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.