Esther Short Park
A Beautiful Park Located in Downtown Vancouver, WA
Just ten minutes away from The Heathman Lodge
Esther Short Park is a celebration of the history and heritage of Vancouver, Washington. Situated at the center of Downtown Vancouver, Esther Short Park is home to the Farmer’s Market, summertime outdoor concerts and various festivals throughout the year.
A beautiful outdoor meeting place for locals and visitors alike, the park covers five acres with beautifully-appointed grounds, with old-growth trees, a grassy field, rose garden, children’s playground, bronze artwork, a covered area that can act as a stage during events, and the historic Slocum house. Relax in the shade of the trees; cool off in the fountain carved from standing basalt; Enjoy the Salmon Run Bell Tower and Glockenspiel that stands tall over the rest of the park from the southeast corner, opening several times each day to display a Chinook Indian story.
Surrounding Esther Short Park, you’ll find all the amenities of a growing downtown: shops, dining and more. Go a little farther and you can find yourself on the waterfront of the Columbia River, exploring walking and bike paths, or even face-to-face with Washington’s oldest apple tree by the land bridge that connects to Fort Vancouver National Site. A short walk in another direction and you can take a walk along the banks of the mighty Columbia River. When visiting downtown Vancouver, Washington, you don’t want to miss Esther Short Park!
Events Held at Esther Short Park
- Vancouver Farmers Market
- Recycled Arts Festival
- Six to Sunset Concerts in the Park
- Noon Concert Series in the Park
- Fire in the Park
- 3 Days of Aloha in the PNW
- Vancouver USA Marathon
- Hoops on the River
The History of Esther Short Park
If not for Esther Short and her family, we might not know Vancouver as it is today. Amos, Esther and their eight children traveled the Oregon Trail to the Pacific Northwest in 1845 and on Christmas Day that year chose their claim: an area north of the Columbia River, an area that would become part of Clark County and Vancouver.
In 1846 when the United States and England signed the Oregon Treaty, they wrote it to respect the claims of the British and American citizens who had already claimed their land on the opposite side of the 49th Parallel from their country. Hoping to keep the land up to the Columbia River under English Control even after the Treaty, the Hudson’s Bay Company did everything in their power to try to force the Shorts to give up their land and move south of the river. Sometimes, these attempts were violent, including a gun battle and setting the Shorts adrift in a raft without oars in the Columbia River. The Shorts, however were persistent and eventually won a feud that helped shape the continent of North America. After Amos was killed when his ship sank crossing the Columbia River Bar, Esther became the sole owner of the 640-acre area that extends from Fourth Plain to the waterfront west of what is now Main Street.