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Explorations of Aberdeen, the Olympic Gateway

"Come as you are, as you were, as I want you to be.
As a friend, as a friend, as an old enemy."
- from the song, "Come As You Are" by Nirvana

February 11, 2005

My first stop was Aberdeen, a city with a population of about 16,000, referred to as the gateway to the Olympic Peninsula. It is located on the southern edge of the Olympic Peninsula where the Chehalis River flows into Grays Harbor and on in to the Pacific Ocean. The logging and fishing industries dominate the history of the area, and more recently, there has been an emphasis on tourism and designating Aberdeen as the largest retail center on the Washington Coast.

As I approached Aberdeen, I watched for road signs advertising various tourist traps, historical sites and other places of interest. The signs that caught my attention seemed to indicate that citizens of Aberdeen are music and movie lovers. However, such signs would attract my attention because I share these interests.

For example, I saw a sign advertising the Star Wars Shop, run by Don Sucher, who took his addiction to Star Wars to a whole new level. Reportedly, his memorabilia collection is at about 10,000 pieces and people come from all over the world to see his store. This store sounded interesting, but I would not make time to stop today.

Another road sign advertised a "Kurt Cobain Memorial Statue". Randi Hubbard, Kurt Cobain fan, created this statue in her husband's downtown Aberdeen muffler shop. As it turns out, Kurt Cobain, whose grunge style transformed the music industry, was born in Aberdeen and also spent his childhood there. Randi's statue is apparently the only memorial to Kurt in his hometown. Over 10 years after his death in 1994, the city of Aberdeen is "mulling" over how to honor its most famous resident.

In addition to grunge music fans, there are also jazz fans in Aberdeen as indicated by the sign advertising the Annual Rain or Shine Jazz Festival held there every year. The 22nd annual festival is scheduled for 2/18/05 to 2/20/05 offering a mix of local favorites and regional talent.

Aberdeen, WA
Information for Travelers

Photo of Olympic Gateway Shopping Center


Wilson Creek Photo Show

Photo of Wilson Park

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While it seemed that there would be a number if interesting stops in Aberdeen, due to time, my Aberdeen stop was at Morrison River Front Park, which seemed like a nice spot to take a break and walk around. It is located on the eastern edge of town just off of US Highway 12. The park hosts a log pavilion and offers a beautiful walk with picnic and barbecue areas overlooking the Chehalis River. Located at the park is "Wilson Creek, Historical site of Wilson Brothers' Sawmill". (The Wilson brothers were early sawmill operators in Aberdeen.)

Photo of Wilson Park

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Photo of Wilson Park

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Photo of Wilson Park

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Photo of Wilson Park

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