After 44 years at The Columbian he’s history

first_imgGun-Marie Olsson popped her head out of the women’s restroom and called for her husband to hurry over. She wanted him to check out the ceiling.Olsson and Ulf Rosdahl, from Kristianstad, Sweden, were enjoying an unexpected application of local history at the Fort Vancouver Visitor Center. The ceilings in both restrooms are painted in patterns that duplicate 180-year-old English dinnerware. The Spode china was used by Hudson’s Bay Company employees at Fort Vancouver, eventually discarded, and then excavated by archaeologists.The two original china plates that inspired the ceilings are on display in a Visitor Center gallery. The restroom ceiling setting seems appropriate, since a lot of the artifacts in the Fort Vancouver collection were discovered in 19th-century toilet facilities.“There was no organized system for how people rid themselves of trash,” said Elaine Dorset, a National Park Service archaeologist. “Privies were a place where they could get rid of trash.”Now that trash is among the artifacts, places and structures that are part of Clark County history.Some are overlooked nuggets reflecting prominent people, such as the monument to Ulysses S. Grant’s potato patch and the hidden heart of Mother Joseph.last_img read more