Sometimes called “The City of Good Water,” because of the cool, clear water with which the community was supplied. First known as “Perkins’ Landing,” it became White River Siding when the Northern Pacific Railroad built through the settlement. It retained this name until 1888, when Alexander Wickersham platted the townsite and called it Buckley in honor of the division superintendent of the Northern Pacific.
The White River Shingle Mill was built in 1886, and in 1888 the Whitten brothers started the Banner, one of the first county newspapers. Drawing from the largest untouched timber belts east of the Olympic Mountains, the town was made by lumbering.
Today, Buckley is no longer a lumber center, but the back country is still being logged and many carloads of logs are shipped annually through the town. Mining has also played a part in the local economy. The rich soil of the surrounding plateau lands, known as “Buckley loam,” has made several types of agriculture profitable. Fruit growing and diversified farming are increasing and the community boasts of the quality of its peaches, annually celebrated at its “Peacherino Festival.”
In the town proper, old, comfortable houses are widely spaced on the sleepy streets. Railroad tracks divide the town, where a large portion of the business district is located near the depot. The nearness of the mountains, where game is abundant, has made the place an outfitting center for hunting parties.