn the fields near the fort into "grazing parks." [880] In 1852 he leased three-quarters of the garden, "the upper half of the field immediately below the fort," two fields north of the Upper Mill Plain Road, and a piece of ground between the new army barracks and the Hudson's Bay Company barn to Colonel Bonneville of the U.S. Army for one year. [881] In July of 1852 Ballenden complained to Simpson that during the last few years, not more than one hundred acres had been under cultivation, excluding Mill Plain, and that the remainder of the farm had squatters "...long before I arrived." While the harvest that year was apparently satisfactory, Ballenden told Simpson he did not expect future success, because the sheep and cattle used to fertilize the soil had been sold, slaughtered or shipped north. [882]

Under Ballenden's superintendency the dismantling of the Fort Vancouver farm accelerated. To be fair, it must be noted that Ballenden was facing increasing encroachment by settlers on Company lands, fighting a losing battle in an attempt to retain laborers, many of whom had deserted, and had to deal with the demands made by the U.S. Army. In 1852 he told Simpson "I will carry on farming if you say so although neither I nor the Indians on whom I must principally depend for labor can be expected to know much of agriculture." [883] Early in 1853 Simpson told Ballenden that agricultural operations at Fort Vancouver had to continue, despite the hardships he perceived, "for the present at least," and stated that " ceasing to cultivate the ground, we might afford a handle to ill disposed persons to dispute our right to it." [884]

Ballenden was replaced in March of 1853 by Ogden, reassigned once again to Fort Vancouver after his leave. Ogden was joined September by Dugald Mactavish. That year the freshets led to a loss of one-quarter of the grain crop, and a smallpox epidemic during harvest time cut the available labor force in half. Nonetheless, Ogden said the yield was "good," and that he would have sufficient grain for two years with a "little augmentation," presumably by purchase from settlers. [885] Under Ogden and Mactavish the harvest for 1854 was anticipated as "good," although figures for that year are not available. Isaac Stevens, supplying testimony on behalf of the United States to the British and American Joint Commission, enclosed a report by I.N. Ebey who visited Fort Vancouver in late 1853, and reported that at the time of the 1846 treaty, the cultivated lands "about Fort Vancouver," presumably the lands on Fort Plain only, "did not exceed two hundred and fifty acres; since that time many of the enclosures have been broken up, and lands once cultivated now all a waste." [886] At Mill Plain farm, Ebey reported, "...the buildings [have been] left to dilapidature and decay" and that "a very considerable portion of the [claims] held by them at the date of the treaty have become obsolete by abandonment." [887] It was in 1853-54 that the need to continue agricultural operations at Fort Vancouver was blamed for a loss in the Oregon Department. [888] From this point on, results of harvest at Fort Vancouver are reported in terms of loss, rather than profit.

In 1855 Chief Trader James Grahame wrote in reference to squatters that "If the military [was] not here, [the] company would not have one inch of ground left." In June Fort Plain was flooded. The Depot, Grahame reported, suffered a "very large loss for the year." [889] In 1856 Mactavish reported to Simpson that the expense of the farm was "still great," and the following year he reported the farm incurred the"usual expenses." [890] In 1858 the farm at Vancouver reported a loss of over £300, and the following year Grahame reported to Simpson that the farm at Vancouver "resulted in more outlay." [891]


In the spring of 1847, the total number of livestock on the Fort Vancouver farm included 1,915 head of neat cattle--272 more than the previous spring; 517 horses; 7-800 pigs, and 3,000 sheep. These totals excluded 263 cattle that had been sold or slaughtered by the Company. Ogden and Douglas reported to George Simpson that spring that it would be necessary to move the cattle to other posts because there were too many for the available pasturage, especially when the Columbia rose and reduced the range at the Lower Plain, and because settlers were "crowding in upon our pastures and restricting us to narrower limits each year." In August, 300 head of cattle and horses were driven to a stock farm being established near Thompson's River. By the following spring 1600 cattle, 140 horses and the pigs and sheep were left at Fort Vancouver, "...the range is still eaten lamentable close, an evil increased by the number of Americans who have settled on every side of the company's pastures though not actually occupying and land that we claim." [892] In the summer of 1848 the Rev. George Atkinson observed employees shearing sheep in large but still unfinished school buildings not far north of the garden. The sheep, he noted were divided into three separate flocks--a "pure Merino" flock; a flock with some Leicester mix, and a third of unspecified breed, probably descendents of those brought from California. [893] That fall about 1000 head of sheep were sent to the Cowlitz farm.

In November of 1852, John Ballenden wrote to William Tolmie at Nisqually that he had decided to send "all the sheep which still remain here...McPhail, with the party of Kanaka's and Indians, sent here by you, will start in the course of today...I shall this year finally close the accounts of the P.S. Co. in so far as regards live stock or other property remaining at Vancouver, charging whatever weder or wedder lambs may then remain to account of Fort Vancouver--Western Department, outfit 1853...I cannot help feeling glad to see the last of the P.S. Co's stock taken away from the place as in consequence of the lawless population of this neighbourhood, and the impossibility of getting good and careful shepherds they had not received that attention during the last few years which they well merited. The number 840 of all kinds." Ballenden also reported that the farm had only enough horses left at Vancouver that were required for its own use. [894]

There are scattered references to livestock at Fort Vancouver between the years 1853 and 1860, but for the most part, by the end of 1852, the large herds and flocks, so carefully nurtured at the farm since its inception, were gone. A young army officer in 1853 noted that the meadows at Fort Vancouver were "...dotted with the Company's herds of sheep, cows, and horses," but it appears the livestock he saw belonged to squatters, who by then controlled most of the fields surrounding the stockade. [895] In 1854 Isaac Ebey reported to Governor Stevens that the Company had a few head of cattle in the Mill Plain vicinity, "...driven from Fort Walla-Walla last summer." [896] In 1855 Dugald Mactavish reported to Simpson that he sold two hundred head of cattle. [897] A.C. Anderson, who served as an assistant at Vancouver between 1851 and 1853 later testified that "The large herd of cattle which had formerly roamed upon the pastures had been, some removed to positions of greater security, otherwise branded and stolen by squatters, some wantonly shot, and the remainder driven into the woods, where, from want of the ordinary herding, they gradually became wild...During my residence as second in command at Vancouver, in the winter of 1852-53, I was present during the settlement of a contract with Colonel Chapman of Oregon City, I think, who on the payment of a certain sum per head, purchased the privilege of slaughtering the cattle which had been driven to a distance, and were then in a wild state." [898]

Hudson's Bay Company Mills and Associated Activities

In the 1860s, Thomas Lowe testifying on behalf of the Hudson's Bay Company to the British and American Joint Commission, said that at the time of the 1846 Treaty, the Company's foreign trade "...was confined to the Sandwich Islands and the Russian possessions on the North West coast. The exports...lumber, pickled salmon, flour and dairy produce. In 1848, soon after the discovery of gold mines in California, an extensive trade in these articles was opened in San Francisco. "Regarding imports of manufactured items for the store at Fort Vancouver, Lowe said, "When I went to San Francisco in the spring of 1852 they [the Company] were still sending goods up the river in their own boats... " [899]

For some years, the saw and gristmills continued to operate, apparently at capacity. The Company, to some extent, was shifting its operation to emphasize manufacturing, taking advantage of the increased demand for flour and milled lumber, at first to fulfill the contracts with the Russians in Alaska and to meet the demands of the growing number of settlers, and later to take advantage of the California markets, spurred by the discovery of gold. Wheat bateaux and boats continued to carry grain from the Willamette Valley to the Company's gristmill on the Columbia until enterprising Americans began to erect their own mills. Large vessels in the Columbia were loaded with lumber from the sawmills by using staging built, according to William Crate, the Company's millwright, fifty or sixty feet from shore. [900]

The new gristmill begun in 1846 was half finished when William Crate, returned to Fort Vancouver in 1849: he described the building as sixty by forty feet, four stories high, intended to run with eight or ten stones. As noted earlier, it appears this building was never finished.

The 1846 sawmill Douglas had built, and the large gang sawmill built in the early 1840s, operated until 1849; the large gang mill, which had high labor requirements to operate efficiently, was, according to Crate, shut down in 1849--the year after employees began to desert the post--and for several years the Company relied on the small single-saw mill built by Douglas. In 1851 Crate supervised construction of a new--and apparently less labor-intensive--sawmill below the one Douglas had erected in 1846, and on the opposite side of the stream. The new sawmill building, finished, according to Crate in 1852, was about sixty by twenty feet, and cost about $15,000 to erect. It included one sash saw, driven by an overshot wheel, originally with single motion, but later altered to double motion. It would cut, he said, between three and four thousand feet of timber in twelve hours "without any driving." Crate reported that when the mills were running regularly, thirty to forty men were employed, producing about 1,800,000 feet of lumber for sale each year. Apparently, when begun, the construction of a new sawmill was justified, as lumber prices in 1849-1850 reached a peak of $100 per thousand feet; by the end of that year, prices had fallen to $50 per thousand feet, and later dropped as low as $20 per thousand. [901]

At least one sawmill remained in operation until 1856, when the lands on which they were located were claimed by an American settler. In November of 1850 James Ballenden leased one of the mills for six months to a James Leach. In 1854 Ebey reported to Isaac Stevens that a sawmill, "built since the treaty" was still in operation; he also noted that the 1838-9 gristmill was "now nearly worthless," and that the new gristmill, the one to which Crate made reference "has never been completed." [902] Dugald Mactavish, said, however, that one of the gristmills was in fair condition and still working when he left Fort Vancouver in 1858. [903] By late 1857 or early 1858 only one sawmill was extant, according to the testimony of William Farrar, an attorney representing the American claimant, J.E. Taylor, who said it "...had evidently been abandoned; it was disused; there was no perfect machinery there; the building was open and exposed to the ingress and egress of cattle...I neither saw nor heard anything whatsoever that made any impression on my mind that there was any mill or mills, other than the one I have already mentioned, in its immediate vicinity of any value whatever." [904]

Another source of revenue for the sawmill was the U.S. Army. In June of 1849 Ogden agreed to deliver one hundred thousand feet of boards, planks, joists and other milled materials to the newly arrived Quartermaster, Rufus Ingalls, for building structures at Camp Vancouver, above the stockade. The army paid $60 per thousand feet, and supplied soldier labor to log and raft the lumber downriver from the sawmill. The Company also sold the army shingles for roofing the structures. [905] By December of that year, Ingalls had erected his own "patent saw mill" at Fort Vancouver. [906]

Operations at Camp Vancouver/Columbia Barracks/Fort Vancouver

In May of 1846 the United States Congress authorized the President to establish a line of military posts along the route settlers were following from the Mississippi to the Columbia for protection of emigrants. In 1848 the Secretary of War directed the commanding officer of the stations along the route to establish a ten mile square reservation on the Columbia River, near the mouth of the Willamette River. In the spring of 1849 Brevet Colonel W.W. Loring left Fort Leavenworth with a column of mounted riflemen for Oregon country, and Companies L and M of the First Artillery under the command of Captain and Brevet Major J.H. Hathaway embarked in the steamer Massachusetts from New York for the Columbia River, via the Straits of Magellan. The artillery companies arrived at Fort Vancouver in the middle of May, and established a camp on the hill behind the Hudson's Bay Company stockade at Fort Vancouver, with Peter Skene Ogden's permission. In September and October, Loring's command arrived in three separate detachments, after "an arduous march." [907] Loring's command, according to a civilian who lodged at the post in March of 1851, "was raised expressly for Oregon, and put under the command of Col. Loring, a young army officer who served in Mexico, and where he lost his arm. The ranks of the Regiment are made up of the meanest and most unprincipled set of fellows that ever disgraced an Army..." [908]

Captain Rufus Ingalls, an assistant quartermaster, had been directed in April of 1849 to proceed to Oregon and report to the senior officer in charge; his principal task was to make preparations for quartering the men assigned to the new post, which was called Camp Vancouver, established to house the Eleventh (Oregon) Department of the Pacific Division. Ingalls arrived from San Francisco on May 25.

During the summer of 1849 the command camped in tents on the high ground behind the Fort, and built log structures for shelter the following winter. Troops, local mechanics and Indians were engaged in the construction. Officer Theodore Talbot wrote his mother in June that "The Quartermaster I believe intends to employ some of our men in the erection of buildings etc. giving them the high market wages for labor, the Captains of Companies giving them short furloughs for that purpose. This plan may have a good effect towards keeping them. I doubt it myself." [909]

Some troops and provisions were housed in structures rented from the Hudson's Bay Company at Fort Vancouver and in Oregon City. In October, D.H. Vinton reported to the Commander of the Pacific Division, Persival F. Smith:

Should the negotiations now on foot for the purchase of the property belonging to the Hudson's Bay Co be brought to a favorable conclusion, we will have acquired an extensive domain from the best cultivable portions of the Territory, affording the most eligible points for military occupation--selected with the characteristic sagacity of the experienced factors and Agents of this Company, whose adventurous service partaking as it does, most esentially, of a military nature, has made them good judges in matters of the kind. [910]

In April of 1850, six companies of Mounted Riflemen arrived at the post--A,D,G,H, I and K--and one more company, F, arrived in June. Company L of the First Artillery, under Hathaway, was sent to occupy Fort George in Astoria in May, where Captain Ingalls had been attempting to put together suitable quarters for them. In November Company B of the Mounted Riflemen arrived at Fort Vancouver. In May of 1850, Ingalls entered into an agreement with Ogden on behalf of the U.S. government and the Hudson's Bay Company for the use and appropriation of an eight acre field about one-quarter of a mile north of the stockade, planted in wheat. In exchange for $ 1,000--later adjusted to $872.40--for the loss of the crops and with the specification that the Company's right to the soil be acknowledged, the army obtained a site on which to construct barracks to house the increased military population. [911] That year twenty-six buildings were erected, primarily by "citizen carpenters" employed by Ingalls; most were located in a ring around the former wheat field, to become the parade grounds, but several were built in the Kanaka Village area, and near the River.

On October 31, the army formally proclaimed the establishment of a military reservation of about four square miles, which included the Hudson's Bay Company stockade and the land and improvements about two miles to the east and west of it; the announcement stated the reservation was "subject only to the lawful claims of the Hudson's Bay Company," as guaranteed by the Treaty of 1846. [912] That year the post was given the official title of Columbia Barracks. The extent of the military reservation immediately raised political and policy questions, prompting Washington D.C. to reconsider its size, despite the concerns expressed by subordinates on the West Coast. In 1851 Brevet Brigadier General E.A. Hitchcock wrote from the Pacific Division headquarters in Benicia, California, to C.M. Conrad, the U.S. Secretary of War, describing the Hudson's Bay Company post at Vancouver and reported:

...when the United States troops reached an amicable arrangement between the agent of the Company and the United States commander, the troops were encamped and subsequently erected quarters, upon grounds cleared by the Company, immediately in the rear of the picket-work and enclosed grounds of the Company; a portion of said enclosed grounds being relinquished...for the convenience of the troops, to be paid for on certain terms agreed upon...A questions was raised by to the extent of the "possessory" rights of the Company; some giving the opinion that those rights did not extend beyond actual enclosures. In this view a settler established himself and has built a house on the river bank about a mile, or perhaps a mile and a quarter, below the picket-work of the Company, against the remonstrances and repeated efforts of the agent of the Company to prevent it...The county authorities, taking the same limited view of the rights of the Company, have laid off a town and have disposed of lots, taking in the actual buildings occupied by the employés of the Company, and are only restrained from actual occupancy by the site falling within the declared military reservation; and if now the reservation should be restricted to narrow limits it could not fail to bring about a most unpleasant state of things... [913]

Ultimately the military bowed to political pressure. In October of 1853, the Secretary of War was obliged by an act of Congress to reduce the reserve to 640 acres, subject to the claims by the Company as guaranteed by the 1846 treaty. The new boundaries were surveyed by Brevet Lieutenant Colonel B.L.E. Bonneville, who arrived at Fort Vancouver in September of 1852, when he assumed command of the post. Bonneville was already noted as an explorer, having served in Oregon in the 1830s. In July of 1853, the name of the post was changed to Fort Vancouver; it operated under this designation until 1879 when it was redesignated Vancouver Barracks.

In May of 1851, the eight Mounted Riflemen companies were sent to California, leaving a small detachment under the command of Lieutenant Theodore Talbot at Columbia Barracks until the fall, when reinforcements --Company L of the First Artillery from Fort George, and a detachment from Company M, stationed at the Dalles, arrived; the command of the post was placed under Brevet Major Hathaway in November. Bonneville arrived in the fall of 1852, with companies C,E,G and H of the Fourth Infantry; in 1853, Company L of the First Artillery was disbanded, and several infantry companies moved elsewhere. Between July of 1853 and June of 1854 the garrison consisted of companies G and H of the Fourth Infantry, and Company L of the Third Artillery joined the post in June of that year. In 1854 and '55, a new spurt of building activity took place in the vicinity of the parade grounds.

Brevet Captain Ulysses S. Grant, was stationed at Columbia Barracks/ Fort Vancouver in the early 1850s, serving as regimental commissary officer, and later as regimental quartermaster. In the winter of 1852-53 he lived with Captain Thomas Brent and Captain Rufus Ingalls in a two-story prefabricated house Ingalls had had built in the Quartermaster Depot area of the post in 1850.

In the fall of 1852, Chief Factor John Ballenden leased a parcel known as the "island farm," described as one mile east of the fort, to Grant for one year, although the Company retained fifteen to twenty acres at the west end of the farm. The island farm was probably the present-day Government Island, referred to as Goose Grass Island by some Company employees, and for a brief time as Miller's Island. The military apparently raised or harvested grass hay on the island in the early 1850s. [914]

In 1855 and '56, and to some extent through 1858, Fort Vancouver served as a staging area for the regular army engaged in what is generally referred to as the Indian Wars, a series of uprisings and battles ranging from the Puget's Sound in Washington Territory to southern Oregon, and both east and west of the Cascade mountains. During this period, a series of companies from the Dragoons, Artillery, and Infantry were lodged at the post. During the winter of 1855-56, some of the volunteers called up by the territorial governor to protect settlers were housed at Fort Vancouver, although they were not part of the regular army. Colonel George Wright, who was largely responsible for bringing the wars to a close in 1858, was placed in command of eight companies of the Ninth Infantry, which arrived in January of 1856 at Fort Vancouver, and of the entire regiment at the post.

Until the Indian Wars began in earnest, military life on the post at Vancouver appears to have been somewhat boring, at least for young officers stationed there. Theodore Talbot wrote to his sister in March of 1852, "I live in a house by myself and for days and days, indeed, almost weeks, have only ventured out of my shell or cell for a few minutes each day to get my meals, not having the society of a living thing except at these times. This retirement has been part voluntary, partly enforced, from bad weather and want of sociability or inclination for out door wanderings." [915] A year later, Bradford Ripley Alden wrote his wife:

Two Indians are before my door, with two rugged and kittenish looking little bear cubs. One of the companies has bought them for pets, I hear. Officers and soldiers often are wondrous lonely and low-spirited at all out of the way stations. Pets are natural enough amusements for lonely men...The other evening, as I strolled in to cheer up old Col. Bonneville, he rose up to receive me, half asleep: "...Jove, Sir! Do you know, between you and me, I felt so lonely and restless tonight I had half a mind to go up to my bedroom and take a few drinks to myself, just to drown thought and get a little boosy."...He never drinks, but many officers at out of the way stations get boosy as he says, just to drown care. We are fortunate in not having one drinking man at this post... [916]

There were often one or two musicians in each company assigned to the post, and early on a structure was designated for the regimental band's quarters. In April of 1853, Bradford Alden wrote his wife, "Three nights since, the band gave me a serenade, and then went round to the other houses." [917]

In 1854, the timber in the immediate vicinity of the now reduced Military Reservation was pretty much depleted: Captain Thomas Brent, assistant quartermaster, purchased forage and firewood for the post from nearby settlers. Water for the post was hauled from the Columbia River by a six mule team. Some officers assigned to the post in the early and mid-50s had to be lodged in rented Hudson's Bay Company buildings, many of which were falling into disrepair. One, a Captain H.D. Wallen, asked the army for reimbursement of the private funds he expended in repairing his quarters, a request seconded by Quartermaster Ingalls. The request was denied. [918] Until 1856, the hospital for the post was one of the unfinished Hudson's Bay Company school buildings north of the stockade, a "very inferior building." [919]

In 1856 the U.S. Congress approved the establishment of an Ordnance Reserve on twenty acres of land adjoining the east boundary of the military reservation. The Company protested the establishment of permanent buildings for an arsenal on the reserve, and the military acquiesced, erecting temporary buildings on the site.

Following Bonneville's departure in 1855, the military post at Vancouver experienced a succession of commanding officers, sometimes alternating depending on duty assignments. Major Gabriel Rains of the Fourth Infantry served as commander for a part of 1855 and 1856; Colonel George Wright several times in 1856; Lieutenant Colonel Thompson Morris of the Fourth Infantry when Wright was away in 1856, and periodically between 1857 and 1859. Others included First Lieutenant John Withers of the Fourth Infantry; Captain H.D. Wallen--whose remodeling expenditures had been refused; First Lieutenant Henry Hodges of the Fourth Infantry; First Lieutenant R. Macfeelly of the Fourth; Captain Henry Indah of the Fourth,; Lieutenant Bonnycastle; Captain Andrew Smith of the First Dragoons; Maj. George Nauman of the Third Artillery, and Major William Ketchum of the Fourth Infantry.

Beginning in 1856, the amicable relationship between the Hudson's Bay Company and the army began to deteriorate. At that time, said Company doctor Henry Atkinson Tuzo, "...the military authorities commenced and continued to call in question the rights of the Co....Some of their buildings outside the fort were taken possession of by persons in the employ of the various military departments. Several were burnt or otherwise destroyed while in the occupation of these persons; the Company's corrals were made use of at first, and finally altogether removed by the quarter master's department. The landing jetty on the river was removed, and a large warehouse and wharf erected by the Govt on its site. The fences, and some of the head boards in the co's graveyard, were removed by some of the soldiers of the garrison at various times, and...used as fuel at their quarters..." [920]

In 1857, a note of testiness, or perhaps exasperation, appears in the correspondence from Rufus Ingalls, who had worked cooperatively with the Company as military quartermaster since 1849, to various Hudson's Bay Company managers. He wrote Dr. William Tolmie in August of 1857 that not:

...foreseeing any possible obstacle to a fair understanding and settlement between the military authorities and your Company, and the stage of water at that date making it necessary to begin driving the piles, I accordingly commenced, and now have a capacious, convenient, and expensive wharf nearly completed, right in front of the 'Salmon House.'...It has been constructed with a view of having a permanent storehouse attached to it on the shore line, and, to do this, it will be necessary to take down, or remove the 'Salmon House'...there is plenty of space for both buildings, and hitherto the Company and the Post have accommodated each other on all occasions, and it is hoped such will be the case now...You are aware that we have already executed improvements to a great extent and value, whatever questions may be involved in the settlement, are so already. We now have an imperative necessity for this store house. [921]

The Company's protests were in vain; a new quartermaster's storehouse was erected in 1858.

