Author Archives: cchmuseum

Summit Grove Lodge in Ridgefield earns spot on Washington Heritage Register
(The Columbian, Nov. 24, 2019)

Vancouver Facebook group ‘living, breathing archive of the community’s knowledge’”
(The Columbian, Nov. 7, 2019)

Clark County Historical Museum exhibit navigates river transportation, education
(The Columbian, Oct. 13, 2019)

Clark County Historical Museum opens exhibit on the history of rivers, roads and ports
(The Reflector, Sept. 23, 2019)

Clark County Historical Museum walking tours kick off next weekend
(Clark County Today, May 25, 2019)

Celebration of Vancouver poet Mary Barnard this afternoon
(The Columbian, April 13, 2019)

This might be the world’s only library of unpublished manuscripts: Vancouver’s Brautigan Library honors a Northwest literary icon
(The Seattle Times, April 10, 2019)

Kiggins – the man, his movie theater – focus of history talk
(The Columbian, April 4, 2019)

Interactive exhibit features work from 40 partners, explores roots
(The Columbian, March 24, 2019)

Longtime Ridgefield resident’s experiences as nurse turned into book
(The Columbian, March 7, 2019)

What was it like as a WWII nurse in Vancouver?
(The Reflector, Feb. 25, 2019)

Vancouver NAACP hosts numerous events for Black History month
(The Columbian, Jan. 25, 2019)

Series at Kiggins pours its all into local beer, brewing history
(The Columbian, Jan. 11, 2019)

Bus tours of Vancouver to focus on city’s history
(The Columbian, Dec. 3, 2018)

Vancouver talk to explore Native American music
(The Columbian, Oct. 30, 2018)

Clark County Museum offering walking tours through time this summer
(Clark County Today, May 26, 2018)

Clark County Historical Museum celebrates Mother Joseph’s legacy
(The Columbian, Feb. 28, 2018)

Clark County Historical Museum sheds light on Civil War
(The Columbian, April 2, 2014)

Shadows of Conflict at CCHM
(North Bank Now, March 28, 2014)

Clark County Historical Museum presents haunted history tour
(The Columbian, Oct. 5, 2013)

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What does Veterans Day mean to our veterans?

A Grand Army of the Republic group in Orchards, Washington (CCHM photo)

In honor of National Veterans and Military Families Month, Clark County Historical Museum will conclude its 2019 First Thursday Speaker Series on Thursday, Nov. 7, with “What does Veterans Day mean to our veterans?” Doors will open at 5 p.m. and the event will begin at 7 p.m.

This presentation will feature local veterans, including leaders and members with Vancouver’s Community Military Appreciation Committee (CMAC). Speakers will reflect on their military service, life since retiring from military service, and the meaning and personal significance of Veterans Day. Area veterans are encouraged to attend and share their own thoughts on Veterans Day during the audience discussion following the panel presentation.

In addition to Patrick Locke and Richard McHugh, who each served tours in Vietnam, the panel will also include CMAC board member Sean Gibson as moderator.

Gibson, who grew up in Bethel, Alaska, enlisted in the Marine Corps Reserves in 1988 as an infantryman, then earned his commission in 1990. He served for six years as an infantry officer with deployments to the Middle East, Okinawa, and the Western Pacific, and as a recruit training supervisor and operations officer. For the last 20 years of his career, Gibson served as a public affairs officer in a variety of assignments in the United States with deployments to Kuwait and Iraq. He retired in 2016 from Marine Corps Headquarters in Washington, D.C., then immediately put the Pentagon in his rearview mirror to drive west and settle with his wife and son in Vancouver.

The CCHM First Thursday Speaker Series is sponsored by the Clark County Historic Preservation Commission. General admission is $5; seniors and students are $4; children under 18 are $3; and the evening is free for veterans, active-duty military personnel and their families, and CCHM members. Attendees are encouraged to arrive early, as it is first-come, first-served seating.

For more information, contact the museum at 360-993-5679 or events@cchmuseum.org.

