in

What Vancouver, Washington looked like in the Late 19th Century

The city of Vancouver is located in Clark County near the confluence of the Columbia and Willamette Rivers in southwestern Washington State. It was initially inhabited by Chinook Indians. In 1853, Congress approved the creation of the Washington Territory, and the Territorial Legislature changed the town’s name from Columbia City to Vancouver in 1855. On January 23, 1857, it became one of the territory’s first incorporated cities under its new name. Levi Farnsworth became the city’s first mayor; he was a shipbuilder from Vermont. Later, he became a member of the Territorial Legislature, being elected to the body at 71. Early city council members appeared to be lax in their duties, as the town clerk threatened to fine nonattending members. In 1858, the first ordinance prohibiting liquor sales on Sundays was passed.

Vancouver has long been a trading center for farmers in Clark County, attracting people. The city had seven general merchandise stores by 1867. Companies, including stave and barrel keg manufacturers, emerged in the area because of the abundance of trees. The brick industry took off, with a local brickyard supplying a million bricks in 1873 to build the Providence Academy, which became a landmark in Vancouver. During the last decade of the nineteenth century, the city’s waterfront boomed as local mill products were loaded onto ships for shipment to faraway cities. Vancouver had five sawmills, two sash and door factories, a box factory, three brickyards, and a brewery from 1891 to 1892. The Panic of 1893 almost halted progress, but after the crisis passed, business recovered. The cultivation of prunes, which started in the Vancouver area in the late 1870s, was another essential enterprise in the last half of the nineteenth century and the first half of the twentieth century.

Here are some historical photos that show Vancouver, WA, from the 1860s to 1890s.

#1 Clark County Courthouse in Vancouver after 1890 fire.

Clark County Courthouse in Vancouver after 1890 fire.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#2 The children and a man on a horse stand in front of Eureka School House in Hockinson, 1889

The children and a man on a horse stand in front of Eureka School House in Hockinson, 1889

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#3 Homes on Officer’s Row at the Vancouver Barracks, 1883

Homes on Officer's Row at the Vancouver Barracks, 1883

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#4 Two Female Salvation Army members in Vancouver, 1893

Two Female Salvation Army members in Vancouver, 1893

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#5 Amos and Esther Short and their many children were one of the first families in what later became Clarke County, 1890s

Amos and Esther Short and their many children were one of the first families in what later became Clarke County, 1890s

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#6 Back Side of the School for the Deaf in Vancouver, 1890

Back Side of the School for the Deaf in Vancouver, 1890

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#7 A man and woman stand outside a house with children at the Carty house in Ridgefield, 1890

A man and woman stand outside a house with children at the Carty house in Ridgefield, 1890

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#8 Central School, Vancouver, 1890

Central School, Vancouver, 1890

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#9 A view a flood in 1894 in Vancouver, Washington.

A view a flood in 1894 in Vancouver, Washington.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#10 The original Harney school building, 1890

The original Harney school building, 1890

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#11 High Water Surrounding Vancouver Post Office, 1894

High Water Surrounding Vancouver Post Office, 1894

The Odd Fellows Hall building on 4th and Washington Street. The first floor is occupied by a post office. The building is surrounded with high water.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#12 A black carriage with a team of horses and a driver in an overcoat and top hat sits in front of a house on Officers Row, 1890s

A black carriage with a team of horses and a driver in an overcoat and top hat sits in front of a house on Officers Row, 1890s

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#13 Horse drawn Coach at 11th and Franklin Streets in Vancouver, 1890

Horse drawn Coach at 11th and Franklin Streets in Vancouver, 1890

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#14 A event taking place at the Carter & Carter Store at 8th and Main in Vancouver. At left is the small store Great Western & Co, 1880s

A event taking place at the Carter & Carter Store at 8th and Main in Vancouver.  At left is the small store Great Western & Co, 1880s

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#15 14th U.S. Infantry, 1880

14th U.S. Infantry, 1880

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#16 The exterior of the Condon Hotel in Vancouver, Washington with people and livestock outside the hotel, 1880s

The exterior of the Condon Hotel in Vancouver, Washington with people and livestock outside the hotel, 1880s

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#17 Construction of the Congregational Church located at 14th and Main Street in Vancouver, 1880s

Construction of the Congregational Church located at 14th and Main Street in Vancouver, 1880s

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#18 Men with horses in front of the Wall residence located at 12th and Main Street, 1880s

Men with horses in front of the Wall residence located at 12th and Main Street, 1880s

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#19 Downtown Vancouver Street Scene, 1880

Downtown Vancouver Street Scene, 1880

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#20 Foot of Main Street Vancouver, 1884

