Fort Vancouver was originally an important 19th century fur trading outpost that was established in 1824 by the British Hudson's Bay Company (HBC), under the command of chief factor John McLoughlin. It was the center of activity on the Pacific coast and its influence stretched from the Rocky mountains in the east, to Alaska in the north, Mexico in the south, and to Hawaii in the Pacific. Then in 1843, the Hudson's Bay Company, in the face of increasing US settlement, moved their base of operations in the region to Fort Camuson, now known as Fort Victoria in what is now Victoria, British Columbia. In 1846 the Treaty of Oregon was ratified, and Fort Vancouver became part of the Oregon Territory of the United States. The Treaty permitted HBC to continue to operate the Fort Vancouver site even after the boundary dispute was settled, but they eventually abandoned the post in 1860.
In 1849, the United States Army constructed a barracks adjacent to the British trading post; and took over the Hudson's Bay facility when it was abandoned. A fire destroyed the fort itself in 1866, but the Army facility has continued in operation in various forms down to the present.
Fort Vancouver was separated from the Army's barracks and became a national monument in 1948.