“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. 🙂