Aberdeen Museum of History destroyed by fire, but good news is coming soon

Featured image: Inside the Aberdeen Museum of History in Aberdeen, Washington, before the fire on June 9, 2018 (photo credit: graysharbormuseums.org)

Nirvana fans, history lovers, and the community are mourning the loss of the historical Armory Building in the small coastal town of Aberdeen, Washington. Flames shooting 20 to 30 feet high raced through the building on June 9, destroying a senior center, low-income assistance offices, and The Aberdeen Museum of History—a popular stop for Kurt Cobain fans.

Aberdeen is the birthplace of Cobain, who was the lead singer and guitarist for Nirvana. He co-founded the grunge rock band with bassist Krist Novoselic in Aberdeen in 1987. The museum housed a display of Cobain T-shirts, drawings, and memorabilia. None actually belonged to Cobain, but a couch was on display that he slept on as a teenager. The couch wasn’t blocked off, so visitors could sit on it and take pictures.

Now the couch is gone, a victim of the fire.

The reports I found about the fire do not indicate how many artifacts were damaged or destroyed, but in a Facebook post on June 10, museum director Emily Davidson Airhart indicated that some survived. She also expressed thanks to the firefighters, city officials, and the community for their support.

“Aberdeen has always been a community oriented town, and in my time as Director of the Museum of History I have learned that no matter what the adversity, the people have come together to overcome it,” she said. “It is said that history repeats itself; I have no doubt that support will come from far and wide. Just like a Phoenix, we shall rise from the ashes, and be more beautiful than before.”

The Phoenix is rising already. In another Facebook post on June 14, Airhart said, “Good news is coming!!! Stay tuned for updates!!!”

I will update this post as the good news develops.

Read reports about the fire from NPR and the Seattle Times.

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