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This scattered community was established in 1892 as the site of Vashon College, a co-ed preparatory school that was destroyed by fire in 1912. The town was founded by Mrs. M. F. Hatch, either for her birthplace in England, Burton-In-Kendall, or after the town she formerly lived in in Illinois.

Near the college, in a large park-like section, Baptists convened for an annual summer assembly of their Young People’s Society. Now known as Camp Burton Conference Center, it offers summer camp to youths and is available for use by non-profit organizations as a retreat center. Ferry service between Burton and Tacoma once linked the town with the mainland but there is no longer ferry service between these two points.

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Burton Community Church

The Burton Community Church opened in 1897 as the First Baptist Church of Burton (in 1928 renamed to reflect the diverse religious backgrounds of its members). In 1907, a church parsonage was built west of the church and by 1923 the north and west rooms of the church were added along with the basement. It is the oldest church building on Vashon Island used continuously as a place of worship.

Burton Masonic Hall

Burton Masonic Hall was built in 1894 by carpenter/builder Howard C. Stone, originally for the Woodmen of the World fraternal organization. The Mark P. Waterman Lodge No. 177 of the Free and Accepted Masons acquired the building in 1925. The first floor has long housed commercial uses, with the upstairs reserved for lodge meetings and social gatherings.