1925 fort Vancouver Banner
1925 Fort Vancouver Centennial Half Dollar
 1925 Fort Vancouver Obverse       1925 Fort Vancouver Reverse


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To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the founding of Fort Vancouver and to pay for the celebration held in the city of Vancouver, Washington.

Maximum Number Authorized: 300,000 pieces.

Sale Price: $1.00


    Obverse – Laura Gardin Fraser

A bust of Dr. John McLoughlin facing left. His name appears beneath his image.

Online Resource: https://www.historylink.org/File/10617  

   Reverse – Laura Gardin Fraser

Facing right, a standing frontier trapper holding a musket. Behind the trapper, Fort Vancouver and Mount Hood appear. At the top, inside of the rim, “FORT VANCOUVER CENTENNIAL” is found. At the bottom of the coin, “HUDSON’S BAY COMPANY” is inscribed with “VANCOUVER WASHINGTON FOUNDED 1825 BY HUDSON” in smaller font directly above. The designer’s initials appear below the stockade posts.

Online Resource: https://www.legendsofamerica.com/wa-fortvancouver/  


By the Act of February 24, 1925, 300,000 pieces were authorized to be minted. 50,000 coins were minted for sale to the public. In the limited time that the coins were available, only 14,966 were sold. The remaining 35,034 were returned to the Mint to be melted.


  • Charles A. Watts, Secretary of the Fort Vancouver Centennial Corporation, told the corporation that the funds collected from various sources (including the sale of the coins) paid designer Laura Gardin Fraser for her services and would pay all bills for the celebration. This was not the case. Five days after the centennial celebration began, Secretary Watts committed suicide.
  • Dr. McLoughlin appears as an older man on the coin. At the time of Fort Vancouver’s founding, he was only 41 years old. Ms. Fraser fashioned her profile from a drawing of Dr. McLaughlin because she did not believe a photograph of him existed. Actually, there are several photographs that exist.
  • Dr. McLoughlin owned a general store in Oregon City. The store was considered the last stop on the Oregon Trail.
  • Mount Hood is Oregon’s highest point.
  • Even though the coins were minted in San Francisco, no mint mark appears.

For more information:

Encyclopedia of the Commemorative Coins of the United States by Anthony J. Swiatek 

KWS Publishers (2012)

Commemorative Coins of the United States Identification and Price Guide by Anthony J. Swiatek

Amos Press Publishers (2001) 

Royal Family of the Columbia by Alberta Brooks Fogdall

Published by Ye Galleon Press (1978)



Encyclopedia of the Commemorative Coins of the United States by Anthony J. Swiatek

KWS Publishers (2012) 

The Encyclopedia of United States Silver & Gold Commemorative Coins 1892 to 1954 by Anthony Swiatek and Walter Breen

Arco Publishing, Inc. (1981)


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