Columbia County Museum Association hosts party in honor of historical event on Feb. 25

PHOTO COURTESY OF THE COLUMBIA COUNTY MUSEUM ASSOCIATION - This historic photo shows The Strand, facing north, around 1915 and depicts what would have been the busiest part of town during that time. The city will celebrate its 130th anniversary of incorporation on Feb 25.The city of St. Helens will celebrate the 130th anniversary of its incorporation as a city next week.

On Monday, Feb. 25, the Columbia County Museum Association will be hosting a special event, "St. Helens 1889: A Snapshot in Time," to commemorate the occasion.

Brandon Sundeen, a local historian and member of the CCMA board of directors, said he recently discovered the date of incorporation.

"I was doing research on another project and it talked about the date of February 25th as the official date of St Helens' incorporation in 1889. So I thought it would be nice to do something," Sundeen said. "[If it was] 129 or 131, I wouldn't have thought much of it, but I thought 130 should get some recognition."

With just a couple of weeks between his discovery and the upcoming date, Sundeen and others from the CCMA quickly assembled a program for the event.

The event will be hosted at the Columbia Learning Center, 375 S. 18th St., from 5:30 to 7 p.m., and will offer an open house where visitors can look at memorabilia, photographs and video footage documenting the city's history. It will be complete with birthday cake as well.

At 6 p.m., Sundeen will present a more formal program outlining St. Helens' history and what was going on in the city in 1889.

Mayor Rick Scholl is also slated to speak briefly at the event. Scholl said on Wednesday he was still figuring out what he would say, but said he was looking forward to the celebration as a way to learn more about the history of the town where he grew up.

"I'm looking forward to learning about the history of the city," Scholl said.

Scholl said he's also keen to learn more about various business industries that helped build St. Helens.

Sundeen said he wants to provide residents with more information about their town, including newer residents who might not know the history.

"I just think it'll be a fun opportunity to get together to share our local history and some of those stories that people miss out on sometimes," Sundeen said.

At noon on Monday, prior to the event, the historic fire bell at Columbia River Fire and Rescue, will be rung 13 times, once to celebrate each decade.

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