Chehalis Things to Do
The Willapa Hills Trail is varied along its length, and this tip only describes the part going west of Chehalis for a short distance. For a more complete summary see my Willapa Hills Trail overview in the state of Washington section. As it is a state trail, the use of a number of the parking areas requires the use of a Discover Pass or day use...more
Located within sight of Interstate 5, the Veterans Memorial Museum has a collection of material going back a long ways, including a few items from the Revolutionary War. The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday 10 am to 5 pm. June through September the museum is also open Sundays 1 to 5. Admissions is $5 per adult, or $3 per child or student.more
Locomotive #15 is a 1916 90-ton Baldwin with 2-8-2 wheel arrangement. Its last working assignment was to pull log trains for the Cowlitz, Chehalis and Cascade Railroad; which operated in the area until the mid 1950's. She was restored to operating condition in the Mt. Rainier's Mineral Shops for use on the Chehalis-Centralia Railroad Association...more
122 Interstate Ave., Chehalis, Washington, 98532 , United States
Good for: Solo
I have known the owner, Dan Ewing for over 20 years. After working in various Seattle restaurants as a chef, he decided to come home and open his own restaurant. His grandfather Ewing owned this same restaurant many years ago, and the restaurant has a nice 50's retro feel to it. Dan's motto: Good Food Fastmore
I use to recommend this restaurant to everyone and had not been there in years, but recently found out it has changed hands and the name from Rib Eye to Beck's Rib Eye even though the sign outside does not state that.I would no longer recommend this restaurant as the owner is rude to staff in front of customers and the food is expensive for what...more
1 Hotels in Chehalis
22 Reviews and Opinions
Cold beer, great burgers and fries, 2 pool tables, gambling (punchboards/pulltabs), and more!Garbe's has some of the coldest and cheapest beer in town ($1.75 pints/$5.50 pitchers of domestics-Bud/Bud Light/MGD/Coors Light/Rainier). Air conditioned for those infrequent hot days in W. Washington.Free peanuts on Fridays! Dress code? In Chehalis??more
While it is a small transit agency, Twin Transit operates an adequate service for the small communities it serves. There are several bus routes that connect various points in Chehalis and Centralia, plus a "museum express" route that serves the area of Chehalis where the Chehalis - Centralia Steam Train Association has its steam train excursions,...more
By far the least expensive way to get to Chehalis from the south is by public transit bus. This service is operated by the Lower Columbia Community Action Program. Buses operate between the Vancouver, Washington Salmon Creek Park and Ride lot, Woodland Park and Ride, Longview Transit Center, Kalama, Castle Rock Park and Ride, the Exit 63 Shell...more
Driving-Interstate 5 about halfway between Seattle and Portland///Train-Twin Transit Bus from Centralia (Amtrak) train depot///Bus-Twin Transit Bus from Centralia Greyhound stop (Mellen Street Texaco Station)You could walk everywhere if you had a few hours or you can take the bus. Driving is also allowed.more
Chehalis Local Customs
When Interstate 5 was constructed in the 1960s, it cut right through farmer Alfred Hamilton's land, creating two useless sections of land. With little else to do with it, Mr. Hamilton decided to lease the space for billboards - which then were attacked during the 1960s "Highway Beautification" project initiated by First Lady Johnson. This made him quite upset, as it created two less than useful pieces of land and then attempted to take away the only income potential this land still had (it should be noted that this land was quite rural at the time - as it predated the 1990s sprawl of Chehalis) by eliminating billboard placement on it.
Mr Hamilton's revenge was to construct his own billboard on one of the less useful pieces of land, and write an ever changing series of anti-government slogans and messages, anti-environmentalist sayings, pro-gun rights messages, and similar other sentiments.
The original owner died in November of 2004, but his children have now carried on the tradition. Originally, there was some discussion that this might not happen, as not even Hamilton's children necessarily agreed with everything Hamilton put on the sign.
Unfortunately, these days the signs are (in my opinion and those of others) not quite as entertaining or as thought provoking as they were when Hamilton himself was writing them.
While the billboard is not quite as tall as the commercial billboards in the area, it is still quite visible as it is located on a sharp curve as Interstate 5 enters the south side of Chehalis. You can't miss it: it is the billboard that has the rather crude Uncle Sam image on it. For that reason it is nicknamed the "Uncle Sam Billboards". The billboard is not lit, however, and so you will not see it at night.
The message on the north and south sides are different. Once in a while the sign does advertise some local event or institution (such as the food at a particular restaurant that is apparently a favorite of the family) but most of the time the sign continues to complain bitterly against whoever happens to be the selected victim at the time.
According to an interview with the Oregonian (Portland newspaper), Mr. Hamilton's favorite sentiment expressed was ''Let's keep the Canal and give them Kissinger'' from the 1970s and 1980s Panama Canal negotiations. That same newspaper interview also yielded an interesting insight into Mr. Hamilton's quotes: ''I'm not trying to convert anyone to my way of thinking,'' he said. ''But I want to make people think.''
In a November 12, 2004 editorial about the billboards upon Mr. Hamilton's death, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer was moved to comment "We thought the billboards cranky, but worth looking at...That billboard is what makes America better because it celebrates a founding principle of our nation, the First Amendment. We completely disagree with Hamilton's view of the world, but praise his discourse.''Related to:
- Arts and Culture
Chehalis Off The Beaten Path
The thermometer/clock on the PUD building. The tallest building in town (St. Helens Hotel) is in the background.
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