Aberdeen was named after a local salmon cannery to reflect its Scottish fishing port namesake Aberdeen, and because it, too, is situated at the mouth of two rivers (Aberdeen, Scotland is between the River Don to the north and the River Dee to the south).
Aberdeen was founded by Samuel Benn in 1884 and incorporated on May 12, 1890. Although it became the largest and best-known city in Grays Harbor, Aberdeen lagged behind nearby Hoquiam and Cosmopolis in its 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 together built a spur; in 1895, the line connected Northern Pacific tracks to Aberdeen.
By 1900, Aberdeen had become home to many saloons, whorehouses, and gambling establishments. It was nicknamed “The Hellhole of the Pacific”, as well as “The Port of Missing Men” due to 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 ultimately convicted of two murders.
Aberdeen was hit hard during the Great Depression, which saw the number of major local sawmills reduce from 37 to 9. The timber industry continued to boom, but by the late 1970s most of this resource had been logged. Most of the mills had closed down by the 1970s and 1980s.
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.
source: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia