The changing face of Forks because of “Twilight”

  • By Marcia Bingham For Peninsula Daily News
  • Saturday, May 16, 2009 6:55pm
  • Life

By Marcia Bingham

For Peninsula Daily News

Forks was settled in the early 1900s because of its proximity to the Sol Duc, Quillayute, Bogachiel and Calawah Rivers.

It was incorporated in 1945 and, at that time, farming was the primary means of earning a living.

For years it was famous as a “timber town.”

But it took a family of unrelated vampires to put Forks’ name firmly into the public eye and draw visitors by the thousands to this temperate rain forest.

Twilight — a dream by a young woman, Stephenie Meyer, which became a best-selling four-book series (and then a movie, with a sequel being filmed and plans for future films) — has changed the face of Forks and thrown open the doors to international visitors.

As anyone on the North Olympic Peninsula will attest, swarms of excited, eager

Twilight fans of all ages come to Forks to experience something magical.

Forks is working hard to retain that mystical aura.

While Twilight opened the floodgates to a fan base ranging from preteen to “oughta know better,” both male and female, the challenge has become keeping the interest high on the West End — and, from all accounts, Forks is rising to the challenge.

Visitors can pick up a colorful map of the action sites in the book and go off on a self-guided tour, hoping to catch sight of the occasional vampire (on a cloudy day) or a werewolf (non-seasonal).

Their fantasy is fed by the Chamber of Commerce-run Visitor Information Center, where mail for the vampire Cullen family is being saved and where props for exciting photos are treasured and shared.

Directions to other activities and information on Olympic National Park, the former big draw, are offered as well.

Residents are showing a tolerant, slightly amused face to visitors and often recognize the plight of their photo-happy visitors and offer to snap a picture of a group of tourists.

Their indulgence is being paid off with return visits and acknowledgement that this part of the county is both beautiful and quite unique.

Many visitors have sworn they will return to savor the incredible beauty and friendliness of the Pacific Northwest — and some have already relocated their families to be nearer here.

Keeping the experience exciting may not always be possible, but in these first years of the Twilight saga, everyone seems anxious to hold onto the dream as long as possible.

New stores have opened in Forks, new products have been created to fill the seemingly endless demand for booty — and jobs are being offered when it was feared summer work was a thing of the past.

Our gratitude is extended to Stephenie Meyer, who recognized a romance-hungry market which has eagerly devoured her fiction and asked for seconds.

While she hints at the supernatural and teases the reader with her story of endless love, the value of her writings is in the relationships she describes and the settings in which they take place.

Forks is grateful to be the cloudy, mysterious and soggy site for Bella, Edward and Jacob to establish their bonds and immortalize Clallam County.

With four books in the series, it’s hoped more movies will result and the flow of fans will continue.


Marcia Bingham is executive director of the Forks Chamber of Commerce,; 1411 S. Forks Ave. (P.O. Box 1249), Forks 98331; 360-374-2531.

Or e-mail

This is one in a revolving series of columns in the Peninsula Daily News every month on tourism in Jefferson and Clallam counties.

More in Life

Matthew Nash/ Olympic Peninsula News Group

Ellen Dryke and Kassie Montero examine salmon eggs while learning about the American Dipper at the 2019 Dungeness River Festival. After a hiatus, the festival returns Friday.
River Fest returns on Friday after hiatus

One-day free event set in and around Railroad Bridge Park

Timothy West
Speakers scheduled for Sunday program

The Rev. Donna Little and Timothy West will present… Continue reading

ISSUES OF FAITH: True enjoyment of life: Love is more

AS YOU MIGHT remember, last month I wrote about how “less is… Continue reading

Juan de Fuca Harmony chorus to mark 40th anniversary

“It’s the music that brings us together, it’s the music… Continue reading

20th anniversary for Unity pastor

Unity in Port Townsend will celebrate the 20th anniversary… Continue reading

Rosh HaShanah observances slated on the Peninsula

The Olympic B’nai Shalom congregation will observe Rosh HaShanah… Continue reading

OUUF presentation rescheduled Sunday in person, on Zoom

Joan Cotta will present “Our Trip to Malawi” at… Continue reading

Feast of trumpets set

Hesshughes Ministries will present “Feast of Trumpets” at 10 a.m.… Continue reading

Master gardeners, from left to right, Peggy Goette, Valarie Bowers and Marsha Robin received Golden Trowel awards.
2023 Golden Trowel awards presented to Clallam gardeners

The Clallam County Master Gardeners presented Golden Trowel awards to… Continue reading

PHOTO BY LINDA MORIN At the Joyce Daze Parade, participating Back Country Horsemen Peninsula Chapter members were awarded a Blue Ribbon for the best Animal Entry in the parade.
HORSEPLAY: OPEN, WAG hosting canine, equine fundraiser

CALLING ALL EQUESTRIANS and dog lovers! Are you ready for a play… Continue reading

A GROWING CONCERN: Go just wild about saffron

IT IS NOW time to start ordering and buying spring flowering plants.… Continue reading