Tenino was officially incorporated on July 24, 1906, though it existed as a rural community since the mid-19th century. Initially, American settlers were attracted to the open prairies created and maintained by local natives through controlled burns to cultivate camas root, a staple food source. Records indicate the initial settlers' community centered on the prairie approximately 1/2 mile south of the present town. Early residents named their first post office and school "Coal Bank", in the 1860s, a reference to a nearby coal outcropping. When the Northern Pacific Railway arrived in 1872 they adopted Tenino as the name of the new station. It also appears informally as "T-9-O," a shortened variation in use as early as 1873.
In the late 19th century a number of sandstone quarrying companies began shipping building stone, used in many regional buildings outside of Tenino, including the Old Capitol Building and the old Thurston County Courthouse in Olympia, the Mason County Courthouse in Shelton, Washington, the First Congregational Church, developed by Cameron Stone, in Tacoma, Washington, Denny Hall and the Theodore Jacobson Observatory at the University of Washington, Seattle, the Pittock Mansion and the Pioneer Courthouse in Portland, Oregon and several post office buildings, including at The Dalles, Oregon. The US Government also used stone from these quarries to construct jetties at Westport, Washington and elsewhere. The quarries declined in the early 20th century when many builders switched to concrete.
In addition to quarrying, logging, saw mills, and coal mining were also well established industries in the area. However, as the timber played out and railroads switched to diesel in the mid-20th century, these industries also declined.
Tenino wooden money, issued during the Great Depression.
Tenino briefly achieved national fame during the Great Depression. After the local bank closed, the town government temporarily issued wooden money scrip for use locally when cash was scarce. However, most of the wooden money was never redeemed as it became a collector's item.
While Tenino retains its historic downtown, now a historic district listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the town serves largely as a "bedroom community", many of its citizens commuting by car to larger cities such as Olympia and Tacoma for work.
superior street frontage right on sussex ave in downtown Tenino. kitchen hood & exhaust system included. sinks included. keep the existing tenant if you'd like or make your business dreams a reality! currently rented as one space but wall can easily be converted back to two spaces for extra income potential. endless opportunities in c-1 commercial zoning make this an outstanding investment!...
Stunning johnson creek rd setting. well built rambler on almost 60 acres that is used for running cattle part time...
Entire store zoned master planed community. approximately 50 ac/ft of water available...
Move in rambler! this home features 3 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, large welcoming living room, bright and spacious kitchen with eating area, plenty of counter space, tons of storage & so much more...
Make your way through this turn key one level home that will leave you in awe the whole way through...
classic farmhouse w/recent updates is move in ready & walking distance to restaurants, schools, & the popular yelm Tenino walking trail. fantastic combination of ne...
About Chrissy Dehan
I'm born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. We live in Yelm on family farm. I'm married to my best friend Jeff of 25 years and proud member of the law enforcement family. We have 3 Yelm High School grads who are now friendly rivals from Central Washington University and St. Martin's University. I live by the golden rule. Treat others the way you want to be treated. Joy is found in helping others find happiness.
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Data last updated: June 25, 2021 4:05 AM UTC
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