Author Archives: cchmuseum

The Clark County Historical Museum First Thursday Speaker Series runs from February to November of each year. These engaging talks feature a variety of topics ranging from popular local stories to broad organizational histories and much more. The CCHM First Thursday Speaker Series is sponsored by Clark County’s 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. Doors will open at 5 p.m., and the event will begin at 7 p.m. Attendees are encouraged to arrive early, as it is first-come, first-served seating.

February First Thursday – NAACP Generations: Vancouver NAACP Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

Clark County Historical Museum will launch its 2019 First Thursday Speaker Series on Thursday, Feb. 7, with “NAACP Generations: Vancouver NAACP Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow.” This event will feature conversations with past, current, and future presidents of the NAACP Vancouver Branch 1139. Speakers will include past president Earl Ford, current president Bridgette Fahnbulleh, and assistant president Jasmine Rucker Tolbert. The panel will be moderated by local author Jane Elder Wulff. Doors will open at 5 p.m., and the event will begin at 7 p.m.

“The Vancouver NAACP was established during World War II when better paying jobs in the shipyards brought forth the single largest increase in Vancouver’s African American population,” said Fahnbulleh. “For more than 70 years, the organization has served the local community by working to combat and eradicate racial discrimination in the area.”

CCHM’s presentation of “NAACP Generations” will explore the organization’s early history in Vancouver, the evolution of the branch, and its contemporary stories and accomplishments.

Jane Elder Wulff will begin the event with a brief discussion of the origins of the Vancouver NAACP, drawing from her 2012 history book “First Families of Vancouver’s African American Community,” which documents the stories of those who came to Vancouver seeking wartime jobs in the 1940s. Earl Ford will then lead a discussion on the Vancouver NAACP during his 10-year presidency, and Bridgette Fahnbulleh will discuss the current priorities and progress of the branch.

“There is a strong need in Clark County for culturally affirming resources to inspire and support our diverse community members,” said Fahnbulleh. “Many people are feeling culturally isolated. The NAACP can help to address these issues, enrich our community, and help us reach our potential of a more inclusive and diverse community.”

As a potential future Vancouver NAACP president, and the current vice president, Jasmine Rucker Tolbert will conclude the panel with a discussion of the organization’s vision looking forward.

The CCHM First Thursday Speaker Series is sponsored by Clark County’s 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

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

Join us for our inaugural “History on Tap” event, to be held at the historic Kiggins Theatre on Thursday, Jan. 17. This interactive and entertaining program will feature a trivia quiz, a Q&A segment, a talk on local history, and a selection of local brews. Doors open at 6 p.m., and the event will begin at 7 p.m.

“We’re excited to partner with the historic Kiggins Theatre on this new and exciting event for the community,” said Brad Richardson, CCHM executive director. “Our goal is to have fun with our history and explore popular historical stories in an engaging way.”

The evening will commence with a gameshow-style segment in which audience members are invited on stage to answer a series of history questions about Clark County and beyond. The questions will be drawn from a Clark County trivia game created by local historian and author Pat Jollota. The next segment, called “Ask Pat,” will feature Jollota’s answers to one question about local history, as selected from social media, email, or submitted through the museum.

The final segment will be a talk given on a historical subject. Talks will range from local topics of interest, to narratives that have gained national popularity. Steve Bader, of Bader Beer and Wine Supply, will present the Jan. 17 talk, titled “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,” Bader said. “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. We are in the midst of an exciting new chapter in Vancouver beer making.”

Other topics for the 2019 program include “The Murder of JoAnn Dewey in Vancouver, Washington,” Pat Jollota’s newest book, on April 18, and “Stuff We Used to Believe” on July 18. The 2019 program will conclude Oct. 17 with “Campfire Tales,” during which local historians will recall their scariest Clark County ghost stories.

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 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. Tap Takeover for the Jan. 17 event will be sponsored by Loowit Brewing Company.

For more information, contact the museum at 360-993-5679 or by email at

CCHS Annual Membership Meeting & Farewell to Making Beauty







Celebrate 2018 and Look Forward to the New Year
CCHS Annual Membership Meeting and Awards

Join us Thursday, November 15, 2018 at 5:00 pm the Clark County Historical Museum (CCHM) will be hosting its annual membership meeting and awards ceremony. Come hear Executive Director Bradley Richardson talk about their great year of exhibits, programs, and events in 2018 and find out what’s in store for 2019.

In addition to the regular agenda, CCHM will honor members of the community for their service in support of gathering, saving, and sharing our history. The awards will included the Margaret Colf Hepola Heritage Award, W. Foster Hidden Service Award, and Southwest Washington Group Heritage Award.

Closing the Circle
A Farewell to Making Beauty: Native Beadwork of North America

After the meeting, we will host a farewell gathering for the long-standing exhibit Making Beauty: Native Beadwork of North America. Don’t miss this final chance to experience the beauty of traditional and contemporary Native American bead work from across the Northwest Coast, Plateau, and Plains regions.

CCHS Board Member Becky Archibald notes,

Making Beauty: Native Beadwork of North America covers the trade routes of how beads came to be in America. Tribal Nations used beadwork in adornment with family colors, tribal affiliation, and the symbols that hold great meaning as well as some used as trade cash. It’s been an honor to bring this exhibit to the community to promote greater understanding. And with its closing it thereby brings the circle complete

General admission is for either/both events is $5.00, seniors and students are $4.00, children under 18 are $3.00, and the evening is FREE with a CCHM membership. Doors open at 5:00pm. We encourage attendees to get there early, as it is first-come, first-served seating.
For more information, please contact us at 360-993-5679 or by email at

CCHM November First Thursday: Southwest Washington Native American Music

Music continues to play a central role in the lives and spiritual expression of the Southwest Washington Native American Nations.

