Historic Partners

Clark County Historic Preservation Commission partners with many organizations in the county working to preserve, protect and promote Clark County’s rich history, heritage, and culture.  Listed below is information about our partners and their work, events and resources that may be of interest. 

Local Historic Sites, Museums & Activities

Fort Vancouver National Historic Site

This unit of the National Park Service is part of the Vancouver National Historic Reserve, a 366-acre federally designated national historic site. The park has a rich cultural past, from a frontier fur trading post to military barracks and an airfield, the history is shared at unique sites within the park. The park attractions include Fort Vancouver and the historic village, Vancouver Barracks, Pearson Air Museum and the Parade Grounds. The Park Visitor Center, located at 1501 E. Evergreen Blvd., offers a good orientation to the site. This site includes:

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A historically accurate reconstruction of the Hudson’s Bay Company fur trading post built on the archeological footprint of the original fort. The fort offers a variety of programs, events, and interpretive exhibits.  

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The U.S. Army established this military post in 1849 to support American settlement of the Oregon County.  Today Vancouver Barracks remains one of the nation’s most historic military posts and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  While many of the buildings are closed to the public, wayside exhibits throughout the barracks share the history of this important military post.

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From its roots as a military airfield, to its history as the landing site of the first transpolar flight and its transformation into a civilian airport, Pearson Air Museum provides a look into the gold age of flight. The Museum, located at 1115 E. 5th Street in Vancouver, houses historic aircraft and interpretive exhibits.

The Historic Trust 

The Historic Trust is a nonprofit organization headquartered at the Vancouver National Historic Reserve. Offerings include a variety of events and activities including a Veteran’s Day Parade, the George C. Marshall Awards, classes, lectures, and workshops in addition to tours of Providence Academy, Officers Row – including the Marshall, Grant and O.O. Howard Houses and the West Barracks.  See the website for more information.

Clark County Genealogical Society

The Genealogical Society maintains an active schedule of classes, meetings, and seminars and supports a genealogical research library, open to the public, specializing in Southwest Washington, but with world-wide coverage. Their offices are located at 3205 N.E. 52nd Ave in Vancouver. 

Columbia Springs Environmental Education Center

Located on a 100-acre natural area on the Columbia River in the city of Vancouver, Columbia Springs Environmental Education Center is dedicated to providing outdoor recreation and science education close to home. Columbia Springs sponsors free Guided Walks of the historic Vancouver Trout Hatchery. Funding from the Clark County Historical Promotions Grant program supported historic interpretive signage and development of guided walks.

Friends of Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge

This non-profit is dedicated to promoting educational programs of the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge and protecting and enhancing its wildlife habitat.  The Refuge offers a beautiful natural environment for exploring, birdwatching, community events and opportunities to get involved in habitat restoration programs. The Refuges includes:

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Cathlapotle Plankhouse

Located within the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, this modern full-scale Chinookan plankhouse was built based on findings from the archaeological village site of Cathlapotle. The Plankhouse and its furnishings offer a tangible link to those who lived there and provide a unique site for the interpretation of the natural and cultural heritage preserved on the Refuge. Funding from the Clark County Historical Promotions Grant has been awarded to the Plankhouse project.

78th Street Heritage Farm

The 78th Street Heritage Farm consists of 79 acres adjacent to residential areas, along the south side of Northeast 78th Street just west of Northeast 25th Avenue. The site has a long history of farming and agricultural research  that dates back to the 1870s when Clark County started operating it as a poor farm. The site was later used as a research and experimental farm by Washington State University Extension before the county resumed management in 2008.  The site is listed on three historic registers: the National Register of Historic Places, the Washington State Heritage Register, and the Clark County Heritage Register. Find out more about the register nominations and other events and programs at the farm.

North Clark County Scenic Drive

This 70-mile scenic drive loops through Battle Ground, Yacolt, La Center, and Ridgefield.  Historic sites along the loop include the Henry Heisen House, Cedar Creek Grist Mill, Allen House and Cathlapotle Plankhouse. The loop also passes Lucia Falls, Moulton Falls and Whipple Creek and Daybreak parks.

Chelatchie Prairie Railroad

In the logging boom days, this railroad line transported logs to Columbia River ports. Today the train transports passengers through scenic northern Clark County from Yacolt to Moulton Falls and Chelatchie Prairie and back, pulled by an 1841 diesel locomotive. Open on weekends during the summer, with special events throughout the year that include Christmas tree runs, murder mysteries, staged hold-ups, and more. Track and railroad car maintenance and repair has received funding support through the Clark County Historical Promotions Grants.

