in

What Vancouver, Washington looked like in the 1920s and 1930s

The state of Washington began Prohibition at midnight on December 31, 1915, more than four years before the nation went dry under the Volstead Act and the 18th Amendment. Following World War I, Prohibition brought more than just sobriety to the Northwest. Brewing industry was Vancouver’s primary source of jobs, and distillers provided income for fruit growers. Meanwhile, prune growers suffered significant losses due to bad weather and competition from California orchards. To support the industry, a booster group called the Prunarians organized and put together a Prune Festival. Although they tried their best, the market for Washington’s prunes steadily declined and eventually dried up.

Prunarians were not the only benign organization. The Ku Klux Klan made its first appearance in Vancouver on March 11, 1922, and it grew in power by portraying itself as a patriotic Christian group. They held a large open-air ceremony in August 1924, with a flaming cross as the centerpiece. There were 500 clansmen in the entire regalia present and an estimated 10,000 spectators.

The Great Depression began when Wall Street crashed on October 24, 1929. Vancouver’s mayor, John P. Kiggins, ordered building the city hall in November 1929, but it was to be constructed to office building specifications if it had to be sold quickly. Two significant industries were brought to Vancouver by the opening of Bonneville Dam on the Columbia River in 1938. Alcoa became the first company to build a plant in Vancouver two and a half miles from the city with low electricity prices.

#1 Three women and two men sit inside an open touring car, Vancouver, 1920

Three women and two men sit inside an open touring car, Vancouver, 1920

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#2 Vancouver Policemen, 1923

Vancouver Policemen, 1923

The policemen are standing in front of the police station, and are dressed in their uniforms with their badges on, and wearing a high rounded hat with insignia.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#3 Covington House Near Vancouver, 1926

Covington House Near Vancouver, 1926

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#4 Interstate Bridge Crossing Columbia River at Vancouver, 1925

Interstate Bridge Crossing Columbia River at Vancouver, 1925

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#5 Interstate Bridge from Vancouver, 1920

Interstate Bridge from Vancouver, 1920

The photo shows the business section and Pacific Highway Interstate Bridge. The Columbia River and Portland, Oregon can be seen in the distance.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#6 Main Building School for the Deaf Vancouver, 1920

Main Building School for the Deaf Vancouver, 1920

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#7 1st Presbyterian Church – Vancouver, 1920

1st Presbyterian Church – Vancouver, 1920

A number of stained-glass windows can be seen in the photo.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#8 Main Building State School for the Blind, Vancouver, 1920

Main Building State School for the Blind, Vancouver, 1920

The photo shows a large, imposing, three story brick building with columned porches or entrances on the two sides that can be seen in the photo.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#9 Pacific Highway Interstate Bridge across Columbia River between Portland, Ore. and Vancouver, 1920

Pacific Highway Interstate Bridge across Columbia River between Portland, Ore. and Vancouver, 1920

A trolley car with the sign VC Limited is at the end of the bridge. A small speed limit sign, and another that reads partially, Must Walk, are on one side of the bridge.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#10 Ku Klux Klan Meeting, Vancouver, 1925

Ku Klux Klan Meeting, Vancouver, 1925

Fifteen male Ku Klux Klan members, wearing ceremonial robes and hats, stand posing with arms crossed in image center, facing the photographer. Probably a British flag is draped against the upper wall behind them. A tall cross, with circular objects spaced along the center of the bars, is in the middle of the group. A small table, with possibly a British flag draped across the top, is in front of the cross.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#11 W.W. Fair Pendleton Wool Booth, 1923

W.W. Fair Pendleton Wool Booth, 1923

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#12 Battle Ground High School Senior Class, 1924

Battle Ground High School Senior Class, 1924

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#13 Bridge over Lewis River, 1920

Bridge over Lewis River, 1920

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#14 The exterior of the Camas Paper Mill near the railroad tracks, 1920.

