Happy razor clamming after WWII


Smiling teenagers after a day of razor clamming, circa 1947! Razor clamming has helped define who we are in Washington State in every decade. Notice all the bare feet.

The photo is courtesy of Jaime Johnstone. Her family lived in Centralia at the time. That’s Jaime’s mother on the left, a decade before Jaime was born.

“Clamming was a fun event, as you can tell from the photo of my mom and her friends, all teenagers at the time,” Jaime writes. “I remember going clamming with my family from a very early age (well before I could contribute to the digging!). It was a bonding event, as everyone contributed to the digging in whatever way they could, and we each were invested in every person getting their limit. And somehow, the messy task of cleaning the clams didn’t even seem to be a chore, because everyone chipped in with that too. My mom was a child of the Depression, and clamming served a very practical purpose at times, of putting food on the table. But really, the most important thing was the collective fun with family and friends.