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Esther Short Park, Vancouver

(460+ reviews on the web)
Nature / Park
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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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Park is across the street from the Hilton. There were a lot of activities and events going on the week I visited. From a road race to prom pictures to a farmers market. Safe little park. Being from th...  more »
  • It's a very nice park, but the city lets all the homeless people hang out down there so there are usually unsavory people about and the benches can be pretty gross.  more »
  • If you're staying at the Hilton, it's right across the street. Beautiful big trees with shade for people to hang out under. The paths around the park are clean. There's always people here and it's a g...  more »
Google
  • It is a beautiful Park! A great place to take kids to play in the water on a hot day and this park also has a playground. There are bathrooms which is always nice especially with little kids! And the flowers are always so beautiful and it has beautiful green grass! There is a clock tower, which I have seen it open up and it tells a story. I have only seen this happen a couple of times so I am not quite sure if it is set to do it at scheduled times or not...
  • A nice little park where you can relax and have a nice walk. It is located right in downtown Vancouver and surrounded by a bunch of businesses. You are able to experience the park and have a bite at some of the restaurants near by. There is a playground and some water decor. It is a simple park, yet elegant and beautiful. Very green with flowers and visual appeal. There are many events that happen here from art festivals and the Saturday market. Also come here for the Christmas tree lighting. This is definitely a gem in Vancouver and a place where you can enjoy yourself.
  • This park is a busy place. Kept up and close to quite a few food locations. We go to Subway. Weekends Saturday Market great place to roam. And shop. Listen to music. Playgtpund for the kids. In the summer they can get wet. Bring a towel.
  • I lI've going to the park. There are usually fun things to do here, my favorite for families are the concerts at the park. Kid free there's some fun brew fests and wine tasting events.
  • Was up and around there for something to do on the weekend. Luckily for us there was a farmers market. So packed, but us and the kids had a decent time. Would love to check out the park when there aren't a million kids and their parents.