Community Events

Or, the complete 2011 Events Calendar in list form!


We have a new website!

Thanks to a brand new website, future updates about museum events and programs can be found at Go explore our new site!


'Out with the old, in with the new [year]'

Holiday Open House 2010 was a great success, with more visitors than ever and a beautiful new setting. Check out our Flickr account for pictures of the event and the new space! 

Our 'coffeehouse', as we affectionately call the new space, is actually the old home of the Research library which we are using to good effect while it is being remodeled. The room will eventually house a new exhibit on the Spokane, Portland & Seattle Railway featuring artifacts from our very own collection. The Research Library itself is now downstairs in the museum's basement, nicely secluded yet conveniently near the entrance to the museum. We also have a lovely new banner (made for us by Soha Sign) proclaiming the library's new location.

Among the things coming up at the museum: a brand-new website! We are completely revamping our website, and will be unveiling it very soon! Stay tuned for details.

Also, our 2011 season of First Thursday Museum After Hours begins on February 3rd with speaker Jorge Lizarraga of WSUV, as well as the opening reception for a new exhibit, Bridging the Gap. On the following Saturday, the 5th, former Columbian Business Editor Julia Anderson will present a morning lecture on retirement focusing on women, specifically, and their unique position in terms of longevity and median income. This lecture is included in the cost of museum admission, and free for current museum members.

These are just a few of the exciting events we have planned for you in the new year. We'll be open the last week of December, and next in 2011! See you soon.


2010 Holiday Open House and Artisans' Market

Christmas is coming up, so don't forget to stop at the Clark County Historical Museum to shop for gifts from local artists!

On Saturday, December 4th, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. we'll be holding our 6th Annual Holiday Open House and Artisans' Market with about a dozen local creators of fine art, pottery, textiles, jewelry, and other gifts. Local harp and woodwind duo Celtic Muse will be providing our live music, and Legacy High School volunteers will have craft activities for the kids. Refreshments will also be served.

As an Open House, this is a great opportunity to view our current exhibits. Our newest, Autumn Trout Gathering, features Beat-era author and poet Richard Brautigan, and closes January 30. In our largest gallery, Road to Equality: the Struggle for Women's Rights in the Northwest focuses on the Equal Rights Amendment and suffrage for women. In addition, our collection-based Woven History exhibit is also on display. Admission is free during Holiday Open House.


New Clark County Heritage Passports available now!

The 'Heritage Partners', a group of several local museums, historical sites and institutions, has just come out with a new passport, modeled after CCHM's Carnegie libraries passport, that will lead you on a tour of cultural and historical sites ranging all over the county! This passport, called the Clark County Heritage Passport, has the advantage of including places of interest close to home. Several are within walking/biking distance of downtown while others will lure you to remote and beautiful parts of the county: one such is the Cedar Creek Grist Mill.

The passport is free, and can be stamped at each location you visit. Collect 6 stamps (the are 9 sites included in the booklet) and turn in the stamped page at the O.O. Howard House near Officer's Row, downtown.

They're available at any of the sites featured in the passport, including the Clark County Historical Museum, so don't forget to pick one up next time you're here!

Cover of Clark County Heritage Passport

Each page contains handy information on each particular site, such as how to get there and what to do once you do!

Each site will stamp this page with its own stamp

The stamp page/back cover tear out and become a postcard--just affix a stamp (the sticky kind).


Of signature quilts, the SP&S Railway, and the Brautigan Library

Last night, quilting aficionados and folks curious about signature quilts (the curious including myself) filled the museum to hear Portland quilt collector Bill Volckening give the interesting histories of some of the quilts in his own collection, as well as to see a few quilts from the CCHM collection.

As part of the First Thursday Museum After Hours, this lecture was free. More lectures can be found on the first Thursday of every month (except December and January) at 7 p.m. On First Thursdays, the museum is open and admission is free from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., so stop by next time! Our September lecture will feature...

(for all of you railroad fans)

...the author of SP&S: The Spokane, Portland and Seattle Railway, Ed Austin!

Ed, who has written eleven books on railroads, will talk about the history and the future of the SP&S Railway. He will also sign copies of his book, which is for sale at the museum.

Speaking of good news for railroad buffs, we have plans in the works to reinstall the SP&S exhibit that was on display for many years in the museum basement. Our current remodeling and moving projects are in preparation for this very exhibit. If you are interested in helping us reach this goal, we would love to hear from you!

As for the rest of the First Thursday Lecture Series season, here is a schedule of our Fall speakers.


Getting ready for Harvest Fun Day, 2010!

This year, Harvest Fun Day, our annual celebration of summer and all things agricultural, will be held in Hazel Dell on the 78th Street Heritage Farm, which is also the former site of the Clark County Poor Farm. For the past six years, we've held the event across the street from the museum in downtown Vancouver, but this year's transition will allow us to bring in a whole new range of activities, including draft-horse plowing demonstrations and garden harvesting with the local Food Bank.

On Saturday, September 25th, at 10:00 a.m., the gates will open. We will hold pie-eating and corn-shucking contests throughout the day, as well as help you make your very own scarecrow! Please give us a call to sign up for either of the contests. Our telephone number is (360) 993.5679.

As well as contests, we will be showcasing antique farm equipment and local organizations and vendors. This event is COMPLETELY FREE for everyone!


The long and winding road


Tomorrow at 5 p.m. we'll kick off our 18-month exhibit Road to Equality: the struggle for women's rights in the Northwest, which will stretch from suffrage to the ERA. The exhibit opening will be graced by the Heritage Ambassadors who have promised to come costumed in suffragette garb for the occasion.

