Author Archives: cchmuseum

Clark County Stories: How We Came to this Place

In the past thirty years, the population of Clark County has more than doubled, from 221,654 to nearly 500,000 in 2017. More than half (54%) of the current residents were born in another state, while over 10% of the county’s residents in 2015 were born in another country. Recognizing a growing gulf between recent arrivals and Clark County residents with deeper historical roots, Dr. Peabody and Dr. Sinclair, in collaboration with the Clark County Historical Museum (CCHM), Washington State University Vancouver, and Fort Vancouver Regional Library District has undertaken a series of projects to identify bearers of these stories, foster outreach, community dialogue, and understanding, collect and archive these stories, and make them available locally and more widely for future researchers.
Please join Washington State University Vancouver, Fort Vancouver Regional Library, and CCHM as we explore Clark County Stories at the following events below:

Community History Conversations

Come share your story of how you and your family came to Clark County and the changes you’ve seen with facilitated conversations. Meet your neighbors!

  • How We Came to North Clark County: Saturday, March 3 from 1 – 4 pm at the Battle Ground Community Library, 1207 SE 8th Way, 98604
  • Migration Stories: Saturday, May 26 from 1 – 4 pm at the Vancouver Community Library, 901 C Street, 98660, Columbia Room
  • Sharing Our Stories: Thursday, October 11 from 6:30 – 8:30 pm at WSU Vancouver, 14204 NE Salmon Creek Avenue, 98686

Summer Story Workshops

Turn your stories into written records for posterity. Each story workshops will be held on a Saturday from 1:00-2:30 pm at the Clark County Historical Museum.

  • Everybody Has a Story: Publishing Your Short-Form Memoir: June 30, presented by Scott Hewitt, The Columbian
  • How I Found Myself in Clark County: Discovering the Self Through Poems of Place: July 28, presented by Christopher Luna, Past Poet Laureate of Clark County
  • Telling Stories with your Family Heirlooms: September 15, presented by Martin Middlewood, Clark County History Annual Editor

Clark County Stories Exhibit Opening Reception

  • Thursday, October 18 at 5:30 pm at the Clark County Historical Museum 

For more information: contact us or call (360) 993-5679.

Sponsored by: CCHM, Fort Vancouver Regional Library District, Humanities Washington “Washington Stories” Grant, Peabody’s College of Arts and Sciences Meyer Distinguished Professor Fellowship, Washington State University Vancouver, and Washington State University History Department’s Pettyjohn Fund.

2017 GiveMore24! – Your Place in History

For GiveMore24! the Clark County Historical Museum (CCHM) wants to know about your place in history! Our Museum is more than the building that holds our important objects, artifacts, and archives. It’s also where we store our community’s memories. That said, many of our memories are tied to a place. We are calling on you to share a place in Clark County where you connect with history, whether it’s a larger story, a place to preserve, or your own personal journey. We are looking for participants to send us a photo and a single sentence to show AND tell us about their place in history. Then on September 21st remember to give at :

Continue reading

CCHM September First Thursday: A Field Trip to Columbia Springs

Field Trip to Columbia Springs…

Join the Clark County Historical Museum (CCHM) on Thursday, September 7, 2017 for our FREE Museum After Hours event to learn more about Columbia Springs!  This event will NOT be held at the museum.  We will be meeting at Columbia Springs, located at 12208 SE Evergreen Hwy. Vancouver, WA 98663 at 6pm.  We will be visiting this great organization, learning about its history, and taking a look at its beautiful grounds.

Columbia Springs is the historic site of the first lumber mill in the Pacific Northwest, and current home to the Vancouver Trout Hatchery, which was built in 1938 as part of the Works Progress Administration during Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal.

We will take a tour of the facilities and hear about the history and current operations. This is a free event. Please meet us at Columbia Springs, we will be in the large classroom to start. Where comfortable walking shoes as we will be taking a leisurely stroll.


Cultural Traditions Community Meeting – Sept. 11, 2017

CCHM will be hosting a Cultural Traditions Community Meeting.  Join us at the museum on Sept. 11, 2017 at 10am to give your input on the development of the Center for Washington Cultural Traditions.

Launching this fall, the Center for Washington Cultural Traditions will be Washington State’s new folklife and traditional arts program, and we are hosting a series of community meetings to get your input on the Center’s development.

What is folklife, and what are traditional arts? They are activities and objects that are inseparable from a cultural community. They are expressions of people’s heritage and help tell their story: foods, occupations, crafts, traditional medicine, storytelling, music, and more.

