Thursday, October 27, 2011

Out and About - Aberdeen, Washington

I have a whole new stomping ground these days. Though I am a native of the beautiful Pacific Northwest, I lived nearly 18 years in Missouri, where I developed a love for spontaneous, on-site research in small towns. During that time, I discovered many more Midwest roots and relations than I expected. I also learned about many of the courageous families who traveled through on their way somewhere in the West, as well as those who settled down in Missouri. I loved it! Now, having returned to Washington, I want to do here what I did there.

This week, I had the chance to visit Aberdeen, a town with a population of just under 17,000. It is in Grays Harbor County on the western edge of the state. Two rivers, the Wishkah and the Chehalis, converge there. The city is called "The Gateway to the Olympic Peninsula." It is also the home of Kurt Cobain of the band 'Nirvana,' and carries the them "Come As You Are," the title of one of their songs. Aberdeen is also the home port of the tall ship "Lady Washington," which was used in the filming of The Curse of the Black Pearl, a Pirates of the Caribbean movie.

I drove around a bit in an effort to familiarize myself with the lay of the town. Then, I high-tailed it back to the Visitor's Center, where I was furnished with a map and plenty of directions! Thank you, to the friendly, helpful clerk there.

Most of the day afterward, I spent in the history and genealogy area of the Timberland Regional Library branch in Aberdeen. The librarian there gave me a brief tour of the facility. She took special care to introduce me to the research area and offered her help. Very nice!

Their collection is particularly dedicated to the history and families of the Grays Harbor region, of course. There are a number of books relative to the history of Washington, Oregon and Alaska, including westward migration trails and excursions. They also have many books on the peoples native to the area, as well as cemetery listings, obituaries and newspapers on microfilm. A glass-front, locked case contained rare and antique books that actually were awe-inspiring to me; but, I've never seen the two-volume set of the history of Seattle before. There were others; again, relative to western history. Two full bookcases contained many of the resources commonly found, including peerage books, Virginia histories and genealogies, how-to books, and others. With laptop at hand (and reading glasses!), I spent a very satisfying day doing what I love best!

There is much to be discovered in Aberdeen. It was well worth the visit, and would be worth a return trip. I've only skimmed the surface. Thank you, Aberdeen, for a friendly welcome and a delightful day!

1 comment:

  1. You should submit this to thier newspaper. Then offer genealogy services. Hint from Sasha (I didn't want to sign in)