Program at Pearson explores WWI history

first_imgA special program Thursday at Pearson Air Museum will commemorate the 100th anniversary of the start of World War I.The National Park Service will have family-friendly activities, refreshments and war-era music at the event, called “Making the Cut” which begins at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at the museum, 1115 E. Fifth St. At 7 p.m., as part of the event and the summer archaeology speaker series, Gerald Williams, a retired U.S. Forest Service chief historian, will discuss the history of the Northwest during World War I and the region’s contributions to the war effort.The exhibit “Straight Grained Soldiers” looks back at the Spruce Production Division at Vancouver Barracks.Artifacts related to the war in the trenches will also be on display Thursday. The Spruce Production Division built logging camps throughout the Pacific Northwest, and established a massive spruce mill where Fort Vancouver National Historic Site and Pearson Air Museum now sit. That lumber built thousands of American, French, British, and Italian airplanes.“Although World War I was highly mechanized and relied upon quick technological advances on the battlefield, little attention has been paid by historians to the home front efforts, such as the Spruce Production Division, that allowed the Allies to overwhelm Germany at the end of the war,” said Bob Cromwell, Fort Vancouver National Historic Site archaeologist.last_img