Clark County operated a poor farm at this site from at least 1873 until 1943, although the cemetery, the earliest remaining resource on the property, dates to 1913. The existing main building and garage were built in 1926, having been designed by the noted Portland, Ore. firm of DeYoung and Roald. The firm earlier designed Portland’s Heathman Hotel and Paramount Theater.
The site is locally significant because of its association with social welfare and early 20th century poor farm relief programs. Counties operated poor farms throughout the U.S. until the system was reorganized in the 1930s and then largely discontinued after Social Security was set up during the Roosevelt administration.
The site also is significant because it was part of a network of mid-20th century, state-operated agricultural extension centers established to aid individual counties with agricultural research and development. Washington State College, now Washington State University, established the Southwestern Washington Experiment Station on the poor farm site. The station conducted research regarding commercial vegetables and fruit crops, insect and disease control, fertilizer development, irrigation, animal science, soils, seeds and Christmas trees, among other horticultural studies.
Please view this CVTV video about the farm.
- Listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 2013
- Listed in the Washington Heritage Register in 2012
- Listed in the Clark County Heritage Register in 2013
Open to Public:
The main gate is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday for self-guided tours.
The building is operated by WSU Clark County Extension, and open limited hours or by appointment only. Please go to the website for details.
2018 78th St. Heritage Farm Preservation and Maintenance Plan
The Clark County Historic Preservation Commission received a grant to develop a Preservation Plan for the 78th St. Heritage Farm, also known as the historic Clark County Poor Farm. The intent of the plan was to provide a means for documenting original construction, alterations and identifying current conditions. It also provides prioritized recommendations for future work to the historic buildings and site.
- 78th Street Heritage Farm Interpretive Plan
- 78th Street Heritage Farm Master Plan
- Master Plan map
- 2010 Intensive-level Documentation of the Clark County Poor Farm Buildings and Poor Farm Cemetery Remote Sensing Project, Clark County, Washington
- The County Farm Cemetery (Harshman, Oman, Snell)
Clark County Poor Farm
1919 NE 78th St.
Vancouver, WA 98665-9752