Steeped in stories and personalities of yesteryear, historic buildings offer quiet glimpses into the past and link us to the present. Their walls and rooms are lined with history. Grays Harbor is blessed with a plethora of such “silent witnesses.” You just have to know where to look – and how to “listen.”
“Hoquiam is a goldmine,” says Polson Museum Director John Larson. “We by far have the most nationally registered landmarks in the county.”
But Hoquiam’s not alone in storied sites. Here’s a quick listing of what you might “hear” from some of the county’s most interesting “silent witnesses.” Several are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Listen close!
Over the years, the Elma Chamber of Commerce has grown the Winter Wine Festival to become the chamber’s largest event. And with reds and whites from more than 20 Washington wineries, live entertainment from big names like Heart By Heart, countless food vendors, a silent auction and other exciting attractions, it’s no wonder that this event has more than doubled since its first year.
“This is our largest event of the year,” Winter Wine Festival Coordinator, Debbie Adolphsen, says. “Our whole entire chamber board works on this.”
Debbie says planning for this event takes place year-round. “I don’t think we ever quit talking about it,” she says. It takes a village to pull off an event this big, but that’s part of what makes it so special.
There are few truly Pacific Northwest events that can compare to watching winter arrive in the rainforest. While many avoid the region due to the strong winds, constant downpours and occasional snow showers, there is something amazing and unique about spending time out in the wilderness of the Olympic Peninsula. Tucked away deep in Grays Harbor’s Quinault Rainforest, one of the most underrated winter experiences is waiting for you. Read more here: http://www.graysharbortalk.com/2015/12/08/winter-lake-quinault/
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Valerie Fox-Armes’ fascination with artistry began as a young girl. “We had art supplies everywhere growing up. My mother made many of our clothes and much of my passion for art came from my mom,” says Valerie. Now, many years later, Valerie is inspiring others with her own homemade creations. Her favorite of which involve dyeing yarns and silk in the upstairs studio of her home.
“I fell into the hobby by accident. I used to do pen and ink drawings and when I turned 40, came up with a design and looked up silk screening on a website. I accidently stumbled upon the art of silk painting and bought a starter kit. My husband built me the frames I needed because he’s an enabler,” Valerie chuckled. “It’s all his fault. Crafting supplies are now all over my house.”
Valerie now owns a dyeing business named, Fiber Play. She works with other fiber artists, like Lynn Lypski, who spin their own yarns, and dye these quality fibers in vibrant colors. She also enjoys the art of Shibori, which Valerie describes as the “classy, great, great grandma of tie-dyeing. It is an old Japanese technique.”
As the cooler air makes its way down from Alaska and the days grow shorter, most of the Pacific Northwest turns inward, preparing for the winter. Yet, when the signs of fall first become visible in Grays Harbor, the region starts bustling with excitement. As the trees turn colors and and the first cold raindrops fall, the rivers and streams become full once again, bringing life to the once dry waterways. In the water, numerous species of fish congregate, bringing in eagles, bobcat and of course, anglers from around the world. While Grays Harbor has amazing fishing year round, the fall months are when the region’s rivers transform into the fishing mecca of the Pacific Northwest.
Trevor Brearty is a Grays Harbor local, and owner of a new fly fishing company called Seamwater. Seamwater was created with one simple idea in mind: seaming the art of fly fishing together with a splash of quality fly supplies. Offering quality custom hand-tied flies, Seamwater also gives casting lessons and classes, helping everyone become hooked on fishing in the region. For Trevor, this started while he was growing up in the Pacific Northwest. Trevor recalls fall fishing during his youth as a transformative time in becoming who he is today. Read more here: http://www.graysharbortalk.com/2015/10/01/fishing-tips-grays-harbor/
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Fall is a transition time for the Pacific Northwest. As each day passes, the sun rises a little later, and the sun sets a little earlier. In fact, we lose three minutes of daylight each day during the month of October. During the fall, gray skies become more frequent, helping show off the beauty of the leaves transitioning from green to orange seemingly overnight. Rain starts to fall, the wind starts to pick up, and the communities around Grays Harbor come alive with an energy that only fall can bring. As elk bugle and birds migrate south, salmon swim upstream and hikers enjoy the beauty of the region. For many, fall is the best time to be a local, and these five activities will help convince you of the same. Whether you are a mushroom hunter, enjoy beach combing or are just like to experience a leisurely drive to view the colors of autumn, these activities are sure to get you out exploring.are just like to experience a leisurely drive to view the colors of autumn, these activities are sure to get you out exploring.
