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Thursday, February 22, 2024
Feb. 22, 2024

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This week in Clark County history

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  • 100 years ago

Mayor N.E. Allen “exploded a bombshell” when he vetoed the Portland Gas and Coke company’s franchise on Oct. 9, 1923. The Vancouver City Council accepted a contract in which Portland Gas and Coke would pay $500 (just over $8,800 in today’s dollars) to the city, “and after that time, no charge by the city was to be made for the franchise rights.” The contract included “no written agreement governing gas prices” for the life of the 50-year agreement. Mayor Allen said he refused to grant the company’s contract because he felt “some sort of license or franchise fee should be paid annually for the right to sell gas in the city.”

  • 75 years ago

On Oct. 13, 1948, Clark County Public Utility District started a $4,000 job (nearly $50,000 in today’s dollars) to improve voltage for “350 Camas families living west of the paper mill.” The large amount of construction taking place in west Camas “and the constantly increasing use of electricity” taxed the current substation, requiring the utility district to build a new one.

  • 50 years ago

On Oct. 10, 1973, the Fort Vancouver Regional Library received a lighted magnifier. Purchased by the Hazel Dell Lions Club after a demonstration at the library, the viewer cost about $150 ($1,015 in today’s dollars). The Lions club touted the unlimited uses of the new magnifier. Not only could people with vision impairments use it to read, but anyone could use it to inspect coins, photos or other antiques, or even tie fishing flies.

  • 25 years ago

“After years, fears, and some tears,” Wal-Mart opened in Clark County on Oct. 14, 1998. The ribbon-cutting drew a crowd of about 250, with some folks lining up as early as 6:45 a.m. When festivities commenced, Sifton Elementary students sang a song about Wal-Mart, the Veterans of Foreign Wars Vancouver Post 7824 presented a flag, and store manager Tracy Ferschweiler dabbed away tears during an emotional speech. The event marked the end of a two-year process to get the store built after Clark County commissioners rejected the store. A lawsuit — and out-of-court settlement — brought about the excitement and well-attended opening.

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