Venersborg, Washington

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Venersborg is a census-designated place (CDP) in Clark County, Washington, United States. The population was 3,274 at the 2000 census.

The community was established as "Venner's Villas" in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, when a land entrepreneur named J. C. Lanerberg purchased land from various sources (the government, the railroad, and other landowners). He divided the land into 10-acre (40,000 m2) lots, and marketed it in large urban areas throughout the United States, highlighting its resemblance to rural Sweden. The flyers were written in Swedish so, predictably, the first settlers who arrived in the early 1900s were mostly of Swedish ancestry. The growth of nearby Vancouver and Portland led to an influx of new residents in the 1960s.

The land was originally heavily timbered. A number of farms and orchards were established in the early 20th century, some of which still exist. Some old farm orchards have old heirloom apple varieties including some rare ones.

The community is still extremely rural. There are only three non-residential buildings in town. The single commercial establishment, the Venersborg Store, reopened in 2008.

The members of the Venersborg Community Club take care of the Venersborg Schoolhouse[1] which was built in 1912. This one-room schoolhouse is on the National Register of Historic Places and the Washington State Heritage Register. It is the oldest continuously operating community building in the state of Washington. The schoolhouse is the location for many annual events: the Spring Potluck, Summer Fiddlers Fest, October Heirloom Apple Festival, December Wreath Making party, February Sweethearts Dance, Spring Seed Exchange, and the annual handmade Quilt Raffle at the Autumn Potluck. All Venersborg residents are invited to these events and also invited to join the club.

A Venersborg barn built in 1918 is on the Washington Heritage Barn Register and is a good example of local architecture. It is constructed of handhewn timbers and shingles from the land it sits on and was built in a community barn-raising. It is located at Friendly Haven Rise Farm[2].

The community also has a small and lively independent community church, The Venersborg Church[3].

Geography

Venersborg is located at 45°46′58″N 122°27′43″W / 45.78278°N 122.46194°W / 45.78278; -122.46194 (45.782723, -122.462052)[3].

According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 10.7 square miles (27.7 km²), all of it land.

Demographics

As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 3,274 people, 1,018 households, and 899 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 305.6 people per square mile (118.0/km²). There were 1,054 housing units at an average density of 98.4/sq mi (38.0/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 97.16% White, 0.18% African American, 0.15% Native American, 0.43% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 0.15% from other races, and 1.86% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.86% of the population. 23.2% were of German, 10.8% American, 10.2% English, 9.4% Finnish, 7.7% Swedish and 5.9% Irish ancestry according to Census 2000.

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