According to Cowlitz Tribe Spiritual Leader Tanna Engdahl, “Our drummers and singers are not just musical performers to be called forward to events. The music that they play is spiritual, no different than when people sing praise songs in the house of the Lord.” Music also remains at the center of Cowlitz art and culture. This is prominently displayed during the annual Cowlitz Tribe pow wow, a celebration that includes drumming and intertribal dances.

An important piece today of the Chinook Indian Nation’s musical tradition exists with the Cathlapotle Plankhouse. Sam Robinson, Chinook Indian Nation Vice Chairman, notes, “The songs that we share are always, always greatly important.” Within the walls of the Plankhouse, people are brought together to drum, share songs, dance, and provide blessings, passing forward the musical legacy of the Chinook Indian Nation.

We are incredibly honored to have members of Southwest Washington Native American Nations present this special event and share this unique window into Southwest Washington’s past with our community.

For more information, please contact the museum at 360-993-5679 or by email at

Clark County Stories: How We Came to this Place

For this exhibit, area residents and neighbors have shared their migration and family stories through oral history interviews, community conversations, memoirs, poetry, and objects — all in an effort to get to know each other and understand our shared history better.

The series tagline “How We Came to this Place” is both literal and historical, as we ask…How has Clark County become the way it is today?

Through these storytelling topics we are trying to capture glimpses of identity across time, place, and culture.

We’d like to thank our series sponsors and coordinators:

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; Washington State University History Department’s Pettyjohn Fund; Dr. Sue Peabody, a Historian and Meyer Distinguished Professor of History at WSUV; Dr. Donna Sinclair, Public Historian and Adjunct Professor of History at WSUV; and Brad Richardson, the museum’s executive director and historian.

Join us at our Annual Membership Meeting



Thursday, November 15, 2018 at 5:00 pm we’re holding our 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 events in 2018 and find out what’s in store for 2019.

Don’t miss your final chance to experience the beauty of traditional and contemporary Native American bead work from across the Northwest Coast, Plateau and Plains regions. Join us as we celebrate our exhibit Making Beauty during our farewell reception at 6:00 pm after our November 15th Membership Meeting.





Music, Movement, & Sound: An Exploration of Clark County’s Musical Roots

Open Now – Music is math; music is science; music is language; music is history; music is in all things.

The concept that music reaches deep into our lives and community is at the core of our exciting new exhibit Music, Movement, and Sound: An Exploration of Clark County’s Musical Roots.

This display is a family-friendly, educational, and inspirational exploration of Clark County’s musical roots and our community’s vibrant musical culture today. We feature local and national artists and community groups, such as, Cowlitz Indian Tribe, Chinook Indian Nation, Paul Revere and the Raiders, Friends of the Carpenter, The Responding, 204th Army Band, Battle Ground Community Band, Vancouver USA Singers, Washington Old Time Fiddler’s District 10 Players, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Diane Schuur, Ceremonial Castings,  Amber Sweeney, Doug Smith, Gary Hobbs, A.M.E Zion Community Church, The Juleps, River Twain, Lincolns Beard, Part Time Perfect, Harvest Gold, and many, many more.

Our exhibit also features Clark County’s Covington Piano, which is the first piano brought to the Pacific Northwest. After departing Europe by ship, the Covington Piano braved South America’s tumultuous Cape Horn before arriving in the Oregon Territory in 1846. This 1830s Playel upright had been a wedding gift to Richard and Anne Covington, who were both recruited by the Hudson’s Bay Company to serve as educators at Fort Vancouver. On their overseas journey from London, England, the musical twenty-somethings brought with them a violin, guitar, and what is now a revered piece of regional history, the Covington Piano: the first piano to arrive in the Pacific Northwest.

We use interpretative panels, historical objects, and new interactive stations to create an exhibit where visitors can not only discover the living history of music, dance, and radio in Clark County and Southwest Washington but engage with it.

We want to give a heartfelt thanks to our exhibit sponsors BNSF, Cowlitz Indian Tribe, Realvest, Clark County, Wager Audio, and The Brickhouse Bar and Grill. Their support made this possible. Additional support was provided by Hammersmith Rock Institute. We also want to thank artist Anni Furniss for her amazing artwork for our exhibit.

Follow us on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) and/or get CCHM emails for upcoming exhibit news and events. Stay tuned in!

Vancouver Clinic and the History of Health in Clark County

The Clinic’s history starts in July 1929, when Dr. John C. Brougher treated his first patient in Vancouver. In the early days, Brougher traveled both paved and dirt roads to deliver Clark County’s babies.

An industrious and compassionate physician, Brougher’s practice grew quickly. By the late 1930’s, he needed help. The first to join him was GP, Dr. Frank Boersma in 1937. Then, that same year, Dr. H. Leslie Frewing joined as their surgeon. Two years later, the final founding physician, Pediatrician, Dr. David R. Loree, joined the budding group.

In 1941, they changed their name to the Vancouver Clinic and a pillar of the Southwest Washington medical community emerged.

Visit us and explore the clinic’s 80+ years of care, plus discover special medical-related objects from the very beginnings of our collection and more.

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:

Sharing Our Stories

Storytellers drawn from more than 150 who participated in the 2018 “Clark County Stories” series will share their stories. The audience will also be invited to share their own three-minute anecdotes on the themes of “Favorite Places” and “Migration Stories” in Clark County.

Sharing Our Stories: Thursday, October 11 from 6:30 – 8:30 pm at WSU Vancouver, 14204 NE Salmon Creek Avenue, 98686

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 :

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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

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.