Past Events

First Thursday with Martin Middlewood

Thursday, November 6, 2014 at 7:00pm
Martin Middlewood presents “The Ku Klux Klan in Southwest Washington”

IMG_0859_2_edited-1November 6th at 7:00pm Martin Middlewood discusses “The Ku Klux Klan in Southwest Washington.” He will be exploring the stories and secrets behind the Klan in Clark County during the 1920s. Much of this history is lost or hidden in old newspapers and must be teased out bit by bit. You will learn a secret side of the region’s past you probably didn’t know about.

As freelancer for more than 20 years, Martin Middlewood writes about technology, energy, the environment, and healthcare for newspapers, trade and technology magazines. He’s a board member of the Institute for Science Engineering and Public Policy and a past workshop leader for Write Around Portland. He has a Master’s Degree from Eastern Washington University in Professional and Technical Writing and has done graduate work in American History. He lives in Vancouver.

Be sure to come down and listen to the last First Thursday lecture of the year!

2014 Holiday Open House & Artisans’ Market

On Saturday, December 6th, 2014, we invite you to our Holiday Open House & Artisans’ Market, a FREE DAY at the museum! Doors open at 10 am and the market ends at 4 pm. Come see what beautiful things our artists have made this year.

At 5:30pm, as part of Christmas in the Village, Dave’s Killer Magic will present a magic show for the kids! Then, stick around after the show to see Santa!





Past First Thursday Lectures 2014

Thursday, October 2, 2014 7:00 pm Dr. Steven M. Fountain

October 2nd at 7:00pm Dr. Steven M. Fountain presents “Fishing with Pitchforks: An Environmental History of Salmon Creek.” Learn about the ways that Salmon Creek and its surrounding watershed make it an ideal place to explore several of our region’s biggest issues.
Extending from rural forest lands through urbanized areas to Lake River, and ultimately, the lower Columbia, Salmon Creek is central to both the history of and environmental changes in Clark County. Salmon recovery, clean water, land use, invasive species, and the fine art of fishing with pitchforks are all part of the complex story of this place. Taking a long view of changes from the nineteenth century through current efforts to restore riparian habitat, Fountain explores both cautionary tales and success stories of the interactions of land, water, and community.

Dr. Fountain teaches courses in early American, Native American, and environmental history at Washington State University-Vancouver where he is currently a University Diversity Council Faculty Fellow. His research ranges across several related topics, including the historical impacts of animals, the interaction of competing European empires and Native Americans, and the dynamics of the fur trade in the Far West. He has two forthcoming books; one is on the environmental and cultural impact of horses in Native American culture and the other is a history of wild horse management. His current project examines the Hudson’s Bay Company fur trade and indigenous resource use. A Board Member of the Salmon Creek Watershed Council, he lives and works in the Salmon Creek watershed.

IMG_2583 Candice2September 4, 2014 at 7:00pm Candice Goucher will discuss how the food on our plates has changed over the centuries. Discovering the past of ordinary people can be as simple as eating one meal at a time.  Every bite we take offers a taste of local and world history.

Candice’s lecture will be paired with the opening of our newest exhibit, Food for Thought: Clark County’s Food History.

Harvest Fun Day and Food Drive!

Harvest Fun Day_Web_SquareJoin us at Heritage Farm September 27th  from 10am to 3pm for our FREE 2014 Harvest Fun Day and Food Drive!

This event is a great way to connect to Clark County’s agricultural heritage and give back to your community by picking foods from Heritage Farm gardens for donation to the Clark County Food Bank.

Bring a can of food for our food donation bins and participate in fun activities including making your own ice cream, decorating pumpkins, creating a pinecone birdfeeder, hands-on animal exhibitions, plant sales, art activities, a corn shucking contest and more!

Participating organizations include our friends at the WSU Extension, Clark County, Master Gardener Foundation of Clark County, Master Composter/Recycler program, Vancouver Urban Forestry, Washington Old Time Fiddlers Association, Clark County Food Bank, Lions Club and the Clark Cowlitz Farm Bureau.


Peg Willis, Building the Columbia River Highway: They Said it Couldn’t be Done

Peg Willis_rAugust 7th at 7:00pm Peg Willis will discuss her new book Building the Columbia River Highway: They Said it Couldn’t be Done.

An artist’s dream and an engineer’s nightmare….When nine-hundred-foot ice age floods carved the Columbia River Gorge through the Cascade Mountains to the sea, little space was left for man to form a highway of his own. It took an artist-poet-engineer extraordinaire to conquer this reluctant piece of real estate and produce the nation’s first scenic highway.

