Clark County Historical Museum

First Friday Open Beading at CCHM

Downtown Vancouver’s First Friday Artwalk is all about art…so why not make some of your own at the Clark County Historical Museum? The museum is hosting an evening of open beading—where anyone can bring his or her beadwork project and work on it with friends and other “bead-heads”—from 5 to 9 p.m. on Friday, April 7. Beaders need not stay for the whole four hours—just drop in whenever it’s convenient and BYOL (Bring Your Own Light) if you have it so you can see what you’re doing. The event is a social activity, and no instruction will be given; just free time and space to make some progress on your project and see what other people are making.

The beaders’ craftshop coincides with one of the museum’s current exhibits, Making Beauty: Native Beadwork of North America—so while you’re there, you’ll want to see some of the intricate, breathtakingly beautiful wearable art that the native peoples of the North Bank have been creating for centuries. Bonus: the regular admission fee is waived during First Friday (although donations are appreciated).

The Clark County Historical Museum is located at 1511 Main St. in downtown Vancouver. For more information about First Fridays at the museum, visit http://www.cchmuseum.org/events/first-friday-at-the-museum/. For more general information about the Clark County Historical Museum, visit www.cchmuseum.org or call 360-993-5679.

First Thursday at CCHM: Meet Your Local History Detectives

The Clark County Historical Museum invites you to hear a special panel discussion featuring several authors involved in creating last year’s CCHM History Annual. This First Thursday Museum After Hours event will be held at 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 6. The panel will be moderated by editor Martin Middlewood and will include authors Jan Anderson, Jeff Davis, Howard Gingold, Mike Kiersted, and Jim Pestillo.They will discuss the research process as well as the content of their articles. They might also give the audience a teaser about what they’re working on next!

This is a perfect time to enjoy the recently remodeled museum and see new exhibits—like “All Aboard! Clark County Rides the Rails”—as well as the continuing “Food for Thought: Clark County’s Food History” and “Making Beauty: Native Beadwork of North America” exhibits. Also, in honor of the 100th anniversary of the I-5 Bridge, the museum has brought back its “Bridging the Gap” exhibition.

All ages are welcome. Admission is $5 for adults, $4 for seniors, $3 for children under 18, and free with a museum membership. Doors will open at 6 p.m. so that you can snag a good seat and get a sneak peak at the museum’s renewed interior. For more event information and questions, including regular museum hours and admission prices, visit www.cchmuseum.org or contact the museum at info@cchmuseum.org or 360-993-5679.

Clark County Historical Society 100th Anniversary, Museum Grand Re-Opening

This year marks the centennial anniversary of the Clark County Historical Society. For 100 years, committed citizens have come together to preserve our region’s history for future generations! The transformed Clark County Historical Museum opens to the public on Saturday, March 4, to host the Clark County Historical Society’s 100th Anniversary Celebration. A ribbon-cutting will be held at 11 a.m., followed by complimentary refreshments and an opportunity to see the wonderful updates in the museum. Admission to the museum for the day is underwritten by Riverview Community Bank.

At the Grand Reopening, you will be able to experience the museum’s latest exhibit—”All Aboard! Clark County Rides the Rails”—as well the return of “Food for Thought: Clark County’s Food History” and “Making Beauty: Native Beadwork of North America.” Also, in honor of the 100th anniversary of the I-5 Bridge, the museum has brought back the “Bridging the Gap” exhibit.

For more event information and questions, including regular museum hours and admission prices, visit www.cchmuseum.org or contact the museum at info@cchmuseum.org or 360-993-5679.

CCHM First Thursday: Women in Historic Preservation

There are several North Bank women whom you could call…extraordinarily well-preserved, in the most complimentary sense possible. These are the women who have been at the forefront of many local historical preservation projects, restoring buildings to their former glory, or uncovering the hidden beauties of heretofore unnoticed Southwest Washington architectural gems.

