“And I’ll take with me the memories to be my sunshine after the rain. It’s so hard to say goodbye to yesterday.” It’s So Hard To Say Goodbye To Yesterday … Continue reading Saying Goodbye
Tag: Aberdeen Washington
“I enjoy stealing. It’s just as simple as that. Well, it’s just a simple fact. When I want something, and I don’t want to pay for it.” Been Caught Stealing – Jane’s Addiction
There’s a restaurant here in the interesting town of Aberdeen called, “Billy’s”. It’s actually quite nice and definitely up my alley for places to frequent and get a bite to eat. It has that old antique feeling and that’s probably why I like it? The only odd part about it is the restaurant is named after a man named, “Billy Gohl” of whom was a serial killer up until he was captured in or around 1910. I spoke with a lovely waitress at the restaurant who told me quite a bit.
The building this restaurant is in, used to be a brothel back in the 1800’s and early 1900’s (as evident by the logo). The bottom portion houses the restaurant and the top portion acts as a storage unit. You can see through all the windows upstairs and can make out the vague sillouhettes of mannequin’s wearing feather boa’s and lingerie. 😉 Notice the Leg Lamp in the top window. You know, the one from A Christmas Story? Too funny.
Apparently the restaurant is haunted. Yes that’s right, haunted. A woman and a small boy occupy both the downstairs portion of the building AND the upstairs. It is said that the woman was one of the prostitutes that lived there back in the late 1800’s.
I spoke with a lovely waitress at the restaurant who told me some interesting ghost stories:
One afternoon she (the waitress) was rolling silverware. To the far right of her sat a large water pitcher that held – to the brim, many wine corks the bar had collected. All of a sudden several of the wine corks floated into the air and started twisting around themselves and then all of a sudden they fell back into the pitcher.
On a separate occasion she was talking to the cook. In the middle of their conversation two spoons from one of the tables floated into the air, spun around each other and immediately – just like the wine corks, fell back to the table. She said to the cook, “You saw that right? That wasn’t my imagination?” He said, “Yes, I definitely saw that.”
The same waitress, along with two others said that there are a number of occasions where they will be doing their work and a coffee cup will just fly across the room and *Wham* smack up against the wall and shatter. There is also the thudding of feet heard above the bar. They say it sounds like a little kid running back and forth. That’s a little creepy.
You have to admit the stories are pretty wild. I myself am not a believer of ghosts but I do believe in evil spirits/demons or what have you. I was really curious about this whole thing and found it quite entertaining.
Which all brings me to Billy Gohl. Well, this is how the story goes:
Billy Gohl was a union worker and had a place not far from this restaurant. It was said that he frequented this specific brothel regularly. Sailors would come into the union building when they would arrive in Grays Harbor (Aberdeen ) and would pick up their mail or leave their belongings there while they went out. It was said that Billy would approach these young men and ask them if they had family or not. If they didn’t have family he would offer to hold their money and worthwhile items in a safe while they frequented the brothels and saloons. Well of course these guys took him up on his offer. The guys would go out, get super drunk and come back to claim their possessions and that’s when Billy would shoot them.
His building sat close to the Wishkah river and it’s rumored that he had a chute in the top floor where he would send the bodies swooshing down into the river upon killing them. This is, of course, after he took all of their money and anything worth while.
It wasn’t until 1910 that Gohl was found guilty on two counts of murder and sentenced to 20 years in prison. Now it’s said that he was thought to have killed more than 100 people (local townsfolk say this). He died in prison due to syphilis. They say it made him go insane.
It’s truly a creepy story. It kind of reminds me of the musical “Sweeney Todd”. I always thought that play was really odd, creepy and dare I say it, completely neat! I don’t know if this makes me a weirdo but I definitely enjoy things out of the norm.
Even though the story is wild and kind of creepy, that didn’t stop this bunch from having a good time! This is my new favorite place.
