The Small Logging Town Of Hoquiam Evaluates The Future Where We Started

Small towns are the direct product of human decisions, millions of them, going on daily, weekly, monthly since the advent of time. Or at least the advent of the town. These decisions comprise the true nature of a town, and often towns end up far, far different than their first days as a result. Some end up becoming cities. Others end up becoming empty places. To even out these small decisions and shape the destiny of a town, the community often has to get together and make a big decision or two.

The town of Hoquiam, Washington is in the middle of these considerations at the moment. Historically a logging town in the lumber rich Pacific Northwest, Hoquiam has preserved its heritage through a variety of events. There’s the annual, and internationally famous, Loggers’ Playday, as well as logging competitions and parades in the fall. Now it has to consider whether it wants to grow.

Possibilities for Downtown Development

This growth would occur along the Hoquiam waterfront, the part of downtown running along the Hoquiam River. What to do with riverside property is a question many towns face, and for cities with developed waterfronts like San Antonio and Baltimore, the investment was met with great success. An underused area became, in a few years, a popular area full of restaurants and bars, hotels and shopping, entertainment of all kinds.

The Hoquiam waterfront hasn’t seen much action since its heyday in the 1980s, but now there is development interest, and so the community has to think seriously about what kind of town it may want to become. Development is obviously no guarantee of success, nor will it necessarily turn Hoquiam into a metropolis, but decisions need to be made collectively, because of course growth isn’t free — tax money is the ruche fertilizer for civic growth.

Big or Small?

Another consideration worth a moment is Hoquiam’s relationship to Aberdeen, the larger city to the east. This relationship, like probably all neighboring towns, is one of friendly rivalry. And rivalry often does good things for innovation. Hoquiam is at the mouth of the river, right on Grays Harbor, so it has opportunities no other town in the area does.

But Hoquiam must proceed cautiously. It is interested in preserving its past, as is evident in the 2009 revitalization of its train depot. So it knows how to preserve and honor its past; now it must seriously consider how it wants to carry that history forward, what kind of city it wants to become.

Ascertain additionally about Wade Entezar.

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