Meet Sam Hill, the mover and shaker, and Samuel Lancaster, the polio survivor, who turned modern engineering on its ear to create a “poem in stone.” Today, Oregon’s historic Columbia River Highway is hidden among the trees, where it meanders past spectacular waterfalls and dramatic views. Ride along with Peg Willis as she explores the beginnings of this miracle highway and the men who created it.


June First Thursday Event – Art of Legacy Exhibit Opening and Discussion

PencilsJune 5th at 7:00pm the museum will be having a First Thursday double header event! We will be presenting our newest exhibit Art of Legacy paired with a panel discussion with the teachers,students and museum staff that participated in this project.

Friday, June 6, guests can view the artwork at the gallery and museum as part of First Friday Art Walk..

About Art of Legacy
North Bank Artists Gallery and the Clark County Historical Museum partnered to develop the Art of Legacy pilot program. In spring of 2014, staff from the gallery and museum began working with veteran teacher Fae Moeller and her advanced art class from Thomas Jefferson Middle School on this multi-disciplinary art and humanities pilot project.

In February, students spent an entire school day touring the museum and listening to lectures from museum staff. After the museum field trip four teaching artists worked in the classroom with the students. They created art projects based on historic themes from their museum experience.

Gallery and museum staff prepared students artwork for public display. Ms. Moeller worked with students on artist statements for each project. Visitors to the museum, gallery, and City Hall will see a variety of work and be able to read about the students’ experiences.



Garden Walking Tour of Arnada Neighborhood

flowersJoin us on Saturday, May 31th, 2014 for a side-walk garden walking tour of the historic Arnada neighborhood! Learn about the history of Arnada whilst viewing their lovely contemporary side-walk gardens. Tour guides Brad Richardson and Barbara Clark will begin this one-time tour at noon. Meet at Arnada Park on E 25th & G St, Vancouver, WA 98663.

Reservations are REQUIRED. Call 360/993-5679 to purchase a ticket; cost is $5 for members and $7 for non-members.


First Thursday Lecture with Harriet Baskas

Join us May 1st for a First Thursday Lecture with journalist Harriet Baskas. She will present Hidden Treasures in Washington’s Museums, exploring the stories behind artifacts in museum collections that are rarely or never shown to the public. Support for this program provided by Humanities Washington. Doors open at 5:00pm, lecture at 7:00pm.


Clark County Historical Museum Celebrates 50 Years!


CCHM_CarnegiePassport_300X250_FinalCome celebrate with us on Saturday, May 24th with FREE admission and birthday cake at 1:00pm!  Don’t forget to pick up your FREE Mr. Carnegie’s Grand Tour of Washington and Oregon Passport, a driving tour of historic Carnegie libraries throughout the Northwest.


WSU Vancouver Labor History Course

In conjunction with our exhibit, Labor: A Working History, on display through 2014, Washington State University Vancouver professor Laurie Mercier is offering CES/HIST 426: Workers Across North America at WSUV in the Spring 2014 quarter. Registration is required. This class can be audited for those who do not need college credits. Contact Professor Mercier for details at The last day to register for the class is Friday, January 17th.


Researching Historical Buildings & Homes Workshop

Note: This is a past event.

Have you ever wondered who lived in your home before you? Curious about when a structure was built and how it was used over the years? Then join historian Brad Richardson in the Clark County Historical Museun’s basement research library for a workshop on Saturday, February 22nd, 2014 to learn how to uncover the history of your building or home. This is NOT a drop-in class, so please RSVP and arrive by the class start time (or earlier if you haven’t prepaid). The two class times to choose between are 9:30 am – 12 pm and 1 pm – 3:30 pm.

Cost is $15 for non-members and $10 for current CCHS members. Prepayment to reserve your space is required for this class. Call 360/993-5679 to RSVP.


2013 Holiday Open House & Artisans’ Market

hoh_imageDSC_1361rNote: This is a past event.

On Saturday, December 7th, 2013, we invite you to our Holiday Open House & Artisans’ Market, a FREE DAY at the museum! Doors open at 10 am and the market ends at 4 pm.
Once again we will hold our annual handmade art and craft market for the gift-finding good of all! Come see what beautiful things our artists have made this year. No admission is charged, and we’ll have live music from Levi Warren (10-1) and Aram Arslanian (1-4) and crafts for the kids.

