Fort Vancouver Tapestry

44. Early Business

Panel 44

Sponsored by: Merilyn & Frank Trocino
These are some early businesses in Vancouver, many of which are still in business today.
Sparks Home Furnishings began as a hardware store. It has been in operation for five generations.
The High School Store became Hi-School Pharmacy – so named because the first store was located across the street from the old Fort Vancouver High School.
Koplans is a family-owned furniture store founded in 1948.
Art Kuzma Motors, established in 1936, sold Chryslers – Art’s favorite color car was lavender. 
Wolf Supply Company started as a gas station and is now a supply store. 
Ubiquitous in the US is the orange U-Haul logo – the company started when Sam and Anna Mary Carter Shoen recognized the need for one-way trailers to move the increasingly mobile American families. At the end of 1945 they had 30 trailers on lots in Portland, Vancouver and Seattle. By the end of 1959 the U-Haul fleet consisted of 42,600 trailers throughout the US and Canada.
Runyan’s Jewelers is also in its fifth generation.
The Kiggins Theater opened on April 24, 1936 and showed “She Married Her Boss”, a rather forgettable film starring Claudette Colbert, as their first movie.
In the top border, the Gingerbread House Day Care opened in 1948 and has been operated continuously since. They have a sister business, Jack and Jill Day Care. The daughter of the founders now owns both operations. 
Cedar Creek Grist mill is still grinding wheat and corn and making apple cider.
1st Independent Bank is still operating, as is Riverview Community Bank, portrayed with its original name of Clark County Savings and Loan.
Lucky Lager is now just a vivid memory of a big red X to millions of visitors and residents traveling across the Interstate Bridge.
The driver of the Holland Creamery truck is unloading big cans of cream and milk to be used in making ice cream.  Jacob Propstra started the Creamery.  His son, George, later founded the Burgerville chain and became a leading philanthropist with his wife Caroline.
Pendleton Woolen Mills opened operations in Washougal in 1904, and continues to produce woolen blankets and clothing.
Also still in operation on the east side of the county is the paper mill in Camas which was originally Crown Zellerbach, now run by Georgia-Pacific Corporation.
The CC Store is a dry-goods memory now but their system of collecting money always comes up in conversations. When a sale was made, the money and receipt were put in a canister attached to a cable and sent up to the balcony where the manager made change and sent it back down.
A wing-walker dares fate over Evergreen Airport. Wally Olson, who taught flying for over 55 years, developed the airport with the 2,700’ turf strip in 1946. It closed in 2001.