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Aberdeen, Washington
—  City  —
Location of Aberdeen in Grays Harbor County, Washington
Coordinates: 46°58′33″N 123°49′7″W / 46.97583°N 123.81861°W / 46.97583; -123.81861Coordinates: 46°58′33″N 123°49′7″W / 46.97583°N 123.81861°W / 46.97583; -123.81861
Country United States
State Washington
County Grays Harbor
Area
 - Total 12.2 sq mi (31.5 km2)
 - Land 10.6 sq mi (27.5 km2)
 - Water 1.6 sq mi (4.0 km2)
Elevation 23 ft (7 m)
Population (July 1, 2008)
 - Total 16,042
 Density 1,548.8/sq mi (598.0/km2)
 - Demonym Aberdonian
Time zone Pacific (PST) (UTC-8)
 - Summer (DST) PDT (UTC-7)
ZIP code 98520
Area code(s) 360
FIPS code 53-00100[1]
GNIS feature ID 1511950[2]
Website http://www.aberdeeninfo.com
Tribute to Kurt Cobain in Aberdeen, installed by the Kurt Cobain Memorial Committee. "Come as You Are" is a song by Nirvana.

Aberdeen (pronounced /ˈæbərdiːn/) is a city in Grays Harbor County, Washington, United States, founded by Samuel Benn in 1884. Aberdeen was officially incorporated on May 12, 1890. The city is the economic center of Grays Harbor County, bordering the cities of Hoquiam and Cosmopolis. Aberdeen is called the "Gateway to the Olympic Peninsula," but it is more famous as being the "Birthplace of Grunge," and the hometown of Nirvana members Kurt Cobain and Krist Novoselic. The population was 16,461 at the 2000 census.

Contents

History

Aberdeen was named for a local salmon cannery, a namesake of Aberdeen, Scotland, because it is situated at the mouth of two rivers just like a cannery in Aberdeen, Scotland. Although it became the largest and best known city in Grays Harbor, Aberdeen lagged behind neighbors Hoquiam and Cosmopolis in the 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 banded together to build a spur; and in 1895, the line connected Northern Pacific tracks to Aberdeen.

By 1900, Aberdeen was considered one of the grittiest towns on the West Coast[citation needed], with many saloons, whorehouses, and gambling establishments populating the area. Aberdeen was nicknamed "The Hellhole of the Pacific", or "The Port of Missing Men", because of its high murder rate. One notable resident was Billy Gohl, known locally as Billy "Ghoul", who was rumored to have killed at least 140 men. (Gohl was convicted of 2 murders [3][4])

During the Great Depression, Aberdeen was hit hard, reducing the number of major saw mills from 37 to 9. Mill owners hired Filipino and Jewish immigrants to keep wages low in order to stay in business. The timber industry continued to boom, but by the late 1970s most of the timber had been logged. Most of the mills were closing down by the 1970s and 1980s.

Salmon runs dwindled as spawning grounds were destroyed and rivers filled with silt. The Satsop Nuclear Plant was built in 1978, creating thousands of construction jobs with the promise of permanent employment once the plant was complete. The project was aborted in 1982, doubling the unemployment rate almost overnight. Recently a local sawmill was shut down, causing the community to lose 342 more jobs. However, a new biodiesel plant has opened on the Aberdeen / Hoquiam border, bringing 80 jobs into the community, and a huge pontoon construction project was recently announced to start there in the near future.

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.

Geography

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Climate

Aberdeen experiences an oceanic climate (Köppen climate classification Cfb).

Climate data for Aberdeen
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °F (°C) 47
(8.3)
50
(10)
53
(11.7)
57
(13.9)
61
(16.1)
64
(17.8)
68
(20)
69
(20.6)
69
(20.6)
61
(16.1)
52
(11.1)
47
(8.3)
58
(14.4)
Average low °F (°C) 36
(2.2)
37
(2.8)
38
(3.3)
41
(5)
46
(7.8)
50
(10)
53
(11.7)
54
(12.2)
50
(10)
44
(6.7)
39
(3.9)
36
(2.2)
44
(6.7)
Precipitation inches (mm) 12.53
(318.3)
10.57
(268.5)
9.08
(230.6)
6.18
(157)
3.74
(95)
2.62
(66.5)
1.48
(37.6)
1.70
(43.2)
3.12
(79.2)
6.98
(177.3)
12.64
(321.1)
13.07
(332)
83.71
(2,126.2)
Source: [5] 2009-05-13

Education

The Weatherwax building of Aberdeen High School burned down in 2002

The city's school district has two high schools: J. M. Weatherwax High School, or Aberdeen High School as it is now called, and Harbor High School, an alternative high school with an enrollment exceeding 200 students. Aberdeen High has a long time school sports rivalry with nearby Hoquiam High School.[citation needed]

In 2002, the Weatherwax building of Aberdeen High School, built in 1909, burned to the ground. The new building was completed in 2007 and held its grand opening on August 25, 2007.[citation needed]

Aberdeen School District also consists of one junior high: Miller Junior High; 5 elementary schools: Central Park Elementary, McDermoth Elementary, Stevens Elementary, AJ West Elementary and Robert Gray Elementary; and 1 Roman Catholic parochial school: St. Mary's Catholic School.

