Past Events

First Families Forward: Bridging past and future

First-Families-Forward_WebsliderIn our inaugural “First Thursday” of 2016, CCHM will once again host the First Families project to honor Black History Month. Launched in February 2008, this local history project gathered the memories of African Americans who came to Vancouver seeking wartime jobs in the 1940s, settled here with their families, and made this place their home. Why? The answer was simple: “Because we liked it here!”

In 2012, a sampling of family stories were woven into a book entitled First Families of Vancouver’s African American Community: From World War Two to the Twenty-First Century. This was accomplished with support from Vancouver’s NAACP Branch #1139 (chartered by these settlers in 1945) and funding from Humanities Washington, Black United Fund of Oregon, Clark County, and many other donors, volunteers, and corporate sponsors.

But this was just the beginning. Many more memories have yet to be shared. The project’s next phase, First Families Forward, is finding ways to build on this foundation by continuing to highlight the story of African Americans in Vancouver – an aspect of our local and regional experience that is no less vital and essential for being often overlooked.

At CCHM on February 4, 2016, First Families Forward invites the community into the discussion. A panel introduced by keynote speaker Rev. Marva J. Edwards, president of Vancouver NAACP #1139, and moderated by Nathan Webster, founding director of Dream Big Community Center, offers plans and ideas about how we came this far and where we might go from here.

Admission to the Museum is $4 for adults, $3 for seniors, $2 for children under 18, and free with CCHM membership. Doors will open at 5:00pm for socializing and viewing Museum exhibits. The program will begin promptly at 7:00.

Join CCHM for this fascinating glimpse at our collective past and future. Copies of the First Families book may be purchased at the museum for $20.00. For more information and questions, please contact us through email or by phone at 360-993-5679. We offer local history at your fingertips!

“The accomplishments of Vancouver’s first African American families, who built a strong and lasting community here during and after the shipyard expansion of World War II, nourished the spirit of their chosen hometown in ways that are still evident today. The core of their legacy lies in what they have to teach us all about how families can empower and sustain a whole community.”

– from First Families mission statement, 2008

CCHM at Ridgefield’s Hometown Celebration

Pool_HallJoin us at the CCHM Ridgefield History Booth during Ridgefield’s Hometown Celebration! This booth will highlight the rich history of Ridgefield through sight and sound. Visitors can also have an opportunity to join a historical walking tour of downtown. Tours start at the CCHM booth at noon and 2:00pm. Bask in the warmth, wonder, joy and spirit you’ll find in downtown Ridgefield. There are activities going on all day long. Come on down and see what Ridgefield has to offer!

Click the link below for more details about the celebration!


Making Beauty: Native Beadwork of North America

Angela Swedberg_01_original618JZ0dmPgL._UX250_CCHM’s First Thursday event on November 5th at 7:00pm features guest curators Steve Grafe, PhD and Angela Swedberg. They will discuss our newest exhibition Making Beauty: Native Beadwork of North America. Grafe is Curator of Art at Maryhill Museum of Art and specializes in Columbia River Plateau Native beadwork. Swedberg is a tribally certified Indian Artisan in accordance with the Indian Arts and Crafts Act of 1990.

Before the lecture join us for the opening reception of Making Beauty at 5:00pm. Experience the beauty of traditional and contemporary Native American beadwork from across the Northwest Coast, Plateau and Plains regions. Making Beauty connects the past to the present and brings to light the skills and artistry of Native people. Award-winning artists Charlene Holy Bear, Molly Murphy Adams and others are included to remind the general public that Native artists remain a vibrant part of our community. The exhibition invites you to explore themes: trade networks, materials used, skills and artistry. Tools, raw materials and finished beaded objects dating from the mid-1800’s to present day remind our audience that Native Americans continue to be a vibrant part of the fabric of our community.

Explore the Covington House


The Covington House on its original site prior to its renovation and relocation to Main Street in Vancouver.

Did you know that the log cabin known as Covington House is Clark County’s oldest building built by a private citizen?  Anne and Richard Covington came to Fort Vancouver to teach children of the Hudson’s Bay employees. Built in the late 1840’s this log cabin was once the social and educational hub of the growing community in Vancouver. The Covington’s brought the first piano from England to the Pacific Northwest in order to teach children music. The Covington piano is now in the Clark County Historical Museum’s permanent collection.  In cchm059231926, the cabin was moved from its original location in Orchards to its current location on Main Street.  This move was accomplished through a joint effort of the Clark County Historical Society (then called the Fort Vancouver Historical Society) and the Vancouver Women’s Club.  The cabin was meticulously disassembled, numbered and reassembled.  After it was reconstructed, the Vancouver Women’s Club managed the cabin which is owned by the City of Vancouver.