History A-Brewin’: Vancouver Brewing History

Clark County Historical Museum is taking its First Thursday Speaker Series to Vancouver’s Loowit Brewing Company, 507 Columbia Street, for “History A-Brewin’: Vancouver Brewing History.” This free event will begin at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 3.

This presentation will serve as a public introduction to the museum’s upcoming exhibit, opening in January 2020, celebrating Clark County’s extensive brewing history and commemorating the 100th anniversary of the start of prohibition.

CCHM Executive Director and event moderator Brad Richardson will begin the program by offering a brief overview of Vancouver’s brewing history with a focus on Lucky Lager Brewery and Great Western Malting. The program will then transition to a panel presentation featuring locals associated with these organizations and brewing in Clark County. Presenters include Sue Abbott, Carl Mullen Jr., Bryan Shull, and Tim Starkey.

Sue Abbott is the logistics manager for Great Western Malting, having been with the company’s Vancouver site for 36 years.

Carl Mullen Jr. began working for Vancouver’s Lucky Lager in 1972, filling the role of executive vice president. Mullen later assumed the role of president and was with the company until the Vancouver site closed in 1985.

Bryan Shull is the owner-operator of Trap Door Brewing in Vancouver. His grandfather and father made their careers at Great Western Malting, where Shull also worked for a time during college.

Tim Starkey worked in the operations portion of Lucky Lager for four years, and was present when the Vancouver location closed in the mid-1980s.

The CCHM First Thursday Speaker Series is sponsored by the Clark County Historic Preservation Commission. Attendees are encouraged to arrive early, as it is first-come, first-served seating.

For more information, contact the museum at 360-993-5679 or events@cchmuseum.org.

History A-Brewin’

OPENING IN JANUARY 2020

The story of brewing, distilling, temperance, and prohibition in Clark County and Southwest Washington started long ago. Dr. John McLoughlin grew barley and used a large portion of it for brewing in 1826; Star Brewery would begin its production of beer in 1890; and, many longtime residents remember the large “L” of Lucky Lager that ended its 35-year run in 1985. Today, brewers, distillers, and winemakers in Clark County have turned to a craft and artisan style that creates beverages of unparalleled quality. However, the road for these industries has not always been paved with Hop Gold.

To showcase the fascinating history of beer, liquor, and the 100th anniversary of the 18th Amendment, we will explore the following: brewing in the time of the Hudson’s Bay Company, the multitude of early breweries and brewers (such as Henry Weinhard), prohibition, the Women’s Christian Temperance Union, Dry vs. Wet counties and states, the transformation of bars and pubs, and the contemporary brewing and distilling scene in Clark County. This is only a fraction of the potential topics. As we involve community partners and stakeholders, these topics will evolve and expand.

To tell these stories, we will employ the use of interpretative panels surrounded by interactive display cases and other visual guides. The panels will tell a story through text, historical photographs and images, while the display cases and other mediums will invite the patron to not only use sight, but also touch and smell.

Beyond the objects in our own collection, other museums, businesses, and historical organizations will be involved in this exhibit. The intent is for the exhibit to be representative of the entire county and drive people to visit these other amazing sites.

A foundational piece of exploring local brewing history will be partnering and engaging with the community. As we talk with community stakeholders, new topics and avenues for exploration will appear. To facilitate this, we will meet with and discuss components of this exhibit with partners. As a result, this will create a dialogue that produces a community-driven exhibit.

The goal of this exhibit is to produce an educational and engaging exploration of Clark County’s brewing and distilling story from yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Visitors will not only discover the narrative and living history of this important industry in Clark County and Southwest Washington, but maybe change the flavor profile of this area in the future.


For only $100, you can have your name printed on a beer bottle and featured in our upcoming “History A-Brewin” exhibit!
Visit cchmuseum.ejoinme.org/99bottles to become a sponsor!

THANK YOU TO OUR EXHIBIT SPONSORS:

Medical practices during the Lewis and Clark expedition

Clark County Historical Museum will continue its 2019 First Thursday Speaker Series at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 5, with historian Barb Kubik’s presentation of “Fifteen Pounds of Peruvian Bark and Two Ounces of Camphor: Two Doctor-Captains and the Corps of Discovery in Clark County.”