As crispness returns to the air, mushroom hunters around the state gather their buckets and head to the Olympic Peninsula and Grays Harbor. For mushroom hunters in the region, fall means it’s the time to find Chanterelles, Hedgehogs, Morels, Oysters, Boletes, and Chicken of the Woods, all of which are extremely delicious and can sell for quite lucrative prices. While mushrooms can be found almost anywhere, a good field guide is needed to help locate the best spots, as well as identify edible mushrooms. The best book to pick up or check out is the Field Guide to Edible Mushrooms of the Pacific Northwest by Daniel Winkler. If you are looking for an event to learn more about mushrooms, head to the Quinault Lodge for the13th Annual Mushroom Festival – October 16 through 18. More information about this event and other events around the region can be found on the South Sound Mushroom Club website. Read more here: http://www.graysharbortalk.com/2015/10/04/grays-harbor-fall-activities/
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Bike riding is a fun outdoor activity that provides healthy exercise and allows you to enjoy the beauty of the outdoors. Whether you are looking for a short, family-friendly loop or a rugged 32-mile ride, Grays Harbor features picturesque bike trails to suit every skill level.
Short and Simple
Planning a bicycle ride with the kids or getting ready for your first cycling excursion? These trails are ideal for the novice biker or for families with young children. The Westport Dune Trail, also known as the Westport Light Trail is a paved 2.5-mile loop through grassy fields and sand dunes. The trail weaves through Westhaven State Park, ending at Westport Light State Park.
Since humans first entered the land now known as Grays Harbor, fish and game have always been abundant. From the rainforest to the old growth timber around the Wynoochee, the hills of Capitol Forest and the rivers stocked full of salmon, life thrived in this region we call home, providing food and sustenance for locals and visitors alike. Today, fish and game are still a popular attraction for locals and tourists from around the world. From kids to the elderly and everyone in-between, the world-class hunting and fishing around the beautiful lands of Grays Harbor are waiting for you.
However, despite ample options for hunting and fishing the region, finding information on where to hunt and fish around Grays Harbor County can sometimes be confusing difficult. The best spots are usually kept secret, and information that is available tends to be hard to read for those without a lot of experience. Luckily, the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife, as well as other experts in the region, has put together an amazing selection of resources, all in hopes to help you have an amazing time fishing and hunting in the beauty of the Pacific Northwest. Read more here: http://www.graysharbortalk.com/2015/09/07/hunting-and-fishing-in-grays-harbor/
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You never know what you’ll find inside an oyster, but a little prying can reveal a pearl. The same goes for the Grays Harbor County Courthouse in Montesano.
Considered one of the state’s finest, the courthouse was built in 1911 for $193,470.84. An eclectic blend of history, architecture and art, its story starts before Montesano became the county seat.
Grays Harbor’s governmental hub was originally located south of the Chehalis River in the home of the county’s first white settlers, Isaiah and Lorinda Scammon. Montesano was incorporated in 1883. Three years later, county government was ready to move out of Lorinda’s parlor, and Montesano and Cosmopolis duked it out for the next courthouse site.
The question was put to voters. Montesano, “The Maid of Wynoochee,” won. Courthouse construction began in 1889, but the burgeoning county soon outgrew the original wooden structure. A new courthouse was needed, and the good people of Chehalis County got busy.
“It’s going to be insane. I may have bitten off more than I can chew,” the 25-year-old Gomez said, “but everyone wants to be a part of it. This event has really picked up momentum over the years. Dan has just done a fantastic job.”
Gomez is speaking about Dan Lindgren, the founder and organizer of the Grayland Open, which is now in its seventh year.