Aberdeen Founders’ Day History

Sam Benn's trail traveled to Aberdeen.

Sam Benn’s trail traveled to Aberdeen. Map compliments of Brian Little of Aberdeen, WA.

147 years ago on May 28, 1868 Washington Pioneer and Founder Sam Benn and his family floated down the river from his place in Melbourne and set about the work of realizing his dream of someday building a great city at the confluence of the Wishkah and Chehalis Rivers. Grit!

That pioneer spirit is alive and well here on the Harbor and can be seen reflected in the efforts of many who, despite the odds, are braving today’s natural forces and working together towards perfecting Sam Benn’s dream.

Written by Brian Little

Aberdeen Mayor Bill Simpson proclaimed July 2 as Aberdeen’s Founder’s Day at a city council meeting in 2013.

After the second Public Comment portion of the meeting, Brian Little brought up that July 2 was Sam Benn’s birthday and that there was no record of there being a founder’s day, Councilman Pete Schave made a motion in favor of making July 2 officially Founder’s Day and like magic, pride of place was born.

After the motion was unanimously supported Mayor Simpson made the proclamation.


Sam and Martha Benn with AJ West and wife.

Sam and Martha Benn with AJ West and wife.