In honor of Women’s History Month, the Clark County Historical Museum is convening a distinguished panel of Women in Historic Preservation, and the public is invited to hear them speak and ask them questions at the CCHM’s next First Thursday event at 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 2. The CCHM, which itself has recently undergone some historic preservation in the form of remodeling and upgrades, will celebrate its grand re-opening at 11 a.m. on Saturday, March 4—but is opening its doors a couple of days early just for this special evening. This will be the first of the museum’s 2017 First Thursday lecture series.

All ages are welcome. Admission is $5 for adults, $4 for seniors, $3 for children under 18, and free with a museum membership. Doors will open at 6 p.m. so that you can snag a good seat and get a sneak peak at the museum’s renewed interior. For more event information and questions, contact the museum at info@cchmuseum.org or by phone at 360-993-5679.

Clark County Historical Society 100th Anniversary, Museum Grand Re-Opening

This year marks the centennial anniversary of the Clark County Historical Society. For 100 years, committed citizens have come together to preserve our region’s history for future generations! The transformed Clark County Historical Museum opens to the public on Saturday, March 4, to host the Clark County Historical Society’s 100th Anniversary Celebration. A ribbon-cutting will be held at 11 a.m., followed by complimentary refreshments and an opportunity to see the wonderful updates in the museum. Admission to the museum for the day is underwritten by Riverview Community Bank.

At the Grand Reopening, you will be able to experience the museum’s latest exhibit—”All Aboard! Clark County Rides the Rails”—as well the return of “Food for Thought: Clark County’s Food History” and “Making Beauty: Native Beadwork of North America.” Also, in honor of the 100th anniversary of the I-5 Bridge, the museum has brought back the “Bridging the Gap” exhibition.

For more event information and questions, including regular museum hours and admission prices, visit www.cchmuseum.org or contact the museum at info@cchmuseum.org or 360-993-5679.

Women in Historic Preservation

There are several North Bank women whom you could call…extraordinarily well-preserved, in the most complimentary sense possible. These are the women who have been at the forefront of many local historical preservation projects, restoring buildings to their former glory, or uncovering the hidden beauties of heretofore unnoticed Southwest Washington architectural gems.

In honor of Women’s History Month, the Clark County Historical Museum is convening a distinguished panel of Women in Historic Preservation, and the public is invited to hear them speak and ask them questions at the CCHM’s next First Thursday event at 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 2. The CCHM, which itself has recently undergone some historic preservation in the form of remodeling and upgrades, will celebrate its grand re-opening at 11 a.m. on Saturday, March 4—but is opening its doors a couple of days early just for this special evening. This will be the first of the museum’s 2017 First Thursday lecture series.

All ages are welcome. Admission is $5 for adults, $4 for seniors, $3 for children under 18, and free with a museum membership. Doors will open at 6 p.m. so that you can snag a good seat and get a sneak peak at the museum’s renewed interior. For more event information and questions, contact the museum at info@cchmuseum.org or by phone at 360-993-5679.

La Center History Town Hall

Join the Clark County Historical Museum and the La Center Historical Museum at 6 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 6, at the La Center Community Center at 1000 E. 4th St. in La Center. for the next installment of our series of countywide town hall conversations about each community’s history and heritage.

The evening will begin with a moderated panel discussion comprised of community historians. Each panelist will delve into the historical people, places, or moments they feel embody the spirit of La Center history. A question and answer session with the audience will follow. During that time, the community historians and citizens of La Center will examine the city’s place in Clark County history and along the way tell many great stories about their history and home.

The Clark County Historical Museum is developing a permanent exhibition telling the overall story of Clark County’s history. These town halls, held in the different Clark County communities, will act as an inspiration for each community’s representation in this story. Each evening will be recorded and reviewed by those working on the exhibition.

Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. and the discussion will start at 6 p.m. Admission is free. For more event information and questions, contact the museum at info@cchmuseum.org or 360-993-5679. You can also visit the website at www.cchmuseum.org (although the website—as well as the museum itself—is presently undergoing a bit of remodeling and updating).

La Center History Town Hall

Join the Clark County Historical Museum and the La Center Historical Museum at 6 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 6, at the La Center Community Center at 1000 E. 4th St. in La Center. for the next installment of our series of countywide town hall conversations about each community’s history and heritage.

