“In bestowing charity, the
should be to help those
who help themselves.”
- Philanthropist Andrew Carnegie
(The Great Wealth, 1889)
Clark County Historical Museum’s birthday but public
gets gift of free admission
Free admission is our gift to the public in honor of the
Clark County Historical Museum’s 45th birthday on
Sunday, May 24.
Join us for birthday cake (decorated in the shape of the
museum by the Clark College Culinary Arts program)
and Carnegie Caramel M&M(useum) ice cream (created by
Ice Cream Renaissance) from 1 to 4 p.m. at the museum.
The birthday party also launches Mr. Carnegie’s Grand
Tour of Washington, an automobile-based summer travel passport program
exploring Washington State’s Carnegie libraries.
CCHM has been located in the historic 1909 Carnegie Library since May 24, 1964,
after the Fort Vancouver Regional Library moved to the then-new building on
Mill Plain Boulevard. The museum is a branch of the Clark County Historical
Society which has been a steward of Southwest Washington State history since
its founding in 1917.
Mr. Carnegie’s Grand Tour of Washington launches May 24
The CCHM celebrates its building’s centennial with the May 24 launch of Mr.
Carnegie’s Grand Tour of Washington to shine a spotlight on a
cultural institution – the humble neighborhood library – that
has enriched countless lives.
Mr. Carnegie’s Grand Tour of Washington is an annual
automobile-based, heritage tourism program promoting the 33
surviving Washington Carnegie libraries, highly regarded for
classically elegant architecture. The tour advances Andrew
Carnegie’s cultural legacy and cross-promotes nearby
restaurants, hotels and heritage sites in the vicinity of the participating Carnegie
libraries. The tour is a project of the Carnegie Library Consortium of Washington
(CLCW), a special initiative of the CCHM.
The purpose of Mr. Carnegie’s Grand Tour of Washington is to promote Carnegie
libraries – many of which are celebrating their centennial – and preserve them for
future generations. The tour also aims to stimulate local economies by
encouraging visitors to expand their trips and increase overnight stays with
visits to nearby historic sites.
A 16-page passport booklet helps participants in the Mr. Carnegie’s Grand Tour of
Washington keep track of their site visits. Participants must visit at least three
Carnegie library sites in Washington. Each visit must be verified with a special
tour stamp in the passport. Passports are to be returned to the CCHM to be
eligible for an annual gift drawing featuring an assortment of Washington-made
First Thursday After Hours Lecture Series
The museum is open free from 5 to 9 p.m. the first Thursday of the month,
between February and November, for First Thursday Museum After Hours. Here
is a list of upcoming speakers.
7 p.m. Thursday, May 7
Camas-based architect Eric Lanciault discusses the legacy of libraries.
This lecture will look at the transformations of Vancouver’s main
libraries in the context of America’s cultural transformation.
Back in the saddle at Old-Fashioned Barn Social & Auction
Clark County Historical Museum welcomes friends and
newcomers to the annual barbecue dinner & auction at 5
p.m. Saturday, May 30. Join us for good food,
camaraderie, wine and live, traditional cowboy-style
music by JEM. The highest bidders win Clark County
goods and services at silent and live auction fundraisers.
Admission is $65 for members of the Clark County
Historical Society, $75 for non-members. Guests must be
at least 21 years old. Dress is casual; denim and boots are expected.
Call the Clark County Historical Museum, 360-993-5679, for ticket information.
Fourth Annual Historic Vancouver Walking
Architectural Walking Tours starts in May
Architectural Walking Tour leader Mary Grgich kicks
off another season directing groups of art lovers who
appreciate graceful lines and interesting stories.
In addition to the tours, featuring Downtown
Vancouver, the Arnada Park Neighborhood, the
buildings of architect Day Hilborn, and Providence Academy, this year’s tours
also include a look at the Moderne buildings of noted architect Donald Stewart.
Tours are Thursdays and bi-weekly Saturdays only between May 28 and Sept. 5,
2009. Tours fill quickly; pre-registration is recommended. Saturday tours are $10
per person; CCHM members, $5. Thursday tours are $5 per person; CCHM
members $2. Wear comfortable walking shoes.
During the 2009 season the bi-weekly Saturday two-hour tours begin at 10 a.m.
The weekly Thursday 50-minute lunch time tours begin at 12:10 p.m. All tours
begin at the museum and are a great way to learn about Vancouver’s downtown
Centennial anniversary sparks creation of Carnegie library group
Birthdays tend to make everyone a little
introspective. That’s how the Clark County
Historical Museum (CCHM) started its special
initiative: the Carnegie Library Consortium of
Washington (CLCW), a grassroots network of 33
surviving Carnegie libraries in Washington State.