In the summer of 1858 Chief Trader Grahame protested to Major Mackall regarding the destruction of a house in the Kanaka Village area. Ingalls responded to Mackall inquiry regarding the matter:

There was but one old shed pulled down--it was made originally as a hut by some employés of the HBC but it has not been used by the Co for years, if ever. It did not belong to that Co. Its old occupant abandoned it years ago, and latterly, a person in town has used it occasionally as a cow shed and now feels more aggrieved at its loss than Mr. Grahame. It was a nuisance and worthless and the person was putting himself in a position to give the post much vexation. It was within the limits of this Reservation and the person who was striving to keep a hold on the premises had no manner of just claim thereto... [922]

The relationship between the military and the Company continued to deteriorate over the next two years. Early in 1860 the army, under Brigadier General W.S. Haney, commander of the Department of Oregon, determined that, among other things, it wanted land for a drill ground. Harney ordered a board of officers at Fort Vancouver to evaluate the Company's improvements on the targeted site, south and west of the stockade; they concluded the land contained some hundreds of yards of fencing and eight or nine buildings rapidly going to decay. Hudson's Bay Company clerk John Work, in charge of the Hudson's Bay post in the absence of Grahame, was notified of the proposed summary condemnation, and protested, claiming the area contained several fields under cultivation and leased for the year. Harney responded, in writing, saying the Company was "not recognized as having any possessory rights in the soil of the military reservation at this place," which appears to have come as a shock--at least to see it in writing--to A.G. Dallas, president of the Council of the Hudson's Bay Company in North America. On March 5, the army told Work to remove all enclosures and structures on the lands west of a line of stakes set about eighty yards from the Catholic church, and running south to the river. Work refused. On March 12 soldiers and government employees began removing the fences of Hudson's Bay Company fields west and southwest of the fort. Between March 16 and March 27, the army, according to Work, burned an old house used as a hay house, the Company pig house, a house still occupied by a Hawaiian, William Kaulehelehe, and several other buildings in the Kanaka Village area In addition, the military removed fencing around a Kanaka Village residence, the Company's hospital on the river bank, a house in the river front area which had been rented in 1855-56 by the volunteer quartermaster as an office, the Company's stable and its "cow house," or ox byre. Some materials removed from the dismantled buildings--posts, sills, windows and doors--and one entire building occupied by a Hawaiian, were hauled to the army's ordnance reserve, apparently for re-use there. Other materials were given to "citizens" or supplied to "houses in the garrison for firewood." [923]

After the army's actions, A.G. Dallas, in May of 1860, wrote a bitter letter to Harney, protesting the army's lack of regard for the rights of the Hudson's Bay Company, and notifying him that the Company would be vacating Fort Vancouver " soon as necessary arrangements can be made." [924] To Lord Lyons, the British envoy to Washington, Dallas wrote in August of 1860 that Chief Trader Grahame had, on July 2, been given illicit access to a letter by an unnamed person in the army at Fort Vancouver. The letter, according to Grahame, was from the U.S. Secretary of War, John B. Floyd, to General Harney, ordering "...the removal of all improvements at Fort Vancouver." To date, this letter has not been traced, but its existence would certainly remove the onus from General Harney, later cast by most Company witnesses for the Joint Commission in the role of villain, and raises intriguing questions regarding American foreign policy at the highest levels of government in 1860. It is of particular interest, as the British North West Boundary Commission survey team was slated to visit Fort Vancouver later that spring, surveying the boundary lines, and recording, with photographs, the Hudson's Bay Company posts. [925]

On May 1, Charles William Wilson, a royal engineer with the Boundary Commission, arrived at Fort Vancouver. He wrote:

...the Fort is now surrounded by the Garrison of American troops under General Harney of San Juan renown; alas the poor old Fort once the great depot of all the western fur trade is now sadly shorn of its glories, General Harney having taken forcible possession of nearly all the ground round & almost confined the H.B.C. people to the Fort itself; the H.B. Company are going to give up their post here as most of their business is now transacted in Victoria & in consequence of General Harney's disregard of the treaty of 46 which secured them their rights; it is most annoying to them to see all the fields & land they have reclaimed from the wilderness & savage gradually taken away from them; we have at present the use of the buildings which are nearly empty now, what a place it must have been in the olden time! [926]


General Description

George Gibbs, a visitor at Fort Vancouver in the early 1850s, provides a general description of the country around Vancouver at that time:

The timber upon the lower lands of the Columbia is chiefly cotton-wood; on the smaller streams, vine-maple and alder; while the upland is covered with the usual growth of the coast region of Oregon--fir, spruce and towards the mountains, arbor vitae. This forest is almost entirely of secondary growth, and is deadened over a vast tract by the fires which run through the country...The succession of forest which so universally takes place in the Atlantic States does not occur here, the few deciduous trees of the country being such as growth only upon the water-courses. As a consequence, the first almost invariably spring up again when burnt off. The underbrush, consisting of hazel, spiraea, &c., is unusually dense... [927]

Between 1847 and 1860 the patterns of land ownership on the Fort Vancouver farm significantly altered. On an 1859 map prepared by Richard Covington, the various farms with their associated fields, established by the Company, are subdivided into smaller parcels, with structures placed in enclosures or cultivated fields. However, the areas of developed farm land tend to closely follow the pattern established by the Company. To a great extent, the uses of the land did not change--they were intensified, compelled by the same constraints of topography and natural features that determined Fort Vancouver's development. Thus, the Mill Plain still had cultivated fields, now more completely fenced, with several houses and barns on it, although the Company's barns had vanished; Lower Plain had a series of farms extending north in the same area where the Company's West Plain farm had been located, and a string of houses and fields aligned along the river edge, beginning in the area where the Company's dairy and piggery had operated; Fort Plain, south and east of the stockade, also had several farms which clustered around the areas of the plain the company formerly cultivated. Each of the three Back Plains shown on the map also featured individually owned farms. There were also several houses and structures along the river in the forest east of Fort Plain, an area the Company did not develop. The developments around the grist and sawmills still stood, although no longer tenanted by the Company.

The two most striking new features on the 1859 Covington map are the U.S. Army post, by that time called Fort Vancouver, and Vancouver City. These were located north, west, and southwest of the Company's stockade, which at that time was still extant and set within its diminished protective barrier of cultivated fields. However, even these two features, when viewed in terms of larger patterns, reflect functions similar to those established at Fort Vancouver. In the barracks area of the army post, company quarters, kitchens, officers' quarters, offices, a bakehouse, a warehouse, a hospital and prison, enclose a large open space with a flagstaff; the quartermaster's depot area southwest of the Hudson's Bay Company stockade--where the Company's river front structures and Kanaka Village were located--included stables, a wharf and storehouses, other utilitarian structures, such as wagon sheds, and a few scattered residences. Even Vancouver City--by 1860 a collection of houses, stores and shops--boasted a wharf, west of the army's wharf. A third feature was an enclosure around the 1846 Catholic Church, or "Mission," which had several associated structures.

The establishment and growth of these three institutions--the army, the church, and the town--had a profound impact on the appearance of the landscape in the immediate vicinity of the Company stockade during this period--particularly after the mid-1850s. The center of activity shifted--to the army garrison north of the stockade, to the quartermaster's depot south and west, and to Vancouver City to the west of the quartermaster's depot. After 1857-8, the organization of the landscape around the Company's stockade significantly altered, particularly in the Kanaka Village area and in the Fort Vancouver river front complex, where the Quartermaster's Depot had been established--Company structures, buildings, fences and gardens disappeared. By the spring of 1860, other than the post's heart--the stockade--very little of the Company's establishment was left.

With the disappearance of the Fort Vancouver farm, activities at its heart gradually slowed. With the rise of the new institutions, its physical dismemberment was assured.

Circulation Networks

The basic network of roads established during the primacy of the Hudson's Bay Company was still in place in 1860. The principal connecting route between the farms on Lower Plain and the farms on the Back Plains, Fort Plain and Mill Plain still ran along Upper Mill Road in the vicinity of the stockade; the central area from which all major roads sprang was a short stretch of the Upper Mill Road south of the Catholic mission. The "river road" used by the Hudson's Bay Company still existed, skirting the west edge of the fields west of the stockade, however the principal route to the river from this area had gradually shifted west. By the mid-1850s a road ran from the Company's salmon store in a northerly direction through the Kanaka Village area, terminating on Upper Mill Road just west of the small houses flanking the church. The shift followed the change in activity in the area; the road serviced army quartermaster buildings to the west.

The Lower Mill Road, once the major road to the front (south) entrance of the stockade appears to have diminished in importance: by the early fifties, it terminated to the east at the southeast corner of the stockade, disappearing into fields. It began again at the east edge of Fort Plain and followed its original route through the forest, bisecting settler's claims, to the mills. However, the 1846 Covington farm map shows a new road which branched off of Lower Mill Road, near the east end of Fort Plain, and ran somewhat parallel to it, skirting the southernmost cultivated field--in 1844 apparently in potatoes--and connecting to the "river road" almost on a line with the dwelling occupied by "Scarth." This road apparently assumed a greater importance than the original Lower Mill Road which ran next to the stockade, although it may have only been an informal path, skirting the Company's fields to the south for some years. In 1854, only the north edge of this road is indicated on army maps, and is probably a fence containing the field south of the stockade, which terminates at the north-south road bisecting the Company's fields east of the fort, which apparently ran down to the river. By 1859, it is depicted as a road, dividing the potato field from what the map calls "public pastures," which indicates the area south of it was in occupation by the army. It connects with the north-south road between the fields, making a loop around the stockade. It seems likely that this road was in effect the boundary within which the Company was still able to farm by this time. Both the eastward extension of this road, and of Lower Mill Road towards the east end of the plain have disappeared by 1859, because all the land east of the north-south road through the east Company fields was fenced and claimed by squatters. It appears that in 1859, anyone traveling from the area of the mills towards the stockade, barracks, town or wharfs either skirted Fort Plain's eastern edge until they reached Upper Mill Road near the vicinity of the stockade, or traveled along the edge of the Columbia River, on an unmarked path.

Upper Mill Road continued east from the Catholic mission on much the same route established earlier, into the rising ground of Fort Hill and from there on to Mill Plain. Connecting roads from there to the mills and the Back Plains appear to have followed the Hudson's Bay Company routes. To the west, the road ran through the north end of Vancouver City, skirted the forested area--now mostly denuded of trees--which had separated Fort Plain from Lower Plain, and dipped down to the river edge, skirting the south edge of Amos Short's fields. From there it headed north, splitting in two branches, one of which followed the earlier Hudson's Bay Company's road to the West Plain farm area, now in possession of settlers, and the second of which headed in a northwesterly direction, skirting the northern edges of the string of claims along the river in the direction of Chalifoux Lake.

The former Company road to the Back Plains, over Burnt Bridge River, underwent a series of alterations between 1847 and 1860, as the barracks area of the army post developed on the hill north of the fort. By 1859, one road began at the Catholic Mission intersection, heading north towards the Back Plains, skirting the western edge of the post, and then running northeast to Burnt Bridge; through the reservation it followed the general route of the present day McLoughlin Road. At the northwest corner of the post part of the road continued north. A second road appears to have followed the original Hudson's Bay Company route, beginning about one-quarter of a mile east of the intersection, and heading northeast towards the bridge, crossing through the Ordnance Reserve after passing south of the army's 1858 hospital. A third road ran just west of the site of the Hudson's Bay Company barn. At the bridge, the two roads converged and followed the former Company route. There were many secondary roads established within the army reserve, some of which followed tracks and roads established by the Company, and some of which developed as the post grew in size.

Fort Plain

The greatest alterations to the landscape during this period occurred on Fort Plain. By 1849-50, Archibald McKinlay said it, "...with the exception of the fort and its immediate outbuildings, the orchards and two or three hundred acres of enclosed land, was in the occupation of settlers and the military were camped and erecting buildings on the land back of the fort." [928] By 1860, except for the fields in the immediate vicinity of the fort, and a few fields along Upper Mill Road, most of the cultivable areas on Fort Plain had fallen into the hands of squatters. The army had the most significant impact on the landscape within the immediate vicinity of the stockade. By 1859 many new roads had been established; what was virtually a new settlement--in the form of army barracks and associated structures, a large parade ground, and several military activity centers in the area of Kanaka Village and the river front--had sprung into existence in an eleven year span. To the west, Vancouver City, platted in 1850, was growing. Virtually across the street from the Company stockade, the Catholic church--or mission--had expanded--with a number of buildings, including two schools by 1860; a garden, and an orchard, located within a fenced enclosure of a little less than five acres. As army, town and the mission features were erected, those of the Hudson's Bay Company began to disappear.

The artist Paul Kane, commissioned by Sir George Simpson to visually record Hudson's Bay Company posts, described the vicinity of the farm and stockade as it appeared in the winter of 1846-47: "...the surrounding country is well wooded and fertile, the oak and pine being of the finest description." The camas and "wappatoo", he said, "are found in immense quantities in the plains in the vicinity of Fort Vancouver, and in the spring of the year present a most curious and beautiful appearance, the whole surface presenting an uninterrupted sheet of bright ultra-marine blue, from the innumerable blossoms of these plants." [929]


New Buildings

Hudson's Bay Company millwright William Crate, who returned to Fort Vancouver in 1849, claimed two new buildings--a store and a dwelling--were put up within the stockade after 1849. [930] According to historian John Hussey, three or four buildings were constructed within the stockade between 1846 and 1860. One of these was the watchman's house, located just northeast of the southeast stockade gate, which is first seen on the 1854 Bonneville map, and last seen on the sketch made by the army in 1860, labeled Porter's Lodge. The dwelling Crate referred to appears to have been this structure. The store Crate referred to may have been one of the two buildings shown in the northeast corner of the stockade in the 1854 Bonneville map: a new harness shop, or part of the old one noted on the Vavasour map of 1845, or a butcher's shop, first mentioned in an 1854 army appraisal of Company buildings. The other building constructed after 1847 was a new kitchen for the Chief Factor's house, replacing one destroyed c. 1852-3. [931]

In January of 1848, Thomas Lowe recorded the construction of a second bastion, apparently located on the southeast corner of the stockade: "A Bastion has been put up to day in front of the Fort, which the men have been working at for some time past, and they have put the two long eighteen pounders in the lower, part, but there will be little or no room to work them properly." [932] This structure, for which little archaeological evidence has yet been found, and the 1845 bastion on the northwest corner, were the only ones built at the Fort Vancouver stockade. If one looks closely at the 1854 Bonneville map, it is evident that the southeast corner of the palisade protrudes slightly to the east, an irregularity in the line of the pickets which occurs only in one other place on the map--where the bakehouse extended from the east wall. It is possible this projection was a bastion, of sorts, built into the stockade walls, probably when the south wall of the stockade was moved six feet further south, some time between February of 1848, when Thomas Lowe noted in his journal that new pickets were being erected "in front of the fort," and 1854, the date of the Bonneville map, where the east gate of the south wall has been moved west. [933] Oliver Jennings, at the fort in March of 1851, noted: "The Hudson's Bay Co.'s fort is built of Palisades, or upright posts, about twenty feet high with two bastions at opposite corners, mounted with Cannon, and also block houses by the gates and a large cannon in each, so as to rake the whole length of the Fort, outside." [934] Colonel E.A. Hitchcock, in September of 1851, noted that Fort Vancouver had "...a picket-work with block houses near the river," and Governor Isaac Stevens, said in his report to the U.S. state department in 1854, "The post is enclosed by a stockade of 200 by 175 yards, twelve feet in height, and is defended by bastions on the northwest and southeast angles, mounted with cannon. " [935]

Gradual Decay

Millwright William Crate said he was in charge of keeping the buildings at the fort "in repair," beginning in 1853. Testifying in 1865, in response to a query regarding the condition of the buildings, Crate said his work included putting new sills and blocks under buildings that needed them, and that maintenance on the fort structures employed about five men. [936] Thomas Lowe, who testified he last saw the buildings in 1850, stated that at that time they were "in good condition." [937] It is evident, however, that during this period of transition, the managers of the Hudson's Bay Company post had neither the manpower, material resources, or even much reason, to keep the assemblage of structures within the fort, built to support its fur-trading--and later agricultural--enterprises, in good repair.

P.W. Crawford, who visited the fort in 1847, noted the appearance of the stockade: "Round timbers from The natural firm Tree with the Bark all on in diameter from Twelve to fourteen even some Eighteen inches--firmly placed in The ground..." Honore-Timothee Lempfrit noted in the fall of 1849 that "The fort is built within a strong palisade of wooden timbers ten and more inches thick and over thirty feet in height." [938] Artist Paul Kane, visiting in the winter of 1846-47 said the palisade was sixteen feet high, "with bastions for cannon at the corners." [939] At this time, it is not clear when the south wall of the stockade was shifted six feet south, where archaeological investigations have revealed a second line of pickets, but documentary evidence tends to suggest it was between 1848, when the southeast bastion was built, and 1854, when the Bonneville map shows that the southeast gate was moved west. When construction of this new wall was complete, the stockade had reached its greatest dimensions, approximately 732 feet long and 325 feet wide. [940]

As previously noted, Thomas Lowe recorded the demolition of the old church in the middle of the central court within the stockade in June of 1846, and that only the (old) office remained " break the full sweep of the Fort Yard," but that Captain Baillie, commander of the Modeste, was living in the new office, delaying the Company's move into it. [941] It was probably not until after the Modeste departed in May of 1847, that the old office was demolished, clearing the central court of all buildings. A watercolor by Lieutenant T.P. Coode, an officer on the Modeste, shows the old office still in place within the courtyard; Coode's sketch is the earliest known three-dimensional depiction of the stockade's interior, and with the exception of the old office, presents a view of the courtyard as it appeared near the time of the Fort's greatest influence. [942]

The Coode sketch also shows, as noted earlier, a path ringing the courtyard at its west end. It is interesting to compare Coode's 1846-47 graphic with a map prepared by Lieutenants Wheeler and Dixon, under the direction of Captain George Thom in 1859. The latter depicts paths or roads within the stockade--the only known map to do so. Its accuracy is unknown, although certain features seem to conform to known archaeological and graphic evidence. The north path, extending from the sale shop east to the bachelor's quarters is also shown on the Coode drawing; it does not, however, delineate any path along the front of the provision store or the new store, as Coode shows. The map does show paths or roads where one would expect them, extending from the three gates of the stockade to the interior. The north gate stockade road, identified archaeologically between the chief factor's house and the priest's house as compacted soil, crosses the north path shown by Coode, and then apparently sweeps on an arc towards the c. 1848 southeast gate, just west of the watchman's house. A second path springs from the same intersection of the north gate road and the north inner path, and runs diagonally to the approximate location of an entrance to the Bachelor's quarters. The southwest gate road runs between the fur store and the provision store, as described by P.W. Crawford in 1847, and then splits, crossing the yard diagonally to the sale shop and to a path leading to the new office. As noted earlier, an 1860 Boundary Commission photograph shows what appears to be the remains of a planked road leading from the southwest gate abruptly terminating towards the center of the courtyard; perhaps this is where the road or path split. There is no indication on this map of a road or path leading from the earlier southeast gate, west of the missionary store building. The composition of these paths, or how they were distinguished from the general surface material of the courtyard is unknown.

Structural features within the stockade, other than buildings, during this period include at least two belfries. The first is the one referred to by Thomas Lowe in 1844, termed the "second belfry," erected in 1844, and standing until around 1855, located north of the new office and west of the jail. The third belfry, located approximately in the center of the courtyard, can be seen on two of the 1860 Boundary Commission photographs, and dates between 1855, where it seems to appear in the Covington bird's eye view, and 1860, when the photographs were taken. [943]

As noted earlier, the second flagstaff, erected in the mid-1830s, was located archaeologically; this was blown down in September of 1844, according to Thomas Lowe, and a new one was erected in the same location and lasted until at least 1855. It was situated near the middle of the south stockade wall, as it existed prior to its expansion in 1844-45, near the southeast corner of the fur store. [944]

During this period three wells were located within the stockade, all of which have been identified archaeologically. The "second" and "third" wells have already been discussed. A third well, called the "fourth" well, was located by archaeologists in 1973, in the approximate location of fire fighting equipment shown in an 1860 Boundary Commission photograph looking towards the west end of the courtyard. The well was just north of the third belfry, 147 feet north of the south wall. This "fourth well" was at least in existence by 1854, when the existence of three wells were recorded by the army. [945]

Thirty-three latrines, or privies, have been located archaeologically within the stockade and historical documentary evidence describing them is slight. The pattern of the location of privies, as noted, seems to have been to locate them between the backs of buildings and the stockade walls; as the stockade expanded over the years, the privies were apparently moved. For this period, then, privies found to date by archaeologists, which still may have been in use total around eighteen: the sale shop privy, west of the sale shop and south of the root house, against the west wall of the stockade; probably three privies north of the second carpenter's shop, one behind the Chaplain's kitchen/Owyhee Church/Schoolhouse, two behind the chief factor's second kitchen, and two or three behind the second bakehouse, along the north stockade wall; two north of the third bakehouse, and six east of the Bachelor's Quarters along the east wall, and one south of the missionary store along the south wall. Since it is probable not all privies have been found, and since it is also likely that of those found clustered in one area were not all in use simultaneously, the numbers are only rough estimates. [946]

The position and location of all fences within the stockade, like the privies, are to some extent problematic. To date, only the portions of the fencing near the Chief Factor's house have been found archaeologically; graphic and documentary evidence indicates a total of twenty-nine fence lines. Fences that may have been in existence in the late 1830s and early 1840s, may have continued to stand into at least the mid-1850s. The 1860 Boundary Commission photographs of the stockade interior show the picket fence enclosing the front and part of the sides of the Chief Factor's house, as does the Coode 1846-47 watercolor. The army's ground plan of abandoned buildings, prepared in June of 1860, shows a fence extending from the southeast corner of the new store to the south stockade wall. [947]

In the fall of 1849 Major D.H. Vinton, U.S. Army quartermaster, surveyed the fort. He evaluated the construction costs of the structures within the "Fort proper" as worth $40,000. [948] In October of that year, post Quartermaster Rufus Ingalls rented the lower half of the Company's fur store within the stockade, to serve as a storehouse for the army's quartermaster and commissary departments; the rental of this space continued until 1859, although a new army storehouse was completed near the river in 1858. [949] The building, according to Ingalls, was "never fit for the storage of valuable property." [950]

Between 1846 and 1860, at least four buildings had disappeared from within the stockade: the old office, discussed above; the beef store/general store #18 in the northwest corner of the stockade, which is missing from the Bonneville map of 1854; the Owyhee Church/schoolhouse and the second chief factor's house kitchen, both of which were demolished according to Dugald Mactavish, prior to 1858. Another structure missing from an 1860 inventory of buildings is a well house, listed in the 1846-47 inventory of buildings within the stockade; it has been postulated that this structure enclosed the "second well," discussed above. Also, one building in the northeast corner of the stockade--possibly a harness shop--may have disappeared between 1859 and 1860. [951]

Dr. Henry Tuzo, at Fort Vancouver between 1853-58, later said that on the east side was a two-story bakehouse with ovens; two-story frame kitchen, a long row of dwellings for officers and their families; store used for iron; a blacksmith's forge, and the Indian shop.

On the north, a dwelling for the "officer in charge, with extensive cellars beneath, another dwelling, also a counting house and a prison, also a large and well fitted up granary, a carpenter's shop, an excellent roots house, and a press house." To the west was a "...large two-story sale shop, a similar store, fire-proof powder magazine built of brick and stone with arched roof and copper doors..." and to the south, "two large warehouses, one of which was for some years occupied by the military as a quarter master and commissary dept store; also a watchman's house... " [952] The location of the "press house," whether a separate structure or included in one of the other buildings, is not known at present. By late 1853 or early 1854, according to Isaac Stevens, the buildings within the stockade were "...old and considerably decayed, only the repairs necessary to keep them in tenantable order having of late years been expended." [953]

By 1858, Dugald Mactavish later testified, two structures had been "pulled down" within the stockade: a kitchen, 60 by 24 feet, now known to be the chief factor's house's second kitchen, and a "dwelling house 50 x 25 feet..." which has been determined to refer to the Owyhee Church/schoolhouse, north of the priest's house, just west of the north stockade road. [954]

After the Company abandoned Fort Vancouver in June of 1860, a board of army officers was convened by General Harney to evaluate the stockade buildings. The board prepared a report and a sketch of the stockade's plan. Neither the plan nor the list mention two structures which can be seen as extant in the 1860 Boundary Commission photograph of the northwest end of the stockade: an open-sided, hip-roofed structure just north and east of the sale shop, and a gable-roofed building with eaves at or near grade; the latter has been identified as the root house.

