Historic Tours

Our tours are an opportunity to dive into local history through the buildings that have been with us for more than a century. Explore the Historic Reserve and Providence Academy guided by expert docents, or guide yourself using our Self-Guided Botanical Tour map. For questions or large group inquires please contact 360-992-1800.

Providence Academy Tours

Providence Academy was built by Mother Joseph of the Sacred Heart in 1873 and served as a school, orphanage, and governance offices for the Sisters of Providence. Mother Joseph, along with four other Montreal nuns, traveled to Vancouver to serve the social and religious needs of locals. Providence Academy has four stories and is constructed in brick in a neo-Georgian style. It operated as a school until 1966. The Academy is open for tours on Wednesday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. by reservation or for small walk-in groups, and from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on select Friday evenings in March, April, and May of 2024.

Marshall House Tours

The Marshall House is named in honor of General George C. Marshall, who lived there from 1936 to 1938, serving as Commander of the Barracks and the regional Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). This home’s Queen Anne architecture is the most popular of high Victorian styles, with ornate features including stained glass, decorative woodwork, and a round turret. The museum-like setting features period furnishings, military memorabilia, and an interpretation of Marshall’s study. Walk-in tours are now available from Wednesday – Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Self-Guided Botanical Tour

Trees and other botanical features are signature landscape elements contributing to the experience of visiting and living and working at the 366-acre Vancouver National Historic Reserve (VNHR), created by an act of Congress in 1996. The Botanical Tour Map was produced in part with funding from the City of Vancouver Lodging Tax Grant Program and with the assistance of the City of Vancouver Urban Forestry Program. The Historic Trust thanks them for their support for the project. The Historic Reserve grounds are open for self-guided tours, and you may print our botanical tour map.

The Historic Trust and the City of Vancouver are grateful for grant funding from the Heritage Capital Projects program managed by the Washington State Historical Society. This support has contributed significantly towards the preservation, public usage, and community enjoyment of these buildings which help tell the story of our state.