Aberdeen Museum of History
“Composure come and gone with hunger like a bomb and now she gets her turn, to breathe the wind and burn.” Blow Infinite Ways – Enon
What a nice little hidden treasure. I say hidden, not because of the location, but it seems as though this place doesn’t get a lot of foot traffic. We were the only ones in there for a couple of hours until some school kids waltzed in toward 2 p.m.
You can see the whole museum upon walking in.
It definitely looks like something you would want to explore. So naturally I started from start to finish.
A man named, “Samuel Benn” was the founder of Aberdeen. He was born in Ireland and eventually died in Aberdeen. I’m not too sure about how he came here or really any serious information because there was none. I looked and couldn’t find anything more than that.
I LOVE looking at old photos like these. I really can’t tell you why because I’m not quite sure. Maybe it has something to do with my wanting to have experienced that decade in life, or that I admire parts of that kind of society. Whatever it is, I enjoy looking at these kinds of images.
Women of Aberdeen
Around the corner, there was a wall dedicated to the “Women of Aberdeen”. These were women who were supposed to be pioneers of this town. They consisted of:
- Anona Waldron Malinowski
- Minnie Gerdis Malinowski
- Emily Malinowski Moe
- Sophia Malinowski Davidson
- France’s Kozlowaski Malinowski
- Doctor Rose Papac
- Elizabeth Achey Malinowski
- Louise Knoell Fairbairn
- Mary Malinowski Evenson
Well, I found this to be completely interesting as some of these women were intertwined within our family on my mother’s side! Elizabeth Achey Malinowski was my great grandmother’s first cousin.
And without getting into too much genealogy, one of the other female pioneers of Aberdeen was Emily Malinowski Moe who is my grandfather’s second cousin.
The relations are a little confusing which is why I can’t go into too much detail because, let’s face it, I’m too tired and there’s little time. But what I will tell you is that one of the most famous pioneers of this town and had world fame for her painting abilities was my 3x great-grandmother Mary Elizabeth Achey.
This is actually not the real image of Mary Achey. The woman pictured as Mary Achey is possibly a woman named, Ida Fogarty. So the museum is in need of a real photo of Mary Achey. My aunt can probably provide them with an image.
It is said, not only in this book but in other documentation that Mary Achey was the most prolific woman artists in the west during the years of 1860 to 1885. Her daughter died at a very young age and it must have emotionally damaged her because she blamed her daughter’s death on her husband and left him! She was then rumored to have carried her daughters remains with her for quite some time until she finally buried her. I think she was definitely disturbed by her daughter’s death. In any case, we own several paintings of hers. One of them is a painting she did of what she thought her daughter would look like as a teenager. It’s a very pretty image. Unfortunately I cannot post the picture of the painting as it’s in North Carolina. When I get back I can post it. One of her paintings also hangs in a Presidential Library, at the moment we are currently researching which one it is. The woman at the museum said that it was Lyndon Johnson (this is debatable). Mary Achey definitely did not gain the fame that she probably should have had in Aberdeen AND worldwide. You would think that she would have maintained a larger space in the Aberdeen museum seeing as she was pretty famous in this town, but she had only a tiny corner. Very weird and sad.
Around the corner from the pioneering women was a little corner depicting what school life looked like in Aberdeen back when.
My mom said she used to sit in desks just like this when she was in school. It’s a neat little set up. Check out the list of Teacher Rules:
Rule #8 says “…or gets shaved in a barber shop will give good reason to suspect his worth..” WHOA! I didn’t realize that was a big deal! It makes me want to know what the reputation of barber shops were in Aberdeen back then! Maybe they gave you a shave and then got a “frisky woman” to come out and give you a dance afterward? Scandalous. I don’t know but the rules now are MUCH easier to follow than they were back then!
So most everything in the museum looks like it’s a reconstruction of what certain places and stations would look like. This happened to be a reconstruction of what a railway station would look like?
