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This 50 mile side trip leads out through the Chehalis River valley and Ford Prairie to Elma.

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Located at a junction of the Northern Pacific and the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific railroads. It functioned as a trading center for the surrounding district and had several small churches and a modern high school. Rochester was founded in 1852. Its first mercantile store was built in 1889 and still stands today across from the Rochester Community Center on US 12 heading towards Oakville. Until the second half...

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Rochester Elementary School

Mile: 42

Once a campsite of the Chehalis Tribe, is now a small, quiet farming center divided by the highway. By the 1940s the town featured a bank, a weekly paper, a creamery, and two tie-cutting mills. Cascara bark, gathered in the adjoining forests, was shipped in considerable quantities every year. Today Oakville is still a small community, but with a lot of personality. The town’s dairy farms, prize-winning cattle, herds of...

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Oakville State Bank

One of the earliest settlements in the Washington Territory. It was homesteaded by James L. (Blockhouse) Smith, so-called because the government built a blockhouse on his land in 1855 as a protection against Native American attacks. The foundation stones of the blockhouse, which burned down in recent years, still remain. Another rugged pioneer, John Armstrong, erected on Cedar Creek one of the first waterpower mills in the district; it was...

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A former logging center on Moxie Creek. It was once a busy sawmill and shingle mill town. The remains of a large abandoned mill still stand. Company houses are mainly vacant, and the company-built store, theater, and offices are boarded up. The name is for Hector J. Malone, who established the first shingle mill in 1897. Malone was a town where the company owned the land and all buildings.

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Mile: 26