Just off the freeway in Chehalis, Washington, an enormous black bird statue heralds Yard Birds Mall, the final remaining location of a local shopping center franchise that could once be found throughout the area. Today the mall is a one-of-a-kind swap meet and curious event location, but the black birds of years past still remain.
Greeting shoppers as they turn down the entry road, the Yard Bird statue is a beloved local attraction. Behind the bird is the giant swap meet and mall filled with more than 100 different vendors, collectors, antique outlets, and more. This eclectic collection is the last remaining location of a collection of “family shopping centers” that were first established in 1947, most of which were wiped out by natural disasters and economic misfortune.
The large bird statue speaks to an interesting history, to when the avian mascot was a well-known local symbol. There are several smaller Yard Bird statues that have survived and can be found not far from the mall as well. It’s said that one of them used to house a helicopter inside, while another was home to a huge beehive!
Today, the property is home to several events year-round including the Miss Yard Birds Pageant, Kid Day, Classic Car Meets, and more. So even if you can’t find something to pique your interest inside (and with a black light mini-golf course, that seems unlikely), there’s probably something happening outside that’ll make the Yard Bird worth a visit.
Know Before You Go
The Yard Bird statue is outside along the road, and you can stop and see it any time. The mall itself has relatively regular hours, but the vendors inside keep their own individual schedules, so they may or may not be open on any given day. It's a toss up as to who is open when. Still, it's good to pick around through.