A scattered little community on South Bay, was for many years the site of a whaling station built in the early 1900s by the American Pacific Whaling Company, where the rendering of whale oil and blubber, and sundry dissections of the world’s largest mammal, treated passing motorists to an unforgettable olfactory experience.
West of Bay City, the highway crosses a long, curving wooden bridge (since replaced with a concrete span) over the flats of the Elk River Slough. In the 1940s this was proposed as the beginning of the midsection of a canal that would extend south from Puget Sound at Olympia, on Budd’s Inlet, to connect with the Columbia River by an inland water route. The canal was not built.
It was named for its location on South Bay.