Pretty neat! I love all that old luggage but I’m SO glad we don’t have to “lug” that around now-a-days. Looking at all these old items and antiques makes me appreciate the conveniences we have now.
Operator Call Center
One of the COOLEST setups at the museum was this little call center for operators. I geeked out a little bit thinking about all those women connecting calls and plugging in things and pushing buttons! LOL I know nothing about this stuff, but I’ve seen it in movies and it looks REALLY neat!
If you’ll notice, there’s a little sign hanging in the phone booth that says, “Antique Chat Room”. HAHAHA too cute.
Behind the operator desk is a little kitchen with a cute stove, sink, washing baskets and dining table.
I absolutely ADORE this old bread tin!
But I have NO interest in washing clothes by hand! That was a labor I admire women for doing back then! Every woman who did this should have received a medal for their heroic efforts and scrubbing clothes against a washboard every day! THANK YOU General Electric, Maytag and every other brand of washing machine!
1902 Metropolitan Steam Pumper
The 1902 Metropolitan Steam Pumper built by the American Fire Engine Company of Seneca Falls, New York, was purchased in October 1902 for $6,800.00. Arriving in Aberdeen in March of 1903, the first test saw it build a full head of steam in only six minutes and thirty-seven seconds. The two horses sometimes had trouble pulling the heavy machine over saw dust streets, so a third horse was added in 1904. This pumper served Aberdeen, first at the central headquarters and then at the South Aberdeen Station. In 1914, the pumper was sold to the Simpson Timber Company, and served in McCleary until 1944. The machine was returned to Aberdeen and was restored. It was exhibited in Seattle at the State Fire Museum and returned to Aberdeen in 1967. The metropolitan was the largest piece of fire equipment that the American Fire Engine Co. made at the time, with a dry weight of 9,800 pounds and can pump 1,100 to 1,400 gallons of water per minute. – (Info from Aberdeen Museum of History)
Grays Harbor Motorship Corporation
Grays Harbor Motorship Corporation was established in 1917, during the WW1 era. Land was leased from the Lindstrom Shipyard, located at the foot of South Washington Street. From 1918 through 1919 GHMC completed twenty steamships for the USSB’S (United States Shipping Board) Emergency Fleet Corporation. The most noted ship produced was the S.S. Aberdeen, a 290 foot, 4,000 ton (dead weight) cargo ship, establishing a world record of 17.5 actual working days from keel laying to launching. This record still stand as the greatest performance in the history of shipbuilding, and will probably never be equaled. – (Info from Aberdeen Museum of History) I know the image isn’t great but I had to show the magnitude of these ships!
So along with the ship building of Aberdeen came the logging industry.
First steam-powered Donkey came to Grays Harbor in 1890’s. It soon replaced the “hay burners”. (Info from Aberdeen Museum of History)
Try to find the men in the “jam” of logs. (Info from Aberdeen Museum of History)
Can you imagine logging back then? I really can’t. It’s so hard to really wrap my mind around how such small creatures could cut down such large trees and then move them! The human mind is extraordinary.
This mammoth fir was cut in Cook Creak area south of Neilton by the Don Bell Logging Co. The butt cut measured better than 10 feet in diameter and 28 feet in length and contained about 10,000 board, it was consigned to Harbor Plywood. (Info from Aberdeen Museum of History)
One thing I’ve noticed about photography from years ago, is that ordinary people who had no formal photography education back then had a much better concept of composition than those same people do now. Why is this? I really would like to know the answer. This is a good question for my former instructor and friend Charity Valentine.
I always find retro products super fascinating! Naturally I gravitated toward the general store to check out what that was all about.
Some of the products included:
- Oster razor
- Grandpa’s Pine Tar Toilet Soap
- Sloan’s Liniment
- Throat Gargle
- Swamp Root
- St. Jacob’s Oil
Father John’s Medicine, A Nutritive Tonic and a Wholesome Medicine included: cod liver oil of high vitamin A and D content, gum arabic and glycerin. It was used for the correction of deficiencies in vitamin A and D. It was recommended for relief of coughs due to cold and throat irritation.
