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Wednesday,  June 12 , 2024

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Photo of Martin Middlewood

Stories by Martin Middlewood

Columbian freelance contributor

Loggers pose at a Weyerhaeuser Timber Company lumber camp in Yacolt. The Yacolt Burn of 1902 created as many as 700 jobs salvaging the burnt timber. Workers loaded charred logs on railroad flatcars and sent them to Vancouver daily.

Clark County history: After the Yacolt Burn

Loggers pose at a Weyerhaeuser Timber Company lumber camp in Yacolt. The Yacolt Burn of 1902 created as many as 700 jobs salvaging the burnt timber. Workers loaded charred logs on railroad flatcars and sent them to Vancouver daily.

January 13, 2024, 6:05am Clark County Life

The 1902 fire came close enough to blister paint on many of the Yacolt’s 15 buildings but turned north short of town. Leaves, ash and cinders swirled like a snowstorm. When the rain came days later, it cleared the air and cooled the embers. What remained of the forest was… Read story

Henry Pittock died of influenza during the Spanish flu epidemic, after this portrait was taken. He and his wife Georgina had four daughters and two sons. One daughter married Fredrick Leadbetter, who became his partner. The two founded Camas and owned its first paper mill and a sawmill in Vancouver.

Clark County history: Henry Pittock

Henry Pittock died of influenza during the Spanish flu epidemic, after this portrait was taken. He and his wife Georgina had four daughters and two sons. One daughter married Fredrick Leadbetter, who became his partner. The two founded Camas and owned its first paper mill and a sawmill in Vancouver.

January 6, 2024, 6:03am Clark County Life

Henry Pittock wasn’t the first to bring industry to Camas. Michael Simmons built a small shingle mill there and sold shakes to the Hudson’s Bay Company. Both businessmen landed at the juncture of the Columbia and Washougal rivers near today’s Georgia-Pacific mill. Read story

Pioneering Vancouver educator C.W. Shumway circulated these campaign cards as part of his unsuccessful candidacy for county superintendent of schools, but is still remembered for his work as superintendent of the Vancouver School District.

Clark County history: Charles Shumway

Pioneering Vancouver educator C.W. Shumway circulated these campaign cards as part of his unsuccessful candidacy for county superintendent of schools, but is still remembered for his work as superintendent of the Vancouver School District.

December 30, 2023, 6:05am Clark County Life

Vancouver’s new school superintendent, Charles Shumway, and his wife traveled from Milo, Iowa, to Vancouver in 1895. Passing through towns named Hope and Paradise, Mrs. Shumway commented they’d indeed left both behind, saddened to leave the town where her husband spent a decade as an elementary school principal. Read story

The Chautauqua Auditorium in Gladstone, Ore., was the site of adult educational events from 1896 to 1927. During the golden age of Chautauqua, people around the region, including Vancouver, attended three- to five-day events there.

Clark County history: Chautauqua, an Iroquois word for ‘two moccasins tied together’

The Chautauqua Auditorium in Gladstone, Ore., was the site of adult educational events from 1896 to 1927. During the golden age of Chautauqua, people around the region, including Vancouver, attended three- to five-day events there.

December 23, 2023, 6:08am Clark County Life

Three innovations shrank the nation after the Civil War. The railroad moved people across the nation in days rather than months. The telegraph transmitted news faster. The Chautauqua closed the social gap by bringing adult education and culture to small rural towns each summer. Read story

Some of the Pittock &amp; Leadbetter Lumber Company crew pose for a photo outside the Vancouver sawmill in Vancouver. The original plant burned in June 1908 but reopened in October. The mill was owned by Clark County lumberman Frederick Leadbetter and his father-in-law, Henry Pittock.

Clark County History: Lumberman Frederick Leadbetter

Some of the Pittock &amp; Leadbetter Lumber Company crew pose for a photo outside the Vancouver sawmill in Vancouver. The original plant burned in June 1908 but reopened in October. The mill was owned by Clark County lumberman Frederick Leadbetter and his father-in-law, Henry Pittock.

