2012/07/16 – Vancouver/WA

Ft Vancouver National Historical Preserve has a number of “parts”.

Pearson Air Museum emphasizes an early era of flight; the “new post” offers a early 20th-century vision of Army life; and, the “Old Fort” suggests “Life on the Frontier”.

Basically, forts were built close to water sources, featured high “stockade” fences with “sentry” houses jutting out from each corner (thus, their field-of-vision included most of the outer side of the wall). Inside, a well, blacksmith and carpenter shops, a “sick bay”, and a community kitchen helped keep troops busy (additionally, here, a small orchard and fecund flat fields allowed gardens and crops). A Commandant’s house was a singular sense of “social life”, as soldiers, commissioned or not, tended to “bunk” in “group” housing.

Immediately outside Ft Vancouver’s stockade fence, a local “village” offered social and logistical support. In this case, numerous ethnic groups set up miniscule “ghettoes” for themselves.

But, within the fort:

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Commandant’s House (“charming 2/br, 0/ba cottage”)

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Well. it ain’t the Blockbuster store…

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“Did you ask if we have LINEN napkins?”

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“Well, gee, Doc… couldn’t we try prunes or something first?”

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Orchard View (“Don’t sit under the apple tree…”)

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Town (“so near; and, yet, SO far”)

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