This presentation will examine Captain Meriwether Lewis’ list of medical supplies for the Corps of Discovery, and how some of those supplies, including botanicals and pharmaceuticals, were used in 1805 and today.

A native of Vancouver, Wash., Kubik has lived and worked along the Pacific Northwest portion of the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail for more than 40 years. She is a historian, author, educator, and a long-time member of the Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation’s Board of Directors.

In her work as a historian, Kubik has explored the lives of members of the Corps, including the Corps’ scientific observations and medical care.

This presentation will be held in conjunction with a public reception celebrating the museum’s newest exhibit, “Currents of Progress: Clark County Rivers, Roads, and Ports,” beginning at 5 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 5.

Exhibit topics include Native American Nations and their relationships with the waterways; Hudson’s Bay Company; early transportation; the establishment of the ports of Vancouver, Camas-Washougal, and Ridgefield; the impact of World War I and World War II; and the state of our ports today.

The CCHM First Thursday Speaker Series is sponsored by the Clark County Historic Preservation Commission. General admission is $5; seniors and students are $4; children under 18 are $3; and the evening is free with a CCHM membership. Attendees are encouraged to arrive early, as it is first-come, first-served seating.

For more information, contact the museum at 360-993-5679 or events@cchmuseum.org.

Currents of Progress: Clark County Rivers, Roads, and Ports

“Currents of Progress” is a family-friendly and educational exploration of Clark County’s rivers, roads, and ports. By using interpretative panels, historical objects, interactive stations, and county-wide partnerships, visitors will discover and engage with the narrative and living history of these important systems in Clark County and Southwest Washington.

Topics featured in this exhibit include Native American Nations and their relationships with the waterways; Hudson’s Bay Company; early transportation; the establishment of the ports of Vancouver, Camas-Washougal, and Ridgefield; the impact of World War I and World War II; and the state of our ports today.

Objects representing this history will also be on display. Key objects include items from the Standifer and Kaiser shipyards, a large ship’s wheel from a Columbia River ferry, a ceremonial shovel used for the groundbreaking of the 1917 Interstate Bridge, and objects on loan from the Port of Vancouver and Tidewater Transportation and Terminals.

For a hands-on experience, the exhibit also features knot-tying, a telegraph simulator, a semaphore flag station, and a selfie station featuring a tugboat captain’s chair.

“Currents of Progress” will be open through 2023. This exhibit is sponsored by the City of Vancouver, Port of Vancouver, Port of Camas-Washougal, Port of Ridgefield, and Tidewater Transportation and Terminals.

Faith Music: History of the Community A.M.E. Zion Church Choir

Clark County Historical Museum will continue its 2019 First Thursday Speaker Series on Thursday, Aug. 1, with “Faith Music: The History of the Community AME Zion Church Choir.” This free event will begin at 7 p.m. at the Community AME Zion Church, 3605 East 13th St. in Vancouver.

Music plays an important role in worship at Vancouver’s Community AME Zion Church. Since its establishment in 1975, many members of this congregation have participated in the ministry by playing instruments, performing vocals, or involving themselves with choir or dance. For the “Faith Music” First Thursday event, Reverend Joyce M. Smith, senior pastor, will explore this history, and the history of the church, alongside Brother Charles Simmons and Reverend Dayton Smith.

Through the support of the Clark County Historic Preservation Commission, the CCHM and Community AME Zion Church are providing this talk at no charge to the public.

For more information, contact the museum at 360-993-5679 or by email at events@cchmuseum.org.

Canoe Life and Lords of the Inland Waters

Clark County Historical Museum will continue its 2019 First Thursday Speaker Series on Thursday, July 11, with “Canoe Life: Traveling with Our Ancestors” and “Lords of the Inland Waters.” Doors will open at 5 p.m. and the event will begin at 7 p.m.

These joint presentations will explore the relationships that Southwest Washington Native American Nations have had, and continue to have, with the region’s rivers and waterways. The evening’s featured presenters will be Tanna Engdahl, Cowlitz Tribe Spiritual Leader, and Sam Robinson, Chinook Indian Nation Vice Chairman.

