Well, based on a comment from Edward Echtle (@Tenalquot) earlier this morning, it turns out it is McLane Creek. Couldn't be anywhere else. The reason is Courtney Love still owns a place out on Delphi Road that contains a significant portion of the creek.
And, from the history of the property on Redfin, the house has been for sale in the recent past. It was listed three times since 2010 and had a pending sale in 2012. But, that apparently never came through and the property was delisted again earlier this year.
A few weeks ago when I went down to our own little ghost town of Bordeaux, I remembered in the back of my head something about Kurt Cobain's mom's house being somewhere in the neighborhood. It turns out Wendy O'Connor (Cobain's mom) lived just across the road from what remains of the old town site for years. In fact, she lived in the house of the town founder:
The Bordeaux House is one of the few extant buildings of the town of Bordeaux which was headquarters to the Mumby Shingle and Lumber Company, one of the most important lumbering operations in Thurston County. The firm opened up the harvesting of timber in the Black Hills while pioneering new methods of logging and manufacturing. After cutting and processing billions of board feet of lumber from 1902 to 1941, the operation closed and the town was abandoned. Only this house, home of Thomas Bordeaux, the firm’s founder, featuring fine uses of wood from the mill and two other structures and a safe from the former hotel remain from the town which has excellent integrity are a small mobile logger’s residence and a deteriorated school.It also turns out that in the years following Cobain's suicide, that the house was the site of his last memorial service:
One unique feature: The house is one of about a dozen of Cobain's final resting places.The problem in that passage (and in the similar passage towards the end of Cross's book) name a curious local stream for the receiving Cobain's ashes. McLane Creek is a creek on the western edge of Thurston County, but it is miles from the house on Bordeaux Road. McLane and Mima (the creek closest to the Bordeaux hosue) creeks don't connect and flow in opposite directions.
On Memorial Day 1999, O'Connor organized a ceremony during which Cobain and Love's then 6-year-old daughter, Frances Bean, tossed some of his ashes into McLane Creek, which runs behind the house.
The ceremony was recounted in "Heavier Than Heaven," a biography of Cobain written by Charles Cross.
According to Thurston County records, the Bordeaux house was owned by Courtney Love for almost ten years.
There also isn't a creek that runs behind the house at all. There are two intermittent streams that run near the house, but nothing that I'd call "near." The only actual creek -- Mima Creek -- near the house is through some woods and across a road. Hardly an easy thing to include into a memorial service.
It is possible that the memorial service wasn't in fact held at the Bordeaux house, but rather at a nearby house that fronted the actual McLane Creek. Or, the ash scattering during the ceremony didn't happen. Or it did, the ceremony was a the Bordeaux house and they just hiked a bit.
In one symbolic way, it does matter whether his family scattered Cobain's ashes in McLane or Mima Creek.
McLane Creek and Mima are parts of different watersheds and flow in different directions. Literally in geography and figuratively in time.
McLane Creek, according to Cross:
In many ways, this too was a fitting resting place. Kurt had found his true artistic muse in Olympia, and less than five miles away he sat in a shitty little apartment that smelled of rabbit pee and wrote songs all day. Those songs would outlive Kurt and even his darkest demons.McLane Creek also flows north into Puget Sound, where the water meets Olympia and later Seattle. This is towards the future of Kurt Cobain, his adult life and eventually his tragic death.
Mima Creek, on the other hand, flows south into the Black River and then west into the Chehalis. It leads backwards into Kurt Cobain's life back to the Harbor and where he was born.
One creek flows towards artistic creation and death, the other backwards toward tortured youth and birth.