Esther Short Park, Vancouver

4.5
#1 of 7 in Parks in Vancouver
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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Esther Short Park Reviews
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4.5
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  • August 11, 2017
    Nice little park in middle of town. Seems lots of locals use the park. Has a nice clock tower. Went on a weekday and it was not to crowded.  more »
  • August 9, 2017
    Playing in the water fountain at Esther Short Park on a steamy day is refreshing and fun for the kids. This is a great place to cool off and there is a Starbucks and a Subway across the street for ref...  more »
  • August 9, 2017
    Esther Short Park is located in the heart of Vancouver. It is a venue for constant entertainment in the summer. Named for a pioneer woman who helped settle Vancouver it provides a downtown escape for ...  more »
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  • July 1, 2017
    Very Emily friendly. Even seniors. Have lots of activities going on, very pretty--has bell tower and fountain at one corner (not supposed to, but great place to cool off in as puddles at bottom). Also close to eating places. Fast food as well as sit down. Plus is where Farmers Market is
  • June 8, 2017
    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...
  • July 6, 2017
    Nice park. I took my family for an evening picnic to escape the heat and just get out of the house. Although we did see some homeless and funny characters, we didn't experience any drama. In fact, it was very peaceful.
  • March 16, 2017
    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.
  • July 9, 2017
    This is one of the better parks around. It's not that big, but there's a stage, rose garden, various water features to get in, playground, trees, and just about anything you could want from a city center park. The homeless population that hangs out here also tends to be respectful of space - especially families.

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