Fantastic Metal Artwork in Raymond Washington
"Build it and they will come"
The city of Raymond Washington lies at the mouth of the Willapa River which empties into Willapa Harbor. Raymond is located about half way between two larger cities:Longbeach Washington is 40 plus miles away to the Southwest and Aberdeen Washington is approximately 30 miles to the Northwest. To the West are smaller coastal towns of Tokeland, Grayland and Westport Washington.
The main industries for these coastal communities were fishing and logging. The economy collasped for Raymond and other coastal cities when the Spotted Owl brought the logging industry to its knees and the 1974 Boldt decision to give half of the yearly salmon catch to the tribal indians of Washington saw the collapse of the fishing industry.
Even though tourism is not a major industry for Raymond, since 1993 local artists have been decorating the surrounding city and community with wonderful works of steel art in the forms of various wildlife creatures such as deer, mountain lions, elk herds, eagles, geese and other waterfowl.
The prize as far as I am concerned is the public park playground art work. The concrete tree root balls with hollowed out slide areas are topped with rusty metal limbs and leaves cresting out like an umbrella of fauna. Inside each nest top is metal Herons, geese flying and other birds. Next door to the public park is the swimming pool building with its own unique metal artwork designs.
This artwork brings the city of Raymond to life like no other way. Artisans have created life like people sculptured in metal performing various daily living tasks as pioneers once performed in early Pacific County. My husband's family helped settle the Raymond Willapa valley region. In the early 1900's the Ward family acquired land grants for 40 acres of timbered land. The William Ward family settled outside Raymond on Hwy 6. Ward creek is named after my Husband's family. The cemetery on Fern Hill by Menlo contains the family burial plot.
The future of Raymond is in the hands of its local artist community. Hopefully more will contribute to the growing display.." Build it and they will come" should be the new motto for Raymond.
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