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Take a trip through historic Hockinson

Last Updated: 5/9/2020 4:19 AM

Education is a 150-year tradition in Hockinson. How much do you know about your community? Learn some fun facts and historic landmarks using the map and points of interest below.

 

DRIVING MAP:
(click on map to enlarge)

 

Historic map
 

POINTS OF INTEREST:
(click on headings for locations)

 

Alderbrook (U11): This 63-acre park, which features an array of outdoor activities, opened in the 1960s. It is the home site for the Hockinson HS Cross Country Teams.

Battle Ground (E6): This community, located four miles to the northwest of Hockinson, was first nicknamed “Strong’s Battle Ground” for an 1855 encounter involving U.S. soldiers led by Captain Strong and a group of Native Americans led by Chief Umtuch. There was no battle, but Chief Umtuch died in the confrontation.

Battle Ground Lake (L2): This 28-acre lake, set in the crater of a volcanic cone, is the centerpiece of a 279-acre state park that includes a swimming area, boat launch, campground, and hiking and bridle trails. Originally called Crater Lake, it was also the site of a resort that featured a dance hall and roller coaster. The State of Washington purchased the park from the Dollar (Dollar’s Corner) family in 1966.

Battle Ground High School (F6): Before Hockinson had a high school of its own, generations of Hockinson students completed their secondary education at Battle Ground High School. The school was established in 1910. Its original mascot was the Cheesemaker.

Berry Farms (M11): 182nd Ave leads to a prolific Blueberry Corridor that includes Prairie, Majestic, Grandma Dixie's, and Mattila's Berry Farms.

Blacksmith Shop (M15): Located near where Hockinson Auto Works now stands was another early 1900s landmark: Charles Sandberg’s Blacksmith Shop. Later in his life, a sign of the changing times, Sandberg became a fabricator and welder.

Brush Prairie (E16): This area was reportedly named for a brushy marsh located south of Battle Ground. Two of Brush Prairie's most historic landmarks are the General Store, which opened in the early 1900s, and the Brush Prairie Baptist Church, established in the 1863.

Camp Bonneville (X27): Though seven miles away, soldiers stationed at Camp Bonneville marched through the country roads of Hockinson as part of their training. This former United States Army post was used as a rifle range and weapons training facility. The nearly 4,000-acre site was closed in 1995.

Cedars Neighborhood (I12): This area takes its name from the nearby Cedars Golf Course, which was built in 1975 and is presently the home course for the Hockinson HS Golf Team. Running through the golf course is the historic Chelatchie Prairie Railroad.

Chelatchie Prairie Railroad (H12): The timber salvage that occurred following the Yacolt Burn gave new life to this rail line that was started in 1887 to link Vancouver to Yakima. The railroad is now owned by Clark County, running northeast through the county. It's shown on our map crossing over NE 142nd Ave., though the train depot is located in Yacolt.

China Ditch - aka Eureka Ditch and Big Ditch Creek (K19-20): Prior to the digging of this ditch along 172nd Ave, the area around Fifth Plain was a series of swamps and small lakes that residents often crossed in rowboats. In the Spring of 1893, a work crew of about 100 Chinese laborers started excavating the ditch using only shovels and buckets. The project narrowly avoided a shutdown in the final months. Once completed, this ditch helped to transform swampy wetlands into fertile farmland. 

Dublin (G1): What the Finns were to Hockinson and the Swedes to Venersborg, so were the Irish to Dublin, just north of Battle Ground. About all that remains now of this community are the Sacred Heart Cemetery and Dublin
Road.

Elim (G14): This area between Hockinson and Brush Prairie was named by devout Finnish Lutherans in honor of a biblical village on the route of the Israelites’ exodus. Elim Lutheran Church was established in 1884 and a number of Finnish settlers are buried at the Elim Cemetery, dating back to 1907.

Elkhorn Mountain (Y14): Disease and settlement displaced both the local Native Americans as well as the game that grazed on the open plains. A number of elk horns, discovered near Elkhorn Mountain (elev. 2,228 ft.), indicated that elk herds had moved to higher elevations east of Hockinson.

Eureka School (L14): Eureka School opened its doors in 1873. The first public school in the area, it was located on the NW corner of 159th St. and 182nd Avenue near the former Hockinson Middle School.

Fifth Plain (M22): Also named Campbell’s Corner, Fifth Plain was named for being the fifth prairie away from Fort Vancouver, which were in order: Mill Plain, Second Plain (18th St. & Andresen Rd.), Third Plain (SR 500 area near Vancouver Mall), Fourth Plain (Orchards & Sifton), and Fifth Plain at Ward Road. That name survives today in Fifth Plain Creek near NE Davis Rd.

Fifth Plain School (N22): This K-8 school was located at the corner of NE Davis Road and 192nd Ave. was the oldest school building in Hockinson (ca. 1852).  The Hockinson School District No. 8 and the Fifth Plain District No. 2 consolidated on March 16, 1929.

Finn Hall (N14): The sign that hung above the entrance designated this building as the “UFKB & S Meeting Hall” - a lodge for members of the United Finnish Kaleva Brothers and Sisters. It opened with great fanfare on Valentine’s Day 1931, but for generations of Hockinson residents this landmark has gone by a more simple moniker: Finn Hall.

Finn Hill (N12): An area to the east of Hockinson named for the large number of Finns immigrants who settled there. It is also the site of another historic Finnish cemetery.

Five Corners (B27): Four roads converged at the intersection of Covington Road and 76th, 92nd, and 94th avenues, creating five corners. 

Flatwoods (C12): A huge forested area between Brush Prairie and Union Ridge (now known as Ridgefield) that was covered with fir, ash, alder, cedar and maple trees.

