Fort Vancouver was the administrative headquarters and main supply depot for the Hudson's Bay Company's fur trading operations in the immense Columbia Department. Under the leadership of John McLoughlin, the fort became the center of political, cultural, and commercial activities in the Pacific Northwest. When American immigrants arrived in the Oregon Country during the 1830s and 1840s, Fort Vancouver provided them with essential supplies to begin their new settlements.
In 1996, the 366-acre Vancouver National Historic Reserve was established to protect adjacent, historically significant historical areas. It includes Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, as well as Vancouver Barracks, Officers' Row, Pearson Field, The Water Resources Education Center, and portions of the Columbia River waterfront.
The McLoughlin House in Oregon City, Oregon, restored to honor the life and accomplishments of Dr. John McLoughlin, "the Father of Oregon," has recently been turned over for administration by the National Park Service from the McLoughlin Memorial Association, who have been stewards of the house since 1909. The McLoughlin House will be managed by the Superintendent and staff of Fort Vancouver National Historic Site.