The board did identify and list twenty-two structures still standing within the fort at the time of its abandonment. On the north, these were the granary; the carpenter's shop; the "new" office; the jail; the priest's house; the chief factor's house, the chief factor's kitchen; the butcher's shop. On the east, still standing were the (third) bakehouse, the bachelor's quarters, and the iron store, referred to as a small store house. To the south, the (second) blacksmith's shop, the missionary store/(third) fur store ("fur house"), the watchman's house ("porter's lodge"), the (second) fur store, rented by the army; the provision store, and the powder magazine. On the west, the new store, the sale shop, and, in the northwest corner, the bastion. Of these buildings, all but a few were described as "uninhabitable," "entirely out of repair," or in a "ruinous condition." Several of these were noted to have been "long abandoned by the Company:" the iron store, the blacksmith shop, the missionary store/fur house, the carpenter's shop, and the jail. Those not specifically mentioned as decayed were the watchman's house ("useless for any military purpose"), the second fur store, the provisions store and the new store ("Three large storehouses, useless for any purpose connected with the public service"); the sale shop ("unsuitable for any military purpose"); the granary; the powder magazine, and the "new" office. Of all these buildings, only the office, noted as in "tolerable repair" was noted as possibly of some use to the military, on a temporary basis. [955]

Within the next decade, and mostly within the years immediately following 1860, the buildings within the stockade, and the stockade itself, disappeared. William Crate later testified that after Grahame left in June, "I saw the soldiers taking down the buildings inside the fort, though not all." [956] Demolition was halted in late June or early July by order of the Secretary of War, who sent an order to the commander of the Department of Oregon on June 7 to suspend actions leading to the termination of the Company's occupation. By then, some structures had been demolished, and others were partially dismantled. That summer the U.S. Army lodged noncommissioned officers, the band and laundresses of the Ninth Infantry in part of the stockade buildings still standing. [957] By 1863, Crate said part of the stockade and a few buildings were still extant; that same year civilian J.W. Nesmith said in later testimony, the pickets and structures had "nearly all rotted away and fallen down." [958] By 1865-66 a fire had swept through part of the site, leaving only ruins. [959]

Structures associated with the Stockade

Exterior of Stockade's Southeast Corner

As discussed previously, archaeological investigations in this area in 1987 and 1991 indicate at least one--and probably several other dwellings were located outside the the southeast corner of the stockade before its expansion east in 1841. [960] Illustrations of the south side of the fort, post-dating 1845, are limited. Both the painting attributed to John Mix Stanley, c. 1846-47, and the Paul Kane sketch of 1846-47 show buildings on the southeast side, after the extension of the stockade. The 1846 Covington stockade area map shows three structures in a row, east of the fort, the one nearest the stockade is the largest. What appears to be the corner of this building appears in the Stanley painting, although it appears to be set back to the north. Three structures are also seen in the Kane sketch--one large gable-roofed structure, and two smaller gable roofed structures to the east. Again, in this sketch, the larger building appears set farther to the north. The Bonneville map of 1854 shows two buildings, the one nearest the stockade set back slightly to the north, and the one to the east longer than the footprint showing on the Covington map. The 1855 Topographic Sketch of Fort Vancouver shows three buildings in a north-south row along the east stockade wall, entirely at odds with any of the other graphic materials. By 1859 the configuration of the buildings has changed again, with a smaller building set well back to the north nearest the stockade, the longer or enlarged building to the east, and a smaller structure behind it. Another version of the Harney map shows another configuration of three small buildings, in a staggered east-west row. The ground plan prepared by the army in June of 1860 shows three buildings of approximately equal size in an east-west row, and a fourth, perpendicular to the row at the east end.

As noted previously, the largest and westernmost structure on the 1846 Covington stockade area map is labeled "Cooper's shed." [961] Historian John Hussey discusses the cooper's shed in detail, and indicates that coopering at the Company post ceased in 1854-55; Dr. Henry Tuzo, at the fort between 1853 and 1858, noted that there was a large cooper's shop outside the fort on the east, but he does not say how long it continued to function as such. [962] The building may have lasted through 1860, although at some point it would have been reduced in size, if the relative scale of the maps of 1859 and 1860 are to be believed. The army board inventorying the post in June of 1860 noted that there were four "hovels, outside of and near the southeast corner of the pickets, in a dilapidated condition." [963] By 1853, there were, according to Dr. Tuzo, "...three dwellings for subordinate officers... "outside the fort to the east. [964] Presumably two of these, at least, were the structures east of the cooperage, perhaps, in light of recent archaeological investigations, remnants of a larger collection of dwellings pre-dating 1841. The third dwelling's location is problematic, given the evidence from the maps, and the timing. The elongated building to the east of the cooper's shop, shown on the Bonneville map could have served as two dwellings, especially since on the map, the building has a dividing line. But there is no indication of a third dwelling, in addition to the cooper's shop, until the 1860 map, which was after Tuzo had left Fort Vancouver.

Root Houses

As noted earlier, there was one, and perhaps two structures serving as root houses in 1846-47 in the northwest corner of the field north of the stockade and west of the north stockade road. While they can be seen on two circa 1846-47 illustrations--the painting attributed to John Mix Stanley, and the Paul Kane sketch--they are not recorded on any other known sketches or maps from that date on. While it might be observed that the structures were too small to record, the garden summerhouse, which could not have been much larger than either of these, described as sixty by twenty feet, is clearly visible in several drawings and maps up to 1855. Since no reference is made to an ice house until the testimony of two men, John Work and Dr. Henry Tuzo--the latter did not arrive at the fort until 1853--perhaps one of these two structures was converted to an ice house for a brief period of time; the need for storage of seed potatoes and great quantities for employee rations would have, by that time, been much diminished. This, however, does not explain the absence of graphically-depicted evidence of these two structures in the 1850s.

Ice House

For a discussion of this structure, see the individual listings in the section "North of Upper Mill Road," below.

North of Upper Mill Road

This area experienced significant changes between 1847 and 1860. The U.S. Army expanded its operations into the vicinity south of the garrison as it grew. The few Hudson's Bay Company structures left after the 1844 fire were gradually demolished, most presumably by the military. In addition, to the northwest of the stockade, the Catholic mission began its expansion, incorporating at least two Company dwellings within fenced grounds.

The topography of the rising ground north of Upper Mill Road has already been discussed. Generally, from the road it rose gradually to a second plateau, on which the army, during this period, located its garrison. The ground also rose to the east, creating the bluff on which the original Hudson's Bay Company fort was located. Illustrations, photographs, and documents executed during this period indicate some changes in vegetation and such features as fencing, particularly as the army garrison expanded.

artillery units
Figure 11. Artillery units on Hudson's Bay Company orchard site, looking northwest across Upper Mill Road, c. 1860. In distant background is Officers' Row; mid-right is one of the Hudson's Bay Company schoolhouses, with the 1858 Army hospital behind. Courtesy National Archives..

Covington's 1846 map of the vicinity indicates undergrowth and forest still covered much of Old Fort Hill. To the north, east and west, the forest ringed the upper plateau, encompassing the army's cemetery, established in the 1850s, at the northwest edge of the upper plateau, and encircling on the north and west the Company's cemetery, which was further south. From there, it swept down in a southwesterly direction towards the west end of Fort Plain, coming close to the northwest edge of the Catholic mission, and continuing on towards the river in what appears to be the same narrow strip of dense undergrowth separating Fort Plain and Lower Plain, as described by visitors to the site in the 1830s and '40s. On Covington's Map, Upper Mill Road appears to cut through the forest towards Fort Plain as it did in earlier periods. The Company's cultivated fields surrounding and west of the barns which burned in the 1844 fire on the lower edges of the bluff, were, in 1846, still under cultivation.

It is evident that timber had been removed from the vicinity of the stockade over the years, including the area north of Upper Mill Road. A sketch of Fort Vancouver around 1846-47 looking towards the southwest shows tree stumps in the foreground, northeast of the schoolhouses. Dugald Mactavish, in later testimony to the British and American Joint Commission noted that when the stockade was "renewed" between the fall of 1842 and the spring of 1845, the "timber for the pickets was not by any means found close at hand and if I remember right many of the logs, which were very choice, were cut at a great distance from the fort, and had then to be dragged out by oxen to the river-side and rafted down the river, and hauled by oxen up to the fort." [965]

According to Dugald Mactavish, the open lands throughout Fort Plain and Lower Plain were sown with grasses by the company, although he did not state when, he said it was "before my time," indicating at least before 1853, when he took over the administration of the post. While in other statements, he makes reference to this in regards to lands along the Columbia, the implication of one of his references is that all open areas not under cultivation were sown with the grasses. [966] Although not shown on any maps of the period, it is apparent that the Company had at least one fenced, cultivated field, of about eight acres, on the site where the army established its garrison in 1849; the Company agreed to allow the military to occupy the land, sown in wheat, under the condition that the army pay for the cost of the lost crop. [967] It is also clear that the rising ground north of the stockade was not entirely clear of vegetation; photos as late as the 1860 Boundary Commission show clusters of firs and deciduous trees dotting the landscape north of the fort, around which army buildings have been erected.

An 1850 map by Captain James Stuart shows the pattern of vegetation around the area north of Upper Mill Road to be similar to that illustrated by Covington four years earlier. An 1851 sketch by George Gibbs of the area provides a bit more detail. While much of the land occupied by the military appears to be open ground, there are clusters of vegetation. One notable cluster of obviously older trees is located northeast of the Company's schoolhouses, in the vicinity of the guard house and the 1849 Company kitchen and bakery; the vegetation appears to continue to the north, towards the edge of the parade grounds. Some older fir trees and vegetation appear north of the 1849 officers' barracks, and smaller trees and vegetation appear to the west of it, near the east edge of the Company's cemetery. Further up the slope, there are older trees indicated east of the army's 1850 west barracks, and additional trees north of the first sutler's store. [968] The 1854 map by Captain J.R. McConnell shows the same clusters of firs and undergrowth in the vicinity of the bakehouse and guard house, and a cluster of apparently deciduous trees and undergrowth south of the 1849 officers barracks. This map also shows undergrowth and trees ringing the south and southwest edges of the Company's cemetery, and some trees and vegetation within the cemetery proper. It also seems to indicate undergrowth, firs and deciduous trees in the area west of the cemetery, ringing the Catholic mission grounds on the north and west.

The Covington and Hodges sketches of 1855 show the area between the company's remaining schoolhouse, the army's 1849 structures, and the Catholic mission to be mostly covered with vegetation, with the exception of a cleared area along Upper Mill Road east of the church, where several Company structures once stood. Neither sketch shows the tall fir trees noted in earlier illustrations in the vicinity of the 1849 officers' barracks and bakehouse, although photographs from the 1 860s and '80s show that they existed. The Covington and Hodges sketches also show that the Company's cemetery was mostly cleared of trees, although some vegetation within the cemetery's enclosure exists, and that it was ringed with vegetation. They both also show undergrowth and low trees extending north of the 1849 officers' barracks to the edge of the parade ground, and firs and dense vegetation west of the road which ran north on the east edge of the Catholic mission. Both also show the existence of single and small clusters of large fir trees on the north edge of the parade grounds, still visible in 1860. The 1860 British Boundary Commission photograph of the area still shows small trees in the vicinity of the old bakehouse, and several large firs in that area--as illustrated in the early illustrations of the site--as well as low-growing vegetation south of the army barracks, and a small cluster of trees at the southwest corner of the parade grounds, which in later maps is referred to as an oak grove.

Hudson's Bay Company Structures

In 1846-47, there were at least thirteen Company structures north of Upper Mill Road on Fort Plain. They ran from near the site of the old fort on Old Fort Hill to west of the Catholic church. All but two of these--the building known as Dundas' Castle on Old Fort Hill, and a Company barn located in the general vicinity of the barns burned in the 1844 fire--are indicated on the 1846 Covington stockade area map. In addition, the Company cemetery was located on the rising ground northeast of the Church, and there were at least two large fields northeast of the stockade. Three of the structures are known to have been built after the fire--the Catholic church, and the two schoolhouses mentioned in the previous section. Two more--a dwelling occupied by "Ryan," and a small stable northeast of it--may have been built after the fire; neither are shown on the 1844 stockade area map or the Vavasour map of 1845, but both are indicated on the 1846 Covington stockade area map.


A small gable-roofed structure along the road, which may have been the Ryan dwelling, can be seen west of the schoolhouses in an 1851 sketch by George Gibbs. By 1854, however, a William Ryan was claiming land south and east of the stockade on Fort Plain, and his claim is shown on the 1859 Covington map. The small building on the 1851 Gibbs sketch is not in evidence in the 1854-55 series of sketches and engravings showing the same vicinity, nor is it on the Bonneville map of 1854.


It is not clear if the stable was built in association with the Ryan dwelling, or not, but from October of 1849 through July of 1850, the U.S. Army rented it, a "private stable near the barracks," as "stables for public animals." [969] It appears as if this building, too, can be seen on the 1851 Gibbs sketch, south of the log barracks, just north of an east-west line of fence. A gable-roofed building southeast of the 1849 officers' barracks, which may be the stables, shows on the 1854 Mansfield map, the 1854 McConnell map, and the Bonneville map; it is also in evidence on the 1855 sketches of the site, a small gable-roofed building nestled in the vegetation southwest of the officers barracks.


As noted earlier, the "Old Mill" noted on the 1846 Covington stockade area map was the 1828-29 horse and oxen powered gristmill. Apparently milling ceased at this site in 1838-9 when the new water-powered mill was built on the river. It does not appear in the 1851 Gibbs drawing of the site, and was presumably in ruins or demolished by that time.


As discussed in the previous section, the Company's cemetery was located north of St. James Mission, and had been in use for a number of years--at least as early as 1839, and probably to the time the stockade was moved to Fort Plain. It can be seen east of the first sutler's store in the 1851 Gibbs drawing, and in the 1854 illustrations and Bonneville and Mansfield maps. Some of these show that the east, southwest and west edge of the grounds were enclosed with a fence, and that some of the graves were still, as Tolmie had noted in 1833, enclosed with palisades, or vertical log posts. However, by 1855, a map of the Vancouver vicinity by an unknown artist shows only the army's cemetery in a different location, west and north of the army barracks, and north of the sutler's store, and the 1859 Harney map also only shows this site. The 1859 Covington map shows both cemeteries, although the northeast quadrant of the Company's graveyard is indicated as falling within the bounds of the garrison.

In the Catholic church records of the period, around 1854, some distinction is made between the burials of soldiers and of others; soldiers seem to have been buried in the "grave yard at Fort Vancouver," while others are buried in the graveyard "at this place," or in "the cemetery of this parish." Since there is no known record of a graveyard on the grounds of the mission during this period, it seems probable that the burials of civilians, at least, took place, until 1855, in the Hudson's Bay Company cemetery. Dugald Mactavish, manager of the Company post in the 1850s, reported the Company "got on very well" with the army until about 1856, when a "misunderstanding arose from the garrison fence being run through the burying grounds of the company." Dr. Tuzo, at the post between 1853 and 58, said "The fences, and some of the head boards in the co's graveyard, were removed by some of the soldiers of the garrison at various times, and portions were used as fuel at their quarters. The graveyard became gradually almost obliterated. The authorities ran a fence through it, enclosing a portion within the parade ground, and excluded the rest." [970] By 1866 a military inspector reported: "...a little southwest of the parade ground I observed several others [graves] that Col Hodges told me were those of the H.B.C. men. They were unenclosed and offended the eye by their publicity. I recommended these graves be removed to the post cemetery and that the [army] cemetery grounds be at once put in complete order... " [971]

Dundas' Folly

"Dundas' Folly," or "Dundas' Castle" was referred to in British and American Joint Commission testimony by Company representatives at Fort Vancouver between 1851 and 1858, and thus was apparently still extant. Dr. Henry Tuzo testified that Dundas' Castle was later occupied by settlers. [972] The Mosquito Grotto's fate--if a separate structure--is unknown.


The barn, which is probably listed in the 1846-47 inventory of Company structures, and, as noted previously, can be seen on the 1845 Vavasour map, east of the schoolhouses, and on the 1846 Covington farm map, can also be seen in as a gable-roofed structure in approximately the same location as that shown by Vavasour, east of the school buildings in two 1851 Gibbs sketches. Although the 1854 McConnell map shows a cultivated field east of the schoolhouses, which another map identifies as an oat field, it does not show any structure nearby. It is difficult to see if it exists in the 1855 Hodges sketch, but it does not show on the Covington sketch of the same year. It is possible it is the small building shown on the 1855 Topographic Sketch of Fort Vancouver and Environs, just north of the Company gardens fence, but the distance appears too close to the schoolhouses. Dugald Mactavish, in listing buildings still extant in 1858, when he left Fort Vancouver, did not mention a barn, although he mentioned one stable, almost certainly the one torn down by the army in 1860 in the river front area. [973]

In 1852 Chief Factor John Ballenden noted he had promised the army surgeon Dr. Moses, "the use for one year of a piece of ground between the Barracks and the Barn for a hospital garden," presumably the field later noted as "Company Gardens," so it appears the barn stood until at least that year. [974] Dr. Henry Tuzo testified that on the north side of the fort was "a large barn, afterwards burnt." [975] The only building shown on the Covington farm map which could be considered north of the fort, which is not already identified, was this structure. Since Tuzo was at the post between 1853 and 1858, it appears the barn burned sometime within that time frame. It is not indicated on the 1859 Harney map.


As noted previously, the Hudson's Bay Company built two new schoolhouses north of the stockade, just east of the road leading to the back plains, between 1844 and 1846. They are indicated on both 1844 maps, on Vavasour's 1845 map, and on Covington's 1846 maps. In the 1846-47 inventory they are listed as 2 new schoolhouses, 50 x 40 feet each. [976] Both two-story hip-roofed structures can be seen on the 1851 sketch by George Gibbs, the easternmost one has a shed-roofed extension to the south, with eaves that appear to touch the ground, possibly a later addition by the army. It does not appear that the schools were ever put into operation. In the summer of 1848 Rev. George Atkinson reported the buildings, unfinished, were being used as sheep-shearing sheds. [977]

In May, Companies L and M of the First Artillery of the U.S. Army arrived at Fort Vancouver and camped "on a rising ground directly in rear of Fort Vancouver," according to officer Theodore Talbot. [978] In June Rufus Ingalls, assigned as quartermaster, arrived from California, and Talbot reported to his mother that "It is in contemplation to finish two new wooden buildings in the immediate vicinity of the Fort and to erect others for the use of our Company (L)." [979] Talbot was apparently referring to the two Company schoolhouses, which Ingalls subsequently rented, on June 15, and altered for use by the military. One was a ten room building (the west schoolhouse), used as a barracks for Company L; the other apparently had two rooms, and was used as a supply storehouse for the quartermaster and commissary. [980] The westernmost building was floored; the east one was unfloored. [981] By October 5, army quartermaster Major D.H. Vinton, reported to the Commander of the Pacific Division, General P.F. Smith, "Two unfinished buildings, belonging to the Hudson's Bay Co. have been placed in a condition for occupancy--one as barracks, and the other as a storehouse for the Quarter Masters' & Subsistence stores which he now holds at a moderate rent per month." [982]

Rental of the easternmost of the two buildings apparently ceased in 1852, although the westerly one continued to be rented to the army through 1860. By 1854, the east schoolhouse has disappeared from the maps. By 1854 the west schoolhouse was being used as a combination hospital and storeroom for ordnance, as reported by army inspector Mansfield in August of 1854. [983] By this time, rent on the building was forty-five dollars per month. In 1856 Ingalls told Major Osborne Cross, Chief Quartermaster of the Pacific, headquartered at Benicia, that the building was "not fit for any use if another and proper one could be put up." [984] Between the summer of 1857 and 1858, a new quartermaster's storehouse was erected on the river, and a commissary storehouse followed soon after. The west schoolhouse was still standing and in use in 1859, however; it is present on the 1859 Harney map, and Ingalls was still recording rental payments for it. In 1855, the area south and east of the schoolhouses--in 1844 the Company's cultivated tare field--has been converted to army "Company gardens." The sketches of 1855 show the grounds around the remaining schoolhouse to be enclosed by a fence, and the area to the east--indicated as gardens on the map--also at least partially enclosed by fencing. On the 1859 Harney map, an "officers garden" is located north of the company gardens, in the same location as a fenced, cultivated field shown on the 1845 Vavasour map.

Ice House

Both Dr. Henry Tuzo and John M. Work later testified that the Company had an ice house north of the fort. Work, who was at the post between 1853 and 1860 said when he left that an ice house was "...situated north of the fort." [985] Tuzo, at the fort between 1853 and 1858 said there was an icehouse on the north, outside the stockade. [986] The 1846-47 inventory does not list an ice house as part of the Company property; it is possible it was erected after the inventory. Its location is unknown at present. It may not have been on the north side of Upper Mill Road; possibly a former root house had been converted to an ice house, perhaps one of those two buildings in the northwest corner of the field east of the garden. It has been noted, however, that graphic evidence of the existence of these two structures into the 1850s is lacking. Another slight possibility is the long shed-roofed addition to the east schoolhouse, with eaves extending almost to the ground, which shows on the 1851 Gibbs sketch, but may have been an army addition. Also visible in both the Gibbs and the 1854-55 illustrations is a small gable-roofed building west and south of the east schoolhouse. This structure is not shown on the 1846 Covington stockade area map. It does not appear to be a U.S. Army structure, from the buildings known to have been erected by the military at that time. It is possible this building served as an ice house, built after 1846-47.

sketch of Kanaka Village
Figure 12. View of Kanaka Village and north of Upper Mill Road, looking northeast, by George Gibbs, c. 1851. St. James church to left; Columbia Barracks Officers' Quarters below trees; hip-roofed Hudson's Bay Company school houses slightly right of center.

U.S. Army Guard House

In later testimony on behalf of the United States before the British and American Joint Commission, it was claimed that the army rented a one room log house from the Company as a guard house in 1849. A list of rentals prepared by the Company between 1849 and 1860 do not show any structures rented as guard houses, although one--Ryan's--was in the general vicinity of the first structures erected by the army. It was not in or near the site, however, of the structure listed as a guard house on an 1850-51 army map, and a structure in the correct location as shown on the map can be seen on sketches and maps throughout the 1850s. Also, a later army list of buildings indicates the "old guardhouse" was built in 1849. It is possible that one of the employee dwellings listed in the rentals as rented by the U.S. Army in 1849 served briefly as a guard house for prisoners--the army did experience desertions and required some kind of place of detention in 1849--until one was built by the army, by the fall of 1849; the uses to which the rentals were put was not always recorded. It may have been Ryan's, or possibly one of the dwellings in Kanaka Village. At present, however, it does not appear the structure shown in the sketches and on maps in the 1850s was a Hudson's Bay Company building. [987]

Employee Dwellings

West of the church, completed by May of 1846, were three employee dwellings, which have been mentioned earlier. In 1846 they were occupied, from east to west, by either Charles or Francois Proulx, Alexandre Lattie--or perhaps just his wife by that time--and Rocque Ducheney. The three structures can be seen in the 1851 Gibbs sketch. In 1855, the Lattie and Ducheney houses, still enclosed by what appear to be picket fences, can be seen in the sketch of Fort Vancouver by Richard Covington; the Proulx house can also be seen, slightly set back from the road and nestled in a grove of trees, however, it does not appear on the Bonneville map of 1854, nor does it or the Lattie house appear on the 1854 Mansfield map. Both the Mansfield map and the Bonneville map indicate fenced enclosures which incorporate the structures--or their sites--within the Catholic church grounds. As noted below, the army rented the Lattie house from the Company between 1850 and at least 1852, to quarter officers.

St. James Mission

Between 1847 and 1860, the Catholic Church at Fort Vancouver expanded the space it occupied, erecting enclosures and additional structures to the north and west. As noted earlier, the Catholic church claimed 640 acres surrounding the church in 1853 under the donation land claim act. It is clear, however, that the Hudson's Bay Company considered the church its property.

When P.W. Crawford arrived at the fort in 1847, he noted that the "Catholic Church outside This Collection [the stockade]" stood southwest of the fort,...1/8 mile Priests French Canadians." [988] Honore-Timothee Lempfrit, who arrived in October of 1849 noted the priest was Mr. Delivaut (Delevaud, V.), "a young Savoyard priest to whom we were introduced..." [989] Delevaud served as a priest at Fort Vancouver from the fall of 1847 through the fall of 1850, when he apparently was replaced by J.B.A. Brouillet.