The evening will begin with a moderated panel discussion comprised of community historians. Each panelist will delve into the historical people, places, or moments they feel embody the spirit of La Center history. A question and answer session with the audience will follow. During that time, the community historians and citizens of La Center will examine the city’s place in Clark County history and along the way tell many great stories about their history and home.

The Clark County Historical Museum is developing a permanent exhibition telling the overall story of Clark County’s history. These town halls, held in the different Clark County communities, will act as an inspiration for each community’s representation in this story. Each evening will be recorded and reviewed by those working on the exhibition.

Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. and the discussion will start at 6 p.m. Admission is free. For more event information and questions, contact the museum at info@cchmuseum.org or 360-993-5679. You can also visit the website at www.cchmuseum.org (although the website—as well as the museum itself—is presently undergoing a bit of remodeling and updating).

Above image: A photo of La Center taken sometime around 1906 or 1907, looking south toward bridge

Tour Vancouver’s Old City Cemetery

For one incredibly spooky night, the Clark County Historical Museum—in partnership with Urban Forestry—will present a walking tour of Vancouver’s Old City Cemetery. Get a full-on creep-tastic dose of Vancouver history starting at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 20. Intrepid tourtakers will meet at the Old City Cemetery, located at 2700 E Mill Plain Blvd. in Vancouver, where a knowledgeable tour guide and Vancouver historian will present the history of the cemetery…and the history of those who have been laid to rest there.

The tour will happen whether it’s mild weather or a dark and stormy night, so walkers should dress accordingly, and bring extra silver bullets and perhaps a wooden stake or two. Ha, ha, just kidding. (Or ARE we?) Reservations and advanced payment for this special tour are required. Call 360-993-5679 or visit cchmuseum.org to reserve your spot. The cost is $8 for museum members and $10 for non-members.

Haunted Walking Tours

Spend an evening with Vancouver’s haunted side when you take one of the Clark County Historical Museum‘s Haunted Walking Tours. This incredibly popular series, which is celebrating its 5th annual season, will be held every Friday and Saturday in October, starting Saturday, Oct. 1. The spooktacular trips begin at 7 and 9 p.m. on each scheduled tour day and—new this year, while the museum is closed for remodeling—will start inside the Slocum House in Esther Short Park. Tickets are $10 per person for the public and $8 for CCHM members. (Not a member? No problem! Call 360-993-5679.)

Buildings contain secrets, and CCHM tour guides will shine the light into their darkness. Centering on the strange and peculiar, the haunted excursions blend local myths, oral histories and research on Vancouver’s sometimes sordid past. The museum itself plays a role in several accounts of mysterious activities occurring in the research library. All tours cover the same route: from the Slocum House (oh! the stories you’ll hear!) up to Daniels St. where the 1906 post office was located, then over to the old Catholic church, down Main St. and back through Esther Short Park, ending back at the Slocum House. Tourtakers are then free to explore Esther Short Park on their own (if they dare).

The tours are just right for curious people ages 13 years and older, and everyone should bring a flashlight and be prepared for some of the most authentic thrills around. Reservations are limited, go quickly, and pre-payment is required. Call the museum at 360-993-5679 or sign up by emailing the museum at info@cchmuseum.org.

Haunted Walking Tours

Spend an evening with Vancouver’s haunted side when you take one of the Clark County Historical Museum‘s Haunted Walking Tours. This incredibly popular series, which is celebrating its 5th annual season, will be held every Friday and Saturday in October, starting Saturday, Oct. 1. The spooktacular trips begin at 7 and 9 p.m. on each scheduled tour day and—new this year, while the museum is closed for remodeling—will start inside the Slocum House in Esther Short Park. Tickets are $10 per person for the public and $8 for CCHM members. (Not a member? No problem! Call 360-993-5679.)

Buildings contain secrets, and CCHM tour guides will shine the light into their darkness. Centering on the strange and peculiar, the haunted excursions blend local myths, oral histories and research on Vancouver’s sometimes sordid past. The museum itself plays a role in several accounts of mysterious activities occurring in the research library. All tours cover the same route: from the Slocum House (oh! the stories you’ll hear!) up to Daniels St. where the 1906 post office was located, then over to the old Catholic church, down Main St. and back through Esther Short Park, ending back at the Slocum House. Tourtakers are then free to explore Esther Short Park on their own (if they dare).

