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News Release
Photo: Headstone courtesy of Elizabeth Fournier
Photo: Headstone courtesy of Elizabeth Fournier
History on Tap Returns to the Kiggins Theatre "Death and Burial in the Pacific Northwest" - 06/04/21

Vancouver, WA – The Clark County Historical Museum (CCHM) is pleased to announce the return of History on Tap to the Kiggins Theatre on Thursday, June 17, 2021 with ”Death and Burial in the Pacific Northwest” presented by Elizabeth Fournier (aka “The Green Reaper”). Show starts at 7:00 p.m.

Between 1841 and 1869, the Oregon Trail was traveled by settlers looking to escape the economic downturn, religious persecution, war mongering and political animosity. The offer for free land in wide open and fertile spaces and perhaps a little gold to be found on that land was irresistible.

But...there was a catch: Almost 2,000 miles of heat, dust, cholera microbes, impassable mountains, frostbite, hunger and fast moving rivers. Death was rampant on the Oregon Trail. Approximately one out of every tenth person who began the trip did not make it to their destination. These deaths were mostly in part to disease or accidents.

In this season’s first live, in-person event, green burial advocate, author, and educator, Elizabeth Fournier, explores Oregon's approaches to death and burial from the Oregon Trail to the present day: ancient customs which have long since lapsed, others which have survived relatively unchanged, and new approaches such as eco-burials - and of course the impact of Covid-19 upon our way of dying. 

“It’s wonderful to be back at the Kiggins for this month’s event,” said programs and marketing manager, April Buzby. “We are grateful for all the support we’ve received during the last 14 months, especially with our pivot to virtual programming. As we move back to in-person events, our goal is to ensure all our programs remain accessible. We are looking at ways to continue to provide virtual options at a reduced price for those unable to attend events like History on Tap.”

Elizabeth Fournier began her career in 1990 in Portland, where she was employed as the live-in night keeper, sleeping in a trailer in a Portland, Oregon cemetery. Thirty years later, she is a one-woman funeral service in the rural town of Boring, Oregon. Elizabeth owns and operates Cornerstone Funeral Services where she is affectionately known as “The Green Reaper” for her green burial advocacy. She is also the Manager of Historic Columbian Cemetery, Portland's newest green burial choice. Elizabeth is the author of The Green Burial Guidebook: Everything You Need to Plan an Affordable, Environmentally Friendly Burial. She serves on the Advisory Board of the Green Burial Council and is a member of their speakers bureau. She recently gave a TEDx talk called, "Going Green: The Last Act of Environmental Volunteerism." People Magazine wrote, “Elizabeth Fournier is doing her part to change the way Americans bury their dead.”

Tickets are $15 and can be purchased from the Kiggins Theatre in-person or online https://www.kigginstheatre.com/movies/history-on-tap/. An at-home rebroadcast will be available 48-hours after the event for $10 and can be purchased from the CCHM online store.

This year’s History on Tap is presented by ZZEPPELIN. Additional sponsors include Vancouver’s Downtown Association, Mickler & Associates, and Barlow’s Pub. Program support provided by Wager Audio and Missy Fant Photography.

For more information, contact the museum at 360-993-5679 or outreach@cchmuseum.org.

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