Established in 1849, Vancouver Barracks was one of the first U.S. Army posts in the Pacific Northwest and serves as a reminder of the military’s critical role in the region’s development. Throughout its history, the post has been the site of many significant events. In the mid-1800s, it was a staging ground for operations against Native American tribes. During the Spanish-American War, it was utilized to train troops for the Philippines. In the early 1900s it housed the Army’s Spruce Production Division, supplying lumber for WWI. Vancouver Barracks has witnessed an eventful history and is an important part of the area’s heritage.
The Vancouver Barracks was the site of an infamous event during World War II – the internment of Japanese Americans. In 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066, authorizing the relocation of Japanese Americans living on the West Coast to internment camps, including the one at Vancouver Barracks. Thousands of people were forcefully taken from their homes and relocated to the camp. As a reminder of the injustices these individuals suffered, the site stands today. It is a stark reminder of the pain that was inflicted upon a group of people simply because of their heritage. It is a reminder of the need to be vigilant in protecting the rights and freedoms of all people.
Vancouver Barracks has a rich military past, but also stands out for its exquisite architecture. Many of the post’s buildings were constructed in the 1800s, with the most renowned of them being the Grant House. This Victorian manor served as the abode of the post commander, and today it functions as a sought-after event space and restaurant, giving guests the opportunity to relish in its grandeur.
Vancouver Barracks offers a self-guided tour, allowing visitors to explore a number of historical buildings and gain insight into the post’s role in Pacific Northwest history. A highlight of the tour is the Marshall House which served as the headquarters of the U.S. Army’s Pacific Northwest District during World War II. Today, the house is a museum which displays a wealth of information on the post’s past and the region’s background.
Vancouver Barracks is an incredible site for anyone fascinated by the history of the Pacific Northwest or the role of the U.S. military in the area. The site offers a rare opportunity to explore the past – so if you’re interested in history, architecture, or the military, it’s definitely worth a visit. You won’t regret taking the time to take in the sights and insights of this special place.