December 16, 2023, 5:58am Clark County Life

The man owned a lot of timber. Quite a lot. According to the 1908 American Lumberman, Frederick Leadbetter held nearly 1.4 billion feet of timber in Washington and Oregon. Clark County contained 200 million feet of it. Read story

Barnstorming pilot Tex Rankin with Alba Barba, a black cat loaned to him as a &ldquo;jinx&rdquo; for a cross-country air race from New York to Los Angeles. Rankin&rsquo;s plane also bore the number 13.

Clark County History: Pilot Tex Rankin

Barnstorming pilot Tex Rankin with Alba Barba, a black cat loaned to him as a &ldquo;jinx&rdquo; for a cross-country air race from New York to Los Angeles. Rankin&rsquo;s plane also bore the number 13.

December 9, 2023, 6:05am Clark County Life

A young Portland girl, Carol Mangold, loaned her black cat, Alba Barba, to a pilot in the 1928 National Air Race from New York to Los Angeles. The pilot, John “Tex” Rankin, started flying with the number 13 on his Waco 10 biplane fuselage in the national race the year… Read story

Charles &ldquo;Vern&rdquo; Bookwalter flew the first official airmail in the Pacific Northwest from Vancouver to Medford, Ore., for Pacific Air Transport in 1926. After surviving a number of exploits, he relocated to Alaska, flying as a bush pilot.

Clark County History: Pilot Vern Bookwalter

Charles &ldquo;Vern&rdquo; Bookwalter flew the first official airmail in the Pacific Northwest from Vancouver to Medford, Ore., for Pacific Air Transport in 1926. After surviving a number of exploits, he relocated to Alaska, flying as a bush pilot.

December 2, 2023, 6:05am Clark County Life

For Airmail Aviation Week 1938, the Vancouver Post Office created a hand stamp for envelopes sent from the town memorializing the first interstate airmail and the first airmail in the Pacific Northwest. The cachet honored the 1926 flight from Vancouver to Medford, Ore. and back. Read story

Henry H.

Clark County History: Henry Spalding, myth maker

Henry H.

November 25, 2023, 6:05am Clark County Life

The nation’s largest provider of missionaries for Indigenous populations, the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, dispatched Henry and Eliza Spalding to Kansas to Christianize the Osage. The board reassigned them to Oregon Country, and they traveled alongside Marcus and Narcissa Whitman. A troubled relationship emerged between the men… Read story

From foot soldier to aviator and balloonist, Carlton Foster Bond (1893-1980) was commander of Pearson Field, and briefly of the 321st Observation Squadron made up of Air Corps reserves. He was known as an excellent administrator and commander. When he retired, he returned to Vancouver to live until 1980.

Clark County History: Carlton Foster Bond

From foot soldier to aviator and balloonist, Carlton Foster Bond (1893-1980) was commander of Pearson Field, and briefly of the 321st Observation Squadron made up of Air Corps reserves. He was known as an excellent administrator and commander. When he retired, he returned to Vancouver to live until 1980.

November 18, 2023, 6:03am Clark County Life

Visitors to Pearson Air Museum often mistake the bronze statue there as a tribute to Alexander Pearson, the park’s namesake. However, inspecting the plaque, they discover it represents Carlton Foster Bond. Unlike Pearson, Bond was closely connected to the airfield, serving as its commander twice, first as a lieutenant (1929… Read story

Descending from a well-connected family set George Gibbs (1816-1873) on a scholarly path that included helping on surveys for the northern transcontinental railroad route, the border between the Washington Territory and Canada and ethnography of the Indigenous peoples of the territory. His namesake father was a noted Yale geologist, and his grandfather, Oliver Wolcott Jr., was the second U.S.

Clark County History: George Gibbs

Descending from a well-connected family set George Gibbs (1816-1873) on a scholarly path that included helping on surveys for the northern transcontinental railroad route, the border between the Washington Territory and Canada and ethnography of the Indigenous peoples of the territory. His namesake father was a noted Yale geologist, and his grandfather, Oliver Wolcott Jr., was the second U.S.

November 11, 2023, 6:04am Clark County Life

Mostly unknown today, George Gibbs went hands-on with several crucial aspects involving Washington Territory, including documenting Indigenous tribes and languages and participating in surveys for the transcontinental railroad’s northern route and the territorial-Canadian boundary. Later, he worked on resolving Hudson’s Bay Company’s claims against the United States. Read story