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Contemplating towers and place names

February 11, 2005

Clip Art Towers

When traveling, there is much that catches one's eye and there is the desire to stop, look closer, take pictures and find out more. Unfortunately, this was just a one day trip with so much I wanted to see and so little time.

Among those things that caught my eye on the way to Aberdeen were two large towers dominating the landscape in the Satsop river valley. These towers seemed to indicate the presence of a nuclear power plant. However, further investigation would find that this is actually the Satsop Development Park. The 1600 acre site was originally designed in the 1970's to be a nuclear power plant, but construction was never completed. The power plant was abandoned in the 1980's when the Washington Public Power Supply System defaulted on revenue bonds. In the mid-1990's, plans were developed to transform the plant into a business park and in August 1999, Grays Harbor Public Development Authority took over ownership of the park. The cooling towers remain to convey the unique nature of the business complex being created. International flights from the Far East and Australia use the towers to mark their approach to Seattle.


Unusual names also catch my attention when on a road trip. For example, a recreational sign pointed the way to Friends Landing, located near Montesano. It sounded like a "friendly" place to visit, but there would not be time to stop by today. It is an outdoor recreation area with activities such as camping, fishing, boating and walking. The area is purposely and completely handicapped accessible. With such unusual names, it makes one wonder how the name came to be. In this case, the name comes from the Friend family who donated the land for the park to the Grays Harbor Chapter of Trout Unlimited for use as a recreation and camping area designed specifically for the disabled.

A town with a familiar name also caught my attention. I have visited the popular, very urban park most of us know as Central Park, located in the Manhattan District of New York City. On this trip, I traveled through Central Park, Washington, an unincorporated town just outside of Aberdeen on the Chehalis River, with a population of about 2500. I did not stop in Central Park and research has not determined how the name came to be. I hope to investigate the town further on my next trip.

Clip Art Road Signs


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