Compiled and written by the Publisher


Copyright, 1912, by Robert A. Reid

Transcribed by Jenny Tenlen



Lewis County was named in honor of Captain Meriwether Lewis, the explorer. Cowlitz County was named after the river which waters so wide an extent of territory on its course to join the Columbia.

(p. 161)

[photo: "The Chehalis City Hall/The Chehalis Public Library"]

Lewis County is one of the largest counties in western Washington, having an area of 2,593 square miles of territory and about 35,000 people. It occupies a large part of the drainage basins of two large rvers, the Cowlitz and Chehalis - one emptying its waters into the Columbia River and the other flowing into Grays Harbor. It reaches from the peaks of the Cascades 100 miles toward the ocean, but is cut off 30 miles from the coast, and is about 30 miles wide. Mount Rainier is just north of its extreme eastern portion and about one-fourth of the county is within the Rainier forest reserve.

At present the chief industry of the county consists of manufacturing its forests into various forms of lumber and its products. Next in importance probably are the precious metal and coal deposits of the county, which have, however, been but little developed. The coal measures include bituminous, lignite and anthracite and are of great extent in the foothills of the eastern part of the county. Two systems of railroads have been

[photo: "CHEHALIS FACTORY OF THE PACIFIC COAST CONDENSED MILK COMPANY: An important factor in the development of the dairy industry in the agricultural territory for which Chehalis is the center.]

(p. 162)

[photo: "SCENES ON A RANCH SUCCESSFULLY RUN BY A WOMAN: 1 The farm home. 2 Part of dairy herd. 3 Barn and silo. 4 Oat field. All scenes upon the Gregg farm at Adna near the city of Chehalis, Lewis Co. This successful woman farmer is a winner of many prizes for excellence of dairy products."]

projected into these fields, and the nearest, carrying lignite and bituminous coals, are being commercially developed. Agriculture, including especially dairying and fruit culture, takes the place of the forests as they are removed and bids fair to reach in importance the lumber and coal resources. Lewis County is in the path of all railroads coming in from the south or through the Columbia gap in the Cascades. From Chehalis the Northern Pacific railway branches off, following the upper reaches of Chehalis River and ending on Willapa Bay, while from Centralia the same road branches, following the lower Chehalis River, to Grays Harbor.


Chehalis, a city of about 5,500 population, is the county seat of Lewis County, and one of the leading cities of Western Washington. It is located in the fertile valleys of the Chehalis and Newaukum Rivers, about half way between Portland and Seattle, on the main line of railway travel. It is the trading center of one of the most completely developed agricultural section of Western Washington, which insures a stability to the town at all times. It is one of the principal banking and business centers of Lewis County. While not the largest in population, of Western Washington cities, by any means, yet the energy and enterprising spirit of her citizens has given the city high standing as one of the most active and progressive communities in the state in pushing development of resources and advancing material improvements. This spirit of progress extends its influence far beyond the borders of Lewis County. Near the city, and even within the city limits, are large coal mines in daily operation. Tribuary is an immense amount of standing timber. The soil is very fertile, affording ideal conditions for fruit and berry raising, dairying, grain growing and hop raising, all of which activities are well developed. The city has also become a manufacturing center with saw and shingle mills, brick and tile works, ice plant, machine shops and foundries, cement block works and mattress factory. There is a branch of the Pacific Coast Condensed Milk Co., which distributes large sums to dairymen of the vicinity. The business houses are numerous, with up-to-date structures; the business streets are paved and many of the residence streets macadamized. The city has a splendid water system, electric lights and power plants, telephone system, and a free public [continues on p. 166]

(p. 163)

[photo: "THE CITY OF CHEHALIS: Chehalis, the county seat of Lewis County, is a fine compact city of 5,500 population, located in the valleys of the Chehalis and Newaukum Rivers, ninety-four miles south of Seattle. It is surrounded by a territory of great resources, and by a large number of highly cultivated ranches, which stretch in all directions. The City is a prosperous business center."]

(p. 164)

[photo: "THE NEW HIGH SCHOOL AT CENTRALIA: This beautiful new High School building cost $150,000, and was first occupied for the school year of 1912-1913."]

[photo: "SOME CENTRALIA RESIDENCES: Throughout Centralia are many handsome new homes, fine specimens of modern architecture, telling of the prosperity of the city, and the refined taste of the citizens. 1 The Ward residence. 2 The Daubney home. 3 The Johnston residence. 4 Dr. Kniskern's residence."

(p. 165)

[photo: "VIEW LOOKING TOWARDS CENTRALIA, WITH CENTER OF CITY IN DISTANCE. The City of Centralia stretches north and south for two or three miles following the railroad. In recent years it has spread weest over the plain toward the valley of the Skookumchuck, developing into a fine home city."]

