Past Events

Research Workshop at Battleground Library

Researching Historical Buildings, Homes, and Property Workshop

Have you ever wondered who used to live and work in your home or on your property? Well, wonder no more…

Join our resident historian Brad Richardson at the Battle Ground Library ( 1207 SE 8th Way, Battle Ground, WA 98604) on Saturday, June 25, 2016 at 11:00am for a workshop on how to uncover the history behind your building, home, or property. Space is limited, reservations required. Contact us at (360) 993-5679 or email today to hold your spot!


Food in Clark County Today

Food Panel_Web SquareIn recent years, dialogues over how our food is grown, where it comes from, and how it’s distributed have taken center stage in our local and national community conversations. Join CCHM on June 2, 2016 at 7:00pm for a panel discussion about our current food system in Clark County. Representatives from Clark County’s food organizations, including the Clark County Food Bank, Clark/Cowlitz Farm Bureau, Clark County Public Health, FISH of Vancouver, and the Vancouver Farmers’ Market will gather to discuss our food, where it comes from, and what food issues county residents face today. This panel is part of our monthly First Thursday Lecture Series.

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 and conversations at your fingertips!

CCHM Pop-Up Museum: Ridgefield History

On July 2, 2016 the Clark County Historical Museum will host a temporary pop-up museum at Overlook Park during Ridgefield’s First Saturday. Visitors are invited to bring their own historical objects to display. With help from CCHM staff, they will write labels telling the history of their object. With others they will build a unique and one-time only exhibition celebrating the history of Ridgefield. Visitors will tell their own story with their own objects and words. The exhibit will change throughout the day as people and their objects come and go.


Human Rights in History

Human Rights in History_Web Square_edited-1CCHM’s First Thursday event on May 5, 2016 at 7:00pm features Nancy Koppelman, professor of American studies and humanities at The Evergreen State College, presenting “Human Rights in History.” What assumptions do we each hold about human rights? How are these assumptions influenced by history, ethics, politics, and citizenship? What are the challenges to human rights movements and how can the goals of those movements be achieved around the globe? This presentation offers a comprehensive historical context for understanding how the idea of human rights became not only a commitment widely shared by individuals, but also an organizing ethic within and among global nations.

This program is in conjunction with the One November Morning exhibition and will take place at the Clark County Historical Museum, 1511 Main Street, Vancouver.

Admission is free thanks to support from Humanities Washington. Doors will open at 5:00pm. Please contact us at (360) 993-5679, by email or visit our website today for more information.

2016 Annual Fundraising Dinner & Auction

Illinois DougJoin us for a fun evening of wine, music, and camaraderie! Our evening’s entertainment will be Troubadour “Illinois” Doug Tracy presenting Liberty & Union: Presidential Campaign Songs of 1860 & 1864. Enjoy a delicious dinner, and bid on outstanding goods and services in our silent auction–all to benefit museum programs.

When: Saturday, May 14, 2016 from 5-9 pm
Where: Vancouver’s Club Green Meadows at 7703 NE 72nd Avenue
Tickets: $65 for CCHS members, $75 for non-members, $520 for table of 8

Reserve and purchase tickets by May 9, 2016 in person at the museum, by phone at 360.993.5679, or online below.

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

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

Ask a Military Historian Day

Ask a Military Historian Web Square-1_edited-2Do you have questions about your great grandfather’s old military uniform, hanging in your closet?  Do you want to look up his unit?  Do you want to know more about the history of the Vancouver Barracks?  We may be able to help. On February 20, 2016, the Clark County Historical Society and the Vancouver Barracks Military Association will work together to answer some of these questions in our first, Ask a Military Historian Day.

This event will begin with at 11:00am with a 30 minute discussion on how to find military records for your relatives, as well as uniform and military unit histories.  Then our military history volunteers will try to work one on one to address your questions.  While we will probably not be able to answer all your questions, we hope to start you on the path to finding out more yourself.
Admission to the Museum is $4 for adults, $3 for seniors,$2 for children under 18, and free with CCHM membership.

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

Want to know more about the VBMA? Click the link below.

Native Women’s View of Lewis and Clark

CCHM’sFirst-Families-Forward_Web-Square First Thursday event on March 3, 2016 at 7:00pm features Pat Courtney Gold presenting “Native Women’s View of Lewis and Clark.” Most the books written about Lewis and Clark were from a white man’s perspective. Learn about the Native People’s view of Lewis and Clark. How did the Columbia River matriarchal society see Lewis and Clark? What did they think of the smelly bearded men who ignored the sacred salmon in preference for dog meat?

Pat consulted with Elders along the Columbia River to include their memories and stories of encounters with the Lewis and Clark expedition.

Pat Courtney Gold is a Native American fiber artist and basket weaver. She is a Wasco Native of the ancestral “Long Narrows Wasco” the upriver branch of the Chinook Nation. Her ancestors lived along the Columbia River for more than 12,000 years. She was born and raised on the Warm Springs Indian Reservation, Oregon.

Pat obtained a B.A. in mathematics and physics from Whitman College and worked in the field until 1991 when she decided instead to focus on art, especially reviving the weaving of her Wasco ancestors. Today Pat Courtney Gold is recognized internationally as an exquisite weaver who does both traditional weaving, that incorporates designs that express the cultural life of her people, as well as creating contemporary pieces. Besides doing artwork, she teaches, consults, and lectures about the Columbia River Native cultures to universities and museums. Her art is shown in museums and collections around the world.

Pat will bring artifacts to highlight her presentation.

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.

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 9th 2-4 pm –  Open House at the Stanger House  (9215 SE Evergreen Hwy, Vancouver, WA 98664)

April 19th at 6 pm – Movie Night at CCHM featuring Suffragette

April 30th at 12 pm – Exclusive walking tour of Historic Downtown Camas

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.

Not a member yet? Become one today!

Membership Options
Members’ Name(s) – required*
Address and phone – required*

Sustainable Futures: Food Security in Community Development

Sustainable Futures_Email Slider_Web Square_edited-1
CCHM’s First Thursday event on April 7, 2016 at 6:00pm features Dr. Candice Goucher, Washington State University, and Wolde Kristos, community activist and businessman from Bluefields, Jamaica. Dr. Goucher will introduce the audience to the historical and global connections between Bluefields, Jamaica, and Clark County. Wolde Kristos will discuss the Caribbean community of Bluefields, on the south coast of the island of Jamaica, which is an example of grassroots engagement, deepened by a rich historical perspective and global partnerships around the principles of sustainability.

Situated in a small fishing village, the Bluefields Bay Fishermen’s Friendly Society seeks to educate members in sustainable fishing practices and develop employment alternatives that will enhance the quality of life and preserve the natural environment. The group has successfully created a marine sanctuary in Bluefields Bay and coordinated projects that foster sustainable communities, food distribution, and community education. Increasingly they have drawn in government partners, education systems, and local organic farmers and fishers, artists and business owners. It is envisioned that the civic lessons of local engagement around principles of sustainability can enhance the Vancouver community’s similar struggles with local food, social, and environmental justice frontiers by placing them within their historical and global contexts.

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 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

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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!