Swamp Root, a Diuretic to Kidneys and Mild Laxative. It’s name was funny which was why I had to add it. LOL You can definitely tell how marketing and advertising has changed over the course of 100+ years. The typical American consumer is not buying something called, “Swamp Root”.
She looks extremely disinterested in whatever is happening at the local General Store. She’s probably ready for quitting time so she can go and be a bad woman in a brothel somewhere!
This church in the early 1900’s doesn’t look much different from any Baptist church in Beaufort County NC in 2015!! LOL #Truth
I found this to be interesting.
But only because of the sign in the bottom part of the window.
LOL, We’ve messed up the whole United States! Man do we suck! LOL This sign reminded me of the movie Mary Poppins when the mother of the two children was swept up in the “VOTES FOR WOMEN” movement! What’s funny is that I really DID NOT like Mary Poppins at all (the woman) but I really enjoyed the mother and always wanted to see more of her.
So this is what it looked like inside of the movie theater.
But look at what was directly on top of the theater.
A brothel? A place for sailors to visit women? I don’t know, I just assume that because there’s a red light on a sailor mannequin! HAHAHA!
In conclusions I did learn a little bit from the museum. Unfortunately there were a lot of holes in certain pieces of information. I would have liked to know more about the founder of Aberdeen, Samuel Benn and several other tid bits of info that would have helped me to truly understand this town more.You didn’t really get that with this museum but a little bit is better than nothing.
If anyone has any information on any of these items/topics, please leave your comments below. 🙂
“Somewhere I have heard this before; in a dream my memory has stored.” On a Plain – Nirvana
We’re finally here in Aberdeen. I have to apologize for my lack of steady posting. Being on vacation is sometimes like being in a marathon or can sometimes feel a bit busy, which we have been for a while now. So I apologize for the delay in posts.
Aberdeen Washington was the settling place for my great-grandfather Lars Willumsen, a sea-captain who came straight here from Denmark.He raised my grandfather here and my grandfather raised my mother here. So not only is my mother and family from here but it is also the hometown of the late and famous grunge star Kurt Cobain of the band Nirvana and their bassist Krist Novoselic .
I have heard stories my whole life about this place and all of the areas surrounding it. As of 2013, Aberdeen had a population of 16,371. It used to be a MAJOR sea port for the Pacific Northwest but primarily is known for it’s logging industry. In the early 1900’s it was notorious for its MANY whorehouses, saloons and gambling establishments. There was a man, a resident of Aberdeen named, “Billy Gohl” who gained a reputation for killing around 140 men. Needless to say, this place was bustling with industry AND gritty recreation.
It was good to see my family! We cried a little bit but that is to be expected when you haven’t seen each other in 2 years 🙂
There was so much going on I didn’t get a selfie with my sister. LOL, we’ll get one before the trip is over! 🙂
I met the family dog, “Thunder”. He’s a Great Dane / Pit Bull mix. He’s very large, very powerful and VERY affectionate.
I’ve grown quite fond of him thus far and like a lot of large breed dogs, Thunder thinks he is a lap dog. He’s been known to “sit in your lap” and fall asleep.
After we greeted everyone and put our stuff away, Rayann (my niece) swooped me up and took me on a journey through town. She took me up to “Hospital Hill” and that was the image you saw earlier in this post overlooking the town. It seems a little grimy if you look around at the houses. All of them seem to have a sort of “dirt” on them and I immediately thought this was just a grimy town. I thought maybe people just didn’t take care for their houses the way we do back home. The reality is that the atmosphere here creates moss and it grows on people’s roofs and because of the atmosphere, houses accumulate the dampness and appear to be dirty.