The Center will support tradition bearers throughout the state, interpret the state’s rich cultural heritage, conduct meaningful research, and create a range of innovative media and programming.

Join us at one of our FREE community meetings across the state this summer and fall to:
• Learn about the development of the Center, and plans for its future.
• Learn about networks supporting Washington communities’ heritage.
• Discuss some of Washington’s many cultural traditions with community leaders, tradition
bearers, the Center’s Director.
• Share your ideas and questions.
• Help us create strong partnerships and effective programming
that honors our diverse pasts, shared present, and collective

The Center is a partnership between Humanities Washington and the Washington State Arts Commission/ArtsWA.

For more information contact: Kristin Sullivan, Director, Center for Washington Cultural Traditions: | (206) 682-1770 ext. 107 or visit

Centennial Gala


This event has passed. Please look for our next auction and dinner.

Join us as we celebrate 100 years of preserving Clark County History at the Clark County Historical Society Centennial Gala. Through a special partnership with Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, in commemoration of our work as the Fort Vancouver Restoration and Historical Society, our Gala will be held in the Fort Vancouver Stockade on Saturday, September 16, 2017.

Doors will open at 5:30 pm.
Tickets are $100.00 and can be purchased at the museum, over the phone at 360-993-5679 or you can buy online through this link.

We are also offering sponsorship opportunities starting at the $250.00 Patron Sponsor level. Review this form for the full benefits of sponsorships. Please contact Keith Lohse at 360-993-5679 or for more information about sponsorships.

This year’s program includes:
Silent Auction
Live Auction
Centennial Awards and Recognition
Dessert Dash
And the Paddleraise

Please contact the museum at for more information about this fantastic event.








CCHM October First Thursday: “Haunted Washington with Jeff Davis”

CCHM’s First Thursday event on October 5th at 7:00pm features historian and paranormal investigator Jeff Davis. Jeff will discuss his passion for researching and writing books on the paranormal.  Over the past 15 years, Jeff has written or contributed to a dozen books on ghosts and other odd and unusual happening in the Pacific Northwest.  Some of Jeff’s books include, Weird Washington, Weird Oregon, Ghosts, Critters, and Sacred Places of Washington and Oregon, and A Haunted Tour Guide to the Pacific Northwest.

Jeff Davis was born in Vancouver, Washington.  He spent 32 years in the US Army and Army Reserves. Highlights of Jeff’s career include the years he spent in the infantry, and later deployments to Bosnia, and two mobilizations to Southwest Asia, supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.  During these deployments, Jeff worked on missions as diverse as putting on puppet shows for orphans, to interviewing service members as a military historian.

Jeff also has a bachelor’s degree in anthropology and a master’s degree in archaeology, and worked as a field archaeologist throughout the Pacific Northwest.  He has written several articles and books on both military history and archaeology.

Admission is $5 for adults, $4 for seniors and students, $3 for children under 18, and free with a museum membership.
Please contact us at (360) 993-5679, by email or visit our website today for more information.

CCHM announces new executive director

The Board of Trustees of the Clark County Historical Society (CCHS) and Museum is pleased to announce the appointment of Bradley Richardson as its new Executive Director, effective August 28, 2017.

Brad Richardson has worked previously for CCHS 2011-2016 as Museum Curator, Experience Coordinator, and Visitor Services Coordinator. Among his accomplishments were greatly expanding the successful Walking Tour Program, launching the History Town Halls series, exhibit design, and management of the museum collection.

Born and raised in Camas and Washougal, Washington, Brad Richardson holds an M.A. in Public History from Portland State University and a B.A. in History from Washington State University Vancouver. He was nominated for the 2017 George C. Marshall Public Leadership Award and recognized as a 2015 Visit Vancouver USA Tourism Ambassador.

In 2017, the CCHS celebrates its 100th anniversary. Richardson notes, “The Clark County Historical Museum, founded by CCHS in 1964, is a remarkable local institution that collects, preserves, and shares Clark County’s story. As a lifelong resident, I’m excited and honored to lead this organization and continue this important work for my community. Our museum’s past is rich and future is bright.”

CCHM November First Thursday: Persistence for Survival – Chinook People Past & Present


CCHM’s First Thursday Museum After Hours on November 2nd at 7:00pm features Chinook Vice Chairman Sam Robinson. He will present a talk titled “Persistence for Survival – Chinook People Past & Present.” In this talk, Sam will discuss the history of the Chinook Nation’s existence and relationship to the United States from contact to the continuing struggle for federal status.