Aberdeen is home to Grays Harbor College, located in south Aberdeen, and is represented by the Charlie Choker mascot. The college emphasizes student opportunities, and has resources to help students transfer to a four year college to complete a degree.

Famous people

Rock musicians

Aberdeen is best known, however, for producing seminal grunge and punk rock bands and musicians such as Nirvana including the late Kurt Cobain and Dale Crover of The Melvins. Some of Cobain's lyrics, in songs such as "Something in the Way" and parts of the Bleach album, referred to locations within the town.

Krist Novoselic, Nirvana's bassist, was born in Compton, California, but moved to Aberdeen in his youth, where he met Cobain.

Kurdt Vanderhoof and Duke Erickson of heavy metal band Metal Church are also from Aberdeen, as is Patrick Simmons of the Doobie Brothers.

Industry

Despite attempts to diversify the local economy, Aberdeen and the rest of Grays Harbor remain dependent on the timber and fishing industries.

On December 19, 2005, Weyerhaeuser closed the Aberdeen large-log sawmill, and would close the Cosmopolis pulp mill in early 2006. This resulted in the loss of at least 342 jobs. In January, 2009, Weyerhaeuser closed two additional plants in Aberdeen, resulting in another 221 lost jobs. In both cases many employees were not told by Weyerhaueser management, but learned about the closures from local radio stations who received a press release prior to a scheduled press conference.[6]

Employers on the Harbor include locally-owned Grays Harbor Paper L.P., The Westport Shipyard, Sierra Pacific, The Simpson Door Co., Dead End Street, LLC, Hoquiam Plywood, the Stafford Creek Corrections Center, a state prison which opened in 2000, and Safe Harbor Technology, a technical support center.

Other major employers include the cranberry-growing cooperative Ocean Spray, worldwide retailer Wal-Mart and Washington Crab Products.

In 2007, Imperium Renewables of Seattle invested $40 million in the construction of the biodiesel plant at the Port of Grays Harbor. It is estimated the plant will produce as much as 100 million gallons of biodiesel fuel made from plants and vegetable material annually.[citation needed]

Demographics

Historical populations
Census Pop.  %±
1890 1,638
1900 3,747 128.8%
1910 13,660 264.6%
1920 15,337 12.3%
1930 21,723 41.6%
1940 18,846 −13.2%
1950 19,653 4.3%
1960 18,741 −4.6%
1970 18,489 −1.3%
1980 18,739 1.4%
1990 16,565 −11.6%
2000 16,461 −0.6%
Est. 2008 16,042 −2.5%

[citation needed]

As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 16,461 people, 6,517 households, and 4,112 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,548.8 people per square mile (597.9/km²). There were 7,536 housing units at an average density of 709.1/sq mi (273.7/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 84.87% White, 0.47% African American, 3.70% Native American, 2.10% Asian, 0.14% Pacific Islander, 5.15% from other races, and 3.57% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 9.22% of the population. 16.4% were of German, 9.3% English, 9.3% American, 8.7% Irish and 5.9% Norwegian ancestry according to Census 2000. 90.2% spoke English and 7.7% Spanish as their first language.

There were 6,517 households out of which 31.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.9% were married couples living together, 13.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.9% were non-families. 29.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.49 and the average family size was 3.05.

In the city the population was spread out with 26.8% under the age of 18, 10.3% from 18 to 24, 27.1% from 25 to 44, 21.9% from 45 to 64, and 14.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 98.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.0 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $30,683, and the median income for a family was $37,966. Males had a median income of $32,710 versus $20,446 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,092. About 16.1% of families and 22.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 29.7% of those under age 18 and 9.6% of those age 65 or over.

Sister cities

Aberdeen has the following sister cities, according to Washington State Lieutenant Governor Brad Owen's website.[1]:

Generally, however, it is grouped with Hoquiam and Cosmopolis, which are both nearby.

References

Further reading

  • Ed Van Syckle, "The River Pioneers," Pacific Search Press, 1982.
  • Ed Van Syckle, "They Tried to Cut It All," Pacific Search Press, 1980.
  • Murray Morgan, "The Last Wilderness," Viking Press, 1955.
  • Anne Cotton, "The History of Aberdeen," Grays Harbor Regional Planning Commission, 1982.
  • John C. Hughes & Ryan Teague Beckwith, "On the Harbor: From Black Friday to Nirvana," Stephens Press, LLC. 2005.
  • Jeff Burlingame, "Kurt Cobain: 'Oh Well, Whatever, Nevermind'" Enslow Publishers, 2006.

External links


Simple English

Aberdeen is a city in the American state of Washington. Aberdeen was founded by Samuel Benn in 1884. In 2000, 16,461 people lived in Aberdeen. Aberdeen is sometimes called the "Gateway to the Olympic Peninsula". It is also called the "Birthplace of Grunge" because musician Kurt Cobain is from Aberdeen.[1] Other notable musicians from Aberdeen include The Melvins.

References


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