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News Release
The Historic Trust Presents Winter Chautauqua (Photo) - 02/12/20

Winter Chautauqua will focus on “Black Roots in the Lower Columbia River Basin.”


VANCOUVER, WA (February 17, 2020)The Historic Trust presents the Winter Chautauqua: Black Roots in the Lower Columbia River Basin. The weekend event features  the 1948 Vanport flood exhibit, courtesy of the Oregon Historical Society, along with exhibits and lectures about the Southwest Washington NAACP and the Buffalo Soldiers/Moses Williams NW Chapter. Winter Chautauqua will be held at the Artillery Barracks at Vancouver National Historic Site on February 22-23, 2020, from 10 am – 4 pm.


A special panel discussion will convene on Saturday, February 22 at 2:00 pm at the Artillery Barracks, exploring ideas regarding the impact of the Vanport Flood, the importance of the Buffalo Soldiers 24th Infantry Regiment Company B at Fort Vancouver, and the contributions of the NAACP. The panel members are:


  • Moderator: Dr. Donna Sinclair, Adjunct Professor at Washington State University – Vancouver – Sinclair examines intersections between federal law, agency policy, and individual experiences in regard to the U.S. Forest Service through historical research methods and qualitative biographical interviews, with an emphasis on bringing women and people of color into the agency since 1964.
  • Dr. Carl Abbott, Historian and Urbanist at Portland State University – Abbott specializes on the history of American cities and city planning, the history of the American West, and the later 20th century United States. He is the author of How Cities Won the West: Four Centuries of Urban Change in Western North America, Frontiers Past and Future: Science Fiction and the American West, and Imagined Frontiers.
  • Ms. Claudia Carter, Assistant Treasurer, Vancouver NAACP – Carter was raised in a family of extraordinary strong and talented women. Claudia is an artist, advocate, volunteer, and community leader. She curates art installations and exhibits and is working diligently on finding a permanent home for the art and artifact collections of the NAACP. Co-Producer of The Historic Trust’s Winter Chautauqua.
  • Mr. James Harrison, Professor, Portland Community College – Harrison is the official historian for the Vanport Mosaic Festival. He has spent decades as a historian in African American history and is currently filling in the gaps of local history in writing a new book about Vanport and the Vanport Flood in 1948.
  • Mr. Frazier Raymond, Retired Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army & President of the Buffalo Soldiers – Moses Williams Pacific NW Chapter, 9th/10th U.S. Calvary. Raymond served in the U.S. Army for 32 years in locations such as Vietnam, Fort Lewis, Europe, and South America. Co-Producer of The Historic Trust’s Winter Chautauqua.
  • Ms. Melissa Williams, Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Clark College. Williams grew up in the Albina area of Portland, OR and in Vancouver, WA. She is currently a Doctorate of Education candidate in the Professional Leadership, Inquiry, and Transformation in Higher Education program at Concordia University.


Director of Outreach and Engagement, Richard Burrows of the The Historic Trust said, “The deep-rooted history of African Americans in the Pacific Northwest ranges from tragic racism to inspirational contributions in the region. The exhibits and panel discussion will greatly illustrate the historical contributions African Americans had in this region and the impact they are making today.”




About The Historic Trust: The Historic Trust is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, founded in 1998, dedicated to inspiring civic pride and economic vitality through education, preservation, and celebration of our community's history. Learn more at or follow us on Twitter at





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