The Minute Township Of Hoquiam Recognizes The Past And New Developments

When a town ages, it has to change too, to avoid stalling out, fading away. Often a town has been planted in a place to satisfy some specific cultural or economic need, and if those days pass, the town has to change its game. And the way a town does this is very important, because it says as much about the times we’re all living in as about the way a town makes decisions.

A fine example of this evolution is seen in the Washington town of Hoquiam. Hoquiam was originally a logging town, a history it recalls with an annual event — Loggers’ Playday. And in the fall there is a logging competition and a parade to further remind the people how they got here. While maintaining these traditions is important, sometimes it’s necessary to invent something new.

Take, for example, the Hoquiam waterfront. This part of the city’s downtown has not been well used since a 1980s Renaissance. But with the possibilities presented by new development, suddenly there’s a chance that it can become a hub for the area. Hoquiam can’t just rely on logging contests forever — there’s got to be more to a city’s life than that.

Imagining a waterfront lined with shops and restaurants and hotels helps us contemplate about how to make a township more profitable — both culturally and financially. Waterfront development has been a major boon for cities such as Baltimore and San Antonio. It creates a form of city heart with opportunity for dining and shopping and amusement. And of course there’s a physical feature that serves as built-in scenery, something to park yourself while sipping drinks or having a bit of dinner.

There are alternative fantastic grounds for Hoquiam to deliberate its growth options. There’s its bigger neighbor to the east, Aberdeen, with whom Hoquiam has a kind of rivalry. These bigger towns time and again generate more development opportunities, extra tax money, than its smaller sister. Older siblings incessantly get the fresh stuff while littler kids obtain the hand-me-downs. But so if Hoquiam thinks about what it wants to become and applies that vision in creating a charming downtown waterfront, it can display to that next-door neighbor how helpful a city can be.

A town’s history is important, but so is its future direction. New ideas need to be embraced. Hoquiam, like many small towns, needs to be brave in embracing its possibilities for that future — it can preserve its history even as it evolves.

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