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The tour passes through pastures and prosperous farmlands, the fields bright in spring and summer with camas flowers and lupine, to Roy, a bustling market center near the convergence of the Muck and Nisqually valleys. By the 1940s, three nurseries shipped quantities of pine, spruce, and fir seed; a large bulb farm and a dairy farm, with herds of prize-winning cattle, were adjacent to the town. Mink were bred successfully...

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Mile: 36

On the banks of the Nisqually River is McKenna, started as a lumber company town about 1908. An irrigation project on the adjacent prairie was started by the company, and preference was given to laborers who purchased land. A school, a church, and a pool hall were the only institutions not controlled directly by the company. When the timber supply thinned out, and the lumber market sagged, the mill was...

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Points of Interest
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Salsich Lumber Company Superintendent’s House

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Centralia Canal Crossing

Mile: 31

Passing a small co-operative creamery, the road swings through irrigated orchard lands. The name of Yelm, in the midst of the prairie, preserves in modified form the Indian word for heat waves such as rise from sun-baked earth; the Indians reverenced Chelm, as they called the waves, believing that the Unseen Power radiated them to render the earth fruitful. Among the earliest settlers on Yelm Prairie was the family of...

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Mile: 28

The highway passes an abandoned sawmill and, paralleling the railroad, sweeps past prairies covered in summer with a mass of bloom. Camas flowers, ranging in color from white to a brilliant sky-blue, blend with yellow buttercups. Rainier, served by the Northern Pacific and the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul & Pacific railroads, was the social center for farmers and loggers of the vicinity, although its closed mills and vacant houses mark...

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Points of Interest
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Rainier School

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Rainier School and Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church

Mile: 23

Tenalquot Prairie, a district of park-like openings about groves of fir and other softwood timber. According to an Indian legend, Coyote told his favored tribes, a poor and oppressed people living in California, to prepare for a great migration to a new land he would seek out for them. Traveling northward, Coyote reached a beautiful prairie, rich in game, well-watered, and pleasantly wooded. Exclaiming “Ten-al-quelth!” (the best yet!) he sent...

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Mile: 21

The city came into existence in the early 1870s, when a railroad under construction from Kalama to Tacoma located a camp on the site of the present town. Some local historians relate that the name of the city was taken from the number of the engine that ran on the line—No. 1090, ten-nine-o. Others insist that the Native Americans called the town “Tenino” (“junction,” or “fork”), when the railroad came...

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Points of Interest
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Tenino Depot

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Ticknor School

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Tenino Stone Company Quarry

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Tenino Downtown Historic District

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Hercules Sandstone Company Office

Mile: 15