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Posts Tagged ‘Fort Vancouver’

History, repeated

Romola and I have volunteered at Fort Vancouver for 4 summers. Our tasks were to man the information booth, and help people with the history of the area. So since we were in the area we took a drive to our old volunteer sites.

Alas, they now have Monday’s off and so the fort was closed. So we took a nice walk around the fort, Pearson Air Museum, and through downtown back to the visitor center. So we had a nice walk but will have to visit the fort itself some other time.

1867 Baseball game

At Fort Vancouver, WA there is an interesting re-creation of an 1867 baseball game. It is based on an documented game between the Portland Baseball Club and the Vancouver Occidentals. Teams are in full authentic uniforms, and many spectators are also in period costumes.

The game itself is played in accordance with 1867 rules. That means, no gloves, fly balls may be caught on the first bounce, pitcher throws underhand to the batter and many more differences from today’s game. Here are some images.

The timekeeper arrives

The timekeeper arrives

More arrivals

More arrivals

Fans arriving

Fans arriving

Mother and child

Mother and child

The scoreboard is set up

The scoreboard is set up

Warming up

Warming up

Team strategy session

Team strategy session

The cannon starts the game

The cannon starts the game

It's a hit!

It’s a hit!

Last canon firing

July 26, 2014 1 comment

One of my more interesting duties as Fort Vancouver volunteer is demo’ing black powder. Last weekend, we did rifle and canon firing. My duties were firing the canon. Pictures below.

The canon is an 1841 Mountain Howitzer, very popular in the day as it was effective, light, and transportable. It could be broken down and carried on two horses or mules. It was optimized for firing explosive shells as well as spherical case and canister. Its range was about 1,000 yards. It was popular in the Civil War, especially in the west because it did not require roads to transport.

The 1841 Mountain Howitzer

The 1841 Mountain Howitzer

Ready for action

Ready for action

Cleaning the barrel

Cleaning the barrel

Waiting for the charge to be delivered

Waiting for the charge to be delivered

Ready for the Fire command

Ready for the Fire command

FIRE!

FIRE!

And from the other side....

And from the other side….

Fireworks at Fort Vancouver

One of the benefits of volunteering at Fort Vancouver is being able to get a ringside seat for the 4th of July fireworks. No small thing; the annual Fort Vancouver fireworks are rated in the top 10 in the country.

This year, we were asked to also assist in the firewatch, which means outside the fort walls, right near the launch point. In fact, we had to stay clear of the road for fire trucks, if they were needed. What surprised me how much fire was on the ground; all that fireworks and dry grass makes for a good bonfire! But nothing was out of control, and they were quickly suppressed.

We did get a spectacular view of the fireworks. And yes, we were so close we had to wear ear plugs.

Spectacular bursts

Spectacular bursts

Going up!

Going up!

Truly spectacular

Truly spectacular

Multiple starbursts

Multiple starbursts

Starburst

Starburst

Quite a few fires on the ground

Quite a few fires on the ground

Fort Vancouver Lantern tour

September 30, 2012 Leave a comment

Now that the days are getting shorter, Fort Vancouver is hosting their evening events.  Last night, it was the Lantern Tour.  A limited number of people are given lanterns, and Fort Vancouver Guides give tours of the facilities.  There is no electricity or modern facilities, everyone experiences how things were in the 18409’s.

There are volunteers in period costumes to re-enact typical evening activities.  Experiencing an evening in this manner is a lot of fun.  All in all, a very pleasant (and educational)  and interesting evening.

Entrance to the fort

Mike getting ready for the presentations

 

Eva showing of her dress

Mike and Roma showing how to make fire

Fur press to make shippable bundles

Fur weighing scale

Dr. Barclay and wife discussing events

Kitchen ladies discussing events

Roma explaining the master dining room

Mrs. Douglas and friends in an evening chat

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Candles and Campfires

September 10, 2012 2 comments

Last week was the Grand Finale of this year at Fort Vancouver.  It is an evening presentation, with interpreters depicting life from the 1700’s to present day.  Visitors were encouraged to walk down a timeline of period re-enactors, from WW2 down to the Oregon Trail days.  I was in the 1870’s group, as a soldier fighting in the Indian war.

Because of my schedule, I had limited opportunities to take pictures but here is an album showing some of the representative periods.

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Last black powder demonstration

September 9, 2012 1 comment

This summer, I participated in various on site activities at Fort Vancouver.   One of this was to dress up like an Indian War soldier (ca. 1870) and fire rifles and canons.  The Dress Department gave me a full, authentic uniform (heavy wool!) and I grew a beard to match.

Although I have posted some pictures about this before, we just had our last demo and one of the visitors took and gave us some really cool pictures.  These are shown below.  Thanks, Susan!

Our small but representative group – drummer, 4570 rifle, 1861 Springfield (me), late 1700’s muzzleloader, and canon crew.

Waiting our turn to act

Firing of the muzzle loader

And, firing the Mountain Howitzer

A look at the Howitzer

And now, for a REALLY close look at the Howitzer!

Looks like I mean business…..

Fort Vancouver – Medicine

July 18, 2012 1 comment

Medical care in the 1800’s was primitive by our standards.  Blood letting, leeches, limb removal were all standard operating (pun intended) procedures.  Yet there were doctors, and there was medicine, especially herbal.  Romola has spent quite some time studying the healing methods used, and is doing presentations at the fort to educate visitors.

Since there were no nurses in those days, Romola is dressed as a doctor in order to make a history-true presentation.

Romola is fully outfitted, including top coat and derby, just like the doctors wore in the 1840’s

One room of the doctors living area, adjacent to the infirmary.

The doctor’s family bedroom

Surgical instruments were certainly crude compared to today’s high tech tools

The infirmary, or hospital, certainly was close quarters

The doctor is ready to see patients

 

 

Fort Vancouver – carpenter shop

Back in the day, the carpenter was one of the most important tradesmen at Ft. Vancouver.  He was responsible for building pretty well everything, from the buildings themselves, and cradle to casket. Compared to the fort itself, the shop takes up only a small space, but a lot of work was done here.  And all with hand tools, no power equipment during the early years.

This year, I have been trained to make presentations to visitors about the shop, the tools, and the tasks.  Very interesting, and I get to use the tools :)…. it gives great appreciation to the skills of the settlers, making such a variety of products with limited resources.

All dressed up and ready to work

Closeup of the foot pedal powered lathe

A good, sturdy and flat table is a requisite of the wood shop

The grind stone is hand powered too

On the far wall, many types of draw knives and hand planes

Raw materials, waiting projects

Additional projects, such as axles, wagon wheel, and ox yokes

Another view of the lathe area

Striking a cavalier pose in my period correct clothing

Fort Vancouver walk through

We went for a walk through the Fort Vancouver Historic Site and snapped some pictures along the way.  Today was a relatively quiet day and a good day to reacquaint ourselves with the site.  Below are some of the pictures to give you an idea what the place where we will work this summer looks like.  There will be a lot of reenactments, demonstrations and other activities to make this a fun three months!

Blacksmith at work

Looking along some of the restored buildings

Inside the medical doctor’s office

Inside the carpentry shop

A lathe to turn anything round… handles, furniture legs, etc….

Inside one of the bedrooms

Two canon in front of the Chief Factor’s House, mostly ceremonial

Family dining table in the Chief Factor’s House

Outside the communal kitchen

An old candle lantern

The Chief Factor’s House… two families lived here, and the whole camp was run from this building

The well — it required a lot of labor to haul all the water up by the bucket full

 

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