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Vancouver, WA Historic area

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Eugene, Oregon
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Vancouver, WA Historic area

Not sure of the exact name for it...includes the Vancouver Barracks, Officers Row, Pearson Air Museum.

The question...worthwhile stop for a history buff? Anyone actually ever been there?

Also, what would be the best way to get there from PDX?

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1. Re: Vancouver, WA Historic area

Officers Row National Historic District...I think you take 5 North..but you can map it on yahoo or google..

hope this helps :)

Albany, OR
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2. Re: Vancouver, WA Historic area

Yes, I've been there. It's pretty interesting, if you are a history buff. It's not huge, so won't take a lot of time if you decide that it isn't what you were looking for, but my husband (MAJOR history freak) really likes it.

And, I believe that Scarlett's right - I5, and it's really close to the state line so I think that it's either the first or second exit after the bridge (sorry, I haven't been there in a while).

Eugene, Oregon
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3. Re: Vancouver, WA Historic area

Yes, I could see that it is really close to the 5, but I was wondering about coming from PDX...whether it was faster to take 30 on the OR side,then cross over up the 5, or take the 205 straight over to WA from PDX then follow Rte 14 to it...

Probably six of one...

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4. Re: Vancouver, WA Historic area

I mapped it from where I live ( in the Pearl) and according to the map, 5 takes you right there, it looks like it is right on 5..

Oregon
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5. Re: Vancouver, WA Historic area

I assume by PDX you mean airport, some us locals use that as short for the city

I would do I-205 to SR-14, then on I-5 very briefly to Mill Plain Exit then right and a short block later another right.

SR-14 is 4 lane freeway. US-30 is a mostly 2 lane surface street with traffic signals, plus can be hard to find for new comer. Marine Drive is better than US-30 but it too is mostly 2 lane. WA-14 is better.

Not a whole lot there but may be good for history buff. I have passed though it several times but never really visited.

Eugene, Oregon
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6. Re: Vancouver, WA Historic area

Yes, I definitely meant the airport. We are arriving at 2pm, and the friends we are visiting don't get home from work until after 5, so wanted someplace to kill a few hours that we had not done before (have done many of the usual Portland attractions).

Will take 5 back over to Portland when we are finished, but will take the 205/14 going there.

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7. Re: Vancouver, WA Historic area

The Fort Vancouver National Historic Reserve is located just East of I-5, and just North of SR-14 in Vancouver.

To reach it from PDX, take I-205 Northbound to SR-14 (avoiding all that Portland traffic). Follow SR-14 Westbound toward Vancouver, and take the Columbia Way exit (almost to I-5 but not quite). You'll see Fort Vancouver right in front of you. Take a right, and then a left on Grand. Turn left now on Evergreen Blvd. and you'll go right down Officer's Row. If you turn left on 5th instead of Evergreen, you'll go right by the Fort.

Officer's Row can be fairly interesting because it's where many Union Officers lived in the Civil War. For a historical perspective, there are tours on Thursdays at 6:30PM. For info on that see:

www.cityofvancouver.us/calendar.asp…

They used to do Lantern tours there (Officer's Row is reputed to be haunted), but I don't know if they still do - someone at the Reserve Trust can tell you, I'm sure.

Pearson Airpark is the oldest continuously operating airstrip in the United States, taking it's first landing of a dirigible in 1905. I haven't looked in the museum myself, but it is supposed to be interesting.

http://www.pearsonairmuseum.org/

Fort Vancouver itself is a look back at the first permament settlement in the Pacific Northwest, dating back to 1825. The fort is really only interesting for kids or if you go on a tour - there isn't a tremendous amount to see on your own. The park service does regular tours there, though. You can learn interesting history about the early fur trading post.

The Barracks are there along with other historic landmarks like the Kaiser Shipyard.

I think if you're at all interested in the history of Vancouver, you should visit - the walks are interesting, and the street itself is lovely. While it is nothing monumental for sure, and mostly of interest to Vancouver-ites, I walked through there again just this summer, and found it interesting to see it, the Historical Society, the Railway Museum, etc.

More information about the Reserve:

http://www.vancouverhistoricreserve.org

http://www.nps.gov/fova/

http://www.ci.vancouver.wa.us/history.asp

http://www.columbian.com/history/

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8. Re: Vancouver, WA Historic area

Oh yeah - how could I forget?

There's also the world's oldest apple tree just off Columbia Way across from Who Song & Larry's (south of Officer's Park)

Hey - if you're from Vancouver, you have to cling to what you have!

Eugene, Oregon
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9. Re: Vancouver, WA Historic area

Wow, Johann and Sandra, thank you so much for the detailed help. It's hard to tell from a guidebook how big the place is...do you just park once and walk to all the different components? Where would be the best place to park?

Will the traffic be bad coming south on the 5 back into Portland shortly after 5pm or is that a reverse commute?

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10. Re: Vancouver, WA Historic area

<<Wow, Johann and Sandra, thank you so much for the detailed help. It's hard to tell from a guidebook how big the place is...do you just park once and walk to all the different components? Where would be the best place to park?

Will the traffic be bad coming south on the 5 back into Portland shortly after 5pm or is that a reverse commute?>>

It is definitely walkable, but if you're lazy like me, then you can park on Evergreen (Officer's Row) to see the Officer's Row part, then drive to the other side of the park on 5th, and you can park on the street right across the street from Fort Vancouver and the Pearson Air Museum. There's just the two streets with the park in between - Officer's Row is probably 1/2 mile long, while it's probably 3 blocks between the Row and Fort. You can also just park on either 5th or Evergreen and walk between them through the park, passing the barracks on the way.

You can also take in a drink or dine on the patio at the Club at the Historic Reserve (at the Grant House) - that's always nice.

Coming back south on I-5 shouldn't be a problem (just don't go back North!) - if you're going to the airport, though, you'll want to go back the way you came on SR-14 and I-205.