News

Ilwaco’s New Exhibit

The Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum’s new exhibit, Fire! will be on display until March 2022.


Washington’s south coast may be known for wet weather and surrounding waters, but fire has always been an integral part of life on the North Beach Peninsula. Early accounts indicate that Indigenous peoples utilized controlled burning to steward the land. As the North Beach Peninsula grew with settlement during the late nineteenth and early 20th centuries, large homes, hotels, canneries and commercial buildings were built of timber and were particularly susceptible to fire.
The Fire! exhibit features photographs, objects, and stories surrounding many of the fires that shaped and changed the local communities. The exhibit includes displays on the Nahcotta fire in 1915, the Ilwaco High School fire of 1936, the Keystone Cannery fire, Sid’s Market fire in the 1960s, and the more recent 2006 fire that swept through Ilwaco’s Fire Hall. Throughout all these disasters, members of the mostly volunteer fire departments reacted quickly and successfully.
Fire! will be on view until March 2022. The Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum is open Wednesdays through Saturdays, 10 am-4 pm and is currently offering free admission.