Moclips originated as a Quinault village along the Moclips River. It was a place where young women, having reached puberty were sequestered. The belief was that they needed purification and Moclips actually refers to "bloody waters". The girls were kept isolated so as not to bring harm to the salmon run or to affect a poor whale hunt.
When the Spaniards first landed at Santiago beach (the beach adjacent to the Moclips River which runs to Point Grenville), as the story goes, the first landing party encountered a peaceful meeting with the natives there. A cross was erected, and another later group of Spaniards came ashore at a nearby point. These seven men were masacred by the Quinault warriors that were guarding the spot. The specific location of this masacre is disputed, but it is said that there were young women kept up the river there and this leads us to believe that it was likely the Moclips River.
In 1792, Captain Robert Gray discovered Grays Harbor and entered the Columbia River, the first non-indigenous people to have done so. In 1803, President Thomas Jefferson sent the Lewis and Clark Expedition to explore the vast interior between the Missouri River and the Pacific Ocean.
In the early 1900's the definition of the word Moclips was altered to be more palatable to the white tourists that came by the thousands to the young resort community. In the first issue of the Moclips newspaper "Moclips Ocean Wave" published in 1909 an article relating this definition was printed. According to Mrs. Robert Chabot who wrote the story Moclips means placid waters. It is also around this period that the beach at Moclips was named Moonstone (or Agate) Beach, due to the fact that these wonderful stones were said to be found in bountiful supply.
The first American settlers came to the North Beach area in the mid-1800s. Many homesteaded with 160 acres of fine timber. Steve Grover homesteaded Moclips in 1862. In 1902 Dr. Edward Lycan, Robert Chabot and their wives purchased the property and filed a plat map with the early Chehalis County (now Grays Harbor County). Historical records indicate that much of the property was actually purchased by Robert Chabot and then parcelled out and sold through his real estate business. It wasn't until 1905 that the new town became official. This was when the western most terminus of the Northern Pacific Railway was completed at Moclips and the first Moclips Beach Hotel was completed. The town soon became populated with restaurants, hotels, confectioners, canneries, a butcher, a jeweler, a theatre, merchantiles and the M.R. Smith Lumber and Shingle Mill. On July 2, 1905 the first Moclips Beach Hotel held its grand opening. Moclips became the mecca for vacationers who came to the beach by the thousands on the Northern Pacific.
Before the Northern Pacific completed the line to Moclips, the only way to reach Moclips (as well as Pacific Beach) was by wagon via the beach; so, the final completion of the railway was a real boom to the economy. Both in terms of the tourists that it brought and because it transported the shingles from the local mills, and canned razor clams and salmon from the local canneries. Initially the track was extended from Copalis Crossing to the beach to bring tourists to the Hotel.
In addition to the depot at Moclips, there was a whistle stop along the beach at Sunset Beach and still another was located near the center of Pacific Beach. The depot was run by a woman who lived upstairs. In the 1950's, the depot was torn down. The area where it was located is what is now state park land near 4th and Railroad Avenues. The tracks from Moclips to Hoquiam were torn up in the early 1980's.
PIHA, Paranormal Investigations of Historic America (www.pihausa.com ), was created specifically for paranormal investigations of public historic sites and museums that have a history of paranormal activity. PIHA is in the process of creating a series of DVD's that feature the museums, public historical sites and communities in Washington State. There are three regions in Washington State that will be featured. The first region is "Western Washington", the second is "The Olympic Peninsula" and the third region is "Eastern Washington".
PIHA is made up of a small group of experienced, dedicated paranormal investigators who have a passion for history and an interest in the phenomena of the possible existence of paranormal activity. Our approach, equipment and procedures for paranormal investigating is primarily based on the use of technologically advanced electronic equipment and scientific logic in obtaining evidence of possible paranormal activity.
On behalf of the volunteer paranormal investigators of PIHA, I invite you to experience Washington State's amazing historical sites and museums like never before. Through our process of networking with local historical societies, museums and registered, public historical sites, PIHA hopes to encourage public interest in Washington State's exciting history and the process and technology utilized in scientific paranormal investigations.
PIHA was created with two goals in mind:
1. PIHA hopes to bring Washington State’s history to life by attempting to obtain significant evidence of these strange occurrences. Utilizing the latest in today's electronic technology and dedicated paranormal investigators, we are accomplishing this objective, one public historical site at a time.
2. PIHA wants to stimulate additional interest in residents and visitors to Washington State's fascinating history. Our goal is to encourage individuals, families, schools and community organizations to visit these (and other) historical locations for a better understanding of our state's history and the people who made it and maybe have a personal paranormal experience along the way!
PIHA is not out to prove or disprove the existence of possible paranormal activity, but to publish any significant evidence collected at an investigation. Many people who think that something paranormal exist, physics and logic can debunk. That said, occasionally PIHA obtains evidence that neither physics nor logic applies. When this occurs, we classify it as paranormal evidence and let each individual decide for himself what to believe or not believe.
Wherever your travels in Washington take you, best wishes for a "Trip to the Extraordinary".