- The HSD teamed up with the Hockinson Main Street Team and other volunteers to give a local landmark a new look and a new home at the Hockinson Community Center. -
What does a road sign communicate? In most cases, that answer depends on its purpose and message. Aside from showing the mileage to nearby locations, the directional sign post that was recently replaced near its original location at the intersection of 182nd Ave. and 159th St. also represents history, an unexpected turn of events, and the power of community.
Let’s start with history. Before smartphones, drivers relied on verbal directions and road signs to aid with navigation. For years, Hockinson’s directional signs along 182nd Avenue helped orient drivers to the nearby communities like Orchards and recreational activities like Clark Rifles and Cedars Golf Course. To many, though, the signs meant more than direction and distance. They were local landmarks.
Now for the unexpected turn of events: Last school year, HSD Superintendent Steve Marshall took a picture of the old directional sign to symbolize how schools are central to Hockinson's identity just as Hockinson is geographically central to Clark County.
A few days later, a community member contacted Marshall to tell him that the sign post was wobbly and unsafe. The sign post’s poor condition was reported to the Clark County Operations Department, which promptly responded and reclaimed it. Weeks passed and the sign never returned to the traffic island at Hockinson’s main intersection. Marshall inquired and learned why: The county no longer replaces rotten directional sign posts. It removes them! However, he also learned that the signs could be repurposed by other entities as long as they were placed on their - and not county - property. The directional signs were recovered and reinstalling them became a priority for members of the Hockinson Main Street Team (HMST). After all, it was the sign post that inspired the HMST Logo:
The project also attracted what became a team of Hockinson volunteers:
The first task was to find a new post. No problem! HHS parent Bryan Yinger and Brad Ridenhour from Shur-Way Building Centers took care of that, helping Marshall and HSD Operations Director Shaniko Ristau select the perfect 6” x 6” x 12' at a discount!
But the HMST wanted to do something unique. Since the town does not have a welcome sign, the team agreed that it would make a statement and add curb appeal if the post were painted the same color as the trim paint on the Hockinson Community Center...with the exception of white vertical letters spelling “Hockinson.”
The post sat idle for most of the summer while the team tracked down a wood worker who could carve the letters into the post. Eventually, the HMST was put in touch with longtime Hockinson resident Dean Christensen, who gladly donated the engraving. And the project was back on schedule!
Justin VanNatta teamed with another Hockinson local, Adam Teach, to fill the carved letters with white epoxy. Once done, VanNatta primed and painted the post. The directional signs were attached a few days later.
Brett Bloom, from nearby Venersborg (6 miles to be exact!), lent his auger to the HMST for the install. After a few failed attempts due to heavy rains, the sign finally went in the ground on Saturday, November 13.
Judging from the positive reception to the project, the sign post was missed. Replacing it would not have been possible without the support of the Hockinson community. Past and present Hockinson residents are invited to welcome the sign post back to The Corner by submitting their own #signpostselfie!