Bethany Montgomery, Managing Editor
For students from out of state or even Washington natives, many of Washington’s landmarks are full of historic significance, Washington is not void of interesting places to visit.
Washington might not be known as a typical hotspot for celebrity pilgrimages, but there are a surprising number of places in the nearby area that pay tribute to some legendary superstars. Nirvana lead singer Kurt Cobain spent many days in the popular fishing port town of Aberdeen. Kurt Cobain Memorial Park along the Wishkah River is not only the resting place for the singer’s ashes, but also a favorite hangout spot of the late legend, often drawing in Nirvana fans to channel the spirit of their beloved rock star. Other memorial across the state also pay tribute to world-famous celebrities. Sing/songwriter, Bing Crosby, known for his crooning jazz vocals, was born and raised in Washington State. His childhood home and the Bing Crosby Theater are both located in Spokane and pay a nice tribute to the singer who brought us the popular song- “White Christmas.” Rock star Jimi Hendrix, who has inspired fans for decades, is buried at Greenwood Memorial Park just outside of the Seattle area. His half-million dollar monument prominently stands in the southwest corner of the graveyard and continuously beckons fans to bask in their hero’s glory.
While Washington’s celebrity origins aren’t surprising to many residents, they may be shocked to learn that the Columbia River Gorge along the state’s southern border once hosted European royalty. Now known as the Maryhill Museum of Art, this large manor was built in the early 1900s by Samuel Hill to house his old friend, King Albert I of Belgium. While the first World War halted its construction, the museum was later dedicated by Queen Marie of Romania, another close friend of Hill’s. In addition to its gorgeous view, progressive design, and numerous modern art statues, Maryhill Museum features a variety of exhibits, most notably a large collection of personal items donated by the Queen of Romania herself. The collection includes her gold throne, unpublished personal memoirs, Byzantine-inspired furniture and the gold gown worn to the 1896 coronation of her cousin, Tsar Nicholas II. Maryhill also displays a collection of over 75 chess sets from around the world and a showcase of post WWII French fashion. For an entrance fee of less than $5, Maryhill Museum of Art is a place of history and captivation, overlooking one of Washington’s most breathtaking views.
Anyone excited by the idea of both observing and reliving history should visit the Fort Vancouver National Historic Site. For Vancouver brings to life the stories and struggle of four historic PNW locations-Hudson’s Bay Company’s Fort Vancouver, the US Army’s Vancouver Barracks, Pearson Field, and the McLoughlin House in Oregon City. Perhaps the most interesting draw is the is the replicated shops and homes that offer a glimpse into the life of 19th century fur trappers who lived at Fort Vancouver. A bake house, a blacksmith shop, and a carpenter’s shop are among the interactive buildings that offer accurate demonstrations of day-to-day fort life. Visitors are also welcome to stroll the large garden that showcases the Fort’s agricultural history, as well as the large and decadent Chief Factor’s house that once hosted the high society of many who traveled to Vancouver. More information about the Fort’s special events and visitor’s info can be found on the National Park Service website at http://www.nps.gov/fova/index.htm.