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Saturday, December 2, 2023
Dec. 2, 2023

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This week in Clark County history


A weekly look back compiled by the Clark County Historical Museum from The Columbian archives available at columbian.newspapers.com or at the museum.

  • 100 years ago

The first battalion of the 7th Infantry, under the command of Maj. H.C. Browne, returned to Vancouver on the morning of Aug. 6, 1923, after participating in the funeral procession of President Warren G. Harding. The 29th president died on Aug. 2, 1923, of a heart attack in San Francisco. Already nearby for instruction at the Gigling military reservation, the 7th Infantry was ordered to accompany Harding during his visit. After his sudden death, the soldiers “escorted the casket of the former president from the Palace hotel to his special funeral trail.” They left for the Vancouver Barracks immediately afterward.

  • 75 years ago

The first test case regarding the authority of the Clark County Planning Commission came up on Aug. 7, 1948. Residents brought complaints against L.C. Smith’s auto court and trailer camp. Smith did not have a permit to establish either site, but “was given oral permission to operate a trailer camp there during the war,” which Smith agreed to move at the end of the conflict. Instead, he enlarged the facility. Property owners asked for “a more stringent zoning ordinance,” as they believed the rules allowed for too many exceptions.

  • 50 years ago

The Clark County Public Utility District was informed on Aug. 9, 1973, that it would not have enough electrical power to meet customer needs for the upcoming winter season. Local power purveyor Bonneville Power Administration expected a 7 percent deficit in electricity it could sell to customers. While the crunch would likely come in March 1974, the Clark County public utility began asking customers to voluntarily conserve energy early to prevent mandatory measures later.

  • 25 years ago

On Aug. 6, 1998, Vancouver’s Knights of Pythias Retirement Center announced it would let a federal low-rent subsidy lapse. Administrators of the complex noted “federal rent caps have the building headed for financial failure.” Monthly rents in the 161-unit retirement community increased for 76 subsidized apartments from $605 to $720 for a studio and $1,060 for a one-bedroom. Tenants received notice of the contract’s expiration in the preceding weeks. Most, like 14-year resident Helen Rector, 84, were unfazed: “No, I don’t think anyone is going to be surprised by this. Just heartbroken, that’s all.”

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