Fort Vancouver releases e-book on museum items

Staff reportFebruary 9, 2014 

Sally Jewell listens to a presentation at Mount Rainier Naitonal park.


Jewell talks climate change

As part of a multi-day swing through the Northwest, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell took time to visit Mount Rainier National Park Monday.

Jewell, the former head of REI, heard presentations from scientists and staffers from the U.S. Geological Survey and the park who are doing research on the effects of climate change.

After stops along the Nisqually-Paradise Road, the group took a snowshoe trek at Paradise to see the Nisqually Glacier. There, Paul Kennard, the park’s geomorphologist, talked about the impact the receding glacier could have.

“It was a good visit,” said park superintendent Randy King. “She got to talk to some people who have been doing research on the mountain for a long time.”

King added that Jewell seemed happy to be back “in her home park.” The former Seattle resident has climbed the 14,411-foot mountain seven times. Jewell was appointed to the position by President Barack Obama about a year ago.

On Tuesday, Jewell took part in a discussion on climate change with scientists at the University of Washington College of the Environment and Park Service representatives.

Fort Vancouver National Historical Site has released a new, free digital publication titled “The McLoughlin Family Collection: A Look Inside the Fort Vancouver Museum Collection.”

The project was done in cooperation with the Creative Media and Digital Culture Program at Washington State University Vancouver.

The e-book was designed by students in the WSU program through the national park’s Fall 2013 Public History Field School. The publication looks at numerous items from the collection of the family of Dr. John McLoughlin, now preserved by the National Park Service at the historic site.

Available as a free download, the book can be accessed in several formats for electronic reading devices. Readers using an iPad, iPhone or the iBooks application can access a specially enhanced version of the publication, including interactive images, animated videos and 3-D images. Readers also can hear songs recorded from the McLoughlin family’s 19th-century melodeon.

To access the book, go to You can access the enhanced version at

This is the second e-book produced through the park’s Public History Program. The first, “Revealing Our Past: A History of Nineteenth Century Vancouver Barracks through 25 Objects,” received the Service’s Pacific West Region’s 2013 Freeman Tilden Award for excellence in interpretation. It is available at


A number of federal land management agencies, including the National Park Service, will waive their entrance fees for Presidents Day weekend Saturday-Feb. 17.

That means visitors to the 133 of the 401 National Park Service units that charge an entrance fee, including Mount Rainier and Olympic national parks, can enter for free.

The same holds true for U.S. Forest Service operations and U.S. Fish and Wildlife locations, such as the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge.

Visitors to Mount Rainier are reminded that the gate at Longmire is closed at 5 p.m. each night. Visitors should plan to leave Paradise no later than 4:30 p.m. to assure they have enough time to make the drive down past the gate.

Jeffrey P. Mayor, jeff.mayor@

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