Hudson Bay in Vancouver in Clark County, Washington — The American West (Northwest)
St. James Mission
— Officers Row —
The Reverend Francis Norbert Blanchet and the Reverend Modeste Demers arrived at Fort Vancouver in 1838 at the official request of Dr. John McLoughlin, and established the first Catholic mission in the Oregon Country. IN 1844, the Hudson’s Bay company donated a tracte of land northwest of the fort for the construction of a proper mission. By 1872, the St. James Mission was recorded as containing 28 separate structures, including a church, orphanage, laundry, bake house, hospital, and college for boys.
The U.S. Army established Vancouver Barracks around the Mission claim, and legal wranglings on the ownership of the property were not resolved by the U.S. Supreme Court until 1895. The Mission was closed by the Army in 1887, when they forced the inhabitants to abandon the grounds. The church and most of the other buildings were destroyed by arson in 1888.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Churches & Religion • Exploration • Settlements & Settlers. A significant historical year for this entry is 1838.
Location. 45° 37.539′ N, 122° 39.933′ W. Marker is in Vancouver, Washington, in Clark County. It is in Hudson Bay. Marker is on Fort Vancouver Way near Martin Court, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Vancouver WA 98661, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Sutler's Store (within shouting distance of this marker); The Artillery Barracks (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Red Cross Convalescent House (about 400 feet away); Clark County Veterans Memorial (about 500 feet away); The Post Hospital (about 600 feet away); The Infantry Barracks (about 700 feet away); The O. O. Howard House (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Vancouver Farm (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Vancouver.
More about this marker. The background picture is a, "View of the St. James Mission taken by the British Northwest Boundary Survey during 1860. View is from the south, looking north." It was provided for use on the marker, "Courtesy of the Royal Engineers Library."
The picture in the uppper right of the marker includes the caption: "Posing for a photograph in the 1870s, the “Founders of the Catholic Church in the Pacific Northwest” are seated left to right: Bishop A. Magloire A. Blanchet, Archbishop F. Norbert Blanchet, and Bishop Modeste Demers. As young priests, Fathers Norbert Blanchet and Demers established the Catholic mission within Fort Vancouver in 1838. It eventually grew into the St. James Mission near this location." It was provided for use on the marker, "Courtesy of the National Park Service."
Credits. This page was last revised on February 7, 2023. It was originally submitted on July 8, 2008, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,624 times since then and 15 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on July 8, 2008, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia.