Fort Vancouver National Historic Site
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News Releases
1918 Curtiss JN-4 "Jenny" Airplane Joins Exhibits at Pearson Air Museum - 09/19/19

Pearson Air Museum has received a rare, newly refurbished 1918 Curtiss JN-4 “Jenny” biplane for exhibit. The airplane was acquired as a part of the museum collection through a federal contract, and restored Century Aviation from East Wenatchee, Washington.

The airplane’s paint scheme replicates an aircraft that flew from Pearson Field in the early 1920s as a part of the Army Air Service’s 321st Observation Squadron. It joins a DH-4 Liberty and a recently finished replica of a 1912 Curtiss Pusher. All three of these planes represent aircraft that flew from the field, and are now part of the museum’s permanent exhibits.

The JN-4 Jenny was the primary airplane trainer for American pilots in World War I, and nearly 15,000 were built for the war effort. Thousands were sold as military surplus after the war, and were at the center of the “barn storming” craze, when daredevil pilots demonstrated these aircraft in dangerous stunts, including flying them through barns!

“It is wonderful having a Jenny at Pearson Air Museum,” said Air Museum Manager Bob Cromwell, “This is the first time that a DH-4 and a JN-4 have been together at Pearson Field since 1927.”

A grand opening ceremony for the JN-4 Jenny will be hosted at Pearson Air Museum, 1115 E. Fifth Street, on Saturday, September 28, starting at 11 am. The public is invited to attend. There will be guest speakers and a ribbon cutting.

What: Pearson Air Museum Acquires a Newly Restored Curtiss JN-4 Jenny

Where: 1115 E. Fifth Street, Vancouver, WA 98661

When: Grand Opening Ceremony on Saturday, September 28, 2019, starting at 11 am.

Cost: Free

On October 5, Historian Jim Mockford Will Present "SHIPWRECKED IN JAPAN: Lt. Broughton of the Vancouver Expedition" - 09/18/19

On October 5, 2019, at 1:30 pm at the Fort Vancouver Visitor Center, join historian Jim Mockford for a special presentation on the history of British Lieutenant William Robert Broughton's 1797 shipwreck in Japan. This free public program is hosted by the Friends of Fort Vancouver.

In October 1792, Captain George Vancouver sent Lt. William Robert Broughton to explore the Lower Columbia River. Over the course of that month, Broughton sailed up the river, as far east as present-day Multnomah County, Oregon. There, in view of the snowy volcano to the east, he named Mount Hood after British Viscount Samuel Hood, Admiral of the British Fleet.

Just five years after Lt. Broughton sailed from the Columbia River and returned to England from the Vancouver expedition, he charted the coast of Northeast Asia and Japan as captain of the HMS Providence. In 1797 Captain Broughton was shipwrecked at Miyako Island on an uncharted and unusual coral reef that appears like a phantom island once a year in the spring due to low tides. Miyako Island, located in the southern Ryukyu Islands, was then part of the Ryukyu Kingdom centered at Okinawa, and later became part of Japan.

In April, 2019, historian Jim Mockford travelled to Miyako Island to see the shipwreck site and learn about the story of HMS Providence from local historians. Mockford’s travels in search of Captain Broughton’s maritime adventures and history have taken him to Hawaii, Tahiti, Korea, the northernmost and southernmost Japanese Islands, and England as well as the Pacific Northwest. This lecture, titled SHIPWRECKED IN JAPAN: Lieutenant Broughton of the Vancouver Expedition, will present photographs and the story of this last exploring expedition by Captain Broughton, along with photographs of the site.

Jim Mockford is a historian who has researched the voyages of Captain George Vancouver and those of his lieutenants in the Pacific Ocean. His essays have been published in SEA HISTORY, the Oregon Historical QuarterlyMains’l Haul by the San Diego Maritime Museum, Noticias del Puerto de MontereyThe Northern Mariner/Le marin du nord, and The Early Republic and the Sea: Essays on the Naval and Maritime History of the Early United States.

What: “SHIPWRECKED IN JAPAN: Lt. Broughton of the Vancouver Expedition” presented by historian Jim Mockford

Where: Fort Vancouver Visitor Center, 1501 E. Evergreen Blvd. Vancouver, WA 98661

When: Saturday, October 5, 2019, 1:30pm

Cost: Free

Fourth Grade Students Receive Free Admission to Fort Vancouver National Historic Site for a Year - 09/17/19

The Every Kid Outdoors annual pass provides fourth grade students, along with their families, friends and classmates, free access to Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, along with more than 2,000 other federal recreation areas for a year. The Every Kid Outdoors Program encourages fourth graders to explore, learn, and recreate in spectacular settings, including national parks, wildlife refuges, marine sanctuaries, and forests.

“There is so much to discover at Fort Vancouver National Historic Site,” said Chief of Interpretation Aaron Ochoa. “Visits on class trips or family vacations to explore the fascinating history and roots of our community will provide lifelong memories.”

The National Park Foundation, the official nonprofit partner of the National Park Service, is expanding the impact of the Every Kid Outdoors initiative through its Open Outdoors for Kids program connecting 4th grade students to Fort Vancouver National Historic Site with funding support for field trips this year.

To obtain the free pass, fourth grade students visit the Every Kid Outdoors website, participate in a short educational activity, and download a voucher. The voucher is valid for multiple use between September 1, 2019 and August 31, 2020 to correspond to the traditional school year. The voucher may be exchanged for a plastic keepsake pass at participating federal lands. At Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, plastic passes can be obtained at the Visitor Center and at the reconstructed fort.

The voucher or pass grants free entry for fourth graders, all children under 16 in the group and up to three accompanying adults (or an entire car for drive-in parks) to most federally managed lands and waters. The pass does not cover expanded amenity fees such as camping or boat rides. 

The great outdoors make a great classroom. Fourth grade educators are encouraged to take advantage of the wide range of educational programs and tools associated with the Every Kid Outdoors program. Educational activities, field trip options, information and tools in English and Spanish, and the ability to print vouchers for passes for students are all available on the website. 

The Every Kid Outdoors Program was established by Congress in 2019. It replaces the Every Kid in a Park Program which was launched in 2015. It is an interagency collaboration between the National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Reclamation, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and U.S. Forest Service.