Clark County Historical Museum

The Clark County Historical Museum (CCHM), located in the historic Carnegie Library at 1511 Main Street in Vancouver, encourages an understanding of how local history shapes the character of Clark County and strengthens our sense of place.  The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and the Clark County Heritage Register. CCHM’s collection houses over 60,000 items of local historical significance.  Beyond the expected museum exhibits, CCHM hosts events, workshops, tours and houses an oral history and research library.  Many of the Museum’s programs and events have been supported by Clark County Historical Promotions Grants. The museum holds the following events:

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This speaker series is a monthly exploration with historians, industry experts, community members and local artists of events and stories that influenced Clark County. The series runs from February to November and is sponsored by the Historic Preservation Commission.

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Popular walking tours which highlight different areas of Clark County, offering fascinating glimpses of time through a mix of memories, research and architectural details.  Haunted walking tours are available around Halloween.

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History on Tap is held several times a year at the historic Kiggins Theatre. The event looks at how the past influences our present and informs the future. It’s built on the premise that history didn’t end on some dusty date on the calendar but is a dynamic story where every person is an active participant.

Two Rivers Heritage Museum 

The Museum has a large collection of Native American baskets and artifacts, dairy, farming, and logging equipment, musical instruments, antique furniture, toys, tools, a replica of a farm blacksmith workshop, and an old town pump. The museum also houses a collection of more than 6000 photos of local businesses, buildings and people, books, land records, cemetery records, and many family history records. Located in downtown Washougal, the museum is open Thursday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.  The museum includes:

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Located on the south side of the Two Rivers Heritage Museum, the Gathering Place at Washuxwal celebrates the area’s rich Native American history.  The design is based on the traditional cedar plank houses used by tribes who called the Columbia River home.  It features Native-inspired wood carvings by local artists and interpretive signage that tells the stories of the area’s indigenous heritage.

North Clark County Historical Museum

Located in the former Amboy United Brethren Church, the museum focuses on Native American culture, pioneer heritage and logging. The church is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and the Clark County Heritage Register and is open to the public from 12:00 noon to 4:00 p.m. on the second and fourth Saturday of each month.

Venersborg

Located at 24309 NE 209th Street in Battle Ground, the historic Venersborg Schoolhouse was built in 1912 and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and the Washington State Heritage Register.  The building is open to the community for meetings and functions. Listen to the stories and remembrances of long-time residents of Venersborg:

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The audio and video are downloadable from the website. The digitization of these interviews was made possible by a Clark County Historical Promotions Grant.

Covington House

This log cabin, located at 4201 Main Street in Vancouver is the oldest residential structure in Clark County and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and on the Clark County Heritage Register.  It was built in 1848 by Richard and Charlotte “Anna” Covington who had been hired by the Hudson’s Bay Company to teach the children at Fort Vancouver.  The house, owned by the City of Vancouver and operated by the Covington House Heritage Society, is available to rent for small events and gatherings and is periodically open for public events.

The Pomeroy Living History Farm

The Pomeroy Living History Farm is committed to preserving, maintaining, and sharing farm life in rural Clark County – past and present – with the community.  The Farm is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and the Clark County Heritage Register and is open for special events and activities throughout the year.  See the website for more information.

Cedar Creek Grist Mill

Established in 1876, the Grist Mill is a historical, water-powered grain grinding mill located in Woodland, Washington.  The Mill is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and the Clark County Heritage Register, is open most weekends and hosts a variety of special events.  See the website for more information.

The Jane Weber Arboretum and John Stanger House

The Weber Arboretum, located at 9215 SE Old Evergreen Highway in Vancouver, hosts a variety of special events and activities. The John Stanger House, located on the grounds of the arboretum, is believed to have been constructed in 1867 and is the second oldest residential structure in Clark County.  The house is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and the Clark County Heritage Register.  The house is only open for special events.


National Preservation Organizations

  • The National Park Service is the primary national organization charged with preserving America’s history. The Park Service preserves history in national parks; works with partners to recognize historic places through the National Register program; manages grants for historic preservation, conducts research and encourages private sector investment in the rehabilitation and reuse of historic buildings.
  • The National Trust for Historic Preservation a private, nonprofit organization, the National Trust works to save America’s historic sites; tell the full American story; build stronger communities and invest in preservation’s future.

State Preservation Organizations

  • The Washington State Department of Archeology and Historic Preservation (DAHP) is Washington State’s primary agency with knowledge and expertise in historic preservation (equivalent to a State Historic Preservation Office [SHPO] in other states).  DAHP advocates for the preservation of Washington’s irreplaceable historic and cultural resources – significant buildings, structures, sites, objects, and districts – as assets for the future.
  • The Washington Trust for Historic Preservation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to saving the places that matter in Washington State and to promoting sustainable and economically viable communities through historic preservation.