Local Historical Society Presentation Features Area Kit Houses


Camas-Washougal, WA — Historic “kit houses” built before 1935 throughout Camas and Washougal will be the topic of the next Camas-Washougal Historical Society (CWHS) presentation on Saturday, April 22 at 2 pm at the Washougal Community Center, 1661 C Street, Washougal.  The community is welcome!

Madeline Mesplay, lead researcher at the Two Rivers Historical Museum (TRHM), will present “Home Sweet Home,” and share her knowledge of local kit houses. 

“These buildings were pre-cut and ordered by mail for delivery to the customer to assemble,” she explained.  “I will also share brief information on some of the first owners of these residences and some pictures of some that were constructed in our area.”  

These buildings were also known as mill-cut, catalog, or ready-cut houses.

Mesplay has been a volunteer at the TRHM for five years. She graduated from New Mexico Highlands University in Art and Education, completed a Counseling Psychology degree from Lewis and Clark University and has lived in Vancouver since 1989. Since retiring she has focused on her interest in research and finds her work at the museum very rewarding.

“What better way to learn how to appreciate the character and charm of an old house and your community by getting to know its history,” she said.

Also at the presentation will be the introduction of the publication “Historic Downtown Washougal,” a walking map taking people past pre-1940s homes and buildings and featuring short introductions of the people who lived and worked there.  The project was made possible thanks to information from Mesplay’s extensive property research which fills five large binders. The map was created by Mesplay and museum volunteers Gretchen Hoyt and Rene Carroll.  It was designed by Lori Reed Creative and supported by City of Washougal lodging tax funds. Copies will soon be available at the museum, City of Washougal, Washougal library and the Camas-Washougal Chamber of Commerce.

The Two Rivers Heritage Museum, 1 Durgan Street in Washougal, is now open for general admission on Saturdays from 11am-3pm through the end of October. Prices are $5 for adults, $4 for seniors and just $2 for students.  Camas-Washougal Historical Society members can visit the museum for free.  

Join the CWHS to help support additional historic presentations and preservation of local history. Membership information will be available at the presentation.  For more information about the museum and volunteer and membership opportunities, visit www.2rhm.com and follow them on Facebook.

Madeline Mesplay, of Two Rivers Heritage Museum.

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