Grays Harbor Genealogical Society Fire Help

Dear Local Society,


As you may have already heard, the Grays Harbor Genealogical Society’s Research Library, housed in the Aberdeen Museum of History, was one of the victims of a devastating fire on Saturday, June 9, 2018. The 3-alarm fire destroyed most of the first and second floors of the historic Armory Building, which was built in 1922.

The Grays Harbor Genealogical Society’s Research Library was housed on the 1st floor of the Amory Building.

Investigators are still determining the cause of the fire so we are unable to get inside the building, but are preparing for the worst: the loss of our entire library holdings.  We had recently completed a conversion of the library to emphasize Grays Harbor County (and its predecessor Chehalis County), and were enormously proud of our extensive collection of now-defunct Whiteside and Elerding funeral records and obituary records, dating back as far as the late 1800s.


I am asking for your help.  We are scrambling to find another location and have begun the task of re-gathering our collections. While many of our holdings were digitized or are available in other locations, we are still looking to gather Grays Harbor-related records, photographs, documents, maps, and books. If you or your society have any Grays Harbor-related materials, we would love to have copies or donation. We are hoping to rebuild our holdings to be the “go-to shop” for family researchers in Grays Harbor.


Alternatively, anyone wishing to make financial donation is encouraged to use our Go Fund Me campaign or direct to the Grays Harbor Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 916, Aberdeen, WA 98520.

Bonnie Johannes added: I have done researches for people from other WA State societies who had family members/ancestors here at some period of time. We would like copy of what was sent to them, if possible. Thank you.


If you would like more information or have questions, please contact me at


Gary Parfitt, President

Grays Harbor Genealogical Society