Gravelly Point (K12): This gravel pit located at 167th Ave and 172nd St. went by many other names including “Hard Scrabble,” which speaks to the challenge of farming on a gravel deposit.

Hockinson (M14): Hockinson was originally called “Eureka” by Finnish settlers. The name change came when the town applied for a post office. There was already a post office named Eureka in Washington so the name was changed to Hockinson in honor of the area’s first postmaster, Ambrosius Hakanson, in the 1880s.

Hockinson Creamery (N15): This creamery may be gone today, but it was still operating in the area in the early 1900s. Four other creameries operated in Clark County at that time, and despite the small number, Clark County was one of the top cheese producing counties in the state.

Hockinson Heights Elementary School (O13): The largest school and oldest school (est. 1968) in the Hockinson School District, Hockinson Heights serves its youngest learners. Nearly 900 students K-5 students attend HHES. Its mascot is the Hornet.

Hockinson High School (K15): Hockinson’s first-ever high school opened in 2003. It received a Community Pride Design Award for contributing to the beauty of Clark County. More than 600 students attend HHS. Its mascot, the Hawk, is named after the hawks that live near the fields of Hockinson and Brush Prairie.

Hockinson Market (L15): The market, built in 1928, originally housed the Hockinson Co-op Association of local dairy farmers. This corner was also the site of the area’s first post office.

Hockinson Middle School (L13): This school, rebuilt in 2017, serves more than 500 students Grades 6-8. Like Hockinson Heights Elementary School, its mascot is also the Hornet.

Hockinson Meadows (K21): 70 acres of this 240-acre public park were developed in 2008 as part of the Greater Clark Parks District program. The Kane Memorial Dog Park was added 5 years later. A disc golf course is being added later this year.

Hockinson War Memorial (L14): This structure was built to honor former Hockinson School District students who died in World War II and the Vietnam War. It was dedicated in March 1973.

Larch Mountain (10 miles E of map): At an elevation of 3,480 feet, it is the highest free-standing peak in Clark County. It is named for the Larch trees that covered it prior to the Yacolt Burn of 1902.

Mesache (R10): Before becoming a General in the Civil War, George McClellan was an engineer in the U.S. Army. In 1853, his expedition traveled from Vancouver to Yakima over the Klickitat Trail to determine if the pass
was a viable route for a railroad line from the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean. Their fourth campsite near Venersborg was named Mesache, which means "bad" in Chinook.

Morgan Creek (M15): Located near 182nd Ave. and 159th St., this creek is named for Lewis and B. Morgan, who built one of Hockinson’s first homes in 1888.

Mountain View School (T17): Mountain View School merged with the Hockinson School District on August 4, 1938.

Naturescaping Wildlife Botanical Gardens (D15): These themed gardens, located at 117th Ave. and 49th St., demonstrate gardening concepts that attract birds, butterflies, hummingbirds and other wildlife to residential
gardens. The gardens are now run by an all-volunteer nonprofit whose mission is "Gardens and programs that inspire, educate and enrich our lives and community."

Orchards (H23): Just west of the district boundary line off of NE 162nd Avenue lies Orchards, which was originally called Fourth Plain. Since the Fourth Plain covers a large area, the community’s residents wanted a unique name that would identify them alone. There were great tracts of fruit trees in the area, so they chose the name Orchards in 1904.

Padden Parkway (A25–K25): This road, built in stages from 1993 to 2003, was named in honor of James Padden, a prominent Vancouver businessman and civic leader.

Prairie High School (D21): Prairie High School was built in 1979 and was one of the primary high schools attended by Hockinson students before Hockinson High School opened in 2003.

Proebstel (T29): Jacob Proebstel and his wife left Germany and settled in Clark County, where they raised seven children. Those children settled in and around the family home on Fourth Plain. The community of Proebstel takes its name from that family.

Prune Orchards (Q12): In the early 1900s, Clark County was regarded as The Prune Capital of the World.  Worldwide demand decreased during World War I as did this area’s number of prune orchards.

Salmon Falls School (U11): Finnish settlers established this school in the NE portion of Hockinson. It merged with the Hockinson School District on May 29, 1931.

Salmon-Morgan Creeks Natural Area (J10): This 81-acre preserve features 1.5 miles of soft surface trails that are open to foot traffic. It contains large stands of fir, western red cedar and hemlock.

Sim Sik (M22): The Chinook called Fifth Plain “Sim Sik.” This area, located just east of China Ditch, was also the third campsite of General McClellan’s expedition over the Klickitat Pass.

Tukes Mountain (J5): This 620-foot mountain was named for John Tuke, who settled just north of Hockinson and ran a logging operation with his sons.

Velvet Acres (N25): This area was named for the 80-acre Velvet Acres Dairy Farm, which started in the late 1960s. Velvet Acres is now known for its u-pick produce and pumpkin patch.

Venersborg (O5): The name Venersborg means “A friendly place.” The Swedish Land and Colonization Company advertised across Scandinavia promising settlers cleared farmland. They instead found burnt forests. Its school, established in 1912, merged into the Battle Ground School District in 1933.

Ward Road (J25): Named for W.A. “Al” Ward, who was an early homesteader in Brush Prairie and served on the Hockinson School Board.

Yacolt Burn (V18): A massive and destructive forest fire that began at the Wind River in Skamania County and was fueled by the east winds through Clark County. It is believed that it was called the Yacolt Burn because the Weyerhauser Lumber Company, based out of Yacolt, salvaged the fire-damaged lumber.

 

Special thanks to the Clark County Historical Museum and The Columbian for their historical records and assistance.