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Esther Short Park, Vancouver

Categories: Nature & Parks
Inspirock Rating:
4.4/5 based on 400+ reviews on the web
Esther Short Park is a public park and town square located in downtown Vancouver, Washington. Established in 1853, it is the oldest public park in the state of Washington. and one of the oldest public parks in the West.It is located in the city's downtown between West Columbia and 8th Street. It was bequeathed to the city in 1862, and includes a children's playground, a rose garden, a large fountain system made of columnar basalt, a bell/clock tower, and the historic Slocum House. The park also houses a weekend farmer's market. In the summer of 2007, the park hosted over 30 outdoor summer concerts, many free.Esther ShortEsther Short was an early Vancouver resident, whose husband Amos and ten children "jumped a claim" near present-day downtown Vancouver. This land was originally part of a larger land plot by American Henry Williamson, who mapped out a little town called Vancouver City and registered the claim in the US courthouse in Oregon City. He left his caretaker, David Gardner, in-charge of the land before leaving for California. During a dispute, Amos Short killed Gardner, though he was acquitted of any crime. Short used his courtroom experience to become a judge and claim the disputed land for himself. He died during a return voyage from selling local produce in San Francisco. With Williamson's registered claim intact, Esther Short filed papers to claim the land. Ultimately, she obtained part of the land (including the parcel which includes present-day Esther Short Park), along with the Catholic Church and Vancouver City. She also gave permission to use house ferry boats to land on her property, at the foot of present-day Washington Street, where she operated a restaurant and hotel called The Alta House.
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  • Nice little park with a nice little playground for kids to play! Right by the fruit market with good parking Nice place to walk your dog also! Good for a little walk about Rain or shine 
  • From concerts in the summer, to a walk and picnic in the sunshine, I LOVE this park. Its wonderfully paved for the wheelchair and lots of fun things for kids to do. 
  • Esther Short park is named for one of Vancouver's pioneer women and there is always something going on. In summer there is a farmers market opened on Saturdays. Also in summer there are concerts in th...  read more »
  • One of the oldest landmarks in Vancouver. Usually well-kept and the variety of flowers are a nice touch. I've been going to this park for many years and have always had good experiences. Many events (Wine and Jazz fest, Concerts) are held are various times throughout the year. During these events a multitude of tents, booths, eateries are set up at your convenience. My favorite event is probably "Hoops on the River" which is a premier 3v3 basketball tournament. All in all a wonderful park that is highly recommended by just about anyone
  • This is a great city park. Old growth trees to provide shade. Well maintained and manicured. Has pretty Rose Garden that you can sit in middle of and "stop and smell the roses!" Nice play equipment for kids and cool water features that kids and big Kids can cool off in. Benches throughout to sit and enjoy people watching, enjoy some fresh air and talk to someone quietly. The park is Vancouver's living room. Throughout the year there are events here. Summer has live, free, concerts and movies featuring local musicians and current films. On weekends spring through fall the farmer's market is on the side of the park which is convenient to shop and then enjoy stroll in park!
  • Pros: Great place to hang out, mostly well kept, nice area for the kids to play in water Cons: Bathrooms can be sketchy at times, small enough that it gets super crowded on a sunny day, especially if something is going on there I love Esther Short Park, especially when the Farmer's Market is going! Great place for the family & I to hang out and have a picnic or to just do some walking! Great place for catching Pokemon as well...several Poke stops to choose from! I would recommend Esther Short Park to my friends & family.
  • Vancouver has really been doing a great job of cleaning the down town up. Esther Short park is much better than it used to be. Well kept and not a lot of homeless camps. Festivals at Esther Short aren't very good. The place is just to small and it usually ends up being a mess if they have beer gardens. Great place to spend an afternoon on the weekend.
  • This is truly the heart of downtown town. Over the last 16 years, they've really put a lot into this park to make it nice. Aside from the homeless, esther short has a lot of potential. There is a water fountain for the kids to play in and in the summers, they have concerts and movies
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