Situated on 21 acres adjacent to Fort Vancouver, Officers Row consists of beautifully restored, nineteenth century homes which housed U.S. Army officers stationed at the Vancouver Barracks.
Where else in the Northwest can you stroll past 22 preserved Victorian homes on the National Historic Register? The tree-lined promenade known as Officers Rows is a favorite with runners, dog walkers, history enthusiasts, and family's for its picturesque beauty. Here are a few stops not to miss when you are visiting:
The Ulysses S. Grant House is the oldest on Officers Row, built in 1850 as a log structure and later covered with plank siding. Although President Grant never lived in the Grant House, he served as quartermaster at Fort Vancouver from 1852 to 1853 and was the leading general in the Union Army.
The General George C. Marshall House was built in 1886 and replaced the Grant House as the dwelling for the commanding officer of the Department of the Columbia. Marshall and his wife Katherine lived in the residence from 1936 to 1938 while Marshall commanded the Third Division’s fifth Infantry Brigade and the region’s Civilian Conservation Corps camps. He later became U.S. Army Chief of Staff during World War II, Secretary of State and Secretary of Defense, and earned a Nobel Peace Prize in 1953 for his work on the Marshall Plan. Today, visitors can experience the house via public tours and even reserve the space for public ceremonies and social gatherings. Keep an eye out for special holiday-themed teas throughout the year.
The General O.O. Howard House is an Italianate-style home built in 1878 and was the last historic structure to be rehabilitated on Officers Row. It was first occupied by General Oliver Otis Howard—a Congressional Medal of Honor recipient, founder of Howard University, and the commanding general of the Department of the Columbia from 1874 to 1880. Now, the house is the headquarters for The Historic Trust, which handles day-to-day operations of Officers Row.
As part of its summer walking tour series through the area’s historic neighborhoods, the Clark County Historical Museum offers tours of Officers Row. Learn historical tidbits like where the streetcar line traveled and what the metal rings on the street corners are for (hint: think horse drawn wagons).
Weave through the grounds on a self-guided tour to learn about the trees and other botanical features around Officers Row. Download The Historic Trust's brochure map and start discovering the leaves and needles of the Bigleaf Maple, American Elm, and of course, the Douglas Fir, among others. This walk is especially beautiful to do in Autumn, as Officers Row is one of the best spots in Clark County to find colorful fall foliage.
The Historic Trust also owns and manages the historic Providence Academy. Just east of Officers Row on Evergreen Blvd and originally known as the House of Providence, this beautiful Georgian Revival-style building was designed by Mother Joseph of the Sacred Heart in 1873 and served as a school, orphanage, and governance offices for the Sisters of Providence. Currently the Academy houses offices and commercial and event spaces, and remains an inspirational legacy of the lasting work of the Sisters to establish social service, medical, and education networks, and a testament to the community’s commitment to steward the building today, and pass it on to the future. Book a tour of the building here: Walk and Talk Tours - The Historic Trust