The interior of the Covington House. Left is Dr. John C. Brougher, President of the Fort Vancouver Historical Society, with Mrs. Brougher, past president of the Vancouver’s Women’s Club. To the right is Grace C. Jones, an historical society member. The Vancouver Women’s Club maintained care and supervision of the building.

The Vancouver Women’s Club is pleased to offer two special opportunities for the public to visit the cabin.  Open house will be on Saturday, September 26 from 2-5pm and Saturday, October 3 from 2-5pm.  The house is located at 4201 Main St., Vancouver, 98663. Parking is free and there is no admission fee.  Bring your friends and family to see inside the cabin and talk to a docent about the fascinating history of this unique cabin and the role it played in the early development of Clark County.  For more information call 360-695-5602.

The Clark County Historical Museum is pleased to partner with the Vancouver Women’s Club to draw attention to this historic building.




CCHM First Thursday: Weird and Haunted Southwest Washington

cemetery01 for web

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.

CCHM’s First Thursday event on October 1st 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.

Admission is $4 for adults, $3 for seniors, $2 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 First Thursday: An Evening with Jack Graves of Burgerville

Burgerville_Webslider_No Text copy (3)CCHM’s First Thursday event on September 3rd hosts a town hall style discussion with Jack Graves, chief cultural officer of Burgerville.  Find out how Burgerville not only has served up fast food throughout its history but has made sustainable business practices a significant part of their brand. Be sure to come by early to explore our associated exhibit Food for Thought: Clark County’s Food History, which features artifacts, documents and images from our collection that illustrates the shifting landscape of food in our region. Admission is $4 for adults, $3 for seniors, $2 for children under 18, and free with a museum membership. Doors will open at 5:00pm and the lecture will start at 7:00pm. For more event information and questions, contact the museum at or by phone at 360-993-5679. We offer local history at your fingertips!

CCHM Food for Thought: Urban Husbandry Workshop

Fall in love with urban husbandry!

Ubran Homesteading MediumJoin us on September 5, 2015 at 9:00am at Urban Snail CSA to get an introduction to the fascinating world of urban husbandry! Learn what you’ll need to get started with your own low-effort backyard flock of chicken, and, yes, even ducks. Life cycles, coop designs, breed selection, care and feeding for health and egg production, protection from predators, and ways of integrating your chickens or ducks into your garden are all discussed in this amazing workshop. You’ll meet CSA Rachel Feston’s flock, see her set-up and get hands on experience chicken wrangling. Plus she’ll point you to good locations in Clark County to purchase your chickens, ducks, feed, and resources. This class is in conjunction with our exhibit Food for Thought: Clark County’s Food History. Tickets are $5 ($3 for members). RSVP is required and space is limited.

Out of respect for our speaker, guests will receive a message with her address when they RSVP.

Please contact us at (360) 993-5679 or by email today for more information and to hold your spot!

Make a Pit Stop at CCHM July 18th, 2015

 In celebration of Cruisin’ The Gut 2015, admission to the museum is FREE from 11:00am to 4:00pm on July 18th, 2015. So after cruising the gut  make a pit stop at the museum. Take a look at our exhibits and pick up a FREE walking map highlighting the automotive history of the gut.


A History of Pacific Northwest Cheese


Tami Parr is the author of Pacific Northwest Cheese: A History and the creator of the Pacific Northwest Cheese Project website (

Join CCHM for First Thursday on August 6th, when cheese maven Tami Parr, author of Pacific Northwest Cheese: A History, narrates the history of local cheese making from fur-trading years and industrial production to artisan renaissance.  Learn about blue, Swiss, and even goat cheese from a regional expert.  Books will be available to purchase at event.

Be sure to come by early to explore our associated exhibit Food for Thought: Clark County’s Food History, which features artifacts, documents and images from our collection that illustrates the shifting landscape of food in our region.

Admission is $4 for adults, $3 for seniors, $2 for children under 18, and free with a museum membership. Doors will open at 5:00pm and the lecture will start at 7:00pm.

For more event information and questions, contact the museum through email or by phone at 360-993-5679. We offer local history at your fingertips!




Haunted Walking Tours 2015

And now for something REALLY SCARY…

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 museum at 7 pm and 9 pm every Friday and Saturday in October (except Halloween). Age 13 and over, please.

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 email to reserve your spots, then prepay the $10 admission fee ($8 for current CCHS members) in person at the museum during regular open hours or via our online option below.

All remaining tours are sold out. Email info@cchmuseum or call 360.993.5679 to get on the wait list.UNPAID TOUR SPOTS WILL NOT BE HELD! Due to an unprecedented number of ‘no-shows’ – all tours must be prepaid by 4 pm the DAY BEFORE YOUR TOUR. Unpaid spots will be released.

April is Members Month!

DSC_1388rJoin us for a month of exclusive programs and discounts. We love our Members! During the month of April we will be celebrating Clark County Historical Society Members with special discounts and Members Only programs. It’s a great time to belong!