Admission is $5 for adults, $4 for seniors and students, $3 for children under 18, and free with a museum membership.

Please contact us at (360) 993-5679, by email or visit our website today for more information.


History Town Hall – Yacolt/Amboy

Hear and Share Your History

Join the Clark County Historical Museum (CCHM) and the North Clark Historical Museum at 7:00 pm on July 17, 2017 at the North Clark County Historical Museum (21416 NE 399th St, Amboy, WA 98601) for the next installment of our series of countywide town hall conversations about each community’s history and heritage.

The evening will begin with a moderated panel discussion comprised of community historians. Each panelist will delve into the historical people, places, or moments they feel embody the spirit of Yacolt/Amboy history. A question and answer session with the audience will follow. During that time, the community historians and citizens of Yacolt/Amboy will examine the cities place in Clark County history and along the way tell many great stories about their history and home.

These town halls, held in the different Clark County communities, will act as an inspiration for each community’s representation in future exhibits. Each evening will be recorded and reviewed by those working on programs and exhibitions.

Doors will open at 6:30pm and the discussion will start at 7:00pm. Admission is free. For more event information and questions, contact the museum at or by phone at 360-993-5679. We offer local history at your fingertips!

Join us at our 100th Annual Membership Meeting



Thursday, November 16, 2017 at 5:30 pm we’re holding our 100th Annual Membership Meeting. All current, renewing, and prospective members are welcome. Come hear Executive Director Bradley Richardson talk about our great year of exhibits, programs, and classes in 2017 and find out what’s in store for 2018.





Haunted Walking Tours 2017

 *SOLD OUT* Please check back for 2018 Haunted Tour tickets!


It’s Haunted Walking Tour Season! Experience a spooky slant on history on a Clark County Historical Museum walking tour on a dark (but hopefully not stormy) night. Reserve your spot now, as these popular tours fill up quickly!

Tours start at the Clark County Historical Museum at 8 pm every Friday and Saturday in October.

Reservations and prepayment are REQUIRED for the haunted walking tours. Space is limited to 25 people per tour, so you MUST call us at (360) 993-5679 or use our sales page here to reserve your spot and prepay the $12 admission fee ($10 for current CCHS members).



2017 Spring Arnada Garden Walk

Clark County Historical Museum tour guide Keith Lohse will be joined by former OSU & WSU Master Gardener Barbara Clark to present a Tree and Front Garden Themed Walking Tour of the Arnada Neighborhood on Sunday, May 21, 2017 beginning 1 pm at Arnada Park (610 E 25th St, Vancouver, WA 98663). Keith and Barbara highlight the history of the homes in this historic neighborhood as well as heritage trees and the home’s contemporary gardens.
Reservations for this special tour are required. Call 360/993-5679 to reserve seats. Cost is free for museum members and $10 for non-members.











2017 Walking Tour Season

CCHM Walking Tour Series

Take a walk through Clark County’s History

A historic walk of Officers Row kicks off the 2017 CCHM Walking Tour Series on Friday, June 2 at 12:00 pm. The Officers Row tour starts in front of the O.O. Howard House at 750 Anderson St, Vancouver, WA 98661.

There will be 9 different tours and they will be held at 12:00 pm on Fridays and 9:00 am on Saturdays until July 29. Walks range from 1 to 2 miles and go rain or shine.

This year’s tours feature the following areas: Officers Row, Historic Downtown Ridgefield, Esther Short Neighborhood, Lower Main Street, Uptown Village, Middle Main, Shumway Neighborhood, and NEW this year Historic Downtown Camas!

Bring your rain hat and walking shoes and get a bit of fresh air and a very nice walk with your Museum tour guide.  Bring your camera, too, if you’d like to capture some of the detail.

Continue reading

Museum After Hours – Discussing Vanport with Zita Podany









Join us at CCHM on May 4, 2017, at 7:00 pm for a discussion of Vanport with local author Zita Podany. Nestled in the floodplain between North Portland, Oregon, and Vancouver, Washington, a housing project was built to help house World War II shipyard workers.It was a city with many firsts. It was a city that touched many lives in a very short period of time. On May 30, 1948, it was a city that disappeared just as quickly as it came into existence, leaving a legacy that will not soon be forgotten. Zita Podany is a longtime resident of Portland and has for many years been fascinated with the story of a city that once thrived in an area full of marshes and sloughs. This lecture is part of our monthly First Thursday Museum After Hours Series. Continue reading