A brief history of the Chehalis Yard Birds store (stores also existed in Olympia and Shelton):
1947: Bill Jones and Richard Gillingham open the War Surplus Store in a tent on West Main Street in Centralia. Later that year, the two owners move the business to the complex where Sunbird Shopping Center is now located and named it Yard Birds Surplus.
1958: Yard Birds now occupies 110,000 square feet, and houses 16 departments and five lessees. The business is renamed the Yard Birds Family Shopping Center.
1971: Yard Birds moves to its final location between Centralia and Chehalis to construct what was the largest store in the area. The Yard Birds Family Shopping Center is 305,000 square feet. The new store introduced a 70-foot tall "Yard Bird" that could be seen from Interstate 5.
1976: The landmark "Yard Bird' is destroyed by fire. The fiberglass bird is ignited when an automobile backfires and catches fire underneath it. Pay -n- Save bought the store from Jones and Gillingham.
1990: The Chehalis store is flooded in January owing to heavy rains and a dike breaking. The store has water from 18 to 24 inches deep for 12 hours. The store was closed for eight days. The flood caused an estimated $1.1 million in damage.
1995: Yard Birds chairman of the board George Lee confirms that the Chehalis store will be closed.
Any one have any memories of the Olympia Yard Birds?