History will come to life at the second annual Parkersville Day on June 3, 2023, from 12 pm to 3 pm, held at the Parker's Landing Historical Park, located at the Port of Camas-Washougal Marina. The event will feature several live presentations, performances and displays that offer entertaining and interesting local history lessons for all ages.
Sam Robinson will kick off the event with an authentic Chinook blessing at noon followed by a presentation of music, dance, history, and current events. Robinson has served on the Chinook Indian Nation Tribal Council for over 22 years and has served as vice chairman for the past eleven years. Additionally, he worked with PSU during the archeological work done at Cathlapoltle, helping with the Cathlapotle Plankhouse construction. He served on the WSU Native American Advisory board for six years, and currently serves on several boards to include Confluence, Friends of Ridgefield Wildlife, and as a teacher and advisor for Clark College. He's the go to for Native history on the Columbia River.
Winners of the art contest by students from Washougal School District will follow. The artwork will be on display and features a Chinook heritage theme to include imagery of salmon, dugout canoes, longhouses, baskets, camas bulbs and more. Washougal Arts and Culture Alliance (WACA) is sponsoring the contest and prizes. Contributing to the prizes are The Port of Camas-Washougal and the Parkersville National Historic Site Advisory Committee. All winners will also receive museum passes donated by Clark County Historical Museum. Two Rivers Museum has donated artwork for first prize winners by artist Adam McIsaac who did the wood carving for the Cathlapotle Plankhouse at Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge and the Gathering Place at Two Rivers Museum.
At around 12:30 pm, storyteller Pepper Toelle Kim will recount real events from her ancestors who traveled in an 1844 wagon train journey that took seven months along the Oregon Trail. They traveled alongside historic settlers David C. Parker, Michael Troutman Simmons, and George Washington Bush. Parker was the first permanent American settler in Washington, adding a dock, ferry service, and the town of Parkersville on the north bank of the Columbia River. Kim will be available for questions at the event’s Daughters of the Pioneers of WA (DPW) table.
Rolan Tripp, DVM, will then share his passion for telling local history stories with tales of pioneers Michael Troutman Simmons and George Washington Bush. Tripp is a gifted orator and has been the featured speaker for Science on Tap, Portland, Oregon. He is also known for drawing standing room only at his veterinary behavior lectures at state, national, and international veterinary conferences.
Just as a "fine brass band" played at the 1879 Parkersville namesake event, the Whiskey Flats Brass Band will play around 1:00 pm. Inspired by the mid-1800s American town and military bands, this living history group is dedicated to the preservation and appreciation of authentic brass band music. Their historical anecdotes transport listeners back in time.
Storyteller Rich Schumann will give highlights of the dairy industry history in and around Parkersville at around 2:00 pm. Schumann is a local resident, retired lieutenant colonel, retired teacher, active Camas Scout Troop 562 father, and a new member of the Parkersville National Historic Site Advisory Committee to the C/W Port.
Washougal High School band, led by teacher David Duarte, will debut an original song written specifically to honor the event. “Parkersville Song” will be performed around 2:30 pm and was composed by local retired band instructor David K. Parker, no relation to the event and park namesake David C. Parker. The WHS Band performed at the first Parkersville Day. Selections included “Liberty Bell” and “Anchors Away,” songs played by the high school band at the grand opening of Parkers Landing History Park on June 1, 1986.
Last July, WSU accepted the park’s historic apple grove, cherry, and walnut trees as Clark County Heritage Trees. At this year’s event, WSU will have a table of information and give tours that identify park trees with fun facts about the tree types and care.
Additional organizations with tables of information at the event will be Parkersville Heritage Foundation (PHF), Clark County Historical Museum, Two Rivers Heritage Museum, Washougal Arts and Culture Alliance (WACA), and Chinook Indian Nation. As they did last year, CW Soroptimists will share a booth with PHF.
For more information about Parkersville Day, email ParkersvilleHeritageFoundation@gmail.com or follow them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ParkersLandingHistoricalPark