The army apparently rented space from the Company for its officers in the Church rectory: an army officer was noted as occupying it in 1849, and Forbes Barclay later testified that a Lieutenant Denman lived in it during the same period--a Second Lieutenant George Dement arrived with Hathaway in the spring of 1849, and could have been the Denman recalled by Barclay. [990] Probably in April, but definitely by July of 1850 the Lattie house was rented to the army, and occupied by Brevet Major C.F. Ruff of the Mounted Riflemen, who arrived at Fort Vancouver in April or June of 1850, and was placed in command of the post in August of that year. By March of 1851 the house was was occupied by a Lieutenant Hawkins; and the army continued to rent it at least through 1852--after that date, the rental records are not clear regarding this structure. [991]

view towards St. James Mission grounds
Figure 12. Looking north-northwest towards St. James Mission grounds, with St. James Church to right, taken from site of Hudson's Bay Company orchard after demolition of Kanaka Village buildings. Vancouver village buildings in background. North American Boundary Commission Survey, 1860-61, original at Royal Engineers Library, Kent.

In the fall of 1850, the Rev. A.M.A. Blanchet, Bishop of Nisqually, apparently established his residence at Fort Vancouver, at least part time. [992] Quartermaster Ingalls later said, however, that no priests were in permanent residence after the arrival of the army until invited to Fort Vancouver by Colonel Bonneville, who arrived in the fall of 1852. By July of 1851, the grounds were enclosed with a fence, as shown in a sketch by George Gibbs, which shows the north end of the church, and one of Company's employee's houses, which appears to be the Proulx house. The Lattie and Ducheney houses are seen behind a fenced enclosure to the west of the church. William Crate later testified that the "Catholic priest occupied the house built by the Company for him and the church which the company erected," although he did not specify a date--it would have been after Crate's return in 1849. [993]

Father J.B.A. Brouillet, assigned as the missionary priest to the Church at Fort Vancouver, began his duties near the end of December 1850. According to Ingalls, and to Major General Thomas Anderson, who later commanded Vancouver Barracks (1886-1898), Brouillet was invited to take up permanent residency at the church by B.L.E. Bonneville, who commanded the military post from the fall of 1852 to May of 1855. Bonneville was French by birth; in March of 1854 he was confirmed by Monsigneur Blanchet at Fort Vancouver. [994] According to Anderson, Brouillet and Bonneville "set out an orchard on the site of the Kanaka village, worked together, smoked, sipped wine and talked of 'la belle-France' without a suspicion that their actions would be put in evidence in a great law suit many years after their death. " [995]

The reference to Bonneville and Brouillet setting out an orchard is interesting, and probably true. While Bonneville was in command of the military reservation, the size of the church's enclosures increased to around five acres. In 1852 Chief Factor John Ballenden leased several Company fields to Colonel Bonneville, apparently for use by the army. One of these fields was described as being "on the upper side of the road below the house formerly occupied by Mr. Noble." [996] John Noble, according to the Company's rental records, rented the Petrain house from November of 1851 to May of 1852, and the Petrain House was the former Lattie house, west of the church, which had been rented to Major Ruff for a few months in 1850. [997] Noble was a military commissary clerk at the army post who married Catherine McIntosh, daughter of John McIntosh, a part-Indian Hudson's Bay Company clerk serving in New Caledonia, who died in 1844 or 1845, and his wife, Charlotte Robertson. Married in November of 1851, the newlyweds apparently moved into the house at this time. [998] The field referred to by Ballenden must have been the field west of the Catholic church and the Company dwellings which, by 1855 is enclosed, with a young orchard planted in it. Rufus Ingalls said in 1859 that it was "not until after, under the auspices of a Catholic Post Commander, the priests were allowed many privileges and were permitted to make improvements within certain defined limits which they now wish to extend...What he [Colonel Bonneville] granted was by way of favors, and of course his successor had the right to withdraw them when the public service required it..." [999]

By May of 1853 the church had filed its claim to 640 acres around the site of the church. In later testimony Dugald Mactavish said the church "with adjoining dwelling house had passed into the hands of R.C. mission who made some claim to the place." [1000] By the time of the survey to reduce the military reservation to 640 acres, conducted under Bonneville's command, the church was located at the south end of a large enclosure, subdivided into several areas on the Bonneville 1854 map. About half of the entire enclosure appears to have been planted in some sort of crop at the north end. Two small structures are located west of the church, probably two of the original three Company dwellings, and there appears to be one--possibly two additional structures north of the church. An 1854 lithograph, prepared for the 1853-54 U.S. Pacific railway survey expedition, and a sketch by Lieutenant Hodges, which appears to have been based on the engraving, dated 1855, shows the subdivided areas were fences; the westernmost one appears to contain the mission's orchard. Henry Tuzo, a Company employee at Fort Vancouver between 1853 and '58, noted that the church had "...several dwellings and other buildings attached to it." [1001] By 1859 there were two more structures within the enclosure, although their functions have not at this time been ascertained.

U.S. Army Garrison

Camp Vancouver was established on the ground north of the Hudson's Bay Company stockade in May of 1849, with the tent encampment of Companies L and M, First Artillery, under the command of Brevet Major J.S. Hathaway. The Massachusetts, which carried the troops, arrived at Fort Vancouver on May 13, but it wasn't until May 21 that Officer Theodore Talbot recorded in his journal:

Moved to the high ground directly in rear of the Fort. It commenced to rain as we began to strike our tents & rain & hail fell in heavy showers all day. We had only one wagon so that half the baggage was transported by hand. Our new location is quite high and commanding. [1002]

After army quartermaster Rufus Ingalls arrived from California on May 25, quarters and buildings for the army were rented from the Hudson's Bay Company. Until the fall, the only structures that appear to have been rented were the two unfinished Company schoolhouses northeast of the stockade, a house in Kanaka Village--referred to as "Captain Johnstone's House," and two Company employee dwellings south of the church, at the northwest end of the "river road." Over the summer the army "placed into a condition for occupancy" the schoolhouses, "one as barracks, and the other as a storehouse for the Quarter Masters' & Subsistence stores." [1003] The northernmost Company dwelling was, in 1846, the dwelling of either Jean Pollet Charlesbois or Paul Charlesbois; probably Jean Pollet Charlesbois, since later the house is referred to as "Paulette's." The dwelling just south of it had been occupied by "Little Proulx," either Charles or Francois. These structures were rented for use by the army surgeon, Dr. Holden. [1004]

It wasn't until November, after the arrival of the Rifle Regiment, under the command of Colonel Loring, in late September and early October, that additional structures were rented from the Company. In addition to those noted above, they included stables used by the Modeste crew near the river; three more houses in Kanaka Village; half of the first floor of the fur store within the stockade; Ryan's house, north of the stockade, and the "private stable" northeast of "Ryan's" house. In March of 1850 another structure north of Upper Mill Road, the Lattie house, west of the church, was rented for Major Ruff.

During the summer of 1849, as Lieutenant James B. Fry of the First Artillery said, "Our command built, of logs quarters enough with a building belonging to the Hudson's Bay Company which they let us use, to protect ourselves, during the following winter." [1005] Ingalls report of expenditures between July and December indicate he paid for materials, such as 11,600 shingles and lumber; for labor--including mechanics and laborers and ten Indians with an overseer; for transportation--hiring yokes of oxen and hauling lumber. [1006]

That summer, four buildings were erected: a ninety by twenty-five foot log building with eleven rooms for the officers of the First Artillery; a twenty-four by twelve foot building divided into two rooms--and servant's room; two, forty by twenty foot buildings with two rooms each, containing the company mess room, a kitchen, a hospital kitchen and a bakehouse. These were arrayed in a cluster just north of the schoolhouses, in and around a small grove of fir trees with some deciduous vegetation below. The officers' quarters were farthest west, beyond the grove of trees. Below and to the east were the bakery and kitchen buildings; perpendicular to these ran the company kitchen, and a small building noted as a sutler's shop. [1007] To the north of the company kitchen and shop was the guardhouse. Although the firs do not appear on the 1855 sketches by Covington and Hodges, they were still extant in 1860, as can be seen in two photographs taken at that time.

Theodore Talbot was in charge of supervising the construction of the brick ovens for the new army bakehouse, located just south of a grove of fir trees north of the schoolhouses. The buildings containing the bakehouse, kitchens and company mess rooms can be seen in the Gibbs 1851 sketch, the 1855 Covington and Hodges drawings, and the Boundary Commission photographs. The structures are low, one story gable-roofed log buildings. In 1860 a new frame bakehouse was built, or the old log one rebuilt in approximately the same site; it was replaced in 1874 by a new bakehouse, erected south of the site of the artillery officers log quarters. The company kitchen, which apparently faced west, and was east of the bakehouse and artillery officers quarters, can be seen on the 1851 Gibbs sketch behind the schoolhouses. It may be present on the 1855 Hodges sketch as a blur north and east of the remaining schoolhouse. It does appear on the 1854 Mansfield map, and may be the structure on the west edge of the officers gardens in the 1859 map.

In October Major D.H. Vinton reported "a temporary building of logs has been constructed for officers quarters and other necessary appendages, of the same materials have been put up in a manner to contribute, in an degree to the convenience of the troops, who have been the main instruments employed in the work performed...I am assured that a sufficient number of workmen could not have been obtained at any price to accomplish the results in the same time... [1008] Theodore Talbot wrote his mother in November: "We have been in Winter Quarters about a month. The Company Officers all live in a long one story log house built by ourselves. It is partitioned off, each officer having a sitting and bed room to himself, with a general mess room. Our accommodations are rude enough, but still they afford us a good protection against the winter rains which have already commenced to pour down upon us." [1009] The officers' barracks are shown on an 1850-51 plat prepared by U.S. Army quartermaster's agent G.C. Bomford. The building appears as the long, gable roofed structure set on the rising ground in approximately the middle of the 1851 sketch by George Gibbs. It is seen again in the 1855 sketches by Covington and Hodges, and in the 1860 photograph taken by British Boundary Commission. It is also visible in a circa 1860 photograph of the artillery unit on the site of Kanaka Village.

No record has surfaced, at present, of the construction of the first guard house. It is, however, mentioned as a rental from the Hudson's Bay Company in testimony given in 1865 on behalf of the United States. In any case, the structure stood northernmost of the collection of early log buildings erected by the army on the Bomford map of 1850-51. It can be seen nestled in the grove of firs northeast of the artillery officers quarters. It can also be seen in the Covington sketch and the 1854 Sohon engraving. It was a small log building with a gable roof. It stood until 1864, when it was replaced by a new, two-story guard house almost immediately to the west.

In December, Ingalls reported he was "...putting up one of the Patent Saw Mills to prepare what lumber I can for next year. I shall send one to Astoria to have lumber in advance for Major Hathaway Command, which goes down in the Spring. The Third portable Mill will probably be sent to the Dalles." [1010] The exact locations of the portable mill are unknown, although from an 1850 report of materials and labor, it was moved at least twice, once in February and once in March. By 1871 a sawmill was located in the Quartermaster's depot area, formerly part of Kanaka Village.

In the spring of 1850, the First Artillery was sent to Astoria, and Colonel Loring's Riflemen, lodged in Oregon City in rented houses, moved to Columbia Barracks. [1011] Construction of the garrison on a Company wheat field on the upper plateau of Fort Plain began; construction of buildings along the west side of the Kanaka Village site for a quartermaster's depot also commenced at this time. Beginning in January, and continuing through December, Ingalls reported expenses for thousands of feet of lumber, building materials such as window glass, barrels of pitch and nails, labor on the sawmill and payments to brickmakers, masons, carpenters and laborers. [1012] In late October he was frantically writing the Pacific Division's quartermaster, Major R. Allen, for funds and material to finish the buildings. He said, "I have now some 40 Citizen Carpenters in my employ at a large daily expense (*$8 each per diem) and should you send us, now, what I require, I can finish off the quarters this winter, making short work of the job..." Can you not get these to me by the last of Nov.?"...We have no more material here of any sort, and even had we, you are aware that it costs a great deal; and when used is of very inferior quality." Among the materials he stressed he needed were "seasoned and dropped" boards to finish the officers houses, and fifty thousand bricks, apparently for chimneys. [1013] The request was reiterated towards the end of November. [1014]

By the end of November, Ingalls later reported, eight one-story officers houses, each with four rooms and a kitchen and privy in the rear, and a two-story house for the commanding officer of the garrison, were "fit for occupation." It appears the interior boards requested did not arrive--only the commanding officer's house was noted as being finished on the inside, and it and four of the eight other officers quarters had brick chimneys; the rest had stoves. Apparently also by November, or soon after, two large barracks for the rifle regiment companies, with kitchens, were also habitable. Five or more buildings were also built in the Quartermaster's Depot, on the west edge of Kanaka Village. Construction continued through March of 1851: an expense report for January through March of 1851 includes materials for interior plastering; "Indians to carry bricks;" bricks; shingles, and lumber. [1015] The total expense for erecting all buildings--including those in 1849--he said in a June 22, 1851 report, was $75,600. [1016]

The 1850-51 plat by G.C. Bomford shows the 1849 buildings, previously described, and the buildings "fit for occupation," described by Ingalls. They enclosed, on three sides, what would become the parade grounds for the garrison. On the west was a gable-roofed log barracks, immediately to the west of which were two smaller structures; one was a kitchen, and the other was later a kitchen, although it may have served as soldiers quarters during the winter of 1850, and possibly through 1855, at least. Both structures were gable-roofed, as is seen in the 1851 Gibbs sketch. On the east end was another gable-roofed log barracks, behind which were three gable-roofed kitchens. Facing the future parade grounds on the north were the officers' quarters, each with a kitchen behind. Four sets of quarters flanked the centrally-located commanding officer's quarters, two stories tall with a hipped roof and veranda. The officers' quarters had gable roofs, with ridges running east-west, and full length porches facing the parade grounds. A flagstaff was located south of the commanding officer's quarters, at the north edge of the open space. As noted earlier, several single and paired large fir trees ran along the north edge of the open space, and the Covington 1855 sketch shows trees and brush north of the west barracks.

By 1850 or '51, the sutler's store had moved to a stockaded, gable-roofed building north of the Catholic mission grounds, west of the Hudson's Bay Company cemetery. Labeled sutler's store on the Bomford 1850-51 plat, it was operated in March of 1851 by "I.R. Shepherd, a young man from Virginia." [1017] The building is shown on the 1855 Covington and Hodges sketches, and is still in the same position on the 1859 Harney map. However, by 1874 the sutler's store for the post had moved to a location southwest of the artillery officer's old barracks, as shown on the Ward map. It may have moved as early as the fall of 1859 or early 1860: both 1860 photographs of the site show a cross gable-roofed building south and west of the artillery officer's quarters which is in roughly the location shown on the 1874 map.

In 1852 Hudson's Bay Company Chief Factor John Ballenden leased several fields to Colonel Bonneville, who arrived in September to assume command of the army post, apparently for use by the garrison. These included the field west of the Catholic church and the former Lattie/Petrain/Noble house; the field behind the "private stables," the hospital garden mentioned earlier, and the site of the burned Company orchard, west of the garden, which, by 1854, is shown as "N. Soldiers garden" on the Mansfield map. [1018]

By 1854 some new buildings had been added to the garrison and additional roads had developed. One of the new buildings was a log magazine, northeast of the guard house, in the same area of the fir grove. A small building was erected north of the artillery officer's quarters, probably a kitchen, which can be seen on the 1855 Covington and Hodges sketches. Two additional small buildings with shed roofs appeared behind the kitchens on the west end of the parade grounds; probably laundress' quarters, and a third small gable-roofed building has been added to the south, probably another kitchen. [1019] The northernmost and largest kitchen behind the west barracks was, in 1855, serving as quarters for the army company band. Mansfield's 1854 map also indicates two small buildings at the east and west edges of the garrison, located on principal roads: the northerly road leading from Upper Mill Road west of the Catholic church, and the former Hudson's Bay Company road leading to the back plains towards the north east. The buildings are called out as blockhouses in an 1855 map of Fort Vancouver and its environs. By 1854 a road led off the extended road to the Back Plains, sweeping around the west side of the artillery officers quarters, crossing the future parade grounds, and headed north between two of the officers quarters at the north end of the open space. There were also some additional buildings in the quartermaster's depot area.

Mansfield, on his inspection tour of western forts in 1853-54, noted that during his visit in August of 1854, "The quarters of the men were inferior log buildings but neat and in good order. The quarters of the officers were ample, but of logs and inferior, and, like those of the men, difficult to keep warm in winter. A good bakery, guard house, magazine, and garden exists. The Hospital is a very inferior building, hired of the Hudson Bay Company, and store room for ordnance also in the same." He stated, "To repair the log houses of officers and soldiers is a waste. The logs are constantly changing by shrinking and expanding and rotting and settling, and it would be better to put up entirely new buildings of plank." [1020] It was another ten years before the recommendation was partly acted on. He also reported that the new assistant quartermaster, Captain T.L. Brent--Ingalls had been posted elsewhere--had made estimates and plans for a new hospital building, a storehouse, forage house, hay shed, stable and wharf.

That year Brent reported most of the buildings on the post had been whitewashed, and that many of the structures--especially officers' quarters, required finishing on the inside. He also noted that several log buildings required exterior weatherboarding. Two new buildings had been erected by June: an insane soldier's quarters, twelve feet by ten feet, and a new kitchen, forty-six by sixteen feet, both frame buildings. [1021] In the summer of 1854 fences were apparently built to enclose yards around each of the officers' quarters and to enclose the graveyards; Brent requested funds for this in the army fiscal year, ending June 30, 1854: "These quarters are now open with nothing to prevent hogs and cattle from coming about them--a due regard for cleanliness and the comfort and convenience of the occupants require the putting of these enclosures...destroying the adjoining highlands.. .destroying the grass and disfiguring the grounds--causing great annoyance and greatly increasing the police labor..." [1022] In November, Brent reported that some funds had already been expended on fencing "...necessary for the protection of the public property and comfort of the officers' quarters." [1023]

By 1860, if not a few years earlier, it appears that the entire upper garrison was enclosed by a fence, the purpose of which was almost certainly to exclude free-ranging livestock, rather than to secure the post. Drawings and photographs from the mid-1850s through 1860 show the fences to be low and simple, easily breached by humans. The 1855 Covington and Hodges sketches show what appears to be picket fencing to the south and between the officers" quarters, as does the Sohon engraving. The 1854 maps indicate each structure was enclosed by fencing on all four sides. By 1855, the parade ground was enclosed with a post and single top rail fence, as is shown on the Covington sketch; by 1860, if not earlier, it was whitewashed, as can be seen in the 1860 Boundary Commission photographs looking north. A fence enclosing the east side of the garrison may have been installed as early as 1856, which is when, according to Dugald Mactavish, a "...misunderstanding arose from garrison fence being run through the burying grounds of the company..." [1024]

Sometime between 1854 and 1855 a small log barracks was built east of the guard house, with a kitchen directly south of it.; The buildings can be seen in both the Hodges and Covington sketches, but is not present on the Mansfield or Bonneville maps of 1854. It is noted on the 1855 Topographic sketch of Fort Vancouver and vicinity. Passing reference is made by quartermaster Thomas Brent to "vacant officers' quarters" in 1855, and a framed officers' quarters listed in 1864 as having been built in 1855 is shown on an 1864 map north of the west log company barracks. A frame office, listed as having been built in 1854, is also shown on the 1864 map, north and west of the west log barracks; this may be a small gable-roofed building which can be seen on the Hodges and Covington sketches. The reports made by Brent, found to date, do not mention these buildings, as far as can be ascertained.

In 1855, Brent stated the maintenance problems associated with the log garrison buildings, and proposed a shift to frame construction for new buildings, a policy followed from that year onward. He noted: cheaper to erect framed buildings, since lumber is cheap and logs must be procured by purchase and from a long distance. Log buildings are uncouth and unsightly and unless weatherboarded and ceiled cold and uncomfortable to live in, owning to shrinking and swelling of logs during dry and wet seasons." In arguing for weatherboarding the log buildings, he said, "In the dry season mortar and daubing fall off and leave the wind free passage, during the rainy season, the rains force through the crevices...should be something more than mere corrals of regulations size with roofs on them." The recent repairs with mortar and lime, he said, were no good--"sad work" was "made of the repairs in the rain." [1025]

In the late 1850s, two new two-and-one-half story framed barracks were built in the garrison area. One was located just south of the west log barracks; the other was placed south of the east log barracks, which were dismantled by 1859. The new buildings are shown on the 1859 Harney map, and also in the two 1860 photographs. In 1856 the army hospital was apparently moved to one of "the set of Barracks recently put up," which was converted for use as a hospital. [1026] That year Thomas Brent submitted plans for a new hospital building, and in the fall of 1857 army surgeon J. Simpson reported to Brigadier General Clark of the Department of the Pacific that he recommended a new hospital be immediately built, using the plan submitted by Brent and prepared by the post surgeon, Barnes. [1027] The T-shaped, two-story building, with a piazza, was built late in 1858, north of the site of the 1849 east log barracks; it can be seen in one of the 1860 photographs.

During Rufus Ingalls' first tour at Fort Vancouver, he had mentioned he had the materials on hand to build a new quartermaster's and commissary storehouse, but it was never built, due to an army order stopping all building construction following the death of the U.S. Secretary of War. When Ingalls returned for his second tour at the end of 1856, he began to lobby for a new storehouse on the river, and his correspondence constantly refers to the inadequacy of the fur trade store in the stockade, rented from the Hudson's Bay Company. A new storehouse was finally built on the river, between August of 1857 and the spring of 1858. [1028]

By 1857-8 two stables were located west of the west edge of the parade grounds. One, according to a later report, had been built in 1854; the 1855 Topographic Map of Fort Vancouver and its Environs labeled this rectangular building the Dragoon stable, which makes the date of construction plausible, since the dragoons were stationed at the post in the mid-1850s during the peak of the Indian wars. A second, L-shaped stable was apparently built in 1858, south of the first structure, according to the later report, as was a framed and shingled L-shaped gun shed south of the stable complex. Only the Dragoon stable shows on one of the three extant 1859 maps prepared for General Harney; but both stables show up on another version of the map. The gun shed, however, is not on either of these two versions. [1029] In July of 1858 Ingalls reported there was sufficient housing for 250 horses, which indicates both these stables and the one in the quartermaster's depot had been finished by that time. [1030]

By July of 1858 Ingalls was able to report that all buildings on the post were in a good state of "repair and preservation," and that all that was needed to make "...this station quite perfect is a hospital..."which, as noted above, was built that year. [1031] The actions of the army in removing or burning Hudson's Bay Company buildings in the area north of Upper Mill Road in the late 1850s have already been discussed.

Garden and Orchard

During this period Fort Vancouver's garden and orchard fell into disrepair and were partially dismantled. As noted earlier, all or part of the orchard west of the garden was burned in the 1844 fire. The 1846 Covington stockade area map labels the former garden site "orchard," and the former orchard site is entirely covered with the symbol Covington used for cultivated fields, and is labeled "cultivated." The map does not show the summerhouse in the garden.

The 1854 Bonneville map by Theodore Eckerson shows the Company's fence between the garden and orchard sites, and a small structure is located at the north end of the garden, in the approximately location of the summerhouse. The Mansfield map, prepared a little later that same year, shows approximately the same amount of space labeled "soldiers garden," although the fence or division between that and the former orchard site is shifted slightly further east than is depicted on the Bonneville map. A structure is still located at the north end of the garden. As noted earlier, the 1855 Hodges sketch definitely shows an open-sided hipped-roof structure in the general vicinity of the summerhouse. It does not appear on any of the 1859 army maps, one of which is fairly detailed regarding vegetation in the garden and orchard sites.

