Clark County (pop. 425,363) is bordered on the west and south by the Columbia River, and on the north by the Lewis River. It is Washington’s fifth-most-populous county.
It is one of 12 Clark counties in the U.S., and one of three (along with Arkansas and Missouri) named for William Clark (1770-1838) of the Lewis and Clark Expedition.
The county seat of Clark County is the city of Vancouver (pop. 161,791), fourth-largest city in Washington, located across the Columbia from Portland, Oregon.
English settlement of the Vancouver area began in 1824 at Fort Vancouver, a fur-trading outpost of the Hudson’s Bay Company. It was named for naval officer and explorer George Vancouver (1757-1798). Vancouver, B.C., was named later in the 19th century.
Vancouver’s population grew rapidly during World War II, when Henry Kaiser built a shipyard that employed as many as 36,000 people.
The Kiggins Theatre opened in downtown Vancouver in 1936. It now has variety of films, concerts, and special events.
The city of Ridgefield (pop. 4,763), northwest of Vancouver, is the home of the Arndt Prune Dryer (1898), one of the last traditional, farm-built prune dryer building in Washington.
The athletic teams at Ridgefield High School are known as the Spudders, because of the region’s potato-growing heritage.
In the city of Camas (pop. 19,355), east of Vancouver, the sports teams at Camas High School are called the Papermakers, because of its large Georgia-Pacific paper mill.
Richie Sexson, the tallest position player in Major League history (at 6’8″), grew up in the unincorporated community of Brush Prairie, north of Vancouver.
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