Western fur pelts could sell for as much as a 3-thousand percent profit in China in the 1700s. Many British and American companies, while fighting over the territory of North America, hired anyone they could find to trap and transport those furs, including many Hawaiians. Hawaiian coral can be found mixed together in the foundation bricks of an excavated building in Fort Vancouver, Washington. This fort was the main supply depot and headquarters for Hudson’s Bay Company’s fur trading business. Fort Vancouver was built in the early 1800s and is one of the only physical reminders of the importance of Hawaii and Hawaiians in the making of the Pacific Northwest. But there are other reminders: the town of Aloha, the Owyhee River. There are also memories of people whose Hawaiian ancestors crossed east to settle in America long before other settlers crossed west.
Professor Timothy Ball, Professor Jean Barman, Larry Bell, Suzan LaGrove of The Hudson's Bay Company Museum, Marie Kalama & The Kalama Family, Tom Koppel, Rick Lebus, Mayor Pete Poulson & the City of Kalama, Cathy Roland, Bruce Watson, Archaeologist Doug Wilson & the Fort Vancouver Historical Reserve