[photo: "THE NEW UNION DEPOT AT CENTRALIA. This grand new Union Railroad Station was dedicated to the use of the people of Centralia, and the traveling public, with interesting ceremonies, on June 1st, 1912. It was erected at an expenditure of $100,000. Forty passenger trains arrive and depart from the station daily."]

(p. 166)

[photo: "NEW DEPOT AT WINLOCK, LEWIS COUNTY. Winlock is a thriving lumber town and agricultural center with excellent railroad connections with the large cities both north and south."]

[continued from p. 162] library. there is an excellent public school system, and there are eight churches. In common with most of our Western Washington cities, the territory surrounding Chehalis has sightly hills and valleys, giving a variety of pleasing scenery.


This city of about 9,500 people, situated in the valleys of the Chehalis and Skookumchuck Rivers, in Lewis County, is well located to become a leading commercial and manufacturing city. Among its prominent resources is the timber in close proximity to the city. Near by are no less than seven coal mines which produce an excellent quality of lignite coal. Surrounding the city we find fertile farming lands, where immense quantities of oats, barley, hay and potatoes are grown, while great numbers of hogs, cattle, sheep, goats and horses thrive here. In late years dairying in this section has grown, and the markets for dairy products are unlimited. In the territory surrounding Centralia are grown many varieties of fruits and berries. Transportation facilities are afforded by eight different railroads and branch roads, and more than forty passenger trains arrive and depart from the new depot in Centralia daily.

The city has an electric car system, connecting with Chehalis, and is supplied with an abundance of pure water. There are four banking institutions; almost all the Christian denominations are represented by churches, and the schools are well known

[photo: "LONG BRIDGE OVER THE COWLITZ RIVER AT TOLEDO. Originally there was but one span to the bridge over the river, but floods came and with subsiding of the waters, two channels were where but one was before, and the second bridge was a necessity."]

(p. 167)

[photo: "A NEW BUSINESS SECTION IN WINLOCK. Since the destructive fire which wiped out a large part of the business portion of Winlock the property owners have had the section rebuilt of concrete, brick and other enduring material, a block of which is shown by this engraving." (transcriber's note: the business shown in the photo is Warnes Drug Store.)]

for their excellence. Added to this, Centralia is an ideal home town. It has all the modern conveniences; its streets are well paved, and there are both gas and electric light, power and heating systems. Many prosperous and attractive homes abound in and near the city. During the past year many marks of progress have been seen about the city. A new high school has been opened; a public library is being erected, and a great, handsome passenger depot has been put to the use of the traveling public.

Winlock, a towns [sic] of 1,200 population, on the main line of all the great railroads running between Seattle and Portland, is a lumber and agricultural center. The territory surrounding the town is being devoted to dairying and kindred lines. The town recently had a visitation of fire and since then has been largely rebuilt of brick and concrete. There are good schools, churches and electric lighting and telephone systems. The town is frequently called the "Bungalow City," on account of the prevalent style of architecture. The town site is very pleasing, being varied with hills, vales and flowing creeks.

Pe Ell is a town of 1,000 people on the South Bend branch of the Northern Pacific railway, chiefly engaged in milling and agricultureal pursuits.

McCormick, Littell, Kosmos, Little Falls, Adna, Dryad, Doty and Kopiah are all active busy centers of industry in various parts of the county.


Cowlitz County lies immediately north of Clarke County, bordering about 40 miles on the Columbia River. It has about 1,100 square miles of territory, and about 13,000 people. The southwestern portion is largely composed of level valley lands, while its northeastern part is occupied by the foothills of Mount St. Helens. The drainage is all westerly and southerly into the Columbia River. Cowlitz River is navigable as far as Castle Rock, and is an important factor in the transportation problem. Timber is the great source of industry, the county having about two-thirds of its area heavily covered. About 40 saw and shingle mills are engaged in disposing of its logs. Agriculture follows close upon the heels of the lumberman everywhere in Western Washington, and nowhere are better results in general farming and dairying obtained than in Cowlitz County. Cowlitz coal fields ahve not yet been largely utilized. Aside

(p. 168)

[photo: "SMELT FISHING ON THE COWLITZ RIVER AT KELSO. 1 Casing the smelt to send away to the distant markets. 2 and 3 Taking the smelt from the river with dip nets. Every season, except one out of seven, the smelt ascend the Columbia River from the ocean, enter the Cowlitz and seek their spawning beds in the upper waters of the stream. They appear abou tthe holidays, and make three runs, lasting from thirty to sixty days. In one day there has been twenty-seven tons caught and shipped out of Kelso."]

from the river navigation, this county is well supplied with transportation facilities by rail. The valley of the Cowlitz River affords the natural highway for roads between the Columbia River and Puget Sound.


