This winter, The Historic Trust presents The Winter Chautauqua at the Artillery Barracks at Fort Vancouver National Historic Site. The weekend event will consist of lectures and exhibitions from the Southwest Washington NAACP, the Buffalo Soldiers/Moses Williams Northwest Chapter, and the Oregon Historical Society’s display of the impact of the 1948 Vanport Flood on the black community. Zita Podany, author of Vanport, wrote, “Nestled in the floodplain between North Portland, Oregon, and Vancouver, Washington, was a housing project built to help house World War II shipyard workers. Its very name, Vanport, is derived from Vancouver and Portland. When the United States entered the war, the demand for ships and for workers to build those ships became a huge priority. Portland had a serious lodging shortage, so much so that these workers lived in cars, tents, parks, and whatever shelter could be found. In its heyday, Vanport was the second-largest city in Oregon with a population of over 40,000 residents. It was a city with many firsts. On May 30, 1948, it was a city that disappeared just as quickly as it came into existence, leaving a legacy that will not soon be forgotten.”
The Winter Chautauqua will be open from 10am – 4pm Saturday and Sunday. A special panel will convene at 2pm on February 22nd to explore ideas of:
• The devastating impact of the 1948 flood on the African-American Vanport residents.
• The unique importance of the Buffalo Soldiers 24th Infantry Regiment Company B at Fort Vancouver.
• The contributions and historical timelines of African-Americans by the NAACP.
The weekend events are free to the public. For more information, please visit https://www.thehistorictrust.org/calendar/.