Bits 'n' Pieces: Take a tour through the past

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Walking tour schedule

Today and July 19: Esther Short — The Founding of a Community.

June 7 and July 26: Lower Main — Open for Business.

June 14 and Aug. 2: Uptown Village — Growth and Celebration.

June 21 and Aug. 9: Hough — The Rise of Residential Districts, part 1.

June 28 and Aug. 16: Arnada — The Rise of Residential Districts, part 2.

July 5 and Aug. 23: Middle Main — For Your Entertainment.

July 12 and Aug. 30: Carter Park — The Roaring 20s and Beyond.

What better way to learn the local lore of your community than by strolling the streets with a friendly expert?

For the third summer in a row, that expert is Bradley Richardson, a Washington State University Vancouver history student who also serves as the Clark County Historical Museum's historical walking tour guide. For 14 Fridays this summer, Richardson will steer groups around downtown as he brings to life the city's storied past.

"It's community stewardship," he said. "You start to realize the amazing, yet fragile pieces of history that are left in the area. You get a deeper sense of where your community has been and all the amazing things it has done. It really helps people develop pride in this community."

The one-hour tours get going at noon each Friday, beginning today and ending July 12. Then the cycle begins again, with the same seven tours repeated from July 19 to Aug. 30. Tours cost $5 for museum members and $7 for others, or $30 and $44, respectively, for season passes. Reservations are recommended, but drop-ins are welcome. The museum, 1511 Main St., also recommends comfortable walking shoes, a rain hat and a camera.

Richardson said the museum has done a nice job arranging these tours into an overall south-to-north "walk through time," so walkers can follow the sweep of years and the geographic growth of the town — from the original riverfront property of Amos and Esther Short, circa 1850, all the way up to posh, residential Carter Park, established by the city's elite during the prosperous Jazz Age.

Go to http://www.cchmuseum.org/events/walking-tours or call 360-993-5679 for information, including starting points for each walk. Private tours can be arranged for groups of 10 or more. Plus, stay tuned for more details regarding two additional tour opportunities: a labor history walking tour and, leading up to Halloween on every Friday and Saturday in October, certified-spooky Haunted Walking Tours.-- Scott Hewitt

Bits 'n' Pieces appears Fridays and Saturdays. If you have a story you'd like to share, email bits@columbian.com.