The orchard site on the Mansfield map is divided into three areas, either by fence or symbolically, and the northern division is labeled "N. Soldiers garden." In 1852, along with several other Company fields, Chief Factor John Ballenden leased--for one year--"3/4 of the Garden as marked out by me to Mr. Lewes--the upper half of the field immediately below the fort..." to Colonel Bonneville. [1032] As has been seen previously, none of the other fields ever appear to have reverted to the Company: the field west of St. James Mission remained in the mission's hands; the fields north of Upper Mill Road remained under the control of the army. The label, "Soldiers garden" indicates this area of the former orchard was operated by the U.S. Army at this time. The same map shows the field west of the Catholic church already enclosed, and the fields north of Upper Mill Road are not even noted on it. None of the sketches of 1854-5 indicate a fenced division of the orchard site. From the illustrations of this period, it does not appear the fencing pattern around the garden and orchard had changed, at least up to 1855.

The 1854-55 illustrations seem to agree that west of the garden fence, the northern half to third of the orchard site had only a few scattered trees; in Sohon and Hodges, the tree density increases south of the bastion corner. Covington, whose rendering of vegetation in general seems to be more precise, shows some open space, particularly in the northwest corner, and scattered smaller trees, with a few larger ones to just north of the bastion corner; some of the trees are rendered to appear similar to native vegetation in other parts of the drawing--they look like fir trees. [1033] Gibbs' July, 1851 sketch looking east towards the stockade and Mount Hood shows what appears to be a dense cluster of vegetation from the bastion corner north a very short distance, with open space and scattered trees to the north, and open field in which one large fir stands to the south. The Stanley painting shows a narrow band of trees extending west of the bastion, but not much further south, and open space in the north quarter or so of the orchard site. It seems quite possible the army could have planted vegetables or other low-growing crops in the upper quarter or third of the orchard site, given the apparent amount of large open space available there after the fire--the band of trees extending west from the bastion would have made a convenient dividing line between leased land and Company property.

Officer's Row
Figure 14. Looking north towards U.S. Army's Officers' Row in 1860, with Hudson's Bay Company fruit trees in foreground. Original 1849 Camp Vancouver structures visible in mid-ground; soldiers barracks to left. North American Boundary Commission Survey, 1860-61, orignal at Royal Engineers Library, Kent.

In 1858, Archibald McKinlay, later testified, "I noticed that the fence round the Company's new or young orchard as it was called, was down, part of it on the ground, and part removed. There were men working about the orchard fence, but they were not the Company's men. I noticed some of the buildings had disappeared; there was a big blank." [1034] This action was also observed by Dr. Henry Tuzo, who said, "The orchard fence was partially removed by the military, and a road made over the site of a building of the Company's which had been recently removed, apparently for that purpose." [1035] Also in 1858, army recruits "devastated" the orchard and garden. [1036]

The site of the army activity described by McKinlay and Tuzo was probably the northwest corner of the orchard. On the 1859 maps, the northwest corner appears on a diagonal, rather than the right angles shown on earlier maps, and it appears the road installed by the army, which formerly ran from near the St. James Mission intersection --but slightly west of it--and "river road," very close to the east edge of the quartermaster's stables and around fenced enclosures in Kanaka Village to the water front, was realigned. The new road departed from the intersection and ran what appears to be a more direct line to the new quartermaster's and commissary store and new wharf at the river. This coincides with references to demolition activity in the northeast area of Kanaka Village, and the Company dwellings located at the northeast corner of the village, and most of those along "river road," which can be seen on the 1854 maps, have vanished from the 1859 maps. The absence of the structures towards the northeast corner of the village may have been the "big blank" referred to by McKinlay.

The circa 1860 photograph which may have been taken by the Boundary Commission, showing the artillery group in the foreground, is taken from the site of the orchard. The fence dividing the orchard site from the garden, and some garden trees are visible in the background to the right. The fencing, as noted earlier, appears to be zigzag fencing, but it is not a clear photograph, and the details are blurry. The fencing for the orchard still exists to the north, but it does not appear to extend all the way to the northwest corner. The site certainly does appear to be a "big blank." The northernmost photograph of a panorama of the west edge of Fort Vancouver taken by the Boundary Commission shows a large cleared area extending towards the Catholic mission, probably from the northwest corner of the orchard. There are no trees, no fences and no Hudson's Bay Company buildings. [1037]

The reference to the "young or new orchard" is puzzling. It is possible the Company reclaimed the leased corner of the former orchard site from the army after a year, per the terms of the lease, and laid out new trees there, although given the available work force and the continuing reduced circumstances of the farm at that time--which would have been 1853--it seems very unlikely a new orchard would have been established. What seems more possible is that the terms "new orchard" and "young orchard" were used, and had been used, to describe the entire orchard site from time of its establishment--probably around 1838--to distinguish it from the fruit trees within the garden.

The second 1860 Boundary Commission photograph looking north appears to have been taken from the garden. There are a scattering of fruit trees which appear to have been planted in a grid pattern; the quality of the photograph does not permit assessment of the surface of the ground. These trees are located in the area east of the summerhouse, as shown in the painting attributed to John Mix Stanley; they are not shown on the Stanley illustration, which is remarkably accurate in depicting details. This tends to indicate the trees may have been planted rather late--if the painting is correct, then at least after 1846-47. As noted previously, the north fence of the garden, at least by this late date, appears to have been a picket fence consisting of posts, two sets of stringers, and rived pickets.

Fields and Pastures

The discussion of Fort Plain's fields and pastures is confined to the area south of Upper Mill Road and east of "river road." The history of the fields north of Upper Mill Road has already been discussed. The area west of "river road," now called Kanaka Village, is covered in the Kanaka Village section.

Cultivated Fields and Pastures

As noted earlier, in 1846 the Company had at least four locations under cultivation on Fort Plain south of Upper Mill Road. There is no record of what was specifically grown in these fields during this period. James Douglas reported harvests of wheat, peas and oats in 1847-48; after that field crop references were made primarily to wheat, or to "grain," which could include oats. As discussed earlier, oats were grown in the early '50s in a field east of the schoolhouses above Upper Mill Road. A portion of the southeast fields may have been sown in clover or timothy hay: Dr. Henry Tuzo said that by 1853 two thousand acres of land on Fort Plain and Lower Plain "...had been enclosed and sown with timothy grass by the Company..." [1038] From William Crate's later testimony, it appears that if some of the timothy was enclosed, it was in one of the fields in the southeast area of Fort Plain, and not near the stockade. [1039] William Crate later testified that just before the Company left Fort Vancouver "...the military took possession of the last field in which they grew their potatoes." [1040] It seems quite possible this was the enclosed field directly south of the fort, where potatoes had been grown in 1844; the area along the river due south of it, in 1859, was noted on military maps as "public pasture." [1041]

Whether or not timothy was actually grown in one of the enclosed fields, as Dr. Tuzo described, there seems to be no question it was grown in unenclosed areas of Fort Plain and Lower Plain by the 1850s, as noted earlier. Since livestock were probably roaming the plain in 1846, the fields indicated on the 1846 Covington farm map were probably all fenced. The 1855 Covington sketch shows the same fence enclosing the north and west sides of the field northeast of the stockade that the 1846-47 that the Stanley painting shows. It also depicts a fence extending north-south along the east edge of the field well south of the stockade, where it appears to make a turn to the west. This illustration conforms with the 1854 Bonneville and Mansfield maps, which indicate fencing around this field. The Covington illustration, however, unlike the maps, shows a fence extending east, parallel to the stockade, along what would have been the south edge of Lower Mill Road next to the stockade, terminating at the east fence line of the field. The maps do not show this extension; they show the lower field's north fence terminating near the southeast corner of the fort, enclosed by a north-south fence running to the south fence of the lower field.

An 1851 Gibbs sketch shows the zigzag fence along the west edge of the orchard site, and what appears to be the same style of fence enclosing its south boundary, extending west from the stockade. It also shows the north fence of the lower field south of the fort, which appears to be pole or rail fencing, and parts of the west and southeast edges of the same field; the south fence appears to be a zigzag fence.

The 1854 Bonneville and Mansfield maps also seem to indicate fencing of the long rectangular field northeast of the fort, and east of the north-south road between the fields which later tied in with the road parallel to Lower Mill Road, but this is not illustrated on the 1855 sketches. Both these maps seem to differentiate fencing types by the graphics used to depict the field edges; unfortunately, they are not entirely consistent with the illustrations. For example, the Bonneville map shows the field south of the fort enclosed, as the Gibbs sketch suggests, with post and rail fencing along its north and west edge, and zigzag fencing along the south and east borders. But it also shows post and rail fencing along the north and west edges of the orchard, which conflicts both with the 1855 Covington sketch and the 1860 Boundary Commission photograph. There are no known illustrations of the fields to the far southeast of the fort.

The 1851 Gibbs sketch looking towards the stockade from the village also shows five tall firs, notable in the absence of any other tall trees on the plain, which were clearly landmarks. One of these was in the fenced area of the orchard site, towards the south end of the enclosure. The other four were spaced along the south edge Lower Mill Road, between the village and the stockade. These trees were also recorded by Paul Kane (1846-47), by the painting attributed to Stanley (1846-47), on the 1846 Covington stockade area map, and on the anonymous Topographic Map of Fort Vancouver and Vicinity, dated 1855.


By 1854 squatter William Ryan--probably the same Ryan of "Ryan's dwelling" north of the stockade--had made a claim and begun improvements along the river and at the west end of the cultivated field in the southeast end of Fort Plain; it appears that he also appropriated the barns west of the field. Dugald Mactavish later testified that Ryan, "...close to the fort, ran fences across Fort Plain where the Company's stock used to pasture and which had all been sown with timothy...Some proceedings were taken by me against...Ryan but with little effect." [1042] Isaac Ebey reported in 1854 that Ryan claimed 640 acres, and "has a good farm, about thirty acres of land in cultivation." [1043] William Crate later testified, regarding the timothy seed sown by the Company, that Ryan, along with Nye--another squatter who claimed fields and pastures east of Ryan, including Mud Lake--and squatters on Lower Plain "cut large quantities of timothy hay on these lands and sold it." [1044] It appears that Nye's claim encompassed the small Company field in the southeasternmost corner of Fort Plain by 1859.

The piggery shown on the 1845 Vavasour map does not show up in the next map showing the site, although a structure is located on the 1855 Topographic Sketch of Fort Vancouver and Environs very near the same location. Since the name "Pambrum" is associated with the structure, and since Alexandre Pambrun was one of the claimants on Fort Plain, it may be the structure shown on this map is a dwelling; a structure in this vicinity was called out in the Van Vleet survey of 1860 as "Penbram's house." By 1859, there are two small structures and an enclosed field in this location, identified as Pambrun's on the 1859 Covington map. [1045] For some years Pambrun was in dispute with William Ryan over claim of the lands east of the stockade.

According to army officer Theodore Talbot, in 1849, there were "...many other houses scattered about the [Fort] plain built by officers of that [the Modeste] ship." [1046] The location of these dwellings, is, at present unknown. [1047] As mentioned earlier, there were two dwellings near the river, immediately south of the fort shown on the 1846 Covington stockade area map, which may have been built by and/or for members of the Modeste crew: one is labeled "servant's house," and the other "Drake's House." In 1849 the stables were rented by the army. By 1859 the dwellings and the Modeste stable were encompassed within the claim of squatter O.B. McFadden, who had apparently laid out a cultivated field in a long narrow strip along the river at least as early as 1855. In 1855 McFadden's claim was somewhat smaller, but he apparently waited out another claimant, a "Lovelace," to the east, and had incorporated Lovelace's strip along the river into his claim by 1859.

By around 1855, there was a new building south of the fort along the river, west of the Modeste stables and McFadden's claim. A short road ran from near this structure west, intersecting river road, and then followed the wide path or road that ran along the river south of the hospital and other Kanaka Village structures in that vicinity, across the bridge over the mouth of the pond within Kanaka Village, and terminated at the Company's wharf. In 1859, this structure and road were still in existence. It is presently unknown what this structure was.

By 1858, Dr. Henry Tuzo said, east of the fort "...several barns and sheds, Dundas Castle and what remained of old Fort Vancouver, all were in the occupation of settlers." [1048] John Work testified that when he left in 1860, all that was left of the holdings at Fort Vancouver were "...two fields east of the fort containing about 50 acres and two small enclosures of land in front of the fort, containing about 12 acres, and the garden, about 4 acres. A portion of this land was claimed by 2 parties under the donation law, and the remainder was on the military reserve..." [1049]

Kanaka Village/Quartermaster's Depot

Beginning in 1849, and continuing through December of 1859, the army rented various Company buildings, including a number of dwellings in the Kanaka Village vicinity. The dwellings west of the church have already been discussed, and are not covered below. The dwellings in the vicinity of the river front, including those east of the pond, are addressed in the River Front section of this report.

During this period, the site of Kanaka Village was transformed from a "lively little village occupied by Scotchmen, Canadians, Kanakas, and half breeds..." to a U.S. Army's quartermaster's depot. [1050] By 1860 virtually nothing remained of the thirty to forty dwellings and the various fenced gardens which comprised the village where the Company's servants had lived in the mid-1840s.

It began in the late '40s. Because the number of employees at Fort Vancouver dropped significantly after the announcement of the discovery of gold in California, it seems probable that some houses in the village were abandoned before the army arrived in May of 1849, and it appears the population had pretty much dispersed by the fall of 1850. In 1852 assistant quartermaster Rufus Ingalls reported that when the first four-mile square military reservation was declared, in October of 1850, "...there were some two or three retired servants of the Hudson's Bay Company living within its limits, but they have never been disturbed, as they were not in the way of the garrison, and as they were and are living, as stated, by permission of the Hudson's Bay Company." [1051] William Crate later testified that the village was "in as good condition in 1849 as it was in 1843; and in my opinion better." [1052]

The necessity of locating the quartermaster's depot near the river, the principal transportation route for supplies and equipment, apparently led to the subsequent development of the village site as the depot. All early development of the depot occurred on the west side of the village. In 1849 several vacated Company houses in the village were rented by the army. Up until 1859 the army continued to rent "outhouses" to various army officers and, perhaps, married soldiers. During the same period, the army constructed dwellings for quartermaster's employees, as well as stables, shops and other functional buildings to service the depot.

The larger road network established by the Company, which included the "river road" from the Catholic church to the river, and the Lower Mill Road, south of the stockade, can be seen on all maps of the period, although the angle of the west end of Lower Mill Road, after crossing "river road" changes from map to map, generally becoming more east-west as the years advance. While it could be cartographic error by early delineators, it seems fairly clear the west end of this road had swung further north by 1859. The 1854 map shows it connecting to the army road in the vicinity of the Company stable, byre and pig sheds, the same as or close to the position shown on the 1846 Covington stockade area map, and quite far south of the quartermaster's house. By 1859 this road is running almost due west, passing next to the quartermaster's house enclosure, and north of the Company animal structures.

By the early 1850s a new army road was established from the intersection near the church, running in a southerly direction west of "river road" to the Company wharf, apparently looping somewhat to the west to service the early quartermaster's depot buildings. As noted earlier, this road appears to have been altered by 1859, creating a less winding and more direct route to the river. The disposition of secondary streets within the village area is still, to a large extent, unknown. Vavasour has what appear to be sketchy roads or tracks which loop through the village area in his 1845 map of Fort Vancouver; one line seems to lie on approximately the same location as a road or path shown in an 1851 Gibbs sketch and in the 1854 Bonneville and Mansfield maps. It runs east-west between the "river road" and the quartermaster's--Ingalls--house, and appears to have been located on a bearing south of the stockade's northwest bastion. The Gibbs sketch also shows a road or path west and running roughly parallel to "river road" between the new army road and and village houses and enclosures. As discussed earlier, there are several references in the historic literature to additional streets within the village, but their location at this time is largely speculative.

Both Paul Kane's 1846-47 sketch and the c. 1846-47 painting attributed to Stanley show the village in the distance. Both show at least two tall trees, possibly cottonwoods, in the vicinity of the village. The 1851 Gibbs views of the village show no large trees within the village proper, although some stumps are shown, and paths or roads are distinguished by a lack of low-growing vegetation or grass, which he uses to illustrate the general ground cover. In the 1854 and '55 engraving and sketches of the north end of the site, only the Covington drawing shows any significant vegetation. In his illustration there is a cluster of small trees and brush south of the Charlesbois, and what may be the Little Proulx dwellings, and some trees at least taller than a man on horseback just west of the army road. The Sohon engraving also shows vegetation west of the army road, but the area south of the Charlesbois house is illustrated as vacant land. The 1860 Boundary Commission panorama looking westerly towards the quartermaster's depot, across the former village site after the army's demolition, shows bare land, without a single bush to mar the foreground.

It is fairly certain that in addition to dwellings, there were sheds and other outbuildings within the village associated with them. The clearest evidence in the 1851 Gibbs sketch, which shows small structures of a scale and with details drawn that indicate functions other than housing. Although the only early reference to a garden associated with the village is in reference to the Lattie house, west of the church, in 1844, it seems clear from the 1851 Gibbs sketches that several dwellings, at least, had enclosed areas which may have served either as corrals or as gardens. The 1846 Covington stockade area map shows enclosed areas around some dwellings, and a reference is made to Kanaka Billy's fence in 1860. In the Gibbs sketches the areas are enclosed with four rail or pole fencing. [1053] In the 1854 maps, the central site of the village, between the dwellings along "river road" and the army road, is depicted as consisting of two large fenced enclosures which correspond roughly to one of the Gibbs sketches. The fences line the east-west street which terminates just short of the army road and east of the quartermaster's house. There are three structures within or at the south edge the northern enclosure, near the east-west road. In the McConnell version of the Bonneville map, almost all of the northern enclosure is shown as a cultivated field, while the southern enclosure is not, perhaps indicating it was used to enclose livestock.

The Bonneville map also shows a small structure south of the quartermaster's house with an attached enclosure; it may be that this structure was the John Johnson house. This structure was depicted on the 1846 Covington stockade area map as located within an enclosure, although the position of dwelling to fence line is different. The Mansfield map keys this particular building as an army structure, however, and this study found no record of the John Johnson house being an army rental; it was the James Johnson dwelling, west of the John Johnson structure, that was rented by Ingalls, and rented for army use until at least 1853, when the identity of individual buildings on the rental roll ceased.

The 1859 maps show two enclosures within the area between "river road" and the army road, but the configuration has changed; it appears this is a new structure, rather than either of the two enclosures shown earlier, although the proportions on the map make assessment difficult. [1054] By 1860 the Boundary Commission photographs indicate all fences are gone.

The 1846 Covington map shows an outlined enclosure near the northwest corner of the intersection of the "river road" and Upper Mill Road, which was probably a Company corral. It appears in approximately the same location on the 1854 army maps. In 1859, it no longer appears. In September of 1856 Ingalls requested permission from the Company to demolish an abandoned corral belonging to the Company, and to occupy the site for the "public service." Chief Trader James Grahame protested. [1055] The corral in question appears to have been this enclosure. Its site is believed to have been found archaeologically. [1056] Dr. Tuzo, at the Company's post between 1853 and 1858, said "The company's corrals were made use of at first, and finally altogether removed by the quarter master's dept." [1057]

Hudson's Bay Company Structures

As discussed previously, the exact number of buildings and their disposition is still open to question. Pre-1860 maps are more or less diagrammatic, and only general relative positions of different buildings can be determined with any degree of certainty. Below is a brief discussion of Hudson's Bay Company buildings known to be associated in any way with the U.S. Army during this period.

A count of buildings as shown on the 1846 Covington and 1845 Vavasour maps indicates there may have been between thirty and fifty buildings in the village, including those west of the Catholic mission and those in the river front area. In 1849 Theodore Talbot estimated the village contained "...40 or 50 houses occupied by servants of the Company. " [1058] In 1850, according to a settler, Daniel Bradford, "There were fifteen or twenty houses, some small patches of gardens." [1059]

In June of 1849 Ingalls rented Captain James Johnson's house in the village, the two schoolhouses north of the stockade, and "two small houses" in the village. Ingalls lived in the Johnson house until construction of his new house to the north in 1850. It does not appear on the company rental rolls after December of 1849, until 1852, when it was rented by a Mr. Bolon, from October 9 through February of 1853. Dr. Holden, the army surgeon, briefly occupied the two small houses--the Charlesbois and Little Proulx dwellings on the west side of the north end of "river road;" perhaps one of these was used for an army hospital and/or dispensary. On December 4, 1849, he moved to the LaFramboise house in the village, southwest of the first two houses he occupied, and north of the Ingalls rental. Theodore Talbot noted in his journal on December 4: "Dr. H. moved down to his new Quarters near Ingalls a very comfortable house, also left our mess joining Ingalls family. Major Reynolds pay m.[master] arrived taking Dr. Holden's quarters in the log building." [1060] That month Ingalls leased "all land" lying between the Johnson house and the LaFramboise house, approximately six acres. [1061] Archaeological studies indicate the Ingalls house was built near the location of the LaFramboise house.

artillery units
Figure 15. Looking southwest towards U.S. Army Quartermaster's Depot in 1860, from site of Hudson's Bay Company orchard; structures to left of photo, within enclosures, are believed to be Village dwellings left standing. Building to right is Quartermaster's House. North American Boundary Commission Survey, 1860-61, original at Royal Engineers Library, Kent.

In April of 1851, the army rented Joe Tayentas' house, the building labeled "L" on the 1846 Covington stockade area map, situated east of the LaFramboise house; it was rented for at least one month in October of 1850 by the paymaster, Major Reynolds. After March of 1851, the house is no longer recorded as a rental. In October, 1851, the house of Joe Onowanoran, or possibly Anowanoran, was rented to someone named Beers for two months; it is labeled "O" on the Covington map. It appears it may have been rented to a Carson--possibly John William Carson, apparently an army officer who was an in-law of the Tubbs or Tubs family, between July and October, and possibly co-rented by a Johnstone or Johnson between October and December. After December it is not listed in the rental roll. [1062]

E.A. Hitchcock, Colonel in the Pacific Division headquarters said in 1851 that "...along the river, and extending back from the river, there is quite a village of ordinary frontier huts, disposed in streets, and occupied by employés of the Company..." [1063] Dr. Tuzo later testified that in 1853 the village contained "...several streets when I first went there, occupied by Co's employés. At least 10 dwelling houses worth 1200; twenty worth 500, and nearly as many more worth 300, besides a number in the occupation of Indians and Kanakas of very small value." [1064] If Tuzo, who testified on behalf of the Company for the British and American Joint Commission, was not overstating the size of the village, then some time in late 1853 around ten dwellings in the village had been demolished, even if the dwellings west of the church and in the river front complex are counted. The 1854 maps by Mansfield and Bonneville indicate approximately twenty four structures that could be considered Hudson's Bay Company dwellings. In 1854 Governor Isaac Stevens reported to the U.S. state department, on behalf of the U.S. in the settlement, that outside the stockade there were "...about twenty cabins, occupied by servants, Kanakas and Indians. These cabins are, with few exceptions, built of slabs. Most of them are untenated and left to decay." [1065]

As noted above, the configuration of the village between the "river road" and the army road to its west changed significantly between 1854 and 1859. In 1854, according to the army maps, there were six structures arrayed along "river road," from north to south. In addition, there were four structures north of the east-west street between "river road" and the army road, and one just south of it. West of the army road and south of the quartermaster's house were four or five structures, one with an enclosure. By 1859, only one structure along "river road" was left, and three additional structures west and north of it, within enclosures. South of the quartermaster's house, there were only one or two structures left. Tuzo later stated that in 1859 many buildings in the village "...had been destroyed or removed," and Dugald Mactavish noted that when he left in 1858, "...many of the buildings outside the fort were burnt down and others removed by authority of the military during my residence there." [1066]

On 1 March 1860, the army officers appointed to assess the site prior to their actions to clear it for a drill ground, reported it contained four to five hundred yards of fencing and eight or nine buildings, "mere shells" going to decay. [1067] In March of 1860, as noted earlier, the army began demolition of structures west of the fort. Among those buildings surviving to this time was the house occupied by William Kaulehele ("Kanaka Billy"), and another structure occupied by a Hawaiian, although it is not clear which. According to John Work, on March 20th, the "Govt. burnt down house occupied by William Kaulehele, doors and windows removed by govt and W.K. compelled to leave to save his life. Several other buildings also burnt down, one in that neighborhood left alone was a small one occupied by a Sandwich Islander, which was hauled to the Ordnance Reserve..." [1068] Another house, probably in the Kanaka Village area, was an "old Hudson's Bay Company structure used as a hay house," which Work said the army burned on March 16. [1069] Work also said the military left two houses standing: "Johnson's and Field's houses," and possibly a few more. The Fields family, by that time, were living in a house in the river front complex. [1070] On the 1859 maps, there are two structures south of the quartermaster's house. On the 1860 Boundary Commission photograph looking west towards the quartermaster's house, there are two structures enclosed by what appear to be vertical posts laid side by side. The one to the south is a small gable-roofed structure and appears to date from the Hudson's Bay Company period; the one just north of it is hidden by tall deciduous trees within the enclosure, but was probably a Kanaka Village dwelling as well. [1071]

U.S. Army Structures

It is not known when the army road from the intersection at the Catholic church to the Company's wharf was built, although it must have been established some time around 1851, by which time five quartermaster's buildings had been erected. The southern end of it probably followed the road established by the Hudson's Bay Company, from the juncture with Lower Mill Road, and it is possible part of the rest of it followed an earlier secondary Company path or street, although the 1846 Covington stockade area map does not show a path following the same route. The 1845 Vavasour map, however shows a line extending in a northwesterly direction, which may indicate a road, from the Hudson's Bay Company stables. By 1854 the army road is shown leaving the original Company road extension of Lower Mill Road just west of the Company's horse stable in the river front complex and extending in a northerly direction, running close to the quartermaster's buildings. By 1859, as noted above, the west extension of Lower Mill road, has swung north, and passes the quartermaster's house enclosure, apparently to connect with a route into Vancouver City to the west.