The exterior of the Camas Paper Mill near the railroad tracks, 1920.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#15 Caravan of Soldiers Heading to Camp Bonneville, 1929

Caravan of Soldiers Heading to Camp Bonneville, 1929

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#16 The exterior of the Carmack building located at NE 4th Avenue and Cedar Street in Camas, 1920s

The exterior of the Carmack building located at NE 4th Avenue and Cedar Street in Camas, 1920s

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#17 Ceremony at Vancouver Barracks, 1920s

Ceremony at Vancouver Barracks, 1920s

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#18 Crown Willamette Company House, 1920s

Crown Willamette Company House, 1920s

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#19 Students gather outside of Franklin School in Vancouver, 1920s

Students gather outside of Franklin School in Vancouver, 1920s

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#20 Hager’s Theater located at 1905 Washington Street in Vancouver, 1920s

Hager's Theater located at 1905 Washington Street in Vancouver, 1920s

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#21 The exterior of the Independent Lumber Company building located at 2615 Main Street off Fourth Plain Boulevard in Vancouver, 1928

The exterior of the Independent Lumber Company building located at 2615 Main Street off Fourth Plain Boulevard in Vancouver, 1928

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#22 Independent Lumber Company, 1920

Independent Lumber Company, 1920

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#23 People pose for a photo at the Lake Shore Grange in Vancouver, 1920

People pose for a photo at the Lake Shore Grange in Vancouver, 1920

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#24 Lindsay Lumber Company, 1928

Lindsay Lumber Company, 1928

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#25 Main Street Vancouver, 1920

Main Street Vancouver, 1920

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#26 Main Street Washougal Washington, 1922

Main Street Washougal Washington, 1922

Postcard to Mrs. Al Pierce in Portland of the main street in Washougal with Hardware and Furniture stores.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#27 Maneuvering Sections into Place, 1927

Maneuvering Sections into Place, 1927

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#28 The exterior of the American Legion community building in Vancouver, 1922.

The exterior of the American Legion community building in Vancouver, 1922.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#29 Mikiah and Rebecca Marshall Home, 1920.

Mikiah and Rebecca Marshall Home, 1920.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#30 Bonneville Dam, 1939

Bonneville Dam, 1939

A group of men, some with cameras, gather at the site of Bonneville Dam along the Columbia River Gorge.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#31 A view of 6th Street along Esther Short Park, 1930s. The railroad bridge is visible in the distance.

A view of 6th Street along Esther Short Park, 1930s. The railroad bridge is visible in the distance.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#32 6th Street, Vancouver, 1930s

6th Street, Vancouver, 1930s

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#33 8th & West Reserve Street, 1930s

8th & West Reserve Street, 1930s

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#34 Five Men Stand Outside a Store, 1930s

Five Men Stand Outside a Store, 1930s

Five men stand outside the door of a store near a railroad. The men are possibly railroad workers on the Vancouver Railroad Bridge.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#35 Fred Booker rides a horse during a parade in Vancouver, Washington, 1930s

Fred Booker rides a horse during a parade in Vancouver, Washington, 1930s

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#36 Students gather outside for a photograph at Harney school in Vancouver, 1932

Students gather outside for a photograph at Harney school in Vancouver, 1932

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#37 Harney School in Vancouver, 1930s

Harney School in Vancouver, 1930s

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#38 The exterior of the Hotel St. Elmo which is located at 5th and Washington Street in Vancouver, 1930s

The exterior of the Hotel St. Elmo which is located at 5th and Washington Street in Vancouver, 1930s

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#39 William Shoenig behind the bar at the Lehthle Saloon located at 502 Main Street in Vancouver, 1930s

William Shoenig behind the bar at the Lehthle Saloon located at 502 Main Street in Vancouver, 1930s

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#40 Mr. and Mrs. A.L. Brougher with Worth Coulson, 1935

Mr. and Mrs. A.L. Brougher with Worth Coulson, 1935

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#41 Old School House, 1930s

Old School House, 1930s

This house was located in an urban renewal area at 500 Franklin Street in Vancouver, Washington and had a Masonic Lodge upstairs. It was later converted to a school and is believed to be the first Masonic Lodge in Vancouver.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#42 Orchards School, 1930

Orchards School, 1930

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#43 Pacific Highway in Downtown Vancouver, 1936

Pacific Highway in Downtown Vancouver, 1936

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#44 A view of the Army Air Corps at Pearson Airfield with Mount Hood in the background, 1930

A view of the Army Air Corps at Pearson Airfield with Mount Hood in the background, 1930

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#45 A group of men stand in front of a building housing the Phil Willig Merchant Tailor shop, 1930s

A group of men stand in front of a building housing the Phil Willig Merchant Tailor shop, 1930s

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Written by Aung Budhh

Husband + Father + librarian + Poet + Traveler + Proud Buddhist. I love you with the breath, the smiles and the tears of all my life.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.