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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: October 6, 2023, 6:05am

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 Vancouver Chamber of Commerce moved to take “immediate steps toward solving the housing problem” at its Oct. 3, 1923, meeting. Leaders in the manufacturing sector reported that employees brought to the area for work were “finding it almost impossible to obtain suitable houses in Vancouver.” Will DuBois told the chamber that “unless the people of Vancouver provided homes for the men they would live in Portland,” leaving Vancouver without the profits from the new industries “with large payrolls.”

  • 75 years ago

J.F. McDonnell, manager of the local employment security office, announced on Oct. 5, 1948, that hiring took a “sharp upward swing during the past 30 days.” The significant drop in unemployment was likely due to the start of heavy processing work at canneries, with “a large number of housewives” reentering the workforce and taking on these positions. McDonnell linked the shift to “the high cost of living, creating a need for supplemental income.”

  • 50 years ago

Petitions challenging the Vancouver City Council’s decision to turn the old Fort Vancouver High School into an Albertsons began circulating on the morning of Oct. 4, 1973. The petition sought to repeal the council’s decision or “refer it to the people for a vote.” The school district sold the building to the Vancouver Housing Authority around 1970. The housing authority opted to build senior housing on part of the lot, and sell the remainder to Albertsons, pending a zone change. City Attorney Jerry King noted that state law gives the city the right to make changes to zoning and planning ordinances, “and that several state Supreme Court cases have affirmed that state law giving the council that power supersedes city charters making actions of the council referable to a vote of the people.”

  • 25 years ago

On Oct. 6, 1998, five groups submitted proposals for a Vancouver arts center. At a morning meeting, the groups toured the potential community arts hub, a former church at 400 W. Evergreen. With a $50,000 budget for operating expenses, no rent, and “cost free maintenance” developers and large businesses were not eligible to submit proposals. By the end of the year, the Arts Council of Clark County took over operations of the building.