The tours are just right for curious people ages 13 years and older, and everyone should bring a flashlight and be prepared for some of the most authentic thrills around. Reservations are limited, go quickly, and pre-payment is required. Call the museum at 360-993-5679 or sign up by emailing the museum at info@cchmuseum.org.

Haunted Walking Tours

Spend an evening with Vancouver’s haunted side when you take one of the Clark County Historical Museum‘s Haunted Walking Tours. This incredibly popular series, which is celebrating its 5th annual season, will be held every Friday and Saturday in October, starting Saturday, Oct. 1. The spooktacular trips begin at 7 and 9 p.m. on each scheduled tour day and—new this year, while the museum is closed for remodeling—will start inside the Slocum House in Esther Short Park. Tickets are $10 per person for the public and $8 for CCHM members. (Not a member? No problem! Call 360-993-5679.)

Buildings contain secrets, and CCHM tour guides will shine the light into their darkness. Centering on the strange and peculiar, the haunted excursions blend local myths, oral histories and research on Vancouver’s sometimes sordid past. The museum itself plays a role in several accounts of mysterious activities occurring in the research library. All tours cover the same route: from the Slocum House (oh! the stories you’ll hear!) up to Daniels St. where the 1906 post office was located, then over to the old Catholic church, down Main St. and back through Esther Short Park, ending back at the Slocum House. Tourtakers are then free to explore Esther Short Park on their own (if they dare).

The tours are just right for curious people ages 13 years and older, and everyone should bring a flashlight and be prepared for some of the most authentic thrills around. Reservations are limited, go quickly, and pre-payment is required. Call the museum at 360-993-5679 or sign up by emailing the museum at info@cchmuseum.org.

Above image: the super-creepy Slocum House

CCHM Gets a New Look!

The Clark County Historical Museum will be temporarily closed starting Saturday, Oct. 1, because it’s being remodeled! The update, which was originally scheduled to occur over the summer, was delayed—but now it’s really happening, and it’s going to result in an improved experience for museumgoers.

Over the last ten years, the museum has seen many improvements, including the addition of an elevator, ADA-compliant restrooms, and the creation of the museum’s Community Room. That’s all fine and dandy, but last year the Board of Trustees called for additional improvements, including new flooring, interior and exterior paint, air conditioning, murals and new front stairs.

Beginning this fall and continuing into December, the City of Vancouver (which owns the building) is removing the mid-century floor tile on the main and lower floors. Upstairs, the original wood flooring will be refinished. Downstairs floors will receive vinyl tile. After the floors are replaced upstairs, the wallpaper in the lobby will be removed to make way for a mural and finally the lobby and two galleries will be painted.

But never fear, while the museum is closed, the popular Haunted Walking Tours will continue as scheduled—except they will start at the historic yellow Slocum House in Esther Short Park, on the corner of 6th and Esther. Some access to the museum’s research library will still be allowed. There will be no First Thursday program from October through January, and the museum’s annual meeting will be on Nov. 17 at a location to be determined. For more details, visit www.cchmuseum.org.

Women’s History Walking Tour

Join a historian from the Clark County Historical Museum for a walk highlighting the central role that founding mothers and current women leaders have played in Clark County’s past, present, and future. The streets of Vancouver ring with the powerful reverberations of these women’s effort and influence—from the original founding mother, Esther Short (pictured above), to the subsequent groundbreaking endeavors of Clark County women in politics, business, and community.

The Historical Women of Vancouver Walking Tour will start at Esther Short Park and end at the Clark County Historical Museum. It will take roughly an hour and will happen rain or shine. Walkers should bring water, dress for the weather, and wear comfortable shoes. This tour is proving to be so popular that the Clark County Historical Museum will offer it on three separate dates:

  • Aug. 26 at noon
  • Sept. 2 at 6 p.m.
  • Sept. 17 at noon

Tickets are $7 for members and $9 for non-members. Registration is required; contact the museum at 360-993-5679 or by email to sign up for the above tours or to arrange a tour for group of 10 to 25.