Join now to enjoy these great Members Only programs:

April 10th at 6 pm – Movie Night featuring The Monuments Men

April 12th 2-4 pm – Open House at the Covington House

April 18th at 4 pm – Talk with Sam Robinson, acting chairman of the Chinook Indian Nation

April 26th at 1 pm – Preview new walking tour of Historic Downtown Ridgefield

Along with Members Only programs, CCHS Members will also receive a 20% discount in the Museum Store. And you can bring a friend to CCHM for free all month long. Membership is important to the Museum and you can help us grow our membership base by inviting friends who love history to visit the Museum and join us.

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

Pioneering Women of Clark County Politics

Women in Clark County PoliticsOn March 5, 2015 at 7:00pm, CCHM will host our next “First Thursday” event featuring a panel of past and present female community leaders of Clark County. They will discuss the changes they have seen in our region during their careers and the legacy they leave for future generations. Make CCHM a part of your night! Admission is $4 for adults, $3 for seniors, $2 for children under 18, and is free with a museum membership. Doors open at 5:00pm. Reservations are not necessary.

Our speakers will include Sandra Day (Ridgefield, WA City Councilmember), Nan Henriksen (former Mayor of Camas, WA), Pat Jollota (former Vancouver City Councilmember), Connie Kearney (Clark County’s first woman commissioner), and Dr. Martha Martin (East County Fire & Rescue Board Commissioner). The panel will be moderated by Judie Stanton (former Clark County Commissioner). All of these women lead extraordinary lives, and are incredibly involved in shaping our community. Please join them for an inspiring and insightful discussion.

For more event information or questions, contact CCHM through email or by phone at 360-993-5679. We offer local history at your fingertips!

Food for Thought Workshop: Urban Homesteading

Ubran Homesteading_Final_SmallOn March 21, 2015 from 1:00pm to 3:00pm, Rachel Feston from Urban Snail Farm CSA will guide you through the basic concepts behind urban homesteading. The two-hour session will cover topics ranging from starting a garden to composting. You will gain insight into food preservation and keeping animals in an urban environment. This class is in conjunction with our newest exhibit Food for Thought: Clark County’s Food History. So, join us for our first food-related workshop of the year. Tickets are $5 ($3 for members). RSVP is required and space is limited.

Please contact us at (360) 993-5679 or by email today for more information and to hold your spot!

A Thousand Voices

g6puoriiujy9gvkmm6nmOn November 7, 2015 at 11:00 a.m. the Clark County Historical Museum is providing a free viewing at the Kiggins Theatre of a new documentary by Silver Bullet Productions called “A Thousand Voices.”  This documentary builds from thousands of voices to present shared history of New Mexico’s Native American women. Native American women have been purveyors of culture since creation. In spite of Western invasions, Native American women remain strong and grounded in traditional values by enduring courage and wisdom. The voices and advisers are from the Navajo Nation, Mescalero Apache Tribe, Jicarilla Apache Tribe, Kiowa Tribe, Pueblo de Cochiti, Ohkay Owingeh, and Pueblos of Acoma, Laguna, Jemez, Santo Domingo, Pojoaque, Santa Clara, Taos, Nambe and San Ildefonso.

Many thanks to all of who contributed to our Indiegogo campaign to bring the new documentary “A Thousand Voices” to the Kiggins!

9th Annual CCHM Women’s History Month Program


My Life as a Cleveland Indian

Jacqueline Keeler – Dakota Navajo Journalist

Bring a spouse, a friend, a date to CCHM’s 9th Annual Women’s History Month Program!  All are welcome to hear Jacqueline Keeler present on her life as a journalist, an activist, a mother and a Native American woman. Portland-based Keeler is one of the founding members of Eradicating Offensive Native Mascotry.  She will share her inspiring story of a tradition of women activists and what it means to be an Indian woman today.

When:  March 28, 2015 – 2-4 pm

Where:  Historic Hangar at the Pearson Air Museum at Fort Vancouver        

Cost:  Tickets are $15 general admission and $12 for CCHS members

Light refreshments will be served.  Don’t forget to peruse the Bling Table for bracelets to purchase for yourself and as gifts!  All proceeds benefit the Clark County Historical Museum.  Limited seating – call or click to purchase your tickets today. Some tickets may be available at the door.

Note: To purchase multiple tickets please, select the type of ticket you’d like to purchase from the drop down menu, enter the required information, and click “pay now.” You will be able to change the quantity on the next page.  After you have selected the number of tickets you’d like to purchase, click “Update” to refresh your order and see the new total.  PDF Instructions for Multiple Tickets

Ticket Options
Full names of guests *required
Telephone number *required

For more information and to reserve your seat contact us at (360) 993-5679 or by email at