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Cosmopolis

It was once an important sawmill town, but when the largest sawmill closed, the town became a quiet, residential community. It has been revived by the building of a modern sawmill and a wood pulp plant. The name was given in pioneer days by a Frenchman named Brunn. Local legend says the name came from an Indian headman who lived nearby. August V. Kautz visited the place in the 1850s on a military expedition and found it to be empty of people.

By the 1940s the town consisted of a collection of old frame dwellings, many of them vacant, showing the harsh effects of the decline of lumbering in the region. The inhabitants of Cosmopolis were mostly millworkers of many nationalities. The town was one of the first sawmill centers established in the Grays Harbor district.

Weyerhauser’s Cosmopolis Pulp Mill is presently the dominant feature of the landscape and it has brought a measure of vitality to the town. Many of the frame buildings demonstrate a level of sensitivity in their treatment identifying them as early twentieth century resources.

Points of Interest Points of Interest icon

Cooney Mansion

Built in 1910, the Neil Cooney Mansion is a most important structure in the Grays Harbor area, both for the quality of its design and its association with Neil Cooney. Mr. Cooney, “a man reviled and maligned through the timber country” ran the company town of Cosmopolis through his position in the Grays Harbor Commercial Company, which at one time was one of the largest wood processors in the state. Mr. Cooney built his home to be a showcase for local timber products. The beautifully articulated interior is a remarkably intact example of the Craftsman aesthetic. Its use of simple, strong lines in the paneling, stairs, ceiling, and built-in features, and its wealth of Mission style furniture reflect an era that was turning its back on the excesses of the Victorian age. Contemporary with this progressive movement was the integration of modern plumbing in house designs. The original plumbing fixtures compliment the historical ambiance of the dwelling. While the exterior of the house employs no single style, it is solid and imposing, certainly the most impressive house in Cosmopolis.