Traveling to Grays Harbor Beaches you pass through the gateway towns of Aberdeen and Hoquiam. These towns are situated on Grays Harbor's northeastern shore.
And although Aberdeen is technically over four miles east of Hoquiam, it is hard to tell where one town stops and the other one starts. Literally there is a street that divides them.
Aberdeen is the economic center for Grays Harbor County. It was founded by Samuel Ben in 1884 and was incorporated May 12, 1890. As the 2013 senses, there is a population of 16,371.
Aberdeen is bordered by the towns of Hoquiam and Cosmopolis. Approximately half of Grays Harbor County's population lives in these three continuous cities.
During the early 1900's and up until the late 1980's timber was Aberdeen's economic mainstay. lumber boom. There were several logging companies and sawmills. Lumber and logs were both exported from the Port of Grays Harbor and shipped both in the U.S. and to other countries.
Today the timber industry is slowing and they have become know as the home of the late grunge rocker Curt Cobain, the front man for the late band of Nirvana.
One of the signs entering the city says “Come As You Are” which is a song title from Nirvana. There is also a Kurt Cobain Memorial Park along the Wishkah River. The other sign says Capital of the lumber industry.
Aberdeen is also the former home port for the Lady Washington, a replica 18th century ship. The ship still anchors here and opens for tours.
Most recently, the historic D&R Theater has been renovated and host several venues throughout the year.
Aberdeen has been referred to as the gateway to the Olympic Peninsula.
The gateway town of Hoquiam was incorporated on May 21, 1890. As of the 2010 census, the population was 8726. The word Hoquiam comes from a Native American word meaning hungry for wood, named for the amount of driftwood at the mouth of the Hoquiam River.
Hoquiam is home to the annual loggers play day, a competition where loggers from all around come to participate.
If you enjoy bird watching there is a new 1800 foot boardwalk that makes viewing the spring and fall migrations of hundreds of thousands of shorebirds and wildlife easy.
On the way through town don't forget to stop by the farmers market and craft fair. They have a variety of local produce, seafood and crafted items.
Hoquiam also has a 20 room mansion built in 1897 by lumber baron Robert Lyle and has been declared a national historic site. The Seventh Street Theater was built in 1928 by Olaft Taylor and was designed by Edwin St. John Griffith as a Spanish atmospheric theater.
The Aberdeen versus Hoquiam football rivalry is the oldest in the state of Washington dating back to 1906 and played in the historic Olympic Stadium.