From Fort Vancouver to Cottonwood Beach, from Esther Short Park to the Cedar Creek Grist Mill, many reminders of Clark County’s proud past are preserved for future generations.
One of the most important sites is the Vancouver National Historic Reserve, which is maintained by the National Park Service. Created by Congress in 1996, the 366-acre reserve was established to protect adjacent, historically significant areas. It includes the Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, as well as Vancouver Barracks, Officers Row, Pearson Field and Pearson Air Museum and portions of the Columbia River waterfront.
Other famous historic and cultural resources are preserved through the work of the five-member Clark County Historic Preservation Commission. They include buildings, structures, sites and objects identified by the commission as having historic significance worthy of county recognition.
With staff support from the county’s Community Development department, this group: conducts a comprehensive inventory of important sites in the county; maintains the Clark County Heritage Register; and submits or reviews nominations to the Washington State Heritage Register and National Register of Historic Places. Property owners are encouraged to maintain, rehabilitate and preserve important historic sites and heirlooms.
Volunteer groups have played a large part in historic preservation efforts in Clark County. Good examples are the Cedar Creek Grist Mill and the bicentennial of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, including Captain William Clark Park at Cottonwood Beach and the Confluence Project.