Heritage Day in Ridgefield

Saturday, Sept. 3, is Heritage Day in Ridgefield, when—in addition to attending a rootin’, tootin’, day-long Wild Wild West party in Overlook Park—you can delve deeper into local history with a workshop, a walking tour, and short films.

At 10 a.m., the Clark County Historical Museum will host one of its popular “Researching Historical Buildings, Homes, and Property” workshops. This workshop, held at the Ridgefield Community Center at 210 N. Main Ave. in downtown Ridgefield, will give you tips and techniques to help you uncover facts and stories about who used to live and work in your home or on your property. The cost is $15 for non-members or $10 for CCHM members. Reserve your spot by calling 360-993-5679.

You can also join the CCHM’s Historical Walking Tour of downtown Ridgefield from noon to 1 p.m., starting at Overlook Park. This is the CCHM’s first walking tour outside of Vancouver and will cover all of Ridgefield’s history, stretching back to the area’s original inhabitants, a Chinook tribe whose village was located along the banks of Lake River. You’ll find out, for example, that the Lewis and Clark Expedition visited the area twice, once in 1805 en route to the Pacific Ocean and then again in 1806 on their return voyage. A century later, the people decided by a vote of 62-12 in favor of incorporation, and the city of Ridgefield was born in 1909—consisting of a hotel, three stores, two lumber mills, a meat market, contractors and builders, a livery, a boot and shoemaker, a creamery, a barber shop, a blacksmith, realtor, and a weaver. Descendants of some of these original families, such as the Cartys and Shoberts, still reside in Ridgefield. The cost for the walking tour is $7 or $5 for CCHM members; sign up by calling the museum at 360-993-5679.

At 2 p.m., you can round out your day of historical enrichment by watching free Ridgefield history stories on the Old Liberty Theater‘s big screen. This activity is free and no RSVP is required; just come in and find yourself a comfy seat, and maybe get some refreshments from Seasons Café in the theater’s lobby.

First Saturday in Ridgefield: The Wild, Wild West

Slap on your spurs and saddle up your pony, then trot over to downtown Ridgefield and revel in western-themed fun, local lore and more, including zucchini races, country music and dancing. What’s all the hootin’ and hollerin’ fer? It’s fer Heritage Day and Wild, Wild West, September’s theme for First Saturday in Ridgefield—a series of family-friendly events in downtown Ridgefield, happening on the first Saturday of every month year-round.

The fun starts at 9 a.m. at Overlook Park with a Farmer’s Market, a place to make your own horse from a pool noodle, apple printing with the Ridgefield Art Association, and the much-anticipated Zucchini 500: a veggie-tastic race where participants create speedy wheeled vehicles out of zucchinis. Ridgefield will provide you with a zucchini and a Lego chassis, or bring your own speedy zuke.

At 10 a.m., look deeper into local history at the Ridgefield Community Center with a Clark County Historical Museum workshop: Researching Historical Buildings, Homes, and Property. Use the research tips from this class to learn who used to live and work in your home or on your property. You can also join the CCHM’s Historical Walking Tour of downtown Ridgefield from noon to 1 p.m., starting at Overlook Park. Reserve your space for the workshop or the walk by calling the museum at 360-993-5679. At 2 p.m., you can round out your day of historical enrichment by watching free Ridgefield history stories on the Old Liberty Theater‘s big screen.

At 11 a.m., Overlook Park will become a music jamboree with live country music on stage, a beer garden, and BBQ. Then, starting at 1 p.m., you and your young’uns can join in country line dancing with CJ’s Country Dance Instruction. Stick around for evening entertainment, because the award-winning Koi Pond Cellars will be on-site at 7 p.m. with chalk mural art and wine tasting. End the day at 7:30 p.m. with a rootin’, tootin’ Western Swing concert with Brian Oberlin at the Old Liberty Theater; tickets are $15 for all ages.