Kelso is a prosperous city of about 2,300 situated on the east and west banks of the Cowlitz River, four miles above its confluence with the Columbia. It is on the main line of four railways, the Great Northern, Oregon-Washington Ry. & Nav. Co., the Milwaukee and the Northern Pacific. Kelso's resources are lumbering, agriculture, dairying and fisheries. In the vast forests at hand logging is carried on on an immense

[photo: "A FINE DAIRY HERD, IN THE COWLITZ VALLEY, NEAR KELSO. 'It is safe to say that no class of men is making larger or more continuous profits from Kelso lands than the dairymen.'"]

(p. 169)

[photo: "KELSO, COWLITZ COUNTY, SHOWING THE COWLITZ RIVER FLOWING THROUGH THE CITY. One of the most important uses which the Cowlitz serves, for the people of this region, is floating logs that come from the great forests. Formed into huge rafts, the timber is transported to Portland, Astoria, and by the Pacific Ocean, as far as San Francisco and San Diego."]

scale. In or near Kelso are six lumber mills and six shingle mills. The crops grown on Kelso lands include grain, hay, vegetables, fruits and berries. Poultry raising is highly profitable. The town is the center of the smelt fishing industry on the Pacific Coast, while salmon, trout and other fish are taken in season. There is a fine city water system, fire protection and electric lights. The educational facilities are complete, with a full high school course. There are six churches and fraternal organizations are well represented. In the town are a number of substantial business blocks, and the residences of the citizens are attractive and comfortable. There are two banks, good hotels and thirty-two blocks of the principal streets are now paved with bitulithic pavement. Everywhere about the town are evidences of thrift and enterprise.


Castle Rock is one of the most thriving towns of Cowlitz County. It is an important station on the railroad and is the head of commercial navigation on the Cowlitz River. The present population is approximately 1,100, and about one-third of this number are interested in logging and shingle making, the leading industries of the district. The future of the town is fully assured by its proximity to the Mt. St. Helens mining district, where large copper deposits have been developed. There are also large deposits of high grade soft coal. The logged-off lands of the district have been found to be some of the most highly productive and profitable fruit lands of the state. The city is electric lighted, has a gravity water system and is thoroughly sewered.


Kalama, the county seat, is located on four railroad lines using the track from Portland to the Sound cities, and also on the bank of the Columbia River. Fishing, logging and manufacturing of lumber are the chief industries. There are good public schools, four churches, a volunteer fire department, a public lighting and gravity water system and an electric power plant. Kalama is well located upon the river bank and is growing in number of inhabitants. Paved streets are being laid and the citizens are awakening to the realization of the great opportunities afforded by favorable location and abundant agricultural resources.

Ostrander is a village of about 300 popu-

(p. 170)

[photo: "THE HIGH BRIDGE, CASTLE ROCK. Castle Rock, is upon the Cowlitz River, a tributary of the Columbia, and thereby has water transportation to the great markets, as well as being an important railroad town, and the business center of a fine lumber and agricultural section."]

lation, lcoated in the fertile valley of the Cowlitz River and on the line of the railroads. There are logging camps, saw and shingle mills in the vicinity and there are broad areas of fine grazing and farming lands. In addition to the railroad, steamers ply on the Cowlitz River.

Carrolton is a village located on the Columbia River, and having also railroad transportation. It is surrounded by a logging and farming community. On some of the nearby ranches the finest of fruits are produced.

Catlin is located in the southern part of the county a few miles west of Kelso, the nearest railroad station. The valley lands surrounding the town are extremely fertile and produce fine crops of vegetables and choice fruits. Dairying is becoming an important industry.

Ariel is a village of about 200 people, located on the Lewis River and enjoying steamer transportation facilities. Logging and lumbering are the chief industries, with some stock raising in the district.

Lexington is a community of about 300 people located on the Cowlitz River, a few miles from Ostrander, the nearest railroad point. Steamers running on the river affort the principal means of transportation. Logging, lumbering and farming are the chief industries.

[photo: "A Group of Southwestern Washington Strawberry Pickers."]

(p. 171)

[photo: "MT. ST. HELENS FROM SPIRIT LAKE. 'St. Helens, in most respects, is a typical volcano (extinct) and it affords excellent opportunity to see and study volcanism. It is visible from many points between the southern part of Puget Sound and the Columbia River. Most visitors leave the train at Castle Rock and go to a camp at Spirit Lake, at the foot of the mountain on the north side.' The mountain is 10,000 feet high. It was named by Vancouver for Lord St. Helens, of England."]