Oakville is a city in Grays Harbor County, Washington, United States. It was incorporated in 1905, with booming lumber, railway, and farming industries including dog food; creating the early foundation of the community. Take a look below for 20 interesting and awesome facts about Oakville, Washington, United States.
1. The population was 684 at the 2010 census.
2. In 1818, the United States and Great Britain agreed to a treaty of joint occupancy in the Oregon Country, which included the land that would eventually become Oakville, Washington.
3. Over the next several decades, citizens of the United States began to settle in the area.
4. As traveling by boat was easier than moving through the dense forests, many used the river system, entering from the port of Grays Harbor and canoeing inland via the Chehalis River.
5. The British government gave full ownership of the area to the United States in 1846.
6. In 1850, the land now occupied by Oakville was mainly open prairie, was maintained by yearly fires started deliberately by local tribes, which kept the forest from encroaching and which encouraged the bloom of camas, a staple food, and other plants.
7. This open land was attractive to settlers arriving in the area.
8. The native people of the area were very helpful to the settlers, and towns began to be platted up and down the Chehalis River.
9. In the 1870s, a party of several families relocated to the area from Crawford County, Illinois.
10. The leader of the party, James Reed Harris, had purchased the donation claim for the area from John Hole for $1200.
11. He applied for a post office, and after some discussion, it was decided to use the name “Oakville,” inspired by the Garry oak trees in the area; the post office opened on December 31, 1873.
12. Logging and railroad construction soon brought other settlers to the area; the plat of the city site was filed on September 27, 1887.
13. Around 1890, Northern Pacific Railway was laying tracks through the city.
14. By the turn of the century, a Northern Pacific train station had been established in the city, and the area had several general stores, a new school, and a couple of hotels.
15. Oakville was officially incorporated on December 18, 1905.
16. Lumber was a major industry in the early days of the city; in 1916, Oakville Lumber Company, Big Fir Lumber Company, Vance Lumber Company, and others were in operation, along with the Callow Mill. The city was “noted for large shipments of cascara bark.”
17. Factories were also part of the city’s economy, with the E.H. Hilton & Co. Oiled Clothes Factory in operation by 1915, and the Oakville Co-Operative Cheese Company incorporating a few years later. Other businesses in the early days of the city included a jewelry store, a shoe company, and a hardware store.
18. The city’s librarian Clara Trudgeon had been appointed by the State Traveling Library by 1908, making Oakville eligible to be a recipient of one of the 150 cases of books the state had in rotation. The weekly newspaper was The Oakville Cruiser. By 1919, the city had an active community center, and the high school had received accreditation as a four-year school.
19. The historic bank was incorporated on August 14, 1909 by C.R. Harper and C.C. Scates; first called the Oakville State Bank, it changed names and ownership several times over the next century.
20. It is said to be the last bank in Washington to be robbed by a rider on horseback. The city has commemorated this throughout the years by hosting reenactments of the robbery, with groups competing to give the best performance.