In 1891, the name was given by the Puget Sound Dry Dock Company after a large dry dock they built, which stood 182 feet wide by 325 feet long. The place faded when competition from the mainland made operations unprofitable.
On the harbor, Vashon’s first settlers—John Gilman, Daniel Price, and Captain S. D. Sherman—arrived with their families in November 1877. Ocean-going transports and an occasional four-master with furled canvas lay at anchor in its tiny port awaiting repairs; codfishers delivered their catch to a large curing plant here; boxcars were towed on barges into the harbor where they were loaded with dried codfish and returned to the railroad in Tacoma; brickyards about the bay added to its commerce. At the turn of the century, however, competition from larger industrial centers on the mainland reversed the tide of commerce, and Dockton became a pale ghost, with graying remnants of wharves and ships along its waterfront.