Fort Vancouver entered the National Park Service in 1948 as Fort Vancouver National Monument. The fort acted to preserve the original Hudson’s Bay stockade of Fort Vancouver. Throughout the years the park was expanded. In 1961, the boundaries were enlarged and the park was renamed Fort Vancouver National Historic Site. In 2011 the army discontinued its operations at the East and South Vancouver Barracks, and in 2012 that area was transferred to the National Park Service as well. The purpose of the park, according to its legislation, is to preserve and interpret the following elements: the site of the 19th century Hudson’s Bay Company’s activities, the settlement of the Oregon Country (what became the Oregon Territory), and the establishment of the U.S. Army’s Vancouver Barracks.
Archeology is important to this park’s culture. Archeologists have helped provide the primary resources that have been used for reconstructing and interpreting the site. The large amount of artifacts found have helped to show the role in history of this area. Additionally, the park offers archeology field schools each year to provide archeological training to the public.