Fort Vancouver National Historic Site
Located just south of Officers Row alongside the Columbia River, the fort functioned as the main supply depot for the Columbia Department of the British-controlled Hudson's Bay Company from 1825 until 1849, when the area came under American rule. With territory extending for some 400,000sq mi, it became the fur-trade capital of the Pacific Coast. Archaeologists began a systematic excavation of the site in 1948 and recovered more than one million objects. From the visitor center, which provides a useful introduction, drive just south for a guided walking tour (1hr) of the reconstructed fort with its simple, rough-hewn buildings: A carpenter's shop, fur warehouse and a bakehouse stand along the peripheries of a tall wooden stockade. The white-frame Chief Factor's Residence is the most "civilized" of the fort's buildings.