CCHM celebrates the 100th anniversary of the 1909 Carnegie library building that
has contained the museum and its collection since 1964. So, in honor of the
double anniversary (centennial of the building and 45th birthday of the museum),
the CCHM created the consortium.
“We are stewards of our Carnegie building and we take its heritage very
seriously,” said Susan Tissot, executive director of CCHM.
The CLCW is hoping to raise awareness of the state’s grand Carnegie buildings
(41 were built in Washington), beginning May 24 with Mr. Carnegie’s Grand Tour
of Washington, an annual automobile-based heritage tour and passport program,
runs through Dec. 31. The consortium hopes its efforts will promote preservation
of Carnegie library buildings and visitation of local heritage sites around the
Photo collection goes digital, will be available online
Clark County Historical Museum’s vast photo collection will be more accessible
by the end of the year thanks to a $27,140 grant project currently underway to
digitize thousands of historic images.
Robert Schimelpfenig, a Washington State
University Vancouver archive specialist, has
been working on the six-month project since
February 2009. So far, more than 2,000 images
have been scanned, catalogued and uploaded
to WSU Pullman’s digital archive server. The
project also stores high-resolution images of the museum’s collection for
CCHM has an estimated 15,000 images and about 2,000 glass=plate negatives in
its collection. The Historical Promotions Grant is expected to fund digitization of
about 5,200 images in CCHM’s collection.
“This is the largest project that I have ever worked on,” Schimelpfenig said.
“When it is done, it’ll be a low-resolution, searchable database on the Internet.
It’ll open a lot of possibilities for the public use once the images are accessible
Schimelpfenig is being assisted in the project by Rob Andrews, a WSU
Vancouver library reference assistant.
CCHM names Fitzsimons as new visitor services assistant
Eileen Fitzsimons is visitor services assistant at the Clark
County Historical Museum (CCHM).
Fitzsimons, who joined the staff in late February, has
bachelor’s degrees in art and history from Portland State
University. Before joining the CCHM, Fitzsimons conducted
historic preservation research for clients. She also is a
freelance writer for The Bee, a monthly community newspaper in the Sellwood
area of Portland.
Fitzsimons and her husband, Gary Blackmer, live in Portland and have two
grown children. She enjoys gardening and traveling. She recently completed
renovation work on a cottage that she and Gary own in Seaview, Wa.
Fitzsimons replaces Jeanie Arbour who resigned to pursue a career in alcohol-
Museum gets a facelift for double anniversary year
Clark County Historical Museum has been getting
spruced up for its double anniversary year in which our
Carnegie building celebrates its centennial and the
museum marks its 45th year in it.
In March, the city Grounds Department completed
installation of a new irrigation system.
A week later, Nick Johnson, of Heritage Landscaping,
installed more than 30 new shrubs, bark mulch and grass
seed in front of the museum. Yard ‘n Garden Land, Vancouver, donated the
plant material. CCHM appreciates the in-kind support of Clark County
CCHM shows part of collection at January antiques show
Clark County Historical Museum exhibited pieces of its
collection at the invitation of the Clark County Antiques &
Collectible Show in January.
The two-day show at the Clark County Event Center
attracted 6,500 people and raised awareness for the
museum when it displayed parts of the 2007 “Vancouver
Uncovered” exhibit, featuring historically significant
debris discovered during the 2005 excavation of the
Vancouver Convention Center. (Note: The CCHM is not in the business of
buying or selling artifacts.) The exhibit contains household items from 1870 to
1920 and provides a window on daily life in downtown Vancouver during that
Objects in the collection also are being used by two area school teachers and a
Portland archaeologist who have teamed to create educational kits for grade 4-12
students in area school districts. (See “CCHM teams with teachers to create
archaeology kits” in the December 2008 newsletter for the full story.)
A parting shot
Apple Blossom Time
The apple tree on the north side of the Clark County
Historical Museum is blooming.
An offspring of the oldest apple tree in the northwest,
which grows just north of the Columbia River in Old
Apple Tree Park, our apple tree is a graceful reminder
that the museum is always changing always growing.
We hope we’ll be seeing you in apple blossom time.
The CCHM newsletter is edited by Lisa M. Christopher.
CCHM is located in Vancouver’s 1909 Carnegie Library. Regular museum hours are:
Tuesday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is charged.
The museum also is open free from 5 to 9 p.m. the first Thursday of the month, between
February and November, for First Thursday Museum After Hours. A wheelchair
accessible entrance to the museum is located on the east side of the museum building on
Clark County Historical Museum, 1511 Main St., Vancouver, (360) 993-5679