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KNKX Connects: Aberdeen works to save artifacts; Hoquiam shares rich logging history

GRAYS HARBOR, WASH.  —  As part of special coverage here last week, All Things Considered host Ed Ronco introduced listeners to a pair of local historical fixtures: the Polson Museum in Hoquiam and the Aberdeen Museum of History. The former focuses on the history of logging. The latter faces a long road to recovery after a devastating fire in June. 

Black smoke billowed from the Aberdeen's historic Armory building, which housed the city's museum. Amid the fire crews working to fight the flames stood a group of archivists, who rushed to the scene from the state archives office in Olympia. 

Many artifacts were lost that day, despite the response, and those that remained experienced damage from the smoke. Ronco shares how the community has come together to save what's left, as well as what comes next for the charred building:

And just a few miles west of the site of the fire sits Hoquiam's Polson Museum, where John Larson serves as director — an all-encompassing job that includes handywork and other duties as assigned.  

The museum, housed inside a beautiful old home on the Hoquiam River, focuses heavily on logging. In fact, the family who donated the 6,500-square-foot mansion made their money from the trees. 

Covered in fresh sawdust, sample logs in hand, Larson discussed the heyday of logging at the Port of Grays Harbor as well as what visitors can find on the grounds of the his museum:


The above stories were included in a remote broadcast from the Aberdeen Timberland Library on Nov. 29. Browse other coverage from KNKX Connects to Grays Harbor below, and tune in for a special re-broadcast Monday, Dec. 3, at 7 p.m. 

Ed Ronco is a former KNKX producer and reporter and hosted All Things Considered for seven years.
Kari Plog is a former KNKX reporter who covered the people and systems in Pierce, Thurston and Kitsap counties, with an emphasis on police accountability.