The general vegetation pattern in the vicinity of the quartermaster's depot, in so far as is known, was discussed in the Kanaka Village section. By 1854, a fence had been erected around the quartermaster's house, and what appears to be an enclosed, cultivated field extended north from the quartermaster's house enclosure to what appears to be a fenced corral west of the quartermaster's stable. What was probably the Hudson's Bay Company corral, west of the army road and south of Upper Mill Road, was probably, at this point, in use by the army. This corral can be seen in the 1846 Covington stockade area map, and in the 1854 maps as an outlined box just south of Upper Mill Road. A second corral is shown in an 1851 Gibbs sketch as surrounded by wagons or possibly caissons, and possibly field artillery; this was probably located just east of the quartermaster's stable, and indicated as three rectangles on the 1854 Bonneville map, and labeled as "K," corral, in the Mansfield map.

Some time in 1850 assistant quartermaster Rufus Ingalls had a dismantled two-and-one-half story frame house, shipped from Quartermaster Robert Allen in San Francisco, erected near the west edge of Kanaka Village, near the LaFramboise house. This building, with four rooms on each floor, served as his quarters and office, and in the early fifties also housed Ingalls assistant, quartermaster's agent G.C. Bomford, and quartermaster's clerks. In 1854 Ingalls' house was described by Mansfield as a "very good wooden building." [1072]

By June 22 of 1851, there were five army structures comprising the depot, aligned in a northerly direction on the west side of the village. From south to north, they were the quartermaster's office and quarters, where Ingalls resided; a quartermaster's stable and hay shed; a quartermaster's house for employees; a quartermaster's carpenters' shop and a storeroom, and a quartermaster's blacksmith shop. The blacksmith shop was located north of Upper Mill road, west of the Catholic mission enclosure. These buildings are shown on the 1850-51 Bomford map, and are listed in a report prepared by assistant quartermaster Thomas Brent in 1854. When Ingalls made his report in June, he noted that all the post required--other than to "...erect buildings of a different style and more permanent character..." were new commissary and Quartermaster's storehouses, for which he said he had the materials. [1073] These two structures were not built until 1858-62.

Mansfield's report from his August 21-23, 1854 tour, noted the: "The Quartermaster's Department here is a sub depot for the supply of places in this vicinity and is under the direction of Captain T.L. Brent, assistant quartermaster...He has a suitable smith's and carpenter's shop and stable." [1074] Mansfield noted Brent had plans for, among other buildings--some not erected for another three to four years--a hay shed. Brent, in his report for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1854, listed these buildings, although the carpenter's shop now included a saddle shop, rather than a storeroom. By November of 1854, Brent reported to Commander Bonneville that a straw shed had been built. [1075] This structure may have been located on the south or north side of the quartermaster's stable corral.

Brent's report of June, 1854, noted that the stables were "not worth repairing" and would probably "soon tumble down." [1076] In June of 1856 he submitted plans for construction of a hospital, storehouses, stables, forage houses, and wharfs for the army post at Vancouver. In the records reviewed for this study, no specific construction dates were found for these structures, other than the wharf. However, by 1862, the list of buildings at the post included three frame horse and mule barns with hay lofts that could accommodate 200 horses or mules. The list also includes: "1 large corral, with mule and cattle sheds on 3 sides and hay loft above." [1077] Two of these stables were above the quartermaster's depot, west of the garrison, built, according to a later list of buildings, in 1854 and 1858. [1078] The third was probably in or near the quartermaster's depot, and, if so, was probably the east side of the "large corral" with mule and cattle sheds." [1079] Rufus Ingalls, in an 1857 letter said, "When I arrived here a new stable was in process of construction. It is finished and costs about $13,500..." [1080] This could have been one of the stables west of the garrison, supposedly built in 1854 and 1858, but only one building is seen on one of the 1859 maps. It also could have been the third stable listed in the 1862 list, and also listed in 1864, which may be the structure seen in the 1860 Boundary Commission photo looking northwest. It may be that the old quartermaster's frame stable stood until 1860, or it is possible it was replaced by a new stable in 1856, which included wings for mules and cattle, in the same location. Archaeological studies indicate that the original quartermaster's stable was renovated in 1856: remains of a wood stable were found in floor girder trenches and gaps in masonry footings, and bricks in some piers suggest that renovation could have occurred in the mid 1850s. [1081]

Quartermaster's Depot
Figure 16. Looking west towards U.S. Army's Quartermaster's Depot in 1860, from site of Hudson's Bay Company orchard after demolition of Kanaka Village buildings. Building to right is Quartermaster's barn. North American Boundary Commission Survey, 1860-61, original at Royal Engineers Library, Kent.

In any case, a stable is definitely shown in this location on the 1860 Boundary Commission photograph looking west. It is a two-story, gable-roofed structure with a shed roof appended to the west elevation, possibly one leg of the "mule and cattle sheds" referred to in the 1862 list. The building appears to have a hay loft in the second story, with openings on at least the south end and the middle of the east elevation for loading hay. The south enclosure of the corral to the west of the stable appears to the left of the stable, a long, low, gable-roofed building with what appears to be a single large opening extending to just below the eaves on the south elevation. Just north of the stable a very low gable-roofed structure can be seen extending west, probably the structure enclosing the north edge of the corral, as shown on the 1859 maps; it may possibly be the earlier temporary straw shed mentioned in 1854. On the 1871 Winman map, the latter structure is missing; the east building on the corral is identified as a stable.

A small portion of the lower end of the enclosure indicated as a field in 1854 and a corral in 1859, is, by 1859, enclosed and labeled "gardens." In the 1860 Boundary Commission Photo looking west, Ingalls house appears behind a picket fence, with small trees north of it in an area enclosed by a picket fence, at least on the east side.

The blacksmith's shop was a one-room frame building north of Upper Mill Road, and the carpenter's shop, apparently expanded in 1855 to include a paint shop and saddlers. The blacksmith's shop appears on the 1854 maps. In the 1859 maps, there are two structures north of Upper Mill Road, just west of the mission enclosure, in the vicinity of the blacksmith's shop. The maps show one building north of the other. The 1860 Boundary Commission photograph looking northwest shows what appears to be a one-and-one-half story, gable-roofed building with a central entry door in this location, with the edge of another building just showing behind its east elevation. In later maps what appears to be this structure is referred to as a medical storehouse, and later a warehouse; these maps also show the blacksmith's shop to the west of this building. It appears that the blacksmith's shop is the building whose edge is seen in the photograph, and that it was north of this "medical storehouse." In the 1980s, archaeologists found features, including the floor, and an assemblage of artifacts, believed to be the blacksmith's shop. [1082] A fire demolished the original blacksmith's shop in 1862, which archaeologists found evidence of, and although it has been believed a new blacksmith's shop was erected on the same site, it appears that it was actually moved somewhat south and west of its original location, as shown on the 1871 Winman map. [1083]

The carpenter's shop, described as a two-story frame building, fifty by eighteen feet, appears in the 1854 and 1859 maps, and can be seen on the 1860 Boundary Commission photograph, north of the officers' quarters and stables. The carpenter's shop was moved to a new L-shaped structure north of the stable in or around 1859; the building can be seen on the 1859 maps, and in the 1871 Winman map, where it is labeled carpenter's shop, saddler shop and engine house. Apparently it included a place for a saddler and a paint shop. [1084] The 1862 list calls it a carpenter's shop and saddler's shop. It, too, is in the 1860 Boundary Commission photograph looking west, behind its predecessor. It is unknown what the original carpenter's shop building was used for in 1859-60.

A two-story twenty-four by eighteen foot frame building was listed in June of 1854 as a storeroom; it is believed the building used as quarters for the quartermaster's employees, north of the stables, was used for storage that year because the following year it is listed as an employee dwelling again. [1085] The building can be seen on the 1854 maps. The structure can be seen north of the stable in the 1860 Boundary Commission photograph, looking west, and appears on the 1859 maps. By 1859, as noted above, there are two small buildings in that vicinity, on the east edge of a new enclosure; the smaller one to the south is probably that building. By 1854, however, there is also a small building to the west of the Ingalls house, within the same enclosure. It is shown again on the 1859 map, now located within its own enclosure. In 1871 what appears to be a new building, located south and west of the site of this structure, which has disappeared, is noted as "Citizen Quarters." The 1862 list of buildings included two structures identified as: a "frame house--2 rooms and 1 kitchen, officers quarters near the depot;" and "1 building mess house for Quartermaster employees." It may be the mess house was the small building west of the Ingalls house, and the 2 room officers quarters the "new" building south of the Ingalls house. By 1862, three new structures had been erected north of the stables.

As noted earlier, by May of 1860, little was left of the original Hudson's Bay Company structures between the stockade and the quartermaster's depot. By 1860 the west edge of the army reserve in the quartermaster's depot area was fenced with the single rail fence style used around the parade grounds.

River Front

The river front complex, for the purposes of this study, is the area west of the "river road" and south and east of the road extending from the intersection of Lower Mill Road and "river road" to the river. At present, no known illustrations or photographs of this area exist for this period; only maps. [1086] A few illustrations show the site at a distance, but details are hard to discern. As with the Kanaka Village site, the Hudson's Bay Company structures extant in 1846 were largely gone by May of 1860. Historic documents indicate the army was largely responsible for clearing the site of Company structures, a process which began in 1857-58, and terminated in a demolition frenzy in March of 1860.

The most significant natural feature of the site was the pond which extended inland from the river. Its size must have fluctuated significantly with the periodic floods and freshets. Maps in this period show it of varying relative size and proportions, but most show it was spanned by a bridge of unknown length and width. The Company certainly had a bridge spanning it; the structure is shown on the 1846 1846 Covington stockade area map. The army or the Company may have built a second bridge by 1854; one of the maps executed in this year shows the road along the river crossing the pond's mouth below, and not at, a pair of lines which may represent the earlier Company bridge.

Hudson's Bay Company Structures

On October 31, 1846 Thomas Lowe recorded that "a Boat Shed at the water side was blown down breaking one of the River Boats which was inside," referring to a heavy wind storm which also knocked over trees, blocking roads around the farm, and demolished the dairy on Lower Plain. [1087] The 1846 Covington stockade area map shows a large structure immediately east of the bridge, labeled "shed." This building may have been the one blown down; in 1854 the maps show the lower road along the river extending across its site, and, as noted, what appears to be a second bridge north of the road. However, the 1846-47 inventory lists a large one hundred by twenty-four foot boat shed, and a second ninety by thirty foot building shed, and the inventory was apparently not completed until early 1847; it was sent to George Simpson on the 1847 spring express, and further, it is believed both Covington maps were prepared to document the Company's holdings. If the structure shown on the map is a new building, then its position seems to be inaccurate, at least according to later maps. If it is the pre-windstorm boat shed, then the question is, where is the boat shed listed in the inventory?

In 1854 the maps show two long, narrow structures which ran perpendicular to each other; in these maps one is located south of the line of structures which must include the hospital, and the other is slightly west of the line. They conform only roughly to the position of the two sheds shown in the 1846 Covington stockade area map; in fact, if one were to consider both maps accurate at least in regard to relative positions, the long building running east-west would appear to be a new structure, and the one running north-south would appear to encompass at least the second shed and saw pit in one building. They are set well back from the river and the pond, and, if they were boat houses, their position seems questionable. Boat houses were seen in 1849 by army officer Lloyd Brooke, who said they were "fir posts stuck in the ground, with slab roofs." [1088] Dr. Tuzo said there were two boat houses south of the stockade when he was at the fort, between 1853 and 1858, and said he thought there were boats after 1856 in the boat houses. [1089] Dugald Mactavish later testified that the boat houses had disappeared by 1858. [1090] If the boat houses were as ephemeral as Lloyd Brooke suggests, they may not have been considered worth mapping in 1851.

These types of anomalies crop up frequently in an attempt to assess the location of the structures east and southeast of the pond and south of the extension of Lower Mill Road. If analysis begins at the end of the period, around 1859-60, it can be stated with some degree of accuracy that the three buildings shown at the south edge of an enclosure east of the pond had to have been the hospital, the Field house, and one other structure, probably a dwelling. This is known because John Work recorded that on March 19, 1860, "Govt removed house on the river bank belonging to Co and formerly used as a hospital, and also the house rented in 1855 and 1856 by the Volunteer Quartermaster and Commissary as an office, part of the sills and posts were hauled to the govt bakery and part to the Ordnance Reserve." [1091] Also, on March 5 1860 Rufus Ingalls told Work in a letter that "...the Salmon House, the Johnson and Field House will not be disturbed as they seem to be of some little value," an assessment later confirmed by Work. [1092] The Johnson house, as noted in an earlier section, was west of the river front complex. According to this evidence, then, a house used as a hospital by the Company, the Field house, and a house rented by the volunteer quartermaster as an office were still standing in 1859.

The Field house, at least until 1853, was the dwelling labeled "J" on the 1846 Covington stockade area map. The structure is shown well to the north of the building labeled Hospital, also "K," on the map. This does not agree with the 1859 maps, nor seemingly with the 1854 maps, which show structures within an enclosure similar to the ones shown on the Covington map, of which the Field house would be one. Either the Covington map is wildly inaccurate regarding the location of the structure, or the Field family moved further south to another Company building within the river front complex.

The history of building "J," in so far as can be traced, is that the building was, in the 1840s, occupied by a Robert Johnson, apparently a Company employee--it is referred to as his house when rented to the army, beginning in September of 1849. Between February and March it was occupied by Mr. Noble--almost certainly the commissary clerk who later moved to the Lattie house with his young wife Kitty. Between May and December of 1850 it was occupied by a Captain Jones; in 1851 it was rented for "one quarter," although the rolls do not specify to whom, although it appears as if it could have been a "Carson," referred to as renting an unspecified structure in 1851, and in 1852 as renting this house until April 16, 1852. In May of 1852 a Mrs. "Stubbs" or "Tubbs" appears as the renting party, and continues through February of 1853, when the rolls cease to identify individual houses. The Catholic church records for this period show a Tubs or Tubbs family, very closely intertwined with a Fields family and a Carson or Casson family. In fact, they appear to all have been related by the marriage of two sisters, Agnes Jane Tub or Tubbs, who was the wife of James Carson or Casson, and Maria or Marie Tub or Tubbs, the wife of Aram or Hiram Fields. It appears that at least a Michael Tubs was posted at the garrison at Vancouver, and possibly a John Carson and an Aram Fields were also soldiers. [1093] In 1850 the census reveals Michael Tubs, Maria Tubs--wife of Aram Fields--and Agnes Jane Tubs, wife of James Carson living in the same house in the Vancouver area. In 1851 a Field was renting the Lattie house west of the church (building "M"). According to the 1860 census, the Fields/Tubbs/Carson household includes Aram or Hiram Fields, Michael Tub, now a carpenter, Maria Fields, Agnes Jane Tubs Carson, and Sarah Tubs, the Tubs' mother, age sixty. It appears that the house labeled "J" on the Covington map, contained this household in 1852, and was thus referred to as the Field or Fields house.

The hospital's location is also confusing. According to Dr. Henry Tuzo, at the fort between 1853 and 1858, three buildings were used as hospitals. [1094] Unfortunately he does not elaborate on whether they were hospitals sequentially or simultaneously, and does not indicate if all were used only during his tenure at Fort Vancouver, or prior to his arrival. Almost certainly, one of these was the hospital still extant in the early spring of 1860, but which one is unknown. Tuzo also stated that he "had charge of sick persons in one of those [hospital] buildings, but it was afterwards rented to the quartermaster of volunteers." [1095] This seems to indicate that one building--perhaps the original Company hospital listed on the 1846-47 inventory, and shown on the 1846 Covington stockade area map--was later rented as the office for the volunteers, various companies of which were at the fort sometime between the dates of October 16, 1855 and July 16, 1856. [1096]

By the time of the 1860 army demolition, then, the house the Field family lived in--probably not the one they occupied in 1852-53 (Building "J"); a building used as a hospital--perhaps the original hospital, perhaps not; and a building formerly used as a hospital--perhaps the original hospital, perhaps not--and then as an office for the volunteer army, were still standing. From the positions of structures on the 1854 and 1859 maps, these buildings seem to be among the four shown in a rough east-west line just south of the enclosure shown on the 1854 maps. The only buildings on the Covington map that seem even remotely to have this relationship are: the Hospital (K); McLean's House, and Smith's house, building "R." Building "R" is listed on the rental rolls for the first time in January, 1851 as "House near the Hospital," and only appears as a rental through May 31 of that same year. It does not appear on the 1852 rolls. Prior to 1851 an amount received as rent of eighteen dollars per month is listed below the hospital on the list as "Paymaster's Office,'" but it is not given a letter. McLean's house is never listed as a rental on the rolls, so far as can be determined. The 1860 survey by Washington Deputy Surveyor Lewis Van Vleet is considered remarkably accurate by contemporary archaeologists. In his survey, Van Vleet calls out the position of the "Field house." The position is very near to the position indicated on the maps for Building "R," the house identified as "Smith's" on the 1846 Covington map. Given the evidence of the maps and this survey, at this time it seems logical to conclude that the Field family moved from Building "J" to Building "R" some time after 1852 and before 1860.

One other dwelling--making a total of five dwellings--is shown on the 1846 Covington stockade area map. It is labeled "G," and shows up on the rental roll beginning at the end of October, 1849; it is called "Scarth's House." In 1851 it is rented as an office, and later to a Charles Deroche (one month in July 1852). After that it does not appear on the rolls. [1097]

As noted earlier, George Foster Emmons, with Wilkes at Fort Vancouver in 1841, recorded that the hospital was stockaded. The 1846 Covington stockade area map does indicate an enclosure in that area, and archaeologists believe they have found the remains of part of it. [1098] As can be seen in other illustrations of the period, a low picket fence--with posts set vertically, side-by-side--does enclose several structures west of the stockade, such as the the Lattie and Ducheney houses; such fences were probably sturdy enough to keep wandering livestock out of the area. [1099] There are several other enclosures indicated on the Covington map in this area: one to the west of the Cooper's shop, and one enclosing the Scarth and Field (building "J") houses. It is not known if these additional enclosures were picket-work or post or rail fences, as seen elsewhere in Kanaka Village. By 1854, only one enclosure is indicated, and that appears to be in approximately the same location as the one fencing the Scarth and Field houses, although it appears larger, running further north than indicated on the Covington map, and probably further south, although it is difficult to tell. By 1859 it appears to have been rebuilt or expanded again, further south to incorporate the area near the hospital; it is called out in the VanVleet survey and noted as a "picket" fence. In any case, it appears that the fence in the configuration shown by Covington in 1846 had disappeared by 1854.

Of the other structures shown on the 1846 Covington stockade area map, it is difficult to determine which, if any, had survived into 1854. The tanning pits appear to be gone by that time. The saw pit does not seem to appear, unless incorporated within the long north-south shed. The Cooper's shop may be one of the buildings in the east-west row of structures--if Covington's map is incorrect--or it may be the building in the southwest corner of the enclosure; it may also not be there at all. Joel Palmer, visiting the fort in 1845, said he slept in the Cooper's shed, and that it "provided very little shelter from the wind and rain..." and it is entirely possible it was in ruins or gone by that time. [1100]

There is also a question regarding the location of the distillery, listed in the 1846-47 inventory. It is not noted on the Covington map, yet Mactavish, testifying later, said it had disappeared in 1858, and implied it was in the vicinity of the river front. Tuzo also said the distillery was south of the stockade, in the river front area, listing it along with the three buildings, "formerly used as hospitals," the bridge, and two boat houses. [1101] Tuzo also said that by 1856 "...what remained of the distillery was in possession of the quartermaster's men," when discussing the south area of the stockade. This implies that at least a part of the distillery was in the area in 1856, and would be indicated on the 1854 maps. Perhaps it was, as discussed earlier, located in one of the long sheds.

West and northwest of the pond were the four Company livestock sheds or stables--the horse stables, the ox byre or stable and two pig sheds, arranged in a line, more or less, which ran in a northeasterly direction. All these buildings stood until March of 1860, as shown on the maps of the period, and as described in later testimony, although the uses to which they were put after about 1853 is uncertain. Dr. Henry Tuzo mentioned them as a "long range of stables," but he does not say if they were in use when he was there, between 1853 and 1858. [1102] As noted previously, the company after the early '50s kept only as many horses as required for the immediate business of the establishment, and most of the cattle and sheep had been sent to other posts or had been lost to settlers. It seems likely oxen would still have been required to haul heavy loads to and from the stockade, even if they could no longer be put to use in farming by the early '50s. There is no known mention of what happened to the eight hundred pigs still at the post in 1848, located in piggeries on Fort Plain and Lower Plain, and apparently at Sauvie Island, which provided so much of the company's salted pork provisions during its years of development. [1103] John Work reported that in 1860, on March 16, the "Govt burnt down Company pig house...;" on March 26 the "Govt removed hay and oats in HBC stable and Cow house and tore down both buildings, destroying all fittings including mangers, racks etc..." and on March 27 the "Govt removed part of the wood of the stable and cow house and supplied it to houses in garrison for firewood." [1104]

In 1849 Honore-Timothee Lempfrit observed that sailing ships could come close to the river bank, apparently near the Company wharf. [1105] Dr. Tuzo noted that the Company's landing jetty was removed, and "a large warehouse and wharf erected by the Govt. on its site." [1106] This occurred in the late summer and fall of 1857. However, the army continued to rent the schoolhouse for ordnance storage through March of 1860, and the rental rolls show that the salmon store was also rented for two months in 1859. An 1859 map shows the new wharf and the quartermaster's storehouse. By mid-August of 1860, the army had pulled down and burned the salmon store. [1107]

U.S. Army Structures

In April of 1856 Rufus Ingalls wrote to the chief quartermaster of the army's Department of the Pacific in Benicia, California, and told him the building he was renting as a storehouse--the schoolhouse--was "not fit for any use if another and proper one could be put up." He went on to say that one should be put up on the bank of the river "to avoid the great expense of transporting supplies to and from the storehouse now under rent," and noted that the individuals serving as quartermasters during his absence from Fort Vancouver had submitted plans for a new storehouse. "One building," he said, "will answer." [1108] In December he wrote the Quartermaster General in Washington, D.C., reiterating his opinion of the Company's schoolhouse, which was "now old and greatly dilapidated...We have quarters in abundance and a commodious hospital and a strong guardhouse &c. but we need store rooms." [1109]

By June of 1857 Ingalls had apparently received permission from the army, but his request to tear down the Company wharf was denied by Dugald Mactavish, in charge of Fort Vancouver at that time. Ingalls proceeded to build a new wharf anyway, not "foreseeing any possible obstacle to a fair understanding and settlement between the military authorities and your Company," as he later wrote to William Tolmie, who was on the Company's Board of Management. By August 6 he reported a "...capacious, convenient, and expensive wharf nearly completed, right in front of the 'Salmon House.' It is one of the most thorough works of the kind on the Coast, and is prepared already for any steamer or other vessel that can come to this point. It has been constructed with a view of having a permanent storehouse attached to it on the shore line, and, to do this, it will be necessary to take down, or remove the Salmon House." He also said he had authority and orders to erect the long-awaited new storehouse, for which, he said "We have an imperative necessity..." [1110] One storehouse--the Quartermaster's Storehouse, was erected that year, or possibly early the following year at the army's new wharf. It can be seen on the 1859 maps, jutting out onto the new wharf. The second structure, known to exist by 1862, is not on the map, although Ingalls had reported, with evident satisfaction in 1858 that he now had "New large and convenient storerooms on the bank of the Columbia river for the QM and Subsistence Departments supplies." [1111] In 1862 they were described as a two-story frame Commissary storehouse and office, with basement, and a two-story frame Quartermaster's warehouse and office, with basement, and with "convenient and suitable wharfs to each for shipping stores." [1112] The wharf Ingalls later described as "resting on piles and planned not to be flooded." [1113] The salmon house was never moved. [1114]

The Landscape Beyond Fort Plain

After Lieutenant Colonel B.L.E. Bonneville surveyed the military reservation in 1854, in conformance with the orders to reduce its size to 640 acres, there was no effective means for the Company to protect most of its holdings beyond the reduced size of the reserve. Although encroachments on company lands had begun earlier, after the reserve's boundaries were decreased, squatters moved in right up to its edges. The Company at Vancouver simply did not have the personnel to police its establishment, and the army--of some assistance when the lands were within its previous four-mile square boundary-certainly had no political reason or incentive for enforcing the Company's claims. By posting employees at the Mill Plain Farm site, the Company managed to hang on to most of it until 1859 or '60, and a few fields in Lower Plain continued under the Company for a few more years, but beginning in 1854, most of its vast holdings fell into the hands of others.

