ST. PATRICK'S DAY QUIZ: Do you know your local lore?

In honor of the holiday, test yourself with our tricky questions

By Stover E. Harger III, Columbian staff writer



Think you know your local Irish lore? Then it's time to prove your knowledge.

St. Patrick’s Day events

A few special holiday-themed celebrations happening Sunday.

Irish flag ceremony — 10 a.m., Clark County Courthouse, 1200 Franklin St. Flag raising honors long-standing tradition of Denny Lane, Vancouver resident from Ireland who died in 1965.

Irishtown celebration — Starting noon, Irishtown Public House, 11600 S.E. Mill Plain Blvd. Daylong celebration featuring Irish dancers and bands. New Shilling band begins at 10 p.m. $5 before 3 p.m., $10 after. No minors after 5 p.m. www.irishtownpub....

All-Ireland Cultural Society 72nd Annual St. Patrick’s Day Festival — Noon to 8 p.m., Ambridge Event Center, 376 N.E. Clackamas St., Portland. Featuring Irish dancers, bagpipe music, traditional food and drink. $10 general admission.

Fort Vancouver Pipe Band appearances — 2 and 8 p.m., Shanahan’s Pub & Grill, 209 W. McLoughlin Blvd. 5:30 p.m., Bill’s Chicken and Steak House, 2200 Fort Vancouver Way. 7 p.m., Dublin Down, 813 Main St.

Music/dance at Brickhouse — 5 p.m. Irish dancing; 7 p.m. live music begins; 1:30 and 8:30 p.m. Vancouver Fire Department Pipes and Drums band. Brickhouse Bar & Grill, 109 W. 15th St. Free. Kids allowed until 8 p.m.

In honor of today's holiday here are nine questions, ranging from straight-forward to tricky, about all things Irish and St. Patrick's Day in Clark County. Can you correctly answer them all? Good luck, you just might need a four-leaf clover for that.

1) Flag-raising tradition

Which famous Vancouver Irishman is honored with a Irish flag-raising ceremony at the Clark County Courthouse every March 17 since his death in 1965?

2) Lotto winner

How much did 28-year-old Vancouver resident Megan Gatlin win before taxes in the Oregon Lottery's 2011 St. Patrick's Day Raffle?

3) Famous hotel

What was the name of the once-lavish Vancouver hotel -- opened to acclaim on St. Patrick's Day 1928 -- that closed in 1976 after losing its prestige and becoming a home for transients?

4) Legendary educator

Who is the legendary Vancouver educator -- born St. Patrick's Day 1846 in Ireland -- remembered each year with a parade in his name?

5) Ridgefield settler

What Irish immigrant and Hudson's Bay Company worker was the first settler in the area that in 1909 became incorporated as the city of Ridgefield?

6) East County landmark

What landmark a few miles north of Ireland Road in east Clark County also shares a name with the cause of Ireland's Great Famine of the mid-19th century?

7) Dance academy

What is the name of the Portland dance academy co-founded by a Dublin native who also owns Vancouver's Irishtown Bar & Grill with her husband?

8) Irish ancestors

Is the number of Clark County residents reporting Irish ancestry higher or lower than those claiming English descent?

9) On the lam

What was the occupation of Jeremiah O'Leary -- former New York lawyer, Irish nationalist and Sinn Fein member -- when he was a fugitive hiding in Vancouver during the WWI era?


1. Flag-raising tradition For 77 years, an Irish flag has been raised outside the Clark County Courthouse on St. Patrick's Day. Denny Lane, who immigrated from Ireland, started the tradition in 1936. After he died at age 89 in 1965, his family has continued to fly the flag in his honor, a ritual currently upheld by Lane's grandson, Terry Klein. "It was natural for me to continue it onward," Klein said.

2. Lotto winner In 2011, after buying five $10 tickets at the Jantzen Beach Safeway for the Oregon Lottery's yearly St. Patrick's Day Raffle, Gatlin was shocked to find she won $1 million. The then-unemployed woman was able to keep $670,000 after taxes.

3. Famous hotel When it opened on March 17, 1928, the Evergreen Hotel was seen as one of the finest hotels in the Northwest. It was celebrated in a grand-opening party dubbed, "the social event of the year" by The Columbian. But time wore down the hotel's facade and reputation, with its closure coming five decades after its grandiose kick-off. Since then, the building at 500 Main St. has housed a number of businesses. It's now The Evergreen Inn, an assisted living residence.

4. Legendary educator Patrick Hough, remembered affectionately as Paddy Hough, is the namesake of both Vancouver's Hough Neighborhood and Hough Elementary School. The Hough Foundation puts on the popular Paddy Hough Parade, which just wrapped up its 22nd year on Friday. In addition to many other community and education roles, Hough was principal of Vancouver High School from 1899 to 1908. He died in 1925.

5. Ridgefield settler James Carty briefly worked as a barrel maker for the Hudson's Bay Company after coming from Ireland in 1833. He is remembered as the first -- and for about 10 years the only -- non-native settler on what would become Ridgefield. He died in 1873, nine years before the burgeoning community built its first store. There have been many notable members of the Carty clan. Another James Carty, nephew of the first settler, had a son, William Carty, who was a long-time Democratic state legislator from Ridgefield, serving 22 years as a representative until 1960 when he lost his re-election bid. William Carty's son James E. Carty, who died in 2001, was a respected Clark County prosecutor, known for being fierce, yet fair.

6. East County landmark Spud Mountain is about 2 miles away from Northeast Ireland Road. Spuds, or potatoes, caused the worst famine to occur in Europe in the 19th Century. The root cause of the disaster were potato crop failures, caused by the late blight plant disease. The famine is considered to have led to a mass emigration of Irish people during that time. Ireland Road was named by two Irish immigrants, who started a farm in 1879 near Northeast 292nd Street, which connects to the road. The area was named Ireland by Patrick Kelly and his wife, but now the name only applies to Ireland Road, according to a local history book by Pat Jollota: "Naming Clark County."

7. Dance academy Breda Yeates owns and operates Yeates Academy of Irish Dance with business partner Molly Malone. Yeates and husband Peter also represent Irish heritage with their Irishtown Public House, 11600 S.E. Mill Plain Blvd. The Yeates' daughter, Sinead, is the dance school's instructor and choreographer.

8. Irish ancestors There are an estimated 55,600 or so Clark County residents who have some ancestors from Ireland. That's a bit higher than the nearly 54,300 who claim English ancestors, according to a recent United States Census Bureau survey.

9. On the lam When the Secret Service caught up with suspected treasonist Jeremiah O'Leary in June 1918 he was helping raising chickens on a small farm just outside Vancouver under an assumed name. O'Leary, who was adamantly anti-British, was accused by the U.S. Department of Justice of treason because of sentiments he expressed in a magazine about Britain's involvement with the United States in the first World War. Federal agents and a posse arrested O'Leary on the 3-acre farm and returned him to New York where he was eventually found not guilty.