Summit Grove Lodge added to Washington Heritage Register

Summit Grove Inn, 1973

Ridgefield’s iconic Summit Grove Lodge is now recognized by the Washington Heritage Register following a nomination put forth by the Clark County Historical Museum.

The Washington Heritage Register is maintained by the Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation (DAHP) and includes districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects that have been identified and documented as being significant in local or state history, architecture, archaeology, engineering or culture.

“Having a property listed in the register is an honor,” said Allyson Brooks, State Historic Preservation Officer with DAHP. “[Summit Grove Lodge] joins over 1,500 other historic and culturally significant properties which have been recognized for their unique contributions to Washington’s heritage.”

In the 1920s, the Summit Grove property became a stop for travelers using service stations and auto parks on the Pacific Highway. Notable guests included George Brent, Oliver Hardy, and Shirley Temple. The lodge has retained its signature rustic architectural style from its original construction in the 1920s, and is the only remaining example of the “Naturalism” movement of the early 20th century tied to the auto-tourism phenomenon in Clark County.

Margaret Colf Hepola and her sons, Bob and Dick Colf, purchased the property in 2009. The Colf family maintains an event and restaurant business at the site, and continues to preserve the history and memory of the prominent local and national figures associated with Summit Grove.

“We are honored to have Summit Grove Lodge included in the Washington State historic registry,” Dick Colf said. “Our mother had a strong desire to preserve and restore this part of our community’s history when we purchased the lodge in 2009. We are so please to see it now recognized as one of the state’s valued historic locations.”

Summit Grove Lodge joins a line-up of historical sites successfully nominated to heritage registers by the CCHM. In 2019, sites added to the Clark County Heritage Register following CCHM nominations included the Parkersville National Historic Site in Washougal, and the 1963 Fort Vancouver Regional Library building.

“The preservation of Clark County’s spaces is a foundational principle of the Clark County Historical Society,” said CCHM Executive Director Brad Richardson. “More than 100 years ago, a group of locals founded our historical society and united to save the Covington House. We continue to put forth these efforts in stewardship and partnership to honor our commitment to the preservation of community memory.”

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

CCHM 2019 Gala

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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.


Haunted Walking Tours 2017

 *SOLD OUT* Please check back for 2018 Haunted Tour tickets!


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 Clark County Historical Museum at 8 pm every Friday and Saturday in October.

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 use our sales page here to reserve your spot and prepay the $12 admission fee ($10 for current CCHS members).




On our first tour outside of Vancouver we explore historic downtown Ridgefield, Washington. The original inhabitants of the Ridgefield area were a Chinook tribe whose village was located along the banks of Lake River. The Lewis and Clark Expedition visited the area twice, once in 1805 enroute to the Pacific Ocean and the next in 1806 on the return voyage.

At a special election held in 1909 the people decided by a vote of 62-12 in favor of incorporation, and the city of Ridgefield was born. The established businesses for the City in 1909, as advertised in the Ridgefield Reflector, were two general merchandise stores, a department store, two lumber mills, a water well contractor & driller, two contractors and builders, a boat builder, meat market, hotel, livery and draying, boot & shoemaker, creamery, barber shop, blacksmith, realtor, and a weaver. From the start of the settlement the Cartys, Shoberts, and other prominent families played an important role in the progress and development of Ridgefield. Descendants of these families still reside in Ridgefield.

Carter Park/Lincoln Neighborhoods

Originally known as the Capitol Hill, the Carter Park and Lincoln Neighborhoods were the place to live for Clark County’s movers and shakers from the 1920s to the 1960s. The land for Carter Park, in the neighborhoods namesake, was deeded to the city by Walter E Carter, owner of a dry goods store downtown. Eventually, Carter and his sister Sally opened up the CC Store, a store that was a Vancouver mainstay until the 1980s.

Other sites included on this tour are Carter Park, the Campbell House (Columbian), the Dubois House (Dubois Lumber) , and much more.

Shumway Neighborhood

Hidden behind the Vancouver School of Arts and Academics (VSAA) this neighborhood holds many hidden historical treasures. The most visible landmark, the VSAA, was originally Shumway Junior High School. Built in 1929, it was dedicated to and named for Charles Shumway, who came to town to serve as superintendent of schools. Learning that the school would be named for him, he responded, “You should not have done it—really you should not.”

Other sites included on this tour are the home of Vancouver city charter author Charles W. Hall, the Pythias Home, United First Methodist Church, and much more.

Middle Main

Referred to, informally, as “Vancouver’s Greatest Hits,” this tour is replete with one remarkable building after another. The historical anchor of the tour is the House of Providence. Commonly known as “The Academy”, this structure is one of the most significant pieces of historic architecture in the Northwest. Completed in 1874, the Academy is the earliest remaining example of many charitable institutions built throughout the region by Mother Joseph of the Sisters of Providence.