“Centuries before European arrival, the Cowlitz designed and created the perfect river transporter: cruiser and freighter rolled into one. We still have a tribal carver whose hands are guided by the Ancestors,” said Engdahl, whose presentation is titled “Lords of the Inland Waters.”

Robinson’s presentation, “Canoe Life: Traveling with Our Ancestors,” will recount his experiences in the canoe, including ceremonies and tribal stories.

“Our ancestors had relationships with people all along as they put out of the mouth of the Columbia River and they would head north and south,” Robinson said. “And it is all-important for us Chinook people to travel on these journeys…because you are keeping those relationships.”

CCHM is honored to have members of Southwest Washington Native American Nations present this event and share this window into Southwest Washington’s past with the community.

The CCHM First Thursday Speaker Series is sponsored by the Clark County Historic Preservation Commission. General admission is $5; seniors and students are $4; children under 18 are $3; and the evening is free with a CCHM membership. Attendees are encouraged to arrive early, as it is first-come, first-served seating.

For more information, contact the museum at 360-993-5679 or by email at events@cchmuseum.org.

Southwest Washington and Marriage Equality

Clark County Historical Museum will continue its 2019 First Thursday Speaker Series on Thursday, June 6, with “Southwest Washington and Marriage Equality.” Doors will open at 5 p.m. and the event will begin at 7 p.m.

This talk will explore the regional push for marriage equality and the narratives and lived experiences surrounding those efforts. Topics of discussion will include awareness of gay and lesbian issues in Clark County, the local campaign for marriage equality, and what remains to be done in Clark County following marriage equality. Event speakers will include Rory Bowman, Nikki Costa, and Micheil MacCutcheon.

Rory Bowman is a fifth-generation Washingtonian, born and raised in Vancouver. He has been involved in various gender justice issues since the 1980s, and is a board member with ACLU of Washington.

Nikki Costa is a public servant, having worked for Clark County in law and justice for more than 25 years. She is active in Rotary and has served on the Washougal City Council, the C-Tran Board of Directors, the Washougal Civil Service Commission, and the Washougal Cemetery Board. Costa has engaged politically on issues of equality since 2009, and has always been a visible and vocal member of the LGBTQ community.

Micheil MacCutcheon has spearheaded statewide marriage equality efforts from Clark County. He organizes Saturday in the Park, Vancouver’s annual LGBTQ Pride event, and has developed “Legal Family Matters” workshops that educate LGBTQ families on their legal and medical rights.  

The CCHM First Thursday Speaker Series is sponsored by the Clark County Historic Preservation Commission. General admission is $5; seniors and students are $4; children under 18 are $3; and the evening is free with a CCHM membership. Attendees are encouraged to arrive early, as it is first-come, first-served seating.

For more information, contact the museum at 360-993-5679 or by email at events@cchmuseum.org.

Historic Buildings Plaque Program

The CCHSM Historic Building Plaque Program is designed to provide interpretative plaques for buildings, structures, and/or locations, which are selected by the CCHSM and recognized on local, state, and/or national registers of historic places. The mission of the Historic Building Plaque Program is the following:

  • Engagement: Create a cost-effective and engaging way to educate the public about the rich histories of buildings throughout the Clark County area, which in turn creates a better sense of stewardship, community, and draws tourism.
  • Development: The program will create an opportunity for CCHSM to research, identity, engage, and grow long-term meaningful relationships with owners of historic buildings, structures, and/or locations and community stakeholders connected to those locations. In addition, CCHSM will seek out partnering organizations or entities to broaden the reach and resources of the program that will feed into other CCHSM efforts.
  • Outreach: Provide a tangible representation of the CCHSM work in the community and create an opportunity to easily expand its outreach and membership.
  • Recognition: Promote the local efforts for preservation and rehabilitation of registered historic buildings that represent a variety of historical eras, styles, and stories.  The program can help educate property owners and potential stakeholders about the local, state, and national historic registers and encourage the listing of a building, structure, and/or location.