Lower Plain

A storm in October of 1846 did some damage to the farm: Thomas Lowe noted in his journal on October 31 that "...a great many trees in the wood [were] rooted up. One fell upon the Dairy in the Lower plain and destroyed it, and the roads are very much obstructed with fallen timber." [1115] It is not clear if the dairy was rebuilt, but it was in 1846 that Amos and Esther Short laid claim to 640 acres in the vicinity of the dairy. By 1849-50, Archibald McKinlay said, all the lands of Lower Plain had been occupied and "jumped by Short, Laframboise, Petrain, Proulx and several others..." William Crate testified that by 1849 settlers had taken possession of at least part of Lower Plain. [1116]

Assistant quartermaster Rufus Ingalls later wrote that Short was one of four Americans " and cultivating within the limits of the [military] reservation on the 31st October, 1850. He is an American citizen, called A.M. Short. He had at that date improvements not to exceed $1,500 cash value, though he has kept on regularly increasing the number and value of his improvements subsequently, against the frequent and most positive warnings of myself and the commanding officer of this post....this man was a trespasser upon the possessory rights of the Hudson's Bay Company...I have been informed he was forcibly ejected under the old provisional government of this territory..." [1117] Short's house and enclosures were at the easternmost edge of Lower Plain; he had Vancouver City platted to the east of his farm, on what is really Fort Plain, along the west edge of the Kanaka Village site, in 1850.

The long line of fencing to keep the cattle on the lower range of Lower Plain, which A.C. Anderson described as existing in 1841 was, by 1851, "...removed or wantonly destroyed, and the whole or greater part eventually disappeared." [1118] The timothy and clover seeded along the river's edge by the Company yielded "...annual harvests of those grasses of great value to parties in possession of lands up to 1858," according to Dugald Mactavish. [1119] Mactavish reaffirmed that Lower Plain, by the time he left in 1858, was in the possession of squatters.

The 1859 Covington map indicates squatters had subdivided, and cultivated and enclosed any cultivable land in the Lower Plain. Amos Short's claim was in the vicinity of the Company's former dairy. To the north, encompassing the former West Plain farm, partially demolished by the 1844 fire, were a string of cultivated fields with barns and houses, following the pattern of cultivation established by the Company, up to the northern pastures bordering what is now Lake Vancouver. To the northwest, along the river edge, was another series of cultivated fields, barns and houses, primarily on lands formerly cultivated by the Company. The claimants to these lands included those listed by McKinlay, including former Company employees, as well as several others.

Mill Plain

Archibald McKinlay, at Fort Vancouver in 1849-50, said there were some settlers "on the far end" of Mill Plain, but that the Company "had land there under cultivation; I think there was as much fenced as in 1846 but the fences were not in as good condition." [1120] In the spring of 1852, Chief Factor John Ballenden, facing severe labor shortages, leased some, if not all, the cultivated fields at the farm in exchange for half the production returns; the soil, which he said was not good to begin with, had been "...impoverished by overcropping." [1121]

Isaac Ebey reported to Isaac Stevens that in late 1853 or early 1854 that most of the Company's "possessions" in the Mill Plain area had been abandoned. [1122] However, the Company still retained acreage there: in 1855 Chief Factor Dugald Mactavish told George Simpson a reported loss for Fort Vancouver was mainly due to the need to erect new buildings at the Mill Plain Farm. By 1857-58, the Mill Plain Farm was still in operation: it suffered a reported loss of £84.17.9 [1123] When Mactavish left in 1858 he said the farm buildings on Mill Plain were still in possession of the Company and "in good order." [1124] In February of 1859 Chief Trader James Grahame reported that although the Mill Plain farm had been uncultivated for several years, the Company still had a servant living on it, and the fences were still maintained. That year the farm at Mill Plain suffered a series of incursions by squatters, who began to run fences through the Company's land there; one tore down a Company fence and used the rails to build a new fence inside one of the Company's fields. By the end of the year the Company farm was no longer in its hands. Covington's 1859 map shows fenced enclosures and an unidentified structure at the west end of the farm, in what had been Company pastures, and a house and barn belonging to a "Murray" in the center of the south edge of the Company's cultivated fields. [1125]


By 1853-54, the mill sites were claimed by several individuals. Daniel Harvey, McLoughlin's son-in-law and the Company employee in charge of the Mill Plain farm had a claim dating to the mid-1840s which included both the grist and sawmills. The Company's millwright, William Crate, claimed 640 acres, which included the gristmill; Isaac Ebey said that in 1853 Crate had not made any improvements on it, but that a house, barn and about fifty acres were in cultivation on the claim, almost certainly Company improvements dating to the 1840s. A Gabriel Barktroth claimed 640 acres, which included the sawmill, and a Mr. Maxon also claimed 640 acres of land in the vicinity of the mills, overlapping Barktroth's claim. [1126]

Dugald Mactavish said that, by 1858, the sawmills were "virtually in possession of a man named Taylor, "but that one of the flour mills was in fair condition and still working. [1127]

Back Plains

The appearance of the country between Fort Vancouver and the Back Plains during this period is best described in the 1853-54 report of the U.S. Pacific railway survey expedition:

From this stream [Burnt Bridge Creek] the country along the trail breaks into small openings or plains having no timber on them. They vary from a half to several miles in extent, are very level, as well as the adjacent country, and are separated from each other by narrow strips of woods. Kolsas, the largest of these plains, about seven miles from Vancouver, is six or seven miles long, and three or four in breadth, and connects on the south with a swampy arm of Camas plain, which stretches off to the eastward, in which direction there is a large tract of the same character of country lying along Mill creek, and running down towards the Columbia. From Kolsas the trail bears to the northeast for six miles to a plain called Simsik, about a mile and a half long. The country between Vancouver and Simsik is similar in character--heavily timbered with fir, spruce, and a dense undergrowth of maple and hazel bushes. The soil is sandy and gravelly, especially the open plains; the soil in the woods between Kolsas and Simsik is the best. The country up to Simsik is quite level; leaving Simsik east of north the country becomes hilly and broken along the trail, the hills becoming higher and more rocky as we approach the Cathlapoot'l river. Between these points the trail crosses several branches of the Cathlapoot'l...the main stream uniting with the Cathlapoot'l four miles from its junction with the Columbia. [1128]

The Back Plains fell to squatters early in this period. By 1849-50, Archibald McKinlay said, all of the back plains were occupied by "others." [1129] Isaac Ebey reported that a Mr. Maxon, an "American Citizen," had claims both at the Company's sawmill site, and on Camas Plain in 1853-54, and that a number of Americans had settled on the Camas Plain. The Covington map of 1859 shows two settlers on First Plain: Durgan and Jameson, both with houses and barns; Shaw occupies Second Plain with a house and barn, and Morrow has a house and barn on Third Plain.

Outlying Areas

Willamette Valley

The Hudson's Bay company buildings at Champoeg, inventoried in 1847 as including a dwelling, a granary and outbuildings, stood until a major flood in 1861, which effectively destroyed what had become a small settlement at that location platted in 1844 on land belonging to Robert Newell and Andre Longtain. But even in the mid-1840s, the Company's business at the place was reduced through competition by an American, Francis Pettygrove, who built a granary and warehouse there. The trade store was closed in or around 1851, and the granary a few years later, although they were apparently leased to others to maintain the Company's rights to reimbursement from the United States. The 1861 flood spared the Company's granary, but it was damaged and apparently not used after that time. [1130]

Sauvie Island

In 1852, Fort Vancouver's administrator John Ballenden reported that he had "broken up" the dairies on Sauvie Island, because they were, according to him, both "useless and expensive," but that he left an employee in residence there to protect the Company's property, probably James Logie, one of the Company's dairymen, who made a provisional claim to 640 acres surrounding "his" dairy in 1845, and later claimed the land under the Donation Land Act of 1850. Two other Company employees, James Taylor and Pierre Gilbouts were also settled on the island by the mid-1840s. In the mid-1840s a between six and ten American immigrants made provisional land claims on Sauvie Island, followed by many more in the late 1840s and 1850s. When the Company's holdings at the post were evaluated by Americans under Isaac Stevens' direction in 1854, for the purpose of preparing an American assessment of the Company's claims, Stevens' report said the firm had: "A farm of six hundred and forty acres, on Sauvie island, at the mouth of the Willamette, with a house, dairy, and garden; the buildings about six years old." [1131] It seems likely this farm was Logie's, although by that time he had made two claims for it in his own name. It seems that for all practical purposes, Fort Vancouver's tenure on Sauvie Island terminated with Ballenden's actions in 1852.

Fort Nisqually

After returning from leave in England in 1843, Dr. William F. Tolmie was sent to Fort Nisqually as superintendent and agent for the Puget's Sound Agricultural Company, replacing Angus McDonald. During his tenure the farm became the company's principal pastoral arm, on which thousands of head of sheep and cattle were grazed: in 1846 Tolmie reported over 6,500 sheep and 3,500 head of cattle on the Nisqually plains. After the news that the boundary issue had been settled, Tolmie, like his colleagues at Fort Vancouver and Cowlitz Farm, was obliged to resist encroachment on company land by American squatters. [1132]

The number of buildings, cultivated acres, and improvements grew under Tolmie's direction; through the middle of the 1850s Nisqually seems to have had much better success with retaining employees than Cowlitz Farm. Its operations were sustained to some extent by the establishment of a U.S. Army post at Steilacoom, which contracted for meat to be supplied by Nisqually. Also, with the removal of the Hudson's Bay Company's main depot from Fort Vancouver to Victoria, Nisqually became a port of call enroute to it. Towards the end of that decade, however, by 1859, the number of laborers had diminished to four. Tolmie, who had been appointed a Chief Factor for the Hudson's Bay Company in 1856, was transferred to Victoria, where he was assigned to manage the Puget Sound Agricultural Company farms on Vancouver Island. Company clerk Edward Huggins replaced Tolmie, and operated the farm for the Puget's Sound Agricultural Company until 1869 and the settlement of the company claims with the United States. Huggins then homesteaded and claimed the remaining Nisqually acreage as an American citizen.

Cowlitz Farm

In December of 1846, George Roberts, who had served as a Hudson's Bay Company clerk for a number of years at Fort Vancouver, was placed in charge of Cowlitz Farm by Chief Factor Peter Skene Ogden, succeeding Charles Forrest. At that time, production at the Cowlitz Farm was near its peak, with over fourteen hundred acres of land under cultivation, piggeries, stables, two large granaries, several store buildings, houses for the superintendent and employees, over a dozen barns, and an incomplete sawmill. [1133] The Puget's Sound Agricultural Company later claimed the Cowlitz Farm included 3,572 acres in total. As at Fort Vancouver, the 1849 gold rush took its toll on the labor force; by 1850-51, the number of employees at Cowlitz had been reduced from nineteen in 1847-48 to six. In 1851 Roberts resigned from the Company and was replaced by Henry Peers, another alumnus of Fort Vancouver. By this time, the bulk of the Cowlitz livestock had been transferred to Forts Nisqually and Victoria, and agricultural operations at the farm had been sharply reduced. In 1854, Isaac Stevens reported the the U.S. Department of State, that the Puget's Sound Agricultural Company claimed eight thousand acres of land at the Cowlitz, although, he said, "According to plat deposited at Surveyor General's office, their tract contains only about three thousand acres. Some years back about fifteen hundred acres of land were under cultivation, but of late years the cultivation of land has been almost entirely abandoned. The fences have been allowed to go to decay; much of the hay even has not been cut." [1134] According to his agent, Isaac Ebey, "The buildings are becoming old and dilapidated." [1135].

Until 1856, minor operations of the company continued to be conducted at the farm, although encroachments by Americans had significantly reduced its holdings. In 1859, Roberts made arrangements to occupy the remaining Cowlitz Farm lands and buildings for the Puget's Sound Agricultural Company to maintain its claim to the property until settlement of the company's claim with the United States; his obligation was to keep the buildings in good repair. From that time until 1871, when Roberts left for Cathlamet, Washington, he was embroiled in a number of disputes with Americans who refused to recognize the company's claims to the land. [1136]

The granaries built at the mouth of the Cowlitz were, by 1854 in poor condition. In 1857, according to Dugald Mactavish, the buildings--but not the land--were sold to an American. [1137]

map of Fort Vancouver
Map 9. Fort Vancouver Stockade, 1849/52-60. Structures within second Fort Vancouver stockade. By Terri Taylor, National Park Service, Northwest Region.

map of Fort Vancouver
Map 10. Fort Vancouver and U.S. Miltary Post and Town Environs, 1859, showing Fort Vancouver, U.S. Army post, town of Vancouver, and settlers' claims on former Hudson's Bay Company farms. Courtesy Hudson's Bay Company Archives. By Richard Covington. Courtesy Hudson's Bay Company Archives.

map of Fort Vancouver
Map 11. Bonneville Map. Map of the Government Reserve at Fort Vancouver, W.T. Drawn by Bvt. Captain J.R. McConnell from a survey made by Lt. Col. B.L.E. Bonneville, 1854. Shows Quartermaster's Depot, remaining Hudson's Bay Company river front and village structures, St. James Mission, Company cemetery, stockade and garden, army garrison, and location of fields. Fences indicated with jagged lines. Courtesy National Archives.

map of Fort Vancouver
Map 12. Fort Vancouver, 1854. Inspection Report of Colonel Joseph Mansfield of the Pacific Department, 1855, 1 March 1855, National Archives. According to this map, the Hudson's Bay Company's orchard site (N) was in use by the U.S. Army as "Soldiers Garden." Courtesy National Archives.

map of Fort Vancouver
Map 13. 1859 Harney Map. Map of the Military Reservation at Fort Vancouver, W.T., surveyed by J.B. Wheeler and J. Dixon under direction of Capt G. Thom by order of Brig. Gen. W.S. Harney. Fewer Kanaka Village and river front structures are standing in this map. The map also delineates paths within the Company stockade. Courtesy National Archives.


852The large jump in population between 1849 and 1850 is not attributable to immigration alone; by this time settlers in Oregon who had decamped en mass to the goldfields of California had returned, with and without gold; many were to establish themselves by selling materials and produce at inflated prices to new Californians still searching for gold.

853Landerholm, Notices and Voyages, p. 145.

854William Barlow, "Reminiscence of Seventy Years," Oregon Historical Quarterly, XIII (September 1912), pp. 278-9.

855Charles Carey, General History of Oregon Prior to 1861, 3rd ed. (Portland, Oregon: Binfords and Mort, 1971), pp. 334-5.

856Hussey, History of Fort Vancouver, p. 210.

857BAJC, Vol. XI, pp. 230-238.

858BAJC, Vol. II, pp. 356-9.

859Thomas, "St. James Mission," pp. 15, 20, 33.

860"The Legacy of Mother Joseph,"n.p., n.d., vertical file, Clark County Historical Society.

861The Legacy of Mother Joseph, n.p.

862BAJC, Vol. II, p. 359.

863Lowe, Journal, folio 49.

864E.E. Rich, ed., London Correspondence Inward from Eden Colvile, 1849-52, Vol. XIX (London: Publications of the Hudson's Bay Record Society, 1956), p. 10 (Hereafter referred to as HBRS XIX).

865Robert Hine and Savoie Lottinville, eds., Soldier in the West: Letters of Theodore Talbot (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1972), pp. 126-7.

866Elliott, "British Values in Oregon," p. 43.

867P.W. Crawford, Description of Fort Vancouver as it was in 1847 (typescript), PABC.

868Kane, Wanderings of an Artist, p. 197.

869Patricia Meyer, ed., Lempfrit, Honore-Timothee, O.M.I. His Oregon Trail Journal and Letters from the Pacific Northwest, 1848-1853, trans. Patricia Meyer and Catou Levesque (Fairfield, WA: Ye Galleon Press, 1976), p. 163.

870BAJC, Vol. II, p. 180.

871Bradford, Alden, "The Oregon and California Letters of Bradford Ripley Alden," California Historical Quarterly XXVIII (September 1949), pp. 199-231.

872BAJC, Vol. II, p. 45.

873BAJC, Vol. II, p. 84.

874John Work to Edward Ermatinger, 23 November 1847, Ms. 319, Oregon Historical Society.

875Ogden and Douglas to Simpson, 3 March, 1848. Baron Strathcoma Papers, OHS mss. 1502, Oregon Historical Society.

876Ogden and Douglas to Gov and Comm. 1 October 1848, 10/1/48, B.223/b/38, folios 53-59, HBCA.

877Ogden to Governor, 20 March 1851, B.223/b/39, folios 66d-69d, HBCA.


879HBRS XlX, p. 139.

880Ballenden to Colvile, Fort Vanc. 11 March 1852, B.223/b/39 folios 109d-118d, HBCA.

881John Ballenden to P.S. Ogden, Memo, n.d., B.223/z/5, folio 104, HBCA.

882Ballenden to Simpson 6 July 1852, B.223/b/40, folios 13-17, 36d-38d, HBCA.


884HBRS XIX. p. 198n.; Ballenden to Douglas and Work 2 November 1852, B.223/b/40 ins. folios 36d-38d, HBCA.

885Ogden to Simpson 29 March 1853, B.223/b/41 folios 2-3; 30 May 1853, B.223/b/41 folios 2-3, 11-12d; Ogden to Simpson, 12 July 1853, B.223/b/41 folios 15-15d, HBCA.

886BAJC, Vol. XI, p. 231.

887BAJC, Vol. XI, p. 232. The Company held onto its acreage at Mill Plain to the bitter end--at least the cultivated sections; Ebey was probably mistaken in his estimates, since there is no evidence that cultivation on Mill Plain ever exceeded 1,000 acres.

888Mactavish To Simpson, B.223/b/41 folios 48-48d, HBCA.

889Grahame to Mactavish, 18 June 1855, ms. in Fort Nisqually Collection.

890Mactavish to Simpson 22 July 1856, B.223/b/41 folios 114d-116; Mactavish to Simpson 18 August 1857, B.223/b/41 folios 139d-141, HBCA.

891Results of Trade, Oregon Dept Outfit 1858, A.11/71 ms. folio 961, HBCA; Grahame to Simpson, 4 September 1859, B.223/b/42, folios 133d-135d, HBCA.

892Ogden and Douglas to Simpson 15 March 1847, B.223/b/35/ folios 66d-67, HBCA; Ogden and Douglas to Gov. and Comm. 20 September 1847, B.223/b/36 folios 75-84d, HBCA; Ogden and Douglas to Simpson, 3 March, 1848, Baron Strathcoma Papers, OHS mss. 1502, Oregon.

893Ruth Rockwood, ed. "Diary of Rev. George H. Atkinson, D.D., 1847-1858," Oregon Historical Quarterly XL (June 1939), p. 184.

894John Ballenden to William F. Tolmie, 1 November 1852, Tolmie Add Mss. 557, V. 1, folder 1, PABC.

895Bradford Alden, "Letters," pp. 202-3.

896BAJC, Vol. XI, pp. 230-238.

897Mactavish to Simpson 4 August 1855, B.223/b/41 fol85d-86d, HBCA.

898BAJC, Vol. II, p. 45.

899BAJC, Vol. II, pp. 11, 31.

900BAJC, Vol. II, pp. 114-115.

901Ibid., pp. 113-115; D.H. Vinton to Genl. P.F. Smith, 1 October 1849, RG 92, Box 1175, National Archives. Vinton reported the usual price of lumber at $20 per thousand, but said "At present these prices are advanced five fold..."

902BAJC, Vol. XI, pp. 230-238.

903BAJC, Vol. II, p. 202-3.

904BAJC, Vol XI, p. 185.

905Vancouver folder, microfilm D-9, set 1, reel 49, PABC.

906Rufus Ingalls to Maj. Gen. T.S. Jesup, 3 December 1849, RG 92, Box 1175, National Archives.

907D.H. Vinton to Genl. P.F. Smith, 5 October 1849, RG 92, Box 1175, National Archives.

908"Jenning's Original Manuscript Journal of the Overland Trip from Oregon City to Fort Hall and Salt Lake Ms. 428, Washington State Historical Society, from original in Yale Western Americana collection, p. 3.

909Hine and Lottinville, eds., Soldier in the West, pp. 129, 132-3.

910D.H. Vinton to Genl. P.F. Smith, 5 October 1849, RG 92, Box 1175, National Archives.

911P.S. Ogden to Rufus Ingalls, 28 May 1850, RG 92, Box 1175, National Archives; Extracts from British Foreign Office Documents, Fort Vancouver, PABC.

912"A Military History of Fort Vancouver Barracks, Washington Territory," n.d. (typesecript), m. Vancouver Barracks #01, Washington, Fort Lewis Army Museum, Washington, p. 17.

913BAJC, Vol. XI, pp. 371-3.

914"Amount of Rent Collected by the HBC from the US Quartermaster for buildings at Ft Vanc WT," 1849-60, B.223/z/5, folio 52, HBCA; Lewis McArthur, Oregon Geographic Names, pp. 319-20. It is not clear if the land was rented for Grant's personal use--he did, in fact, attempt to farm potatoes as an investment crop while at Fort Vancouver--or for use by the government to supply the army.

915Hine and Lottinville, eds., Soldier in the West, p. 167.

916Bradford Alden, "Letters," pp. 199-231.


918Captain H.D. Wallen to Maj. G.T. Rains, 6 July 1855, RG 92, Box 1176, National Archives; Rufus Ingalls to General Thos. Jesup, 12 December 1856, RG 92, Box 1176, National Archives.

919Robert Frazer, ed., Mansfield on the Condition of the Western Forts 1853-54, (Norman, Oklahoma: University of Oklahoma Press, 1963), pp. 170-175.

920BAJC, Vol. II, p. 180.

921Rufus Ingalls to William Tolmie, 6 August 1857, Tolmie Add Mss. 557, V. 1, folder 1, PABC.

922BAJC, Vol. II, p. 350.

923John Work, Memoranda, 28 March 1860, B.223/z/5, folios 65-66, HBCA. See also Folio 69 (testimony of Kaulehelehe).

