Tag Archives: fort vancouver

Western Pond Turtles, familiarly known as Mud Turtles, once thrived near Fort Vancouver. By Jerry Kirkhart via Wikimedia Commons

Vancouver: Land of the Mud Turtles

By Mary Rose One hundred miles above the mouth of the Columbia River, the Hudson’s Bay Company built its premier fort in the West. The French Canadians called it “Jolie Prairie”[1] but long before the presence of outsiders, Native Americans … more >

Map showing Rupert's Land  in modern day Manitoba.

Metis Pioneers: Lured by Fraud, Succeeded Anyway

In the Northwest, you see tales of the Oregon pioneers at every small town. But there’s another story of brave pioneers that is not widely known. The Metis (pronounced ma-TEE) were pioneers of indigenous and French descent. They traveled 2,000 miles from present day Manitoba to Fort Vancouver, all on horseback and small wagons, lured by a false promise. These travelers trekked over mountains and dangerous passes to get to the Columbia River, inspired by the promises of a man they discovered was a fraud. Yet they went on to play a significant role in the early pioneer history. more >

Idaho's Camas Prairie looking northeast to the Sawtooth Mountains

Northwest Landscape Shaped By Fire

We had a small fire scare at Confluence a couple weeks ago. Our little wildfire is a reminder of the more than two dozen major blazes burning across the United States in the 2016 wildfire season. Lives and homes are threatened; wildlife habitats destroyed and forest resources go up in smoke. Historically, fire posed dangers to the earliest forts and foreign settlements like Astoria (Fort George), Walla Walla (Fort Nez Perce and Fort Walla Walla), and Fort Vancouver. But the history of fire in the Northwest goes back much farther and is a more complicated tale. Read more to learn about Pyroculture in the Northwest. more >

Chief Comcomly, Lower Columbia River  Chinook. The Chief died with many of his villagers in the edpidemic of 1830. Artist unknown.

Columbia River Invaded with Spades, Notebooks, Bibles and Disease

In the years that followed the Lewis and Clark expedition, newcomers came to the Columbia River thumping bibles, trading furs, carrying spades and bringing with them new cultural practices, languages, beliefs and disease. more >

Color plate from a 1906 Toppenish Nursery Sales  Representative’s Guide

How Native Farmers Shaped the Northwest Apple Industry, Part 2: Snake River and Yakima Valley

When you bite into a northwest apple, you are tasting the history of this region. Washington State is the largest producer of apples in America. The well-known roots of this industry are connected to historic sites along the Columbia River system. What’s not so well known is the significant role Native American farmers played in the early years of modern apple production, as they adapted to tectonic changes brought by settlers. Part two of this series explores how apple production spread to eastern and central Washington. more >