Women’s History Walking Tour

Join a historian from the Clark County Historical Museum for a walk highlighting the central role that founding mothers and current women leaders have played in Clark County’s past, present, and future. The streets of Vancouver ring with the powerful reverberations of these women’s effort and influence—from the original founding mother, Esther Short (pictured above), to the subsequent groundbreaking endeavors of Clark County women in politics, business, and community.

The Historical Women of Vancouver Walking Tour will start at Esther Short Park and end at the Clark County Historical Museum. It will take roughly an hour and will happen rain or shine. Walkers should bring water, dress for the weather, and wear comfortable shoes. This tour is proving to be so popular that the Clark County Historical Museum will offer it on three separate dates:

  • Aug. 26 at noon
  • Sept. 2 at 6 p.m.
  • Sept. 17 at noon

Tickets are $7 for members and $9 for non-members. Registration is required; contact the museum at 360-993-5679 or by email to sign up for the above tours or to arrange a tour for group of 10 to 25.

Discover Ridgefield’s Hidden History

Saturday, Sept. 3, is Heritage Day in Ridgefield, when—in addition to attending a rootin’, tootin’, day-long Wild Wild West party in Overlook Park—you can delve deeper into local history with a workshop, a walking tour, and short films.

At 10 a.m., the Clark County Historical Museum will host one of its popular “Researching Historical Buildings, Homes, and Property” workshops. This workshop, held at the Ridgefield Community Center at 210 N. Main Ave. in downtown Ridgefield, will give you tips and techniques to help you uncover facts and stories about who used to live and work in your home or on your property. The cost is $15 for non-members or $10 for CCHM members. Reserve your spot by calling 360-993-5679.

You can also join the CCHM’s Historical Walking Tour of downtown Ridgefield from noon to 1 p.m., starting at Overlook Park. This is the CCHM’s first walking tour outside of Vancouver and will cover all of Ridgefield’s history, stretching back to the area’s original inhabitants, a Chinook tribe whose village was located along the banks of Lake River. You’ll find out, for example, that the Lewis and Clark Expedition visited the area twice, once in 1805 en route to the Pacific Ocean and then again in 1806 on their return voyage. A century later, the people decided by a vote of 62-12 in favor of incorporation, and the city of Ridgefield was born in 1909—consisting of a hotel, three stores, two lumber mills, a meat market, contractors and builders, a livery, a boot and shoemaker, a creamery, a barber shop, a blacksmith, realtor, and a weaver. Descendants of some of these original families, such as the Cartys and Shoberts, still reside in Ridgefield. The cost for the walking tour is $7 or $5 for CCHM members; sign up by calling the museum at 360-993-5679.

At 2 p.m., you can round out your day of historical enrichment by watching free Ridgefield history stories on the Old Liberty Theater‘s big screen. This activity is free and no RSVP is required; just come in and find yourself a comfy seat, and maybe get some refreshments from Seasons Café in the theater’s lobby.

Above image: a historic property on 31st Ave. in Ridgefield

Women’s History Walking Tour

The walk will start at Esther Short Park and end at the Clark County Historical Museum. It will take roughly an hour and will happen rain or shine. Walkers should bring water, dress for the weather, and wear comfortable shoes. This tour is proving to be so popular that the Clark County Historical Museum will offer it on three separate dates:

  • Aug. 26 at noon
  • Sept. 2 at 6 p.m.
  • Sept. 17 at noon

Tickets are $7 for members and $9 for non-members. Registration is required; contact the museum at 360-993-5679 or by email to sign up for the above tours or to arrange a tour for group of 10 to 25.

Opening Night Reception for Founding Mothers: Portraits of Progress

Clark County Historical Museum is hosting the exhibition Founding Mothers: Portraits of Progress from Friday, Aug. 19, through the end of September. The exhibition consists of 47 portraits of remarkable women from Clark County, six of which are making their debut at CCHM. An opening reception will be held at 5 p.m. on Aug. 19. At 6 p.m., artist Hilarie Couture will speak about her artistic process, share stories about the portraits she has created, and give a demonstration.

Couture’s impetus for this project was the naming of 2016 as Vancouver’s Year of the Woman, which also coincides with the centennial celebration of the Clark County YWCA. Mark your calendars for the Clark County Historical Museum’s related events: