In late summer of 2017, the Fort Vancouver National Trust announced a rebrand. It renamed itself The Historic Trust, with a tagline, “Celebrating history. Inspiring tomorrow.” This renewal of the organization was a direct result of its success over the previous 19 years in the preservation and management of properties on the Fort Vancouver Historic Site.
Its proven expertise in the stewardship of precious community treasures has brought it to a point at which it is able to focus on public engagement. It needed a new brand that more accurately represents the 501(c)(3) organization’s mission and role in the community today.
New and innovative programming plays a key role in redefining The Historic Trust. The Board of Directors’ strategic plan includes a robust initiative to engage adults and families and offers more tours, military history talks, lectures, and volunteer opportunities. The curriculum at Pearson Field Education Center is gaining ground as a gateway forkids to embrace STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) subjects through aviation.
The Historic Trust continues to be innovative and entrepreneurial in the production of annual community events identified within its Celebrate Freedom program, including the Marshall Lecture and Awards, Flag Day Ceremony, Veterans Parade, and Independence Day at Fort Vancouver. Our community has a patriotic spirit that springs from its military history. The Historic Trust is committed to forming new partnerships, and strengthening current ones, in an effort to collaboratively provide the kinds of celebrations and observances that bring people together.
Through a master lease with the City of Vancouver established in 2006, the Trust has maintained and preserved the city-owned Officers Row and West Vancouver Barracks historic properties, and managed all residential and commercial leases in those buildings. This oversight will continue. This core strength and aptitude of preservation and management has expanded to the Providence Academy. Acquired by the Trust in 2015, ownership of the Academy broadens the Trust’s interests and connects it to downtown.
The organization was established in 1998 as the Vancouver National Historic Reserve Trust. It was formed as the nonprofit partner to multiple agencies with an interest in preserving and making accessible the history, structures, and cultural resources of the 366-acre Vancouver National Historic Reserve. Those agencies included the City of Vancouver, National Park Service, the U.S. Army, and the State of Washington. In 2009, it took on the business name of Fort Vancouver National Trust. The Army vacated the site in 2012. The National Park Service owns the reconstructed fort, the parade grounds and the visitor center, the Pearson Air Museum, as well as the East and South Vancouver Barracks.
The governance and policies of The Historic Trust are the responsibility of a Board of Directors, which manages the affairs of the Trust with a mission to inspire civic pride and economic vitality through education, preservation, and celebration of our community’s history.