A finalist for the Washington State Book Award, now in its third printing:

Company Towns of the Pacific Northwest

What was life like in towns where the boss owned everything? 

Where you didn't have a job, a home and maybe not a place to eat if you didn't work for the company? 

That's the question Linda Carlson has tried to answer in a social history of company-owned towns.

Some company towns like Port Gamble were founded in the 1800s. Others, like Holden, Grisdale, Gilchrist, Coulee Dam and Richland, were established in the 1930s and 1940s, well after most American company towns had closed down. 

Some towns were built for coal, others for timber. Still others were the sites of dams, war-worker communities, lime quarries or silver mines. 

Company Towns of the Pacific Northwest includes DuPont, the Seattle City Light villages of Cedar Falls, Newhalem and Diablo, Roche Harbor and McMillin, Black Diamond and Carbonado, Ronald and Roslyn, and Trinity. 

You'll also be able to read about clay towns like Taylor and Clay City, and the towns built on timber: Valsetz, Kinzua, Klickitat, Kerriston, Brookings, Bordeaux, McCleary, McKenna, Mowich, Shevlin, Ryderwood, Potlatch (Washington and Idaho), Port Ludlow, Port Blakely, Powers, Preston, Barneston, Alpine, Kosmos, Cherry Valley and so many more. 

The book covers who lived in these towns, where they lived, where they ate and shopped, played, prayed and educated their children. The intent: to capture the spirit of these communities, a sense of what made them so special that some still have reunions and newsletters.

A special feature: dozens of photographs, many never before published, including one of a teenage Elizabeth Taylor on the shores of Lake Chelan with Holden Boy Scouts, a company store, scrip and especially for rail buffs, incline railways, speeders, and rail buses.


Table of Contents

History Presentations by Linda Carlson

Where to Buy the Book

About the Author

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McCleary scrip courtesy of Steve Willis

Page last updated January 2012