Participating artists this year are:
Pat La Croix, jewelry
Patricia Thompson, quilting
Kristine Gottsch, painting
Michael Heim, small polymer clay sculpture
Murali Balan, digital art, quilling
Melinda Calen, textiles
Bruce Crockett, woodworking
Chantielle Johnston, textiles
Lynne Lincoln, jewelry
Pepper Kim, bookmarks
Judy Whetzel, jewelry
Cirith Anderson-Sebree, jewelry

At 5 pm, as part of Christmas in the Village, Dave’s Killer Magic will present a magic show for the kids! Then, stick around after the show to see Santa!


Museum Underground

Our next Museum Underground will be Friday, March 7th at 7:30 pm. Come hear The Swingtown Vipers and have a drink with us!

This night’s theme will be “Farewell to Hats” as we bring our “Hats!” exhibit to a close. Celebrate by wearing your coolest, most outrageous, or fanciest hat to the show.

This is a 21+ event.

Tickets are $10 for non-members and $8 for CCHS members and can be purchased below via PayPal.
RSVP by emailing or calling 360/993-5679. Tickets will also be available at the door.

Ticket Options
Full names of guests *required


Annual Membership Meeting & Annual Publication Authors’ Party

2013_frontNote: This is a past event.

Join us on Thursday, November 21st, 2013 for our 96th Annual Membership Meeting & Authors’ Party at the museum.

5 pm: Annual Publication Authors’ Party- come meet the authors of our new Clark County History Annual book and–members!–pick up your complimentary copy of the new book, shown at right!

6 pm: Annual Membership Meeting- all current, renewing and prospective members welcome. Come hear about the year 2013 in review with Executive Director Susan Tissot and hear what we have planned for 2014, our 50th Anniversary year!

Members, bring your wallets, as most of our Museum Store items will be 20% off this night!


Discussion Group: Labor: the History of Work and Workers in the Pacific NW

On Thursday, March 20, 2014, we presented a panel discussion titled “Labor: the History of Work and Workers in the Pacific NW” at the Vancouver Community Library’s Columbia Room. Three participating Humanities Scholars and authors, Dr Laurie Mercier (WSUV), Dr. Erasmo Gamboa (UW), and Sandy Polishuk, (Portland, OR), engaged in a discussion followed by an open dialogue with the audience. This program was taped and will be aired until March 29th on CVTV. Click here to view the air dates or to stream the 2-hour segment online.

laborbooksIn addition to this event, and in conjunction with our Labor: A Working History exhibit, we will be hosting a 3-part book discussion series at the museum. Those who want to dig deeper into labor history can sign up now to read one or more of three books and then participate in book discussions hosted by our Humanities Scholar authors, who will provide additional insights and expertise. Books, which are available now at the Museum, have been provided by the Friends of the Vancouver Community Library and will be distributed free of charge to discussion group participants. If you don’t want to be a reader for the book discussion series you can find each book online for purchase. Also, our museum store has a few copies of Dr. Gamboa’s book for sale.

Ø April 12 (Saturday 10:00AM-12:00PM) – Sandy Polishuk will join us to discuss Sticking to the Union: An Oral History of the Life and Times of Julia Ruuttila. By Sandy Polishuk. (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003.xxvi, 273pp. ISBN 1-4039-6239-1, ISBN 1-4039-6240-5.

Ø April 26 (Saturday 10:00AM-12:00PM) – Dr. Laurie Mercier will join us to discuss Anaconda: Labor, Community and Culture in Montana’s Smelter City. By Laurie Mercier. Champaign, IL: University of Illinois Press, 2001. xi + 300 pp. ISBN-10: 0252069889, ISBN-13: 978-0252069888.

Ø May 3 (Saturday 10:00AM-12:00PM) – Dr. Erasmo Gamboa will join us to discuss Mexican Labor and World War II: Braceros in the Pacific Northwest. By Erasmo Gamboa. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1990. xx, 300 pp. ISBN-10: 029597849X, ISBN-13: 978-0295978499.

After the discussion on May 3rd, the three Humanities Scholars will convene on the Museum at 1 pm for a panel discussion of the groups’ findings. This panel event will be open to the public.

Get your books today to start reading!

To participate in the book discussion(s), stop by or email us at or call the Museum today at (360) 993-5679 to sign up. Get a head start on your reading by picking up your book(s), which are being distributed free of charge compliments of the Friends of the Vancouver Community Library.

This series of events is sponsored in part by Southwest Washington Central Labor Council, Humanities Washington, and CVTV, in addition to the Friends of the Vancouver Community Library.