Washington is exactly what I thought it would be. Fur, Spruce, Cedar and Hemlock trees populate the wood and forest area along the highway, while Fern plants thicken just about every area you can imagine giving it a beautiful green look. The moisture in the air allows for this growth.
But not all days are rainy and grey. The sun shines brightly and almost breeds a need for wine on a fine afternoon.
I’ve always been told that Washington is just rainy and there aren’t a lot of sunny days. Well, that’s not really true. It’s been nice. Today is a little gloomy but it will brighten up tomorrow and this weekend so I look forward to that. I’m not sure that Washington would be the place for me (in terms of weather) but we still have quite a ways to go for me to find out 😉
It feels so strange to be in the very town that Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain grew up in. What I didn’t know was that the bass player for Nirvana, Krist Novoselic was also from Aberdeen. I grew up on Nirvana and that was my generation of music so I identify greatly with that genre and time frame. Back then there was no “Google” or “Wikipedia” so most of the information gathered on your favorite rock band or artist was researched in magazines on the grocery store shelf or a rumor that you heard in passing from someone who had all the inside scoop. I gathered mine from magazines and MTV. LOL typical right? So back then I never knew where Kurt and Krist were from much less that they were from my family’s home town. I think, perhaps if I had known that back then, I would have made the statement to everyone about it so as to have some sort of “connection” with the band. In all fairness I was a kid and who doesn’t want to have a connection with someone famous?
Because of Nirvana’s huge success in the early 90’s and their creating of an entire genre, Aberdeen seems to have memorialized and immortalized Kurt Cobain by dedicating the entire town to him and his band. In the first image on this post the, “Welcome to Aberdeen” sign, Nirvana’s song title is placed directly underneath it, “Come As You Are” which was a song on Nirvana’s album, “Nevermind”. There is also the dedication of the bridge to Kurt Cobain that runs over the Wishkah River as there was a time in his life that he spent quite a few nights underneath that bridge. It’s said that he did drugs there and this is a common belief. The only thing that separates this bridge from my sister’s place of residence are two houses. Basically I can stand out in her yard and view it. For a full view of the bridge/park check out the video: http://youtu.be/SzQtWGAuUlo
So they dedicated the entire area around the bridge to Kurt Cobain by calling it, “KC Riverfront Park”
I was talking with someone last night, of whom I’m staying with, and he was telling me about Kurt and Chris. He was too old to have gone to school with Kurt Cobain but his nephew did. Apparently Kurt was a bully and picked on his nephew quite a bit and so it goes without saying that his nephew was not a big fan of Kurt. He also mentioned that he himself had partied with Krist N. back before Nirvana had formed and had worked with Kurt’s uncle (who he tells me was a very nice guy). There was a time after Nirvana had gained their major success that Krist N. had come back to Aberdeen for a visit and this person ran into Krist. He gave him a congratulations on his success, to which Krist replied, “What success?” with a very dry and unenthusiastic attitude. He said, “You know, with the band and everything.” Krist said, “I wouldn’t really call that a success.” So it seemed as though he had a bit of negativity going on there which he probably picked up from Kurt. It’s accurate if you watch documentaries of the band; you can hear and see that kind of attitude. But you know, it’s the attitude of the grunge era and grunge music so…it makes sense.
My thoughts? You know, I loved Nirvana growing up. I enjoyed their music and had their posters on my wall. I believe that Courtney Love (Kurt’s wife) had Kurt murdered and am sorry that his daughter has to grow up without a father. But I don’t think that a whole town should be dedicated to someone like that. I don’t even know how much Aberdeen has profited on their merchandising Kurt Cobain or if they have even profited at all. If you look around it really doesn’t seem like there has been much profit made. I would have never expected this town to have immortalized him the way they have and quite frankly I expected to come here and have to search for the bridge he slept under without there being any prompting from signage at all. But it is what it is and there is a bit of an element of this whole thing that I’m interested in and find fascination with. It hits close to home…literally, only two houses away.