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News / Life / Clark County Life

This week in Clark County history

By Katie Bush, public historian at the Clark County Historical Museum
Published: January 6, 2023, 5:10am

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

On Jan. 3, 1923, the suspension bridge extending over the Cowlitz River collapsed. Over 150 people were on the span when it fell into the river. After people searched the river for days, the tragic accident resulted in many injuries and the deaths of two individuals, including George O. McDonald of Vancouver.

75 years ago

Gov. Monrad Wallgren granted 17-year-old Vancouver high school student Joe Maish clemency in January 1948; he’d been convicted of murdering La Donna Toscas two years prior. Concerns about Maish’s age led Wallgren to issue an 11th-hour commutation of a death sentence to 99 years in prison.

50 years ago

On Jan. 2, 1973, Ridgefield held a recall election after municipal controversies entangled the mayor and three city councilors. When the final vote was tallied, Ridgefield residents had ousted the mayor and kept the councilors.

25 years ago

A Portland man began the process to bring a 250-pound Siberian tiger to Battle Ground around Jan. 2, 1998. After initially filing a wild animal license with Clark County officials, residents in the north county area expressed differing views on their potential feline neighbor. Ultimately, the tiger owner’s land deal fell through and the big cat never moved to Battle Ground.