Fort Vancouver

Fort Vancouver was established where the River Columbia met the Pacific Ocean. Built by the Hudson's Bay Company in 1825 it was an important trading post for the fur trade. It eventually became the administrative headquarters and main supply depot for the Hudson's Bay Company's fur trading operations.

John McLoughlin was the supervisor of the Columbia District and was based at Fort Vancouver. McLoughlin was responsible for shipping our furs valued at up to $150,000 a year.

In the late 1830s Fort Vancouver became the terminus of the Oregon Trail. When American immigrants arrived in the Oregon Country during the 1830s and 1840s, and despite the instructions from the Hudson's Bay Company that the fort should not help Americans, he provided them with essential supplies to begin their new settlements. This included tools, seeds, wood, cattle and food. Much of this was on credit and by 1844 John McLoughlin had spent $31,000 of the company's money on 400 settlers that had arrived at the fort.

In 1849 the Hudson's Bay Company transferred its headquarters to Fort Victoria. Fort Vancouver was eventually abandoned by the company in 1860.

Fort Vancouver by H. Warre (1848)
Fort Vancouver by H. Warre (1848)