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Mineral

Once it had several producing mines the ore from which was used for production of arsenic. It was named for mineral deposits along Mineral Creek a half dozen miles from the town.

In the 1940s, on the shores of Mineral Lake one stood a large sawmill and a shingle mill. Byt eh 1940s loggers in the area were employing selective logging technique, employing scientific methods to determine “ripe” timber and to fell trees in such a way as to result in a minimum of destruction of immature trees. Over 100 foresters, including graduates of forestry schools, direct conservation measures to insure the continued supply of logs. Stability of future production is reflected in the attractive brick and tile buildings maintained by the company, in contrast with the flimsy impermanence of most lumber towns.

For a number of years mining played an important part in the life of the town. Most important were the deposits of red realgar, from which arsenic is extracted. A surface vein of rich ore discovered in 1900 was worked until 1922, when the perfecting of a smelting process, which recovers arsenic as an inexpensive by-product, made the operation of the mine unprofitable.

Today the West Fork Logging Company no longer operates the mill, and Mineral Lake is known as a fishing destination, with waters stocked yearly with rainbow trout. Notable is the two-and-a-half-story Mineral Lake Lodge built in 1906 as a retreat for affluent residents from Tacoma and Seattle. It is on Mineral Rd. N. near the southwest tip of Mineral Lake.

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Mineral Lake Lodge

What a colorful past this lodge has seen. Built by Scandinavian craftsmen in 1906 as a 25-room inn, it was meant as a wilderness retreat for Seattle and Tacoma elites to enjoy the therapeutic waters of Mineral Lake. It quickly fell on hard times and became a destination for gambling and booze, culminating in repeated law enforcement raids. It was acquired by Weyerhaeuser as a hunting lodge for out-of-town clients and served as a venue for political and business meetings. Many prominent politicians and business leaders of the day have signed the guest book.

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