Yesterday, Friday, October 28th was one of the few perfect fall days when it is warm enough to go out without a jacket, and wearing a short sleeve tee shirt. It is days like that, where I really just want to be outside exploring, so that is exactly what I did. Yesterday I had decided to drive across the river to Vancouver and go to Fort Vancouver. It was the perfect day to be outside exploring history. I had visited Fort Vancouver a couple times over the past few years, but this was the first time I had been there when it wasn’t a special event or Holiday, where they had reenactors there doing living history. This was also the first time I had actually gone in the Big House. The Big House was where John McLoughlin who was a chief factor and superintendent of the Columbia District of the Hudson’s Bay Company, his second wife (who was half cree) and their children lived. Both of John McLoughlin’s wives were of native descent (his first was Ojibway, His second wife being half cree). Mixed race marriages and relations were not uncommon back in the days when Fur Trading was big, and before the territory was really settled by white settlers who brought their white ways and women out west with them. It was really once there became more white women coming out west that the mixed marriages declined. It didn’t surprise me upon learning that the white fur traders were marrying native and mixed race women, and then that became taboo again as more white women were coming out west. That is one of the things that has fascinated me about this part of the North American continent, is the Ethnic diversity that has been a part of our history out here, since at least the 18th century.
Up the small hill from the Hudson’s Bay Company Fort Vancouver stands the Vancouver Barracks and Officer’s Row, that were constructed for the Army in the 1840’s, and had been expanded on over the years. The Army now no longer uses the barracks, and the houses that make up Officer’s Row are now used as other businesses, at least one restaurant among other things. When I was there yesterday there was work being done on the barracks, for which I am hoping that it is preservation, restoration and required upgrades to keep them structurally sound and up to code, yet keeping the historical structure, while preserving it for future generations.
Before I had walked back down the hill to my car, I looked off the the Southeast, and had a perfect view of Mount Hood (which is here in Oregon). Seeing the mountains, and living where we have mountains, and peaks such as Mt Hood, Mt Saint Helens, Mt Rainier, and so many more, are something that I quite often take for granted yet I never tire of seeing whenever I see them.
I know there are people out there that don’t like the mountains, and feel to closed in by them, but I am one of those people who loves the mountains, and am always happy to get back to the mountains, the greenery, and the rain after having been away from this part of the country.