Home > Assignments, COM466 > Recession Hits Small Town U.S.A.

Recession Hits Small Town U.S.A.

The “Great Recession” of the late-2000s hit the United States hard, having a particularly visible impact on many small towns throughout the country. Here, Shelton, Wash. is examined.

Presentation Transcript

  1. Visitors are welcomed to the small town of Shelton, Wash. (population 8,442 according to the 2000 census) from atop the Hillcrest neighborhood. Shelton resides on the western side of Puget Sound, about a 30 minute drive north of Olympia.
  2. This view above Oakland Bay shows the Simpson Timber Company, which dominated the economy of Shelton, Wash. for several decades. Along with many other logging towns, both Shelton and the Simpson Timber Company have seen better days. The “Great Recession” of the late-2000s hasn’t helped.
  3. A logging truck passes by houses in downtown Shelton, Wash. near Loop Field and Evergreen Elementary School. Apart from main drags, the roads in Shelton – particularly downtown – have been increasingly less maintained in recent years.
  4. “No Biomass Incinerators,” reads a sign taped to the back window of a car in downtown Shelton, Wash. Plans from Adage called for a 55-megawatt wood-fired power plant to be built four miles from downtown, creating jobs in the process. In March, Adage cancelled their plans due to a heavy backlash from the community.
  5. Wal-Mart moved into Shelton, Wash. in the 1990s, providing employment and low prices to residents of Mason County. It has since been turned into a “Supercenter” that provides a full grocery selection (Shelton High School’s Mini-Dome sits in the background). Wal-Mart’s presence has driven business to “uptown” Shelton, but away from downtown and stores like Safeway and Red Apple.
  6. A closed tavern in downtown Shelton, Wash. on the busy North 1st Street has been vacant for several years. In the window is a reflection of a Dairy Queen that is currently being remodeled.
  7. Mill Creek Motel has long been a vacant lot on Olympic Highway South, just outside of Shelton, Wash. All that remains is its rotting sign.
  8. Above is all that remains of the popular Timber Bowl bowling alley in downtown Shelton, Wash., which burned down in November 2008. Shelton High School’s powerhouse women’s bowling team now has to travel to Olympia to bowl.
  9. The First Baptist Church in downtown Shelton, Wash. has faced declining attendance and membership in recent years. The town’s Catholic, Lutheran and Mormon churches also have large memberships.
  10. An old apartment building in downtown Shelton, Wash. is boarded up and overrun by weeds, a common scene in its neighborhood.
  11. Credits
    Bryden McGrath
    Twitter: @Bryden13
    Email: brydenmcgrath@yahoo.com
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