Celebrate Main Street: Ridgefield

A group of men stand outside of a pool hall in Ridgefield, Washington (1910)

As part of Historic Preservation Month, Clark County Historical Museum is taking its First Thursday Speaker Series to Ridgefield’s Old Liberty Theater on Thursday, May 2, for “Celebrate Main Street: Ridgefield.” This free event is part of the museum’s new initiative to celebrate the local businesses, architecture, and history along Clark County’s Main Streets. The event begins at 7 p.m.

“We are excited for the opportunity to hold this event during Historic Preservation Month at Ridgefield’s historic Old Liberty Theater,” said Brad Richardson, CCHM executive director and “Celebrate Main Street: Ridgefield” keynote speaker. “Downtown Ridgefield and its businesses have a long and storied history. We feel it’s important to discuss the stories of our communities at, or in, the places where they took place. It hearkens to the idea, ‘If these walls could talk.’ The Old Liberty Theater provides the perfect setting for this exploration and discussion.”

Originally called Union Ridge due to the large number of Union soldiers who settled in the area after the Civil War, the town formally came into being at a special election held in 1909. The residents decided by a vote of 62-12 in favor of incorporation.

In that same year, the established businesses, as advertised in the Ridgefield Reflector, were two general merchandise stores, a department store, two lumber mills, a water well contractor and driller, two contractors and builders, a boat builder, meat market, hotel, livery and draying, boot and shoemaker, creamery, barber shop, blacksmith, realtor, and a weaver.

“Today, the businesses in historic Downtown Ridgefield serve the community in a different way, but retain the spirit of those early days in 1909,” Richardson said.

Through the support of the Clark County Historic Preservation Commission, the CCHM is providing this talk at no charge to the public. “Celebrate Main Street: Ridgefield” is made possible through partnerships with North Clark Historical Museum, La Center Historical Museum, the Ridgefield Main Street Program and the Clark County Historical Museum.

“We are fortunate to have several strong history organizations in our North County,” Richardson said, “and we are overjoyed to have this opportunity to partner for this important launch of celebrating Main Streets across the county.”

For more information, contact the museum at 360-993-5679 or by email at events@cchmuseum.org.

Member Appreciation Month 2019

April is Member Appreciation Month! Members are the foundation of the Clark County Historical Society and Museum, and we have planned some exciting Member Appreciation Month events to show our gratitude for their support.

Current members are invited to join us for these free activities and extra perks. Please know that eventspace is limited and reservations are required.

Email us at events@cchmuseum.org or give us a call today at 360-993-5679 to reserve your spot.

Need to renew, or not a member? Renew or join us here.

Pomeroy Living History Farm & Wine Tasting 

Saturday, April 6 – Enjoy an afternoon at Pomeroy Cellars Winery and Tasting Room located at the Pomeroy Farm in Yacolt, Washington. Taste their decadent wine, peek inside the historic log house and barn, and tour the beautiful gardens. (This is a 21+ only event.)

The Life and Works of Mary Barnard

Saturday, April 13 – Betty Bell will give a talk about her friend, Mary Barnard. A poet, biographer and Greek translator, Barnard created award-winning poetry and led a fascinating life.

Old City Cemetery Walking Tour Preview

Saturday, April 27 – In a special preview, be the first to take our brand new Old City Cemetery Walking Tour, led by our very own executive director, Brad Richardson.

CCHM Members Scanning Day

Your Clark County photos could be featured in an upcoming exhibit!

Saturday, April 27 – Are you a member? Do you have historical images you’d like to share with the community? We’re looking for original images valuable to Clark County history. Specifically, we’re seeking images that fit within the following themes: breweries, wineries, prohibition, celebrations, rivers, roads, and ports. 

Members may bring up to five (5) original photos to be donated, or scanned and returned, during our Scanning Day event on Saturday, April 27. Please call the museum at 360-993-5679 or email us to schedule an appointment. 

Space is limited for all of our Member Appreciation Month events.
Please make your reservation early

CCHM 2019 Gala

Join Us

Kiggins: The history of John P. Kiggins and his theatre

Exterior of Kiggins Theatre, 1941

 Clark County Historical Museum will continue its 2019 First Thursday Speaker Series on Thursday, April 4, with historian Andrew Gregg’s presentation of “Kiggins: The history of John P. Kiggins and his theatre.” This talk will highlight the life of Vancouver’s former mayor and his monumental impact on Clark County. Doors open at 5 p.m., and the event begins at 7 p.m.

