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Morton

Located at the foot of Cutler Mountain, a high, forested, loaf-shaped bluff, sprawls along the highway and the tracks of the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad at the edge of the Tilton River Valley.

It was an enterprising town, named after Benjamin Harrison’s Vice President, Levi P. Morton and by the 1940s earned most of its income from logging operations in the adjacent forests and the milling of the logs; nearly 200 carloads of logs and ties were sent daily to Tacoma and Seattle. Farming and dairying were also carried on.

The first person to settle in the vicinity was Uncle Jimmy Fletcher, who came from Missouri in 1871. Other families took up homesteads, but not until 1891 was the town of Morton settled. Today, the town economy is still based on forest resources. Tubafor Mill and TMI Forest Products operate businesses here.

Images

Ca. 1970 view of downtown Morton.

Source: Washington State Historical Society

1941 image of a Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul & Pacific train at Morton crossing.

Source: Emery Roberts Collection, Washington State Historical Society

1942 view of abandoned houses at Onalaska. The Carlisle Lumber Co. plant was dismantled in 1938.

Photo by Chapin Bowen. Source: Washington State Historical Society