The MHN Blog is a companion to the Maritime Heritage Network, a not-for-profit, comprehensive website of maritime heritage organizations, attractions, and activities in the Pacific Northwest. The blog highlights news, activities, and resources useful to the entire maritime heritage community. All views expressed are the author's own. Opposing views are welcome.

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Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Pirates May Invade Kalama If Local Has Her Say

A resident of the small river port of Kalama, Washington on the shores of the Columbia River would like some feedback on an idea to create a pirate attraction in the community. Terri Van Matre would like to explore turning the small town's waterfront into a pirate-themed adventure, "something like the pirate area at Disneyland, without rides." She's floating another idea with a Hawaiian theme.

Her query to Maritime Heritage Network was sparked by a recent visit of the Lady Washington, star of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, and Hawaiian Chieftain to her neighborhood. Kalama was named for John Kalama, a native Hawaiian who settled in the area. Few people in Washington State know about the critical contribution made to the region's early history by native Hawaiian seamen, who explored the coasts and rivers alongside their European and American employers. The nearby Kalama River is also named for the settler.

What do you think? Terri would like some suggestions on who to talk to about realizing her vision. What about other cities or towns that have tried themes? Leavenworth, Washington comes to mind; it has a Bavarian theme. Winthrop, Washington has a pioneer theme. Communities with other themes, such as the Old West, might have some ideas, agree? Leave your feedback here on the MHN blog or write to me at and I'll pass along the info to Terri.


Blogger Terri said...

Joe: Thanks for the mention on your blog. Vintage Hawaiian meets Vintage Western is what I personally hope to see. Also, at the same location, is the site where the first Railroad spike in the state of Washington was driven, I see it as a little cornucopia of History in a wonderful little town, with much potential. The marina is wonderful, and there is a nice park right beside, with the world's tallest totem pole carved from a single timber by a Native American. I'd love to see peoples creative ideas about how to highlight this in a recreational area, in a vintage way. The fishing and antique hunting here is also great, I hope people will take the time to stop and check out Kalama when they drive thru on I-5 or boat down the river! Thank you! Terri

2:36 PM

Blogger Joe Follansbee said...

Many cities in Washington State are taking advantage of their maritime history to educate young people and attract tourists. Two of the best examples are Port Townsend's (See Northwest Maritime Center and Tacoma's Working Waterfront Maritime Museum on the Thea Foss Waterway.

6:54 AM


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