Other sites included on this tour are Vancouver’s 1909 Library, the Lowell M. Hidden House, Kiggins Theatre, and much more.

Arnada Neighborhood

Originally known as North Vancouver, the area was referred to for years as Arnada Park. The origin of the name has been speculated on, one tale told locally is that developer John Elwell took parts of friends and family’s names to choose the title: AR from Margaret Ranns, NA from Anna Eastham, and DA from Ida Elwell. The gem of this tour, the John P. Kiggins House, was saved from the wrecking ball and brought to the neighborhood only a handful of years ago. Kiggins served as a nine-time mayor of Vancouver and was an entertainment enthusiast. One of his final acts in life was the creation of a grand theatre in downtown Vancouver that still bears his name.

Other sites included on this tour are Vancouver’s 1909 Library, Arnada Park, the former home of Civil War veteran Isaac Dietderich, and much more.

Hough Neighborhood

This tour takes its name from Hough School at 1900 Daniels Street, built in 1941. The school was named in turn for Patrick “Paddy” Hough, a well-known and well-loved Vancouver educator and pioneer

Many of the homes on this tour are well into their second century. A fine example of the provincial style, and a highlight on the tour, is the house at 215 W. 20th Street, built in 1923. It was occupied by Dr. A. P. Ryan and his wife, Amy. The couple had the home built according to a design in the Ladies Home Journal.

Other sites included on this tour are Vancouver’s 1909 Library, Hough School, the former home of Senator John William Shaw, and much more.

Uptown Village

From 1924 to 1925 the people of Vancouver prepared to celebrate their city. This celebration was “in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the founding of the historic Hudson Bay trading post of Fort Vancouver.” At the same time buildings began to pop-up along upper Main Street. One of the most grand structures to rise was the newly constructed First Christian Church of Vancouver. Since those days, the church has remained an iconic symbol of uptown progress.

Other sites included on this tour are the Mission Theater, Beauregard House, and much more.

Hudson’s Bay Neighborhood

Named after the locally famous Hudson’s Bay Company, this neighborhood holds many hidden historical gems. The historical centerpiece of this tour is the School of Piano Technology. The School of Piano Technology for the Blind was founded as the Piano Hospital and Training Center in 1949 by Emil B. Fries, who learned to tune pianos as a student of Walter R. Dry at the Washington State School for the Blind (WSSB). In 1949, Emil Fries mortgaged his home and invested his life savings in the establishment of the Piano Hospital. Since 1949,  students from around the world have benefited from their focused and individualized instruction.

Other sites included on this tour are Crosley Lanes, Christine’s Restaurant, the Washington State School for the Deaf, and much more.

Lower Main Street


Starting at what is now the foot of Main Street, our tour of lower Main Street explores the growth of Vancouver’s business district in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries. The tour takes off from what used to be called the Evergreen Hotel. In March 1928 the new hotel opened with great fanfare at this strategic site of the junction of east-west and north-south routes. “Liveried footman were on hand to open doors, and the some 250 pleased guests sat down before new dazzling linen, new silver, new glassware and new china bearing the Evergreen monogram, while flags and flowers decorated the premises.” From there our guide leads the tour group north passing by the buildings that housed the businesses of those that built early Vancouver.

Other sites included on this tour are the Heritage Building, Schofield Building, CC Store, and much more.

The Marshall House


1301 Officers Row, Vancouver, WA 98661 – Open to the public 9am-5pm M-Sa

Another famous home on Officers Row is the George C. Marshall House, a structure of true Queen Anne style built between 1886 and 1887 for Brigadier General John Gibbon. It sports stained glass windows and a sunburst on the front door. General Marshall lived in the house from 1936 to 1938. During that time General Marshall hosted the aviators of the first non-stop flight over the North Pole from Moscow to the United States. Since then, the house has been a museum, a business space, and a venue for events such as weddings and special luncheons.

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Officers Row


The 21 homes on Vancouver’s Officers Row were originally occupied by officers of the Vancouver Barracks—the higher the command the larger the house. Fort Vancouver was relocated several times since its inception in 1824 as a fur trading center; similarly, it underwent several names changes, the second to last being Vancouver Barracks, a name it acquired in 1879. Since 1961 the entire area, including fort and Officers Row, has been a National Historic Site known as Fort Vancouver.

The first house on the tour is named for General Oliver O. Howard, of Civil War and Howard University fame. This Victorian home was built in 1878 and sports Italianate architecture. It was the site of many a grand party during the 1880s and 1890s, occupied at that time by General Thomas Anderson and his wife. During the Civil War, two cannons sat in front of the house to discourage attack from Confederate warships (which never materialized). Today the house is an interpretive center.

The tour moves down the Row to explore the Grant House, Marshall House, and many homes in-between. A brief 45 minute stroll, this tour delves into the early history of Vancouver and Clark County.


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