Esther Short Park, Vancouver

4.4
#1 of 11 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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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.0
563 reviews
Google
4.4
TripAdvisor
  • Well maintained park with lots of fun week d activities.Sat and Sunday markets are fun.Summer concerts are awesome!  more »
  • Great festival.. Many local winners and beer vendors.. About 59 other Crafters wity their wares.. Loved DJs Jewelry..a local artist  more »
  • We had a blast at the reusable art fair - tons of vendors and lots of things to see. Parking situation wasn’t great, we ended up in a nearby parking garage - but overall fun time  more »
Google
  • The kids always enjoy the playground here as well as the splash area that includes a man-made creek area and splash pad. Restrooms, water fountain and a beautiful rose garden on the west side by the restrooms and playground. Park clock sounds the hours and has a fountain with decorative salmon. Concerts & festivals during the summer. Farmer's market on the weekends. Lots of parking, but it is metered during weekdays until 6pm.
  • We love to visit this park during the summer. It is fun. They usually have good bands playing at lunch every Wednesday which makes it a very family friendly place. I always go there with my nieces and nephews and sisters in law. The kids love to play in the little fountain and splash some water.
  • Summer events... including farmer's market on weekends, Thursday evening music concerts, Wednesdays noon concerts scheduled during Jul and Aug. Other concerts and special events take place during the summer months as well. Family friendly and pet friendly for the most part... Would give it a five if not for other issues that the city seems to not want to address.
  • Great park with a nice open field. Awesome place to bring kids to play. However on the far side of the field there is a lot of trash presumably from people living underneath the trees. The park is encircled by a road on two sides which is important to be aware of when bringing young kids to the field portion of the park. The playground is also next to the parking lot. Overall it's a great place to go to and play games or bring kids to the playground.
  • Always a great place to be. Lots of events throughout the summer. The place is used for the farmers market which is always growing and changing. And the playground is always full of kids. The only issue I have had is last week is I saw a man pee on a very tiny tree towards the playground. I am sure children, and myself saw the mans junk... unfortunately. There is a public restroom there. I'm not sure why the man didn't use it. Also there have been a few people camping there in the open with dogs off leash. But I guess that's just how downtown is changing.
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