Aberdeen Washington

Aberdeen, Washington, founded in the early 1880s and incorporated in 1890, is located in Grays Harbor County at the mouth of the Chehalis River, where it meets the Pacific Ocean. This strategic location made it a prime spot for the lumber and fishing industries, which dominated the city’s economy for decades. Aberdeen’s nickname, “The Gateway to the Olympic Peninsula,” reflects its role as a crucial transportation and commercial hub in the region, with its deep-water port facilitating the export of timber and other goods. The city’s early settlers, a mix of European immigrants and domestic migrants, were drawn by the opportunities in logging, fishing, and later, manufacturing. For genealogists, Aberdeen’s rich repository of historical records from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, including land deeds, business records, and vital records, provide detailed insights into the lives of these early inhabitants. The area was originally inhabited by the Quinault and Chehalis tribes, and interactions between these Native American communities and settlers are an important aspect of the region’s history. Aberdeen’s archives and local historical societies hold extensive collections that are invaluable for tracing family histories, understanding the dynamics of the logging and fishing industries, and exploring the cultural and social development of the Pacific Northwest during a period of significant growth and change.

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