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7 Pieces Of History Near Belfair, WA

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Belfair, Washington is a small town located in Mason County, situated on the southern tip of the Hood Canal. Over the years, this quaint town has experienced its fair share of historical events, some significant and others purely coincidental. Here are seven historical events that have taken place near Belfair, Washington:

1. The Discovery of H. L. Hunley

In 1864, the famous Civil War submarine, the H.L. Hunley, sank during a test run off the coast of Charleston, South Carolina. The submarine lay undiscovered for over a century until 1995 when it was located by a team of divers led by Clive Cussler, a well-known explorer and author. Cussler's maritime archaeological organization, the National Underwater and Marine Agency (NUMA), led the team in the discovery, and the discovery took place near Belfair, Washington.

2. Logging Industry Changes

The logging industry in Belfair holds deep historic importance as the town was built on the timber business. The growth and progression of the logging industry have significantly impacted the town's growth and development. The early logging industry gave way to the high-tech industries of today, making Belfair a historically important location in the timber and logging industry.

3. The Growth of Belfair

Belfair was an unorganized territory until the early 1900s, with no government or established town. Later, in 1908 the Northern Pacific Railroad laid tracks near Belfair and established a train stop, enabling the shipping and transportation of logs and timber from Belfair to the world at large. This development brought employment opportunities, and the community grew quickly, leading to the establishment of government and other infrastructure.

4. The Mourning Dove Massacre

In 1987, a group of hunters took part in a Mourning Dove hunting excursion, which resulted in what's now known as the Mourning Dove Massacre. The hunters killed more than 1500 doves and eared them as targets, leading to widespread condemnation and backlash.

5. Dosewallips Canyon

In the 1930s, the federal government proposed the construction of a hydroelectric dam on the Dosewallips River. The dam construction project gained local and state support until it was eventually defeated. It was the first time state environmental activists and government collaborated to prevent a natural area's permanent destruction within Western Washington.

6. The First Wal-Mart Store

The first-ever Wal-Mart store was located near Belfair, Washington, in the town of Shelton. In 1962, Sam Walton opened his first Wal-Mart store, which has since grown to be the largest corporation in the world.

7. The Arrival of Settlers

In 1885, two brothers, Peter and Niels Nelson, arrived in the Belfair area from Denmark. They eventually homesteaded land and established a sawmill, which led to the prosperity and growth of the town. The brothers' legacy lives on as their descendants continue to live in the area and actively participate in the community.

In conclusion, Belfair has a colorful history, and some of the events that have taken place in and around the area have directly impacted the town's growth and progress. The events mentioned above are a testament to the community's resilience and achievements over the years, making Belfair an important part of Washington's history.
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