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Friday, December 8, 2023
Dec. 8, 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

On Sept. 24, 1923, law enforcement officials announced Sheriff William A. Thompson “and a force of deputies” conducted a raid on a Yacolt dance hall over the weekend. After receiving complaints “that there was moonshine being consumed at the dance … Sheriff Thompson and his deputies swooped down on the place late Saturday night.” Police arrested a “number” of individuals, with charges ranging from “drunk and disorderly” to “intoxication.”

  • 75 years ago

On Sept. 29, 1948, local attorneys and politicians needed “crystal balls” to settle a question concerning Ronald DuFresne’s candidacy for county coroner. The issue centered on if the Republican contender could run for a third straight term. The state constitution outlined “that no county official shall be eligible to hold his office more than two terms in succession.” DuFresne served two terms between 1939 and 1947. However, Ray Andrews assumed office in 1947, but passed away before finishing out the term. County commissioners appointed democrat Roy Spady Jr., whose term as coroner expired in 1951. Ultimately, Judge Guthrie Langsdorf ruled DuFresne ineligible for coroner on Oct. 1.

  • 50 years ago

On Sept. 24, 1973, the city of Vancouver’s paint shop began the process of changing all the street signs from wood to “standardized, reflectorized, metal-backed signs.” The three -to four-year campaign to switch out the street signs was part of the city’s recently passed plan to alter downtown traffic. The process to create the metal-backed signs comprised several steps. “It starts with a roll of flexible, sticky-backed, highly reflective thin plastic,” which was cut into sign-shapes. Using a silk-screening process, city workers put a dark green background on the plastic, leaving the street name in relief. The plastic tops are left to dry before being “applied to the metal sign backs by running them through a wringer similar to those on old time washing machines and then baking them in a new contraption that looks like a cross between a giant waffle iron and giant sun lamp.”

  • 25 years ago

Four St. Joseph Catholic School eighth-grade students undertook a fundraiser as a gambit to meet “heartthrob actor Leonardo DiCaprio,” The Columbian reported on Sept. 24, 1998. The students ended up raising $4,000 and making it to the pages of People and Teen People magazines in General Motor’s “Concept: Cure” ad campaign. The students heard about the fundraiser on Rosie O’Donnell’s talk show and figured if they “raised enough money for ‘Concept: Cure,’ they just might get to appear on the Rosie O’Donnell show where — who knows? — ‘Titanic’ star DiCaprio also might appear.” After raising the money and seeing the prototype ad, the four teens conceded that “Leo is passe now,” but still enjoyed their 15 minutes of fame.

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