924A.G. Dallas (HBC) to Brg. Genl. W.L. Harney, May 1860, B.223/z/5, folios 62-63, HBCA.

925A.G. Dallas (HBC) to Lord Lyons, HBM Envoy Extraordinary, 15 August 1860, B.223/z/5 , folio 109, HBCA.

926"Journal of Service of Lieutenant Charles William Wilson, R.E., with Boundary Commission," April 20, 1858-June 11, 1860, Vol. I, trans. G.M. Fray, Mss. 368, pp. 89-90, PABC.

927George Gibbs, "Report of George Gibbs Upon the Geology of the Central Portion of Washington Territory, Olympia, W.T. 1 May 1854," in ---- Reports of Explorations and Surveys... 1853-54, Vol. I, (Washington: Beverley Tucker, 1855), a report to 33d Cong. 2d sess., S. Ex. Doc. 78, p. 473.

928BAJC, Vol. II, pp. 80-81.

929Kane, Wanderings of an Artist, p. 186.

930BAJC, Vol. II, p. 115.

931For a detailed discussion of these buildings, see Hussey, History of Fort Vancouver and Hussey, Historic Structure Report, Vols. I, II.

932Lowe, Journal, January 1848, n.p.

933Lowe, Journal, folio 64. See also discussion of the stockade and the bastion Hussey, Historic Structure Report, Vols. I, II.

934"Jenning's Original Manuscript," p. 6.

935BAJC, Vol. XI, p. 371-3; Ibid., pp. 218-228.

936BAJC, Vol. II, p. 107.

937Ibid., p. 31.

938Honore-Timothee Lempfrit Oregon Trail Journal, p. 164.

939Kane, Wanderings of an Artist, pp. 171-2.

940For a discussion of the walls see Marlessa Gray, "Structural Aspects of Fort Vancouver, 1829-1860"; Hussey, History of Fort Vancouver, Final Report Fort Vancouver Excavations, by Louis Caywood, (July 1955).

941Lowe, Journal, 18 June 1846, n.p.

942Coode's watercolor was executed sometime in 1846-47. An earlier birds-eye view of the stockade interior done around 1845-46 is attributed to Henry J. Wane.

943Hoffman and Ross, Fort Vancouver Excavations XIII, Structural Inventory, p. 60; Hussey, Historic Structure Report, Vol. 1, pp. 71-74.

944Hoffman and Ross, Fort Vancouver Excavations XIII, p. 64; Hussey, Historic Structure Report, Vol. I, pp. 61-70.

945Hoffman and Ross, Fort Vancouver Excavations XIII, pp. 68-9; Hussey, Historic Structure Report, Vol. I, pp. 75-82.

946Hussey, Historic Structure Report, Vol. I, pp. 416-422; Hoffman and Ross, Fort Vancouver Excavations XIII, Structural Inventory, p. 66, Table 3, Figure 3.

947Hoffman and Ross, Fort Vancouver Excavations XIII, p. 63. Table 3, Figure 3.

948D.H Vinton to Genl. P.F. Smith, 1 October 1849, RG 92, Box 1175, National Archives.

949"Amount of Rent," B.223/z/5, Folios 72-77, HBCA.

950Rufus Ingalls to Maj. Genl. Thos. Jesup, 23 December 1856, RG 92, B1 176, National Archives.

951See Hussey's discussion, History of Fort Vancouver, p. 157.

952BAJC, Vol. II, p. 176.

953BAJC, Vol. XI, pp. 218-228.

954BAJC, Vol. II, pp. 202-3; Hussey, History of Fort Vancouver, p. 154; Hussey, Historic Structure Report, Vol. II, pp. 289-307.

955BAJC, Vol. IX, pp. 74-77; Hussey, Historic Structure Report, Vol. I, plate XXX.

956BAJC, Vol. II, pp. 111-12.

957Hussey, History of Fort Vancouver, pp. 159-160.

958BAJC, Vol. II, p. 116; BAJC, Vol. IX, pp. 24-25.

959Hussey, History of Fort Vancouver, p. 113.

960Thomas and Galm, "Archaeological Testing and Data Recovery Excavations for a Proposed Utility Corridor."

961Hussey, Historic Structure Report, Vol. II, pp 425-429.

962BAJC, Vol. II, p. 176.

963BAJC v. 9, pp. 75-77.


965BAJC, Vol. XI, p. 71.

966BAJC, Vol. II, p. 225. As noted earlier, grasses were sown at Fort Nisqually by 1842.

967"Extracts from British Foreign Office Documents," Fort Vancouver, PABC.

968The sutler's store, north of the St. James Mission enclosure and west of the Hudson's Bay Company's cemetery, is shown on the 1855 Covington sketch and the Sohon illustration, as well the 1850s army maps. In the illustrations, it is a gable-roofed structure within a small picketed yard. It may have been a Hudson's Bay Company dwelling, although it is not shown on the Peers or Covington maps of 1844 and 1845.

969"Amount of Rent," B.223/z/5, Folios 72-77, HBCA.

970BAJC, Vol. II, pp. 180, 215.

971Brig. Gen. James F. Rusling, Inspector, Quartermaster Dept., "Report of Inspection of the Depot and Fort Vancouver WT," November and December 1866, RG 92, Box 1176, National Archives.

972BAJC, Vol. II, pp. 96, 176; Vol. XI, p. 120.

973BAJC, Vol. II, pp. 202-3.

974Ballenden to Ogden, Memo, n.d., B.223/z/5, folio 104, HBCA.

975BAJC, Vol. II, p. 176.

976BAJC, Vol. II, p. 119.

977Rockwood, "Diary of Rev. George H Atkinson," p. 184.

978Carey, ed., The Journal of Theodore Talbot , p. 88.

979Hine and Lottinville, eds., Soldier in the West, p. 129.

980"Amount of Rent," B.223/z/5, Folios 72-77, HBCA.


982D.H. Vinton to Genl. P.F. Smith, 5 October 1849, RG 92, Box 1175, National Archives.

983Frazer, Mansfield on the Condition of the Western Forts 1853-54, pp. 170-175.

984Rufus Ingalls to Cross (Chief, Quartermaster Department, Department of the Pacific, Benecia), RG 92, Box 1175, National Archives.

985BAJC, Vol. II, pp. 191-2.

986Ibid., p. 176.

987"Amount of Rent," B.223/z/5, Folios 72-77, HBCA; British and American Joint Commission for the Final Settlement of Claims of the Hudson's Bay and Puget's Sound Agricultural Companies, Evidence for the United States in the Matter of the Claim of the Hudson's Bay Company, Vol. VIII (Washington: McGill & Witherow, 1867) p. 537 (Hereafter referred to as BAJC, Vol. VIII).

988P.W. Crawford, Description of Fort Vancouver as it was in 1847 (typescript), PABC.

989Honore-Timothee Lempfrit Oregon Trail Journal, p.164.

990Reference to rental of the rectory is in Case No. 26 of the Corporation of the Catholic Bishop of Nisqually in Washington Territory, Plantiff Against John Gibbon et al., Defendants. Catholic Bishop of Nisqually, United States Referee Report Vols. 7-15, Envelope No. 1, W. Byron Daniels, Reported, August 5, 1891, signed by A. Reeves Ayers, Clerk of the Circuit Court of the United States to the District of Washington, as cited in Bryn Thomas, "St. James Mission," p. 11.

991"Amount of Rent," B.223/z/5, Folios 72-77, HBCA; "A Military History of Fort Vancouver Barracks" p. 18. Joseph Petrin (Petrain) was apparently a baker for the Company at Fort Vancouver, and later performed various services for the army until at least 1857.

992Hussey, History of Fort Vancouver, p. 210.

993BAJC, Vol. II, pp. 110-111.

994Warner and Munnick, Vancouver, II, p. 147

995Maj Gen Thomas Anderson, "Vancouver Barracks," Journal of the Military Service Institution v. 35, no. 131 (Sept.-Oct. 1904), ms. 240, Washington State Historical Society.

996Ballenden to Ogden, Memo, n.d., B.223/z/5, folio 104, HBCA.

997"Amount of Rent," B.223/z/5, Folios 72-77, HBCA.

998According to the Catholic church records, in early February of 1852 Catherine (Kitty) McIntosh gave birth to a daughter; on May 6 Julia Catherine Noble was baptized and Kitty McIntosh was buried. Her daughter followed her to the grave in August of 1852. Warner and Munnick, Vancouver, H, passim.

999BAJC, Vol. II, pp. 356-9.

1000Ibid., pp. 202-3.

1001Ibid., pp. 181-2.

1002Carey, ed., The Journal of Theodore Talbot , p. 88.

1003D.H. Vinton to Genl. P.F. Smith, 5 October 1849, RG 92, Box 1175, National Archives.

1004Amount of Rent," B.223/z/5, Folios 72-77, HBCA.

1005"A Military History of Fort Vancouver Barracks," p. 17.

1006Rufus Ingalls, "Report of Material, Labor &c. expended in the construction of buildings at Fort Vancouver, Oregon from July 1, 1849 to March 31, 1851 as shown from the reports and returns of Captain Rufus Ingalls, AGM," RG 92, Box 1175, National Archives.

1007By 1854 the Sutler's store is located in a structure within a picketed yard north of St. James Mission.

1008D.H Vinton to Genl. P.F. Smith, 5 October 1849, RG 92, Box 1175, National Archives.

1009Carey, ed., The Journal of Theodore Talbot, p. 134.

1010Rufus Ingalls to Maj. General Thos. Jesup, 3 December 1856, RG 92, Box 1176, National Archives.

1011"A Military History of Fort Vancouver Barracks," p. 17.

1012Rufus Ingalls, "Report of Material, Labor &c. expended in the construction of buildings at Fort Vancouver, Oregon from July 1, 1849 to March 31, 1851 as shown from the reports and returns of Captain Rufus Ingalls, AGM," RG 92, Box 1175, National Archives.

1013Rufus Ingalls to Major R. Allen, 14 October 1850, RG 92, Box 1175, National Archives.

1014Rufus Ingalls to Major R. Allen, 23 November 1850, RG 92, Box 1175, National Archives.

1015Rufus Ingalls, "Report of Material, Labor &c. expended in the construction of buildings at Fort Vancouver, Oregon from July 1, 1849 to March 31, 1851 as shown from the reports and returns of Captain Rufus Ingalls, AGM," RG 92, Box 1175, National Archives.

1016"A Military History of Fort Vancouver Barracks," pp. 19-20.

1017"Jenning's Original Manuscript," p. 2.

1018Ballenden to Ogden, Memo, n.d., B.223/z/5, folio 104, HBCA.

1019Thomas Brent reported at the end of fiscal year 1855 that "...a set of Laundress's quarters has been added to the Company Kitchen--as many of the laundresses for want of quarters are living in the kitchens of the officers much to their annoyance and discomfort." Thomas L. Brent, "Report of additional alterations and repairs of public buildings required for the better accommodations of the Officers and men and preservation of the public property at Fort Vancouver, W.T. during the fiscal year ending June 30 1855," RG 92, Box 1176, National Archives.

1020Frazer, Mansfield on the Condition of the Western Forts 1853-54, pp. 170-175.

1021Thomas L. Brent, "Report of Public Buildings," 30 June 1854, RG 92, Box 1175, National Archives.

1022Thomas L. Brent, "Annual Estimates...for year ending June 30 1854", RG 92, Box 1175, National Archives.

1023Thomas L. Brent to B.L.E. Bonneville, 1 November 1854, RG 92, Box 1175, National Archives.

1024BAJC, Vol. II, p. 215.

1025Thomas L. Brent, "Report of additional alterations and repairs of public buildings required for the better accommodations of the Officers and men and preservation of the public property at Fort Vancouver, W.T. during the fiscal year ending June 30 1855," RG 92, Box 1176, National Archives.

1026Rufus Ingalls to Maj. Osborne Cross, 26 April 1856, RG 92, Box 1175, National Archives.

1027J. Simpson (surgeon) to Brig. Genl. Clark, 8 October 1857, RG 92, Box 1176, National Archives.

1028Rufus Ingalls to Maj. Genl. Thos. Jesup, 23 December 1856, RG 92, Box 1176, National Archives; Rufus Ingalls to Maj. Genl. Thos. Jesup, 12 June 1857, RG 92, Box 1176, National Archives.

1029----"Location, Extent and Construction of the Buildings in Charge of the Quartermaster's Dept. at Fort Vancouver, W.T.," 1864, RG 92, Box 1176, National Archives.

1030Rufus Ingalls to Maj. Genl. Thomas Jesup, "Report of Public Buildings at Fort Vancouver," 20 July 1858, RG 92, Box 1176, National Archives.


1032Ballenden to Ogden, Memo, n.d., B.223/z/5, folio 104, HBCA.

1033In the 1850s Covington sketch, what appear to be deciduous trees are shown south of the bastion corner. An 1851 Gibbs sketch also shows a few scattered deciduous trees in the area Since this conflicts with the 1844 map, it appears that either new trees were planted in that area after the 1844 fire, or that the artists were not accurate in their depiction of that particular area of the orchard.

1034BAJC, Vol. II, p. 83.

1035Ibid., p. 180.

1036Grahame to Smith, 4 September 1858, B.223/b/42 folios 95-95d, HBCA, as cited in Hussey, "Fort Vancouver Farm," p. 119.

1037John Work later reported that the army had removed 5,000 rails from the site it cleared; the army reported that only four or five hundred yards of fence existed on the site in March of 1860, prior to demolition. Perhaps the army did not include the west orchard fence in its inventory; perhaps the claims of both were exaggerated.

1038BAJC, Vol. II, p. 180.

1039Ibid., p. 111.


1041"Public" was a common term used in correspondence when referring to army possessions.

1042BAJC, Vol. II, p. 215; Grahame to Simpson, 2 September 1859, B.223/b/42, folios 146d-147d, HBCA; Grahame to Fraser 19 September 1859, B.223/b/42, folios 148-150d, HBCA.

1043BAJC, Vol. XI, pp. 230-238.

1044BAJC, Vol. II, p. 111.

1045Pambrun was an older son of Pierre Pambrun, a chief trader for the Company. Alexandre and siblings grew up at Fort Vancouver, and later moved to Oregon City, where he married the daughter of Chief Trader Samuel Black in 1851. He apparently returned to Fort Vancouver, where he took up a claim east of the fort, claiming the same land, according to William Crate, that William Ryan claimed. After his wife's death, some time soon after 1859, he placed a surviving child in a convent school in Oregon City and left for Montana. Warner and Munnick, Vancouver, I & II, pp. A61-62.

1046Hine and Lottinville, eds., Soldier in the West, pp. 129, 132-3.

1047See Pastures and Fields section, 1847-1860, of this document.

1048BAJC, Vol. II, p. 176.

1049Ibid., p. 192.

1050Ibid., p. 137.

1051Ibid., pp. 354-8.

1052Ibid., p. 108.

1053Lowe, Journal, n.p.

1054John Work later said the lands were under cultivation and leased for the year.

1055Hussey, "Fort Vancouver Farm," p.115.

1056Thomas and Hibbs, Excavations at Kanaka Village, Vol. 1.

1057BAJC, Vol. II, p. 180.

1058Carey, ed., The Journal of Theodore Talbot, p. 88.

1059BAJC, Vol. II, p. 244.

1060Carey, ed., The Journal of Theodore Talbot, p. 88.

1061"Amount of Rent," B.223/z/5, Folios 72-77, HBCA; BAJC, Vol. II, p. 321.

1062"Amount of Rent," B.223/z/5, Folios 72-77, HBCA.

1063BAJC, Vol. XI, pp. 371-3.

1064BAJC, Vol. II, p. 176.

1065BAJC, Vol. XI, pp. 218-228.

1066BAJC, Vol. II, p. 176.

1067BAJC, Vol. IX, pp. 81-82. On March 5 the army formally requested the Company remove all enclosures and structures on the site; clerk John Work, in charge while Chief Trader Grahame was away, refused.

1068John Work correspondence, B.223/z/5, folios 65-66, folio 69, HBCA.


1070BAJC, Vol. II, pp. 191-2.

1071Possibly one of these was the James Johnson dwelling.

1072Frazer, Mansfield on the Condition of the Western Forts 1853-54, pp. 170-175.

1073"A Military History of Fort Vancouver Barracks," pp. 19-20.

1074Frazer, Mansfield on the Condition of the Western Forts 1853-54, pp. 170-175.

1075Thos. L. Brent to B.L.E. Bonneville, 1 November 1854, RG 92, Box 1175, National Archives.

1076Thomas L. Brent, "Report of Public Buildings," 30 June 1854, RG 92, Box 1175, National Archives.

1077Charles Hopkins, "Inspection of Public Buildings at Fort Vancouver for year ending June 30 1862," RG 92, Box 1176, National Archives.

1078Both are on the 1859 maps.

1079The 1859 maps present a problem in assessment, because the stables, formerly a rectangular building flanked by corrals, now appears as an open courtyard enclosed by buildings on all sides. The next available map, 1871, shows only three sides to the corral. One possible explanation is that the old stable, "'not worth repairing," in 1854, stood for several more years, as additional sheds were added to enclose the east corral. Part or all of the ensemble could have been replaced when a new stable was built on the site in the following decade.

1080Rufus Ingalls to Maj. Osborne Cross, 12 June 1857, RG 92, Box 1175, National Archives. An 1864 list of buildings at Fort Vancouver says the quartermaster's stable was built in 1856.

1081Thomas and Hibbs, Excavations at Kanaka Village, Vol. 2, pp. 641-680.

1082Chance and Chance, Kanaka Village/Vancouver Barracks 1974, pp. 290-1; Thomas and Hibbs, Excavations at Kanaka Village, Vol. 2, pp. 409-420.

1083" additional building for post blacksmith shop to supply the place of the one destroyed by fire will be required," Charles Hopkins, "Inspection of Public Buildings at Fort Vancouver for year ending June 30 1862," RG 92, Box 1175, National Archives. There is no reference to a warehouse or storehouse in the 1862 list of buildings; there is, however a framed stable listed as having been built in 1858 in the 1864 list of buildings at Fort Vancouver. The structure in question looks like a stable in the photograph, and may have been the third stable listed in the 1862 list of buildings, later converted to a warehouse.

1084Chance and Chance, Kanaka Village/Vancouver Barracks 1974, p. 290.

1085Ibid., p. 289.

1086There is one sketch by artist Paul Kane, c. 1846, which is identified as "Fort Vancouver, west end," held by the Stark Foundation of Orange, Texas. On the sketch, however, the artist noted it as "Mount Hood from near Fort Vancouver." The exact site of this sketch, which some believe may be the river front area, is not known. This author believes it is actually a sketch looking northeast from either the south Columbia river bank, possibly at Tom McKay's former farm--by then he had moved to the Willamette Valley--or, more likely, from the west side of Sauvie Island, looking up river towards Vancouver.

1087Lowe, Journal, folio 54.

1088BAJC, Vol. VIII, pp. 129-130.

1089BAJC, Vol. II, pp. 176, 184-6.

1090Ibid., pp. 202-3.

1091B.223/z/5 folios 65-66, folio 69, HBCA.

1092BAJC, Vol. II, pp. 189-192.

1093Michael Tubs was a witness at a funeral for a Sergeant Smith of the Fourth Infantry in January of 1854, and it seems possible he was also in the army at the Vancouver post. Two Carson or Casson babies were baptized, in 1851 and 1852, the children of Agnes Tub and John Carson or Casson. A baby baptized in 1853 was the daughter of Maria Tub and Aram Fields.

1094BAJC, Vol. II, p. 176.

1095Ibid., pp. 184-6.

1096Washington National Guard 1961: Vol 2, pp. 53, 128, 136, 144, as cited in Thomas and Hibbs, Excavations at Kanaka Village, Vol. 1, p. 60.

1097Charles "Desroches" (de Roche) lived in one of the buildings along "river road" in Kanaka Village, as shown on the Covington map. It is not clear why--if it is the same Charles--he would have rented this building for one month, or why the company would have charged him, since he was a Company employee, at least in 1846. He was in the Vancouver vicinity until at least 1854, when, a widower with at least four children, he remarried in the Catholic church. Also, his house is one of the few Kanaka Village houses deemed worth describing in the 1846-47 inventory: it was "lined and ceiled."

1098Carley, HBC Kanaka Village/Vancouver Barracks 1977, pp. 14-19, 23-24.

1099The fences around the Lattie and Ducheney houses can be seen in one of the 1851 Gibbs sketches, beyond the Company-army corral; in the 1855 Covington "bird's eye" watercolor of Fort Vancouver, and in the c. 1855 Hodges sketch of Fort Vancouver.

1100Palmer, "Journal of Travels," p. 210.

1101BAJC, Vol. II, pp. 176; 202-3.


1103Ogden and Douglas to Simpson, 3 March, 1848. Baron Strathcoma Papers, OHS mss. 1502, Oregon Historical Society, Portland, Oregon.

1104B223/z/5 folios 65-66, folio 69, HBCA.

1105Honore-Timothee Lempfrit Oregon Trail Journal, p. 164.

1106BAJC, Vol. II, p. 180.

1107BAJC, Vol. II, pp. 416-17.

1108April 26, 1856, Rufus Ingalls to Maj. Osborne Cross, 26 April 1856, RG 92, Box 1175, National Archives.

1109Rufus Ingalls to Maj. Genl. Thos. Jesup, 23 December 1856, RG 92, Box 1176, National Archives.

1110Rufus Ingalls to William Tolmie, 6 August 1857, Tolmie Add Mss. 557, V. 1, folder 1, PABC.

1111Rufus Ingalls to Maj. Gen. Thomas Jesup, "Report of Public Buildings at Fort Vancouver," 20 July 1858, RG 92, Box 1175, National Archives.

1112Charles Hopkins, "Inspection of Public Buildings at Fort Vancouver for year ending June 30 1862," RG 92, Box 1176, National Archives.

1113Rufus Ingalls to Maj. Gen. Thomas Jesup, "Report of Public Buildings at Fort Vancouver," 20 July 1858, RG 92, Box 1175, National Archives.

1114Hussey, History of Fort Vancouver, p. 222.

1115Lowe, Journal, n.p.

1116BAJC, Vol. XI, pp. 357-8.

1117Ibid., pp. 354-8.

1118BAJC, Vol. II, p. 41.

1119BAJC, Vol. XI, p. 133.

1120BAJC, Vol. II, pp. 81-82.

1121Ballenden to Colvile, 11 March 1852, B.223/b/39, folios 109d-118d; Ballenden to Barclay, 23 March 1852, B.223/b/39, folios 108-9, HBCA.

1122BAJC Vol. XI, pp. 230-238.

1123Mactavish to Simpson, 30 June 1855, B.223/b/41, folios 81d-82, HBCA; Mactavish to Simpson, 4 August 1855, folios 85d-86d; Results of Trade, Oregon Department, Outfit 1858, A.11/71, folio 961, HBCA.

1124BAJC, Vol. II, p. 202-3.

1125James Grahame to Simpson and Fraser, February-November 1859, B.223/b/42, folios 113-115; 146d-150d; 155-157, HBCA.

1126BAJC, Vol. XI, pp. 234.

1127BAJC, Vol. II, pp. 202-3.

1128----- Reports of Explorations and Surveys...1853-54, Vol. I, (Washington: Beverley Tucker, 1855), a report to 33d Cong. 2d sess., S. Ex. Doc. 78, p. 204. Testimony by William Crate and others indicate that Kolsas and Camas plain were one in the same; "Camass Plain" can be seen in the 1844 Peers map.

1129BAJC, Vol. II, pp. 80-81.

1130Hussey, Champoeg, pp. 114-118, 196-199.

1131BAJC, Vol. XI, pp. 218-228.

1132Kathryn Troxel, "Fort Nisqually and the Puget's Sound Agricultural Company." Thesis, Department of History, Indiana University, 1950, passim.

1133Elliott, "British Values in Oregon," p. 36.

1134BAJC, Vol. XI, p. 225.

1135Ibid, p. 238.

1136Thomas Vaughan and Priscilla Knuth, eds., "The Round Hand of George B. Roberts," passim.

1137BAJC, Vol. II, p. 204.

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