We connect the future, through the present, with the past. Since 1948, the North Olympic History Center, formerly the Clallam County Historical Society, has been dedicated to keeping the history of the North Olympic Peninsula alive. The NOHC manages a research library, an artifact collection, and an education program.


NOHC Announcement Regarding Lincoln School

Decision reached after more than three years of research, community outreach.

PORT ANGELES, Wash., November 22, 2023 — The board of the North Olympic History Center (NOHC) announced today it is moving ahead with demolishing the former Lincoln Elementary School building at 926 W. 8th Street.

"This was a very difficult decision, but it comes after more than three years of researching alternative uses, gathering cost estimates for renovation and conducting extensive community outreach to seek possible partners or purchasers for the Lincoln School," said Bill Brigden, President of the Board of Directors. "In the end, we determined that the best course for the viability and success of the NOHC was its removal. Financial realities, in the end, were more compelling than emotional ones.."

The NOHC is in the process of establishing a timeframe for the demolition process as well as exploring opportunities for recycling building components.

Despite investing a half-million dollars into stabilizing the building since purchasing the school in 1991, including constructing a new roof, internal structure enhancement, and pouring a new concrete floor, the NOHC has been unable to halt the rapid deterioration of the 107-year-old unreinforced masonry building.

The most recent estimate for restoring Lincoln School is about $12 million — a sum that vastly exceeds NOHC resources. At approximately $1,000 per square foot, this amount is also far greater than the cost of new construction, making it a commercially unattractive project for any real estate investor.

Indeed, the NOHC received no responses to a widely distributed RFP from investors, property developers, real estate agents, or businesses. The very limited proposals received from nonprofit organizations interested in the property did not support the long-term goals of the organization, nor improve our financial position.

“Our analysis showed that a historical museum in the Lincoln School building would never be financially supportable, even if restoration costs were ignored," said NOHC Executive Director David Brownell. "Expanding public access to our collection by continually digitizing and adding new material to our online catalog, enhancing our educational programing and working with community partners to create and install public displays in the busy downtown corridor and other highly trafficked areas are furthering our mission in ways the Lincoln School cannot."
The NOHC understands the community's interest in and sentiment for the Lincoln Elementary School building. Clearly, this was a difficult decision. However, it will enable the NOHC to focus on its primary mission and to rededicate our time and resources to those projects and programs that fulfill it.

We connect the future, through the present, with the past.


NOHC Honors the Memory of Virginia Fitzpatrick


Virginia's smile lights up a meeting of the NOHC Board on September 8, 2014.

From Left to Right: Irene Wyman, Laurie Davies, Gary Braun, Virginia Fitzpatrick, Charlie Smith, Kay Seed, John Hubbard, Jim Moran, Kathy Rankin, Jim Rankin, Sandy Keys, Bill Barrett, Nancy Lang, Kathy Estes, Adria Fuhrman.  

The recent passing of Virginia Fitzpatrick marks the end of a lifetime of generosity and behind the scenes work that benefited us all in the past, present and future. She actively served the Clallam County Historical Society (now the North Olympic History Center) for a total of half a century. She felt strongly that board members should bring something positive to the table. One of her favorite remarks was that the board didn’t need “nice little old ladies.”

Virginia Fitzpatrick was always one to say “thank you.” She stepped up to the plate when she saw the need. As a founding member of the local genealogy society, it was natural for her to see how genealogy and history blended. She joined the Historical Society and worked tirelessly for the blended organization. When the museum manager quit and there was no money to pay a new one, Virginia volunteered her time and money to keep the museum’s goals progressing. She worked with county officials, volunteers, and the public for the benefit of all. In 1989, she was chosen as one of the finalists for Citizen of the Year award. Her only regret for not being chosen was “not being able to publicly thank all the people who created the museum” and who made her nomination possible.

There are few members left that remember those golden years with Virginia and Mike Fitzpatrick volunteering at the Courthouse and at Lincoln School. You could find Mike on the fire truck ladder replacing windows in Lincoln School or out mowing the lawn. Virginia continued working with and for the North Olympic History Center long after she could no longer come to the facility. She was always on call.

We will miss her, and we are richer for having known her.


Your Historical Society Connects You

Your Historical Society connects you:

  • To the rich history of Clallam County with educational programs like History Tales and other events
  • Honors personal histories by collecting, preserving, and sharing
  • Makes history a family affair with the Hands on History Program for students in grades 6 - 12
  • Helps you find the answers to your questions with a staffed Research Library
  • Makes history accessible with programs featuring the collectoin's artifacts

Join us and get connected! 


Find us on Facebook


Look for the Clallam County Historical Society, (also known as the North Olympic Cultural Resource Center), on Facebook--you do not have to be a 'member' of Facebook to see our posts. However, if you are a member, and 'Like' us, you will receive notice of current events in your Facebook news feed. We post all current events there so that you get up to the minute information. Also, we feature many interesting items such as photos from our historic collections.

We have a separate Facebook page strictly related to Clallam County Old Time News which provides links to long-out-of-print newspapers, articles and images that provide a contemporaneous look at the history and culture of Clallam County. Check out Clallam County Old Time News at:

We hope you will 'Like' us and invite your friends to check us out as well.