Admission for the Thursday exhibit opening is free, and we encourage everyone to take this opportunity to celebrate the rights we have as women as well as discuss the implications of the equal rights movement.

Call (993-5679) or email ( us if you have any questions about this or any other museum exhibit. Thank you for your support and interest!


Walk with us!

In an attempt to tempt warm weather and sunny skies into Vancouver,
we've begun our seasonal series of Historical Walking Tours downtown!

Each tour focuses on a different theme throughout the city: Church & State, or Modern & International Buildings, for example.

We give tours every Thursday at noon and bi-weekly Saturdays at 9 a.m. All but two of the tours start at the museum at 1511 Main.

Don't get left behind!


Boomer!...and life after Boomer!

Did you get a chance to see our Boomer! exhibit while it was on display at the museum?

It was fabulous, and we have our generous donors and guests to thank for it, since many of the items on display were on loan from boomers themselves!

If you didn't get a chance to see Boomer! while it was up, here are some photos of some of the cases in the exhibit. Share your comments and memories with us! :)

Alas, Boomer! is now gone, but we are busy putting up our new feature exhibit: Road to Equality: The Struggle for Women's Rights in the Northwest. In addition to having an impressively long name, this exhibit will feature an exciting journey through time (no time machine required) spotlighting women's and men's roles in the struggle to allow (and to deny) women the right to vote.

The Grand Opening of this exhibit shall begin at 5 p.m. on Thursday, June 24th. There will be cobbler-eating, opinionated-button-making, and other fun--bring everyone!


Come to our 2010 Chocolate Extravaganza!

Do you love chocolate?
Do you like supporting local non-profit organisations?
Would you like to support a local non-profit and enjoy delicious chocolate simultaneously?

On the evening of May 22nd, the Clark County Historical Society will hold its annual Chocolate Extravaganza and Auction to raise funds for museum operation. This event is the museum's premier fundraising event of the year, and will feature chocolate replicas of museum artifacts created by former Moonstruck Chocolatier and Clark College professor Ian Titterton. In addition to live and silent auctions, the evening will include a social hour, dinner, and live music.

You can make reservations for this event by calling (360) 993.5679 or dropping by the museum at 1511 Main Street in downtown Vancouver.


Preserve your ancestors!

Archivist and public historian Richard Engeman will be at the museum this Saturday, March 27th, giving a workshop on how to preserve old photographs--photographs, glass-plate negatives, tintypes, color slides, daguerrotypes, and any other sort you can imagine.

Response for the class has been overwhelming, and therefore we plan to hold another such workshop in the near future. While the reservation list for this workshop is full, we have begun a waiting list for anyone who would like to participate in such a workshop in the near future. Let us know if you are among this number by calling (360) 993.5679 or messaging us using our brand-new Meebo widget (to the right on this page).


The Clark County Historical Museum: A brief primer


For those of you who are not already familiar with us, the Clark County Historical Museum lives in downtown Vancouver, Washington, in the city's 1909 Carnegie Library. We specialise, as our name suggests, in the material and ephemeral history of Clark County, Washington.

As well as housing a great deal of Clark County-specific research material, we hold an artifact collection that reaches back over more than eight hundred years! Our research library is here to feed your curiosity as well as to help you learn about the history of Clark County and the people and places that have populated it throughout the past. Our broad collection of artifacts features in various exhibits throughout the museum. Most recently, we took down our long-running Boomer! exhibit, which was extended twice and ran for almost two years. Boomer! was all about the Baby Boom generation, and filled our largest gallery with bright colours, 1960's decor, and plenty of opportunities to reminisce.

While Boomer! and our current Expressions of Community: Women Embracing Art exhibit are temporary exhibits, we also have plans to incorporate permanent exhibits, such as one showcasing the Spokane, Portland and Seattle Railway. Check back here or at our homepage,, for exhibit and event news.

Events! As well as ever-changing exhibits, we hold a great variety of events at and through the museum. Most are free and open to all.

The largest of these is our annual Harvest Fun Day, in September. Everyone is invited to try their hand (or face, as the case may be) at our pie-eating and corn-shucking contests, or, for the milder of spirit, browse the many local booths and vendors. For several years, members of the Fort Vancouver Antique Equipment Association have brought their farm tractors, plows, and engines for all to see and hear. This year, Harvest Fun Day is going to be held at the old county Poor Farm, located on 78th Street in Hazel Dell, on Saturday, September 25th.

An absolute staple of our event diet at the museum is our First Thursday After Hours & Lecture Series, which is always free and is held on the first Thursday of every month except December and January. Museum After Hours run from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., with the lecture at 7. We host lecturers on a variety of locally relevant subjects; next month's lecturer is John Harrison, local author of "A Woman Alone", a book about the eccentric Mona Bell, mistress of Sam Hill. Visit our website or the museum to pick up a schedule of our upcoming lectures.

In a bit less than two months, on May 22nd, we will be hosting our premier fundraising event, our 2010 Chocolate Extravaganza. Unlike most of our events, this one is ticketed and reservations are required. Since the museum is a non-profit organisation, we rely on such events and the generosity of our many members, donors, and volunteers. We'll be posting updates on this event and others here, on our homepage, and on our Facebook.

The museum is open from 11 to 4, Tuesday through Saturday, so come in and say hello next time you're near.

(And congratulations on making it through our first blog post.. :)

Be seeing you!