wa-law.org > bill > 2023-24 > HB 2310 > Original Bill

HB 2310 - State park heritage center


Section 1

  1. The legislature finds that:

    1. The historic home of state representative and later Congresswoman Julia Butler Hansen in Cathlamet is the oldest surviving pioneer structure in Wahkiakum county, is a unique repository of state, federal, and local history and artifacts, and contains unique furnishings, original art, and pioneer artifacts;

    2. The home and grounds are unparalleled in significance to the pioneer history of early Washington state and contain artifacts and heirlooms of regional and national significance, including those drawn from the distinguished career of Congresswoman Hansen. Congresswoman Hansen was the first woman in history to chair a congressional appropriations subcommittee and was a close protégé of presidents, including Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson. Congresswoman Hansen was an influential transportation leader, a catalyst behind some of the most significant infrastructure in the Pacific Northwest, including the Astoria-Megler bridge. Congresswoman Hansen rose from the Cathlamet town council to embark on a 21-year career in the Washington state legislature followed by a 14-year career in the United States congress, and among other things, also served on the Washington state highways commission and its successors;

    3. The current Hansen family owner is willing to donate Congresswoman Hansen's former home and grounds to the state, along with substantial portions of the historic inventory, for public ownership and benefit so long as the home can be adequately cared for and open to the public as a state historic site. The adjacent historical Johnson property can be donated to the state by Wahkiakum county for a visitor center and administrative facility;

    4. The Hansen home has been listed on the Washington state historic register for many years with a pending listing on the national register of historic places;

    5. The Washington state parks and recreation commission is uniquely qualified to establish and operate Julia Butler Hansen state park heritage center as the commission already successfully operates state heritage sites such as Steptoe Battlefield state park heritage site, Fort Columbia state park, Olmstead Place historical state park, Peace Arch historical state park, Fort Simcoe historical state park, Fort Casey historical state park, and similar sites;

    6. Wahkiakum county is underserved regarding state parks and related investments; and

    7. Establishing and maintaining the Julia Butler Hansen state park heritage center embodies the public policy articulated by the legislature in RCW 27.34.200. It would be an excellent example of promoting, enhancing, and perpetuating buildings, sites, and artifacts of historic, archaeological, architectural, and cultural significance for the benefit of the people of the state for many generations. It would also provide economic, cultural, and aesthetic benefits to Cathlamet, Wahkiakum county, and the state.

  2. For the reasons described in subsection (1) of this section, and to honor and remember the contributions of state representative and Congresswoman Hansen to Washington state and this nation, the legislature intends for the state to accept the donation of her former home, contents, and grounds along with the adjacent historical property to establish and maintain the Julia Butler Hansen state park heritage center.

Section 2

  1. It is the intent of the legislature, with the cooperation of the Hansen family and Wahkiakum county, to create and manage the Julia Butler Hansen state park heritage center to conserve the historic home, contents, and grounds of Julia Butler Hansen and establish a visitor center that will enable the home to be open to the public and to economically and culturally benefit Cathlamet, Wahkiakum county, and the state. The Julia Butler Hansen state park heritage center would honor the public service the former state representative and congresswoman provided to her community, the state, and the nation, as well as preserve and share the unique history, heritage, and culture of the home, contents, and grounds.

  2. Upon completion of the two conveyances of real property described in this subsection (2), the commission must establish and manage the Julia Butler Hansen state park heritage center conservation site in Cathlamet, Washington. The properties to be donated and conveyed to the state to establish the Julia Butler Hansen state park heritage center consist of the house and grounds of the Julia Butler Hansen heritage center at 35 Butler Street and the adjacent grounds of the historic JL Johnson house at 80 Division Street. The commission is authorized and directed to receive and acquire the property described in this subsection (2) and any related easements or rights.

  3. The commission must develop a management plan in consultation with the state historical society and department of archaeology and historic preservation for the Julia Butler Hansen state park heritage center.

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    1. As provided for in RCW 79A.05.055, the commission may make provisions for the publication and sale of interpretive and historical materials and literature with respect to the life and accomplishments of Julia Butler Hansen, the history of the Hansen family home, and the history of Wahkiakum county. Proceeds from such sales must be directed to the parks improvement account to benefit the Julia Butler Hansen state park heritage center.

    2. It is the intent of the legislature that the Julia Butler Hansen home be preserved, as much as possible, in the condition and with such furnishings as existed during Julia Butler Hansen's lifetime.

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