Weatherwax High School 1969
How it Started
The City of Aberdeen was named after a local salmon cannery to reflect its Scottish fishing port namesake Aberdeen, and because it, too, is situated at the mouth of two rivers (Aberdeen, Scotland is bordered by the River Don to the north and the River Dee to the south).
Aberdeen was founded by Samuel Benn in 1884 and incorporated on May 12, 1890. Although it became the largest and best-known city in Grays Harbor, Aberdeen lagged behind nearby Hoquiam and Cosmopolis in its early years. When A.J. West built the town's first sawmill in 1894, the other two municipalities had been in business for several years.
Aberdeen and its neighbors vied to be the terminus for Northern Pacific Railroad, but instead of ending at one of the established mill towns, the railroad skimmed through Cosmopolis and headed west for Ocosta. Hoquiam and Aberdeen citizens together built a spur; in 1895, the line connected Northern Pacific tracks to Aberdeen.
By 1900, Aberdeen had become home to many saloons, gambling establishments and houses of ill repute. Over time mills shipped logs and lumber worldwide and timber was the major economic driver for a century.
Aberdeen was hit hard during the Great Depression, which saw the number of major local sawmills reduce from 37 to 9. The timber industry continued to boom, but by the late 1970s most of this resource had been logged. Most of the mills had closed down by the 1970s and 1980s.
Aberdeen is also the home port of the tall ship Lady Washington, a reproduction of a smaller vessel used by the explorer Captain Robert Gray, featured in the Pirates of the Caribbean film The Curse of the Black Pearl.
Aberdeen is at the eastern end of Grays Harbor, near the mouth of the Chehalis River and southwest of the Olympic Mountains. Grays Harbor is notable as the northernmost RIA on North America's Pacific Coast because it has remained free of glaciers throughout the Quaternary due to unfavorable topography and warm temperatures.
It is thought that, during glacial periods of the Quaternary, the Chehalis River was a major refugium for aquatic species, as was the west coast from the Olympic Peninsula southward for plants that later formed the northern part of the Pacific temperate rainforest in formerly glaciated areas.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 12.36 square miles (32.01 km2), of which 10.65 square miles (27.58 km2) is land and 1.71 square miles (4.43 km2) is water.
Although the rainfall is high between October and March, July and August still have a distinct excess of evaporation over rainfall. Temperatures are generally very mild due to the proximity of the warm Pacific Ocean and the Kuroshio Current: snow is extremely rare, occasionaly winds can cause very high temperatures.
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