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American Road Magazine
Celebrating our two-lane highways of yesteryear…And the joys of driving them today!

U.s. 99 Big Bird

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Along old US99 (the Pacific Highway of the teens and twenty's of the last century) sits a gigantic bird, a Yard Bird by name. The term yardbird apparently came from the description of a low status soldier during WWII, but it has also been applied to chickens of the feathered variety in more recent times.


The cartoon strip Barney Google featuring Snuffy Smith used the term in 1940. How many here can claim they remember Snuffy?




This yardbird graces the entrance to the Yard Bird Shopping Center in Chehalis, Washington, and faces the old highway, tall and proud. It and predecessor birds have been roosting on this site for over 40 years.








I'm not aware that the bird has a name. Being of wood it was the victim rot and was in serious need of repair. Local enthusiasts gathered community support to rebuild Mr Yardbird, and Dave, in the photo, is doing the work.


It is great in a time of boring plastic signs to see that a community will take the considerably time and effort to maintain a valued roadside attraction made of wood. Kudos to the people of Chehalis!




Keep the Show on the Road!

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It is great they are restoring the big bird. This is one of the few roadside attractions left on the old 99 route. This part of the old road is now one way (south) but this was the original alignment back in the teens.


Look forward to your next post.

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