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Buena Vista Rand. Fairview Rand. Fairview Switz. Hardinsburg Wash. Mechanicsburg Dec. The Raymonds donated land and their time to community projects, such as a playfield and the fire department. A bequest from the Raymonds established the Raymond Foundation in as a non-profit organization to fund scholarships and community development projects.
Alexander C. Little was also a partner in the land company. After a career in local and state politics that included serving as Aberdeen's mayor, helping elect Governor John R. Rogers, and serving on the State Fisheries Commission, in Little decided to shift to the private sector. Little formed the character of the town" Allen, According to Allen, Little contributed two key elements to the town's success. First, he recommended that the land company offer free riverfront lots to mills, thereby ensuring an economic foundation for the town.
Second, Little brought Harry C.
Heermans into the partnership. The sloughs that laced the land rose and fell with the tides, but uphill development would have taken mills too far from the riverfront. Besides, the hills surrounding the river junction rose abruptly and would have posed their own engineering challenges. Other incorporators of the land company included J. Duryea, Winfield S. Cram b. Welsh A second land company, the Great West Land Company, also formed in , had some of the same investors and also worked to develop the town.
In , the first mill, operated by Jacob Siler and Winfield Cram, began operations. The business district consisted of a store, a saloon, and a mess house that served mill workers. A drug store and hotel were coming soon. To allow people to cross the water-sodden landscape, the town constructed 2, feet of elevated wooden sidewalks. These sidewalks ran down either side of what would become 1st Street, which was really an open space onto which the buildings fronted.
Additional wooden sidewalks crossed the void at regular intervals. Lillian Smith , a teacher from Michigan who came to teach in Raymond for a year not long after the town's founding, remembered her first impressions of the town,. It was like losing oneself with Alice on the other side of the Looking Glass where you had to keep going in order to stand still, and vice versa. Imagine streets like long bridges built on piles driven into the slough pronounced slu.
Still, the town's location provided enough benefits to outweigh the difficulties of being what Smith called, "an amphibious town" Smith, 6. It was located at the head of navigable waters, close to the bay and to the forests that fed its mills. Navigation on the river depended on assistance from the Army Corps of Engineers. Early in its history Willapa Bay was known as Shoalwater Bay because of its many shallow areas. These made ideal oyster grounds, but limited ships' access to ports.
The Corps, under the provisions of several different Rivers and Harbors Acts, had dredged the river up to Willapa City, just upstream from the Raymond townsite, and kept it clear of snags.
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The Corps also maintained a channel through the bar at the mouth of the bay. Businesses besides lumber mills diversified the economy.
In Stewart L. Dennis and Perry W. Shepard b. Dickie and his son, David, came to Raymond to establish a boatyard. Dickie, came to Raymond because the more-isolated Willapa Bay offered better access to lumber and to employees who accepted lower wages and had not yet formed unions. All were built for the coastwise lumber trade, which was booming following the earthquake and fires in San Francisco. On August 6, , voters approved a measure to incorporate the town of Raymond.
A handful of residents resisted the town's boundaries because they included some outlying farms in anticipation of the town's growth. Little served as the first mayor, an office he would hold for 10 of the next 11 years.
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When asked in to serve as president of the Southwest Washington Development Association, Little replied that he was "disqualified because of his partiality for the place where lots are sold by the gallon at high tide" "Southwest Part of the State Unites". The first council consisted of seven men: C.
Cram, Timothy H. Raymond, and Willard G. Shumway a clerk. Johnson served as the first treasurer and Neal Stupp as the clerk and secretary.
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By the population had increased to 2,, but that was just the start of the flood of new residents. In , there were about 5, people in Raymond. They were needed for the kind of production boasted of by a promotional brochure from It lists the output of the towns mills for the previous year as 27,, board feet of lumber, ,, shingles, million berry baskets made from veneer , and 33 million pieces of lath for plaster walls.
The newcomers included business people, mill owners, mill workers, and loggers from all parts of the world. The s, although economically prosperous, saw a series of disputes between labor unions and mill owners up and down the West Coast. On March 25, , mill workers in Raymond walked off the job to prevent the lumber companies from using their Raymond mills to replace lost production at Grays Harbor mills, where workers had begun a strike two weeks earlier. The town's business community's response was swift and severe.
They held a meeting the second day of the strike. Little led the discussion, railing against the strike's organizers, the Industrial Workers of the World, also known as the Wobblies. The meeting participants decided that they should protect "any man who might want to work" "Strikes Close Raymond Mills". To that stated end, several committees formed to support the effort.