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A Rich History Enhances the Area

Also see Battle Ground area history: photos and accounts

This area was dubbed "Battle Ground" several years before it was occupied by homesteaders. Settlement at the time was mostly near Fort Vancouver and other Columbia and Willamette river sites. While relations between Native American tribes and white settlers throughout the Northwest was festering in 1855 into deadly skirmishes, a band of local tribesmen and their families left their "protective custody" arrangement at the Fort. After catching up with the band, a volunteer army held a peacemaking exercise with them. It was soon discovered that the chief had been accidentally killed. After promises from the band that they would return to the Fort, Captain William Strong allowed them time for a traditional burial for their chief. Upon the army's return to the fort without the Indians in tow, the settlers chided the soldiers for not waging a battle and called the area "Strong's Battle Ground." This was later shortened to Battle Ground. The exact location of the peace-keeping effort is unknown, however tradition says it was in the valley east of Battle Ground Lake.

Battle Ground's first namesake post office was in a home in the area near Battle Ground Lake and the first Battle Ground School was at the current entrance to the state park. The town assumed the name, Battle Ground when the railroad came through on it's way to Yacolt (with a plan to eventually go over the Cascades to Yakima). "Old Battle Ground" became the railroad stop, Crawford, and a depot called Battle Ground was established at Southeast First Street and Grace Avenue. Although first platted in 1902 and 1903, the town was not incorporated until 1951 when provisions for water and sewer, and police and fire protection became necessary.

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Visit other Clark WA cities: Amboy, Battle Ground, Brush Prairie, Camas / Washougal, La Center, Ridgefield, Vancouver, Woodland, Yacolt
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