The mooving history of the Schofield building.
As tenants in the historic Schofield building, we’ve heard tales of Mrs. Schofield and her cow. Brand Richardson from the Clark County Historical Museum shared his article “Of milch cows and public spaces”, detailing what happened 146 years ago to the day.
On May 20th, 1876 page 5 of the Vancouver Independent read “Mrs.Schofield’s cow was impounded the other day.” When was the last time you heard of a cow getting arrested?? Well Mary Schofield, a member of Vancouver’s upper class, let her cow roam free in violation of an ordinance passed four months earlier. The cow was apprehended and an angry Mary Schofield set out to get the ordinance repealed.
Brad goes on to explain that this dispute was not that simple. In the early 19th century, members of the upper class in the East successfully marginalized the urban poor by purging livestock from their cities. This meant that the source of income for those of lesser means wasn't allowed on city streets. However, Vancouverites fought to keep livestock in the city. In the end, Vancouver would conform but not without an extensive battle between Vancouver’s upper-class women and city leaders.
Mary Schofield was the owner of a general merchandise store at Sixth and Main in Vancouver, starting her business in the 1860s. By the 1970s, her business had grown to become a staple of the community.
Safe to say we are proud to be a women-owned business making waves just as Mary Schofield did almost 150 years ago (sans the marginalizing of course.)
To learn more, visit the Clark County Historical Museum.
Photo courtesy of Clark County Historical Museum.