Tiny Raymond makes the most of its history

  • By Sharon Wootton and Maggie Savage / Special to The Herald
  • Saturday, June 26, 2004 9:00pm
  • LifeGo-See-Do

Delightful finds often go discovered in small towns, and Raymond is no exception.

Just a few blocks off Highway 101 in the southwest Washington town stands a mini-complex including the Willapa Seaport Museum, Northwest Carriage Museum, public market, public dock, 100-foot-long eight-sail ketch and access to the Willapa River Trail.

The trail wanders along river and slough to South Bend, part of the 57-mile-long Willapa Hills State Trail project still in the works.

The seaport museum is home to Pete Darrah’s maritime collection. The city provides a 5,000-square-foot building and dock space for his ship, Kristine, built about 100 years ago as “a nautical truck” in the Baltic and North seas, Darrah said.

While it’s billed as a seaport museum, many exhibits focus on the Raymond area’s logging history.

During World War I, for instance, airplanes were made of spruce. The U.S. government federalized the spruce industry, creating the Spruce Division of the U.S. Army Air Corps, complete with uniforms and bugles, Darrah said.

“They saluted and picked up their saws and went into the woods.”

A thick tree slice shows how a tree was milled for lumber, with lines drawn on the slab to show the production of 4-by-4s and an 8-inch-by-17-foot stringer.

An oyster dredge represents the Willapa Bay oyster industry; a ship’s chronometer is from the U.S. Revenue Marines, the forerunner to the U.S. Coast Guard.

Also on display: a ship’s radio room, a replica berth of a chief petty officer in 1939 on the USS Arizona and a ferry ticket office filled with old suitcases and a cockroach.

The exhibits are cleverly laid out, making the most of the space and ceilings that soar more than 20 feet high.

At the other end of the complex, the classy Northwest Carriage Museum is a visual treat. Many of the 20 carriages, dating from 1880 to 1910, were restored.

The Shelburne Landau carriage, with two folding tops that locked together in the center, was used in the movies “Gone with the Wind” and “Jezebel.”

There’s also an elegant C-Spring Victoria carriage popular with wealthy women; a Spider Phaeton used for pleasure and competitive riding; a black stage coach with red wheels used to transport mail; and an opera bus with a short passenger compartment.

An adjacent public market sells handmade items, fresh produce, quilts and herbs.

If you’re driving through on the way to the Long Beach Peninsula, enjoy some of more than 200 life-size steel sculptures in the Raymond Wildlife-Heritage Sculpture Corridor.

“The sculptures are the essence of what makes Raymond Raymond,” said Summer Johnson of the Willapa Harbor Organization.

The logging town was incorporated in 1907. Picture early downtown on stilts several feet above the tidelands, complete with elevated sidewalks and streets.

One historic building is the Raymond Theater (323 Third St.), a 360-seat movie house built in 1928 that has been restored and boasts a Wurlitzer theater pipe organ.

The Willapa River has its own star quality, miles of sloughs and main channel, wildlife and scenery. Although there are no rentals, kayaking maps are available at the visitor’s center.

Use a bit of caution: tides going against you can be difficult to paddle against, and boaters have been stranded in the mud flats.

If You Go

Directions: At Olympia, turn off I-5 to U.S. 101, then Highway 8 to Montesano. Take Highway 107 for eight miles, then U.S. 101 to Raymond.

Raymond Visitor’s Center: 415 Commercial St.; 360-942-5419.

Willapa Seaport Museum: 310 Alder St.; 360-942-4149.

Northwest Carriage Museum: 314 Alder St.; 360-942-4150.

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Life

Elle Marie in Smokey Point. (Photo provided by Acacia Delzer, Director of Operations at Elle Marie Hair Studio).
The best hair salon in Snohomish County

You voted, we tallied. Here are the results.

For more than a thousand years, Czech leaders – from kings and emperors to Nazis, communists, and presidents – have ruled from Prague Castle, regally perched on a hill above the Vltava River. Dominic Arizona Bonuccelli
Rick Steves’ Europe: History lives in Prague and its hilltop castle

It’s one of Europe’s best-preserved cities, having been spared from last century’s bombs.

Alarm clock in the middle of the night insomnia or dreaming
Trouble sleeping? Try these tips for getting a good night’s rest

Many adults turn to sleep aids, including alcohol, to help them rest, without realizing that their hectic lifestyles may be contributing to their sleeplessness.

The Stumbling Fiddler Band is scheduled to perform March 3 in Everett. (Photo provided by Port Gardner Bay Music Society)
Music, theater and more: What’s happening in Snohomish County

Get ready for St. Patrick’s Day with music by the Stumbling Fiddler Band in Everett.

I was charged an extra $250 for a mistaken car rental upgrade

When Leah Page picks up her rental car from Thrifty, it charges her a $250 upgrade fee. Can it do this without her permission, and how can she get a refund?

Over 200 years, the magic lantern transformed into an educational peacock

Regarded as magic in the 1650s, this device was refined into the more scientific sounding sciopticon by the mid-1800s.

Market for sale plants. Many plants in pots
Snohomish Garden Club plans annual plant sale

The event is scheduled for April 27 at Swan’s Trail Farms. Proceeds will go to scholarships.

Start planting now so you can stop to smell your own roses all summer long

Late winter to early spring is perfect for planting roses. And with so many varieties to consider, there’s no time to waste.

The 2024 Mazda3 hatchback. (Mazda)
2024 Mazda3 adds a Carbon Turbo trim and more safety features

The charismatic compact is available as a four-door sedan or five-door hatchback.

Cousins Penny Leslie and Sidney Baker work together on a mural inside a jail cell at the Mukilteo Police Department on Sunday, Feb. 18, 2024, in Mukilteo, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
No more staring at blank canvas in Mukilteo police holding cells

Bright murals now adorn the walls. The artwork is intended to calm and relax detainees.

A heart shaped hand tossed pepperoni pizza, left, and eight-corner Detroit style veggie pizza, right, from Jet’s Pizza on Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2024, at the Everett Herald newsroom in Everett. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Detroit-original Jet’s Pizza lands in WA with thick-crust pies and more

The national chain’s Lynnwood joint is the first in the state. The pizza is tasty — hot or cold. And it makes good date food.

The future of fashion: Moving toward a sustainable wardrobe

Over 22 billion pounds of textiles are thrown away each year in the U.S. How do we tackle such a massive problem? Start small.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.