Initially assigned to serve at the Vancouver Barracks at the turn of the nineteenth century, a 31-year-old Sergeant Kiggins vowed to transform Vancouver from a sleepy crossroads town to a thriving city. Within a few years of his arrival, Kiggins launched a political campaign that resulted in his first of many terms as Vancouver’s mayor.

Kiggins also established a successful construction company, and built several commercial buildings and theaters along Vancouver’s Main Street. The historic Kiggins Theatre, of course, is the landmark for which the mayor is best remembered.

“Vancouverites of a certain age nostalgically recall that theatre as a venue for life events that remain special memories,” Gregg said. “Whether it was a first movie, first date, or first kiss, the Kiggins Theatre is a place that is inextricably bound to our sense of place, our respect for history, and that feeling that our human journey is defined by experiences that might be shared with complete strangers in a darkened movie house. And, it is to J.P. Kiggins we owe the debt of enjoying his vision for Vancouver more than a century later.”

Andrew Gregg is a Vancouver native who saw his first big-screen movie at the Kiggins Theatre in 1961. After a K-12 education in Vancouver Public Schools, Gregg graduated from Willamette University, attended Gonzaga University School of Law, and completed a master’s degree in public history at Washington State University. A National Board Certified teacher, Gregg has served as Clark County Arts Commission’s chairman, and is currently a Clark County Historic Preservation Commissioner. Since 1973, Gregg has written extensively about his hometown.

The CCHM First Thursday Speaker Series is sponsored by the Clark County Historic Preservation Commission. General admission is $5; seniors and students are $4; children under 18 are $3; and the evening is free with a CCHM membership. Attendees are encouraged to arrive early, as it is first-come, first-served seating.

For more information, contact the museum at 360-993-5679 or by email at events@cchmuseum.org.

Click HERE to purchase tickets for the next History on Tap.

Clark County Historical Museum unites history and hops as part of its interactive program, “History on Tap.” Each event features a trivia quiz, a Q&A segment, a talk on a popular historical topic, and — of course — a selection of local brews. Events are held at the Kiggins Theatre in downtown Vancouver, 1011 Main Street. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the event begins at 7 p.m.

Admission to “History on Tap” is $15 in advance, or $18 the day of the event. Tickets can be purchased at the Kiggins Theatre Box Office, the Clark County Historical Museum, or online at kigginstheatre.com/movies/history-on-tap. Audio support for “History on Tap” is provided by the Courtney Irvin Trust, and marketing support is provided by Zzoom Media. Additional support is provided by Vancouver’s Downtown Association.

2019 Program

January 17: From Lucky to Loowit: The Fall of Lucky Lager and the Rise of the Craft Brewing Industry

The closing of Lucky Lager Brewery in 1985 seemed to signal the end of more than 100 years of beer production in downtown Vancouver. Over the last two decades, however, passionate local brewers have come together through small bars, pubs, and microbreweries to create a culture of craft brewing in our community.

April 18: Pat Jollota Presents “The Murder of JoAnn Dewey in Vancouver, Washington”

Local historian and author Pat Jollota presents the chilling details of the tragic 1950 murder of JoAnn Dewey in downtown Vancouver, and the subsequent arrests and trial. This talk is based on Jollota’s newest true crime history book, “The Murder of JoAnn Dewey in Vancouver, Washington”

July 18: Stuff we used to believe — Strange stories from our past

Presented by CCHM resident historian, Brad Richardson, this talk will explore once popular theories, beliefs, and ideas that have since been challenged or debunked. Presented in the style of a late-night comedy newscast, topics will include the truth behind Benjamin Franklin’s “discovery” of electricity, the histories of bizarre medical treatments, and local folklore.

October 17: Campfire Tales — The haunting history of Clark County

Presented by local historians Brad Richardson, Pat Jollota, and Jeff Davis, this talk will explore the modern folklore of Clark County through historical interpretations, personal stories, and folktales related to our history and various haunting accounts.