Foot of Main Street Vancouver, 1884

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#21 Wooden home with fenced yard. A man holding an infant stand to the left of the porch, 1883

Wooden home with fenced yard. A man holding an infant stand to the left of the porch, 1883

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#22 Geoghegan Store, 1883

Geoghegan Store, 1883

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#23 A Brooker Implement and Pump Company float moves down the road during an unidentified parade in Vancouver, 1890

A Brooker Implement and Pump Company float moves down the road during an unidentified parade in Vancouver, 1890

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#24 Cannon in Front of House on Officer’s Row, 1890

Cannon in Front of House on Officer's Row, 1890

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#25 Central School located on West 13th and Franklin Street, 1890s

Central School located on West 13th and Franklin Street, 1890s

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#26 The front of the Clark County Historical Museum, 1890s

The front of the Clark County Historical Museum, 1890s

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#27 The Clarke County Abstract & Loan Co. Building located at 607 West 11th Street in Vancouver, 1890s

The Clarke County Abstract & Loan Co. Building located at 607 West 11th Street in Vancouver, 1890s

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#28 Construction of the Star Brewery, 1892

Construction of the Star Brewery, 1892

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#29 Curro House at Vancouver Barracks, 1890s

Curro House at Vancouver Barracks, 1890s

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#30 Ellsworth house built for State Senator E.L. French in 1895.

Ellsworth house built for State Senator E.L. French in 1895.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#31 Ferry landing at Vancouver Washington with the Ferry just off the dock with a hotel on the left, and horse drawn carriages and people on the street leading to the landing, 1890s

Ferry landing at Vancouver Washington with the Ferry just off the dock with a hotel on the left, and horse drawn carriages and people on the street leading to the landing, 1890s

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#32 Two people in a boat travel through a flooded area of Vancouver, 1893

Two people in a boat travel through a flooded area of Vancouver, 1893

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#33 Fort Vancouver, 1860

Fort Vancouver, 1860

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#34 Hop Picking, 1896

Hop Picking, 1896

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#35 A man walks along side a horse drawn wagon advertising Vancouver Steam Laundry, 1890s

A man walks along side a horse drawn wagon advertising Vancouver Steam Laundry, 1890s

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#36 Main Street Vancouver, 1882

Main Street Vancouver, 1882

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#37 The exterior of a Masonic Temple located at 8th and Main Street in Vancouver, 1880

The exterior of a Masonic Temple located at 8th and Main Street in Vancouver, 1880

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#38 First Mill Plain School Whipple taught, 1876.

First Mill Plain School Whipple taught, 1876.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#39 Pioneer S.S. “Beaver” First Steamer on Pacific Coast, Vancouver, 1888

Pioneer S.S. "Beaver" First Steamer on Pacific Coast, Vancouver, 1888

The ship is visible from the bow end from the starboard side, as the ship lists in the water next to a vertical rocky bluff near Vancouver, BC. Three men are posing standing on top of the ship's pilothouse, and another sits in its window.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#40 Dock scene on Vancouver’s Waterfront with the Alta House in the background, 1880

Dock scene on Vancouver's Waterfront with the Alta House in the background, 1880

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#41 Barracks Headquarters, 1880

Barracks Headquarters, 1880

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#42 Charlie Bogart, Sr. with Chester Allyn On Horse, 1880s

Charlie Bogart, Sr. with Chester Allyn On Horse, 1880s

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#43 Members of the 14th Infantry are photographed on the porch of a building, 1880

Members of the 14th Infantry are photographed on the porch of a building, 1880

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#44 Dr. Prose of Vancouver Historical Society, 1885

Dr. Prose of Vancouver Historical Society, 1885

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#45 Early Vancouver looking east from the Court House and 11th and Franklin, 1889

Early Vancouver looking east from the Court House and 11th and Franklin, 1889

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#46 East Highland Mill on Lockwood Creek, 1880s

East Highland Mill on Lockwood Creek, 1880s

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#47 A view of what is labeled as both the mess house and the Chief factor’s House at Fort Vancouver, 1860

A view of what is labeled as both the mess house and the Chief factor's House at Fort Vancouver, 1860

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#48 Porter Brothers Saddle-Back Train Engine, 1885

Porter Brothers Saddle-Back Train Engine, 1885

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#49 Light house, entrance to Esquimalt Harbor, 1880

Light house, entrance to Esquimalt Harbor, 1880

-1 Points
Upvote Downvote

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Written by Aung Budhh

Husband + Father + librarian + Poet + Traveler + Proud Buddhist. I love you with the breath, the smiles and the tears of all my life.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.