Bit of HiStory: That Time the President Visited Vancouver


To date, the United States of America has had 45 presidents. Several have visited our nook of the Pacific Northwest, but it took a long time for the very first to grace us with his presence. In honor of Presidents’ Day this month, let’s take a walk back in time through the presidential visits Clark County has received.

America was over a hundred years old before the first of our presidents visited Vancouver or Clark County. When it did happen, it was Rutherford B. Hayes who, on Saturday, October 2, 1880, stayed overnight at what we now call the O.O. Howard house on Officers Row. President Hayes got up early, and attended church at the Methodist Church that was then at 8th and Washington. On Monday he sailed upriver, past the settlements at Parker’s Landing and Washougal. When he returned to Vancouver on October 7, schoolchildren were at the wharf waiting for him. He came ashore to meet with the children and assorted dignitaries of the town.

To read more, pick up a copy of the February 2018 issue at any of these locations, or view the digital archive copy here.

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About Author

Pat Jollota retired from the Los Angeles Police Department and came to Vancouver to find a new career in historic preservation. She was curator of education at the Clark County Historical Museum for 22 years, while almost concurrently serving for 20 years on the Vancouver City Council.

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