Past 1930s: Reviving the historical legacy of the Columbia River
In 1855, Esther Short donated to the City of Vancouver what is now Esther Short Park and a long strip of waterfront property. This parcel of land was to be used for economic development and to preserve public access to our beautiful waterfront.
The site of the Vancouver Waterfront Park has changed dramatically over the centuries, having served both commerce and community.
The Michigan Mill was built in 1889 to process lumber and was later renamed the Pittock and Leadbetter Lumber Mill. In 1922, it was reincorporated as the Columbia River Paper Company and finally became the Boise Cascade Corporation paper mill in 1962.
The lumber mill supported a large, sprawling complex along the waterfront and included several mill buildings, steam dry kiln, machine shop, furnace, lumber sheds and storage yard.
The Boise Cascade paper mill closed in 2006. The property was purchased by Columbia Waterfront LLC in 2008. The site will be developed into a mixed-use development including office, retail and living space, beginning an exciting new chapter.
Development of the Vancouver Waterfront Park hearkens back to the original vision and and builds on a similar re-establishment of public access to the water accomplished in 2008 with dedication of the Vancouver Land Bridge, a component of the Confluence Project.