Mossyrock~The Heart of Lewis County

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History of Mossyrock

Mossyrock, Est. in 1852 with incorporation taking place in February of 1948. Mossyrock and East Lewis County are the Ancestral Lands of the Cowlitz and Klickitat Native American Tribes. Coulph is the original name of the Mossyrock area as given by the Cowlitz Tribe.

The Mossyrock and surrounding areas of Salkum, Silver Creek, Harmony, Mayfield, Winston Creek, Salmon Creek, Ajlune, Swofford, Green Mountain, Riffe, Neskia, structured the Mossyrock area for the early settlers/pioneers.

The area is known as the “Heart of Lewis County” and the Klickitat Prairie. In years past the Native Americans used the Mossyrock area as a gathering and hunting ground. The different Washington tribes would travel to the area to trade, hunt and gather the local vegetation and berries in preparation for winter. To ensure good hunting ground the Native Americans would start large controlled fires on the top of the “Mossy Rock” burning down through the Klickitat Valley creating the Klickitat Prairie, a fertile hunting ground. The Klickitat Valley was not only used for hunting but the tribes were the original “farmers” of the area. Each year plants such as Wapato was harvested from the creek areas and cooked using stone or earthen ovens preserving them for winter. Oak nuts were gathered from oak trees that had been planted and nurtured to maturity. The oak nuts were placed in woven baskets; these baskets were weighted and placed in the creeks for the winter. The following year the tribes would return and harvest the nuts from their long winter soak. Soaking the nuts released the tannin from the nuts making this normally inedible nut into an edible food staple.

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City of Mossyrock Present

As of the 2010 census the City of Mossyrock has 759 residents living inside of the city limits several hundred more households are within the City’s Urban Growth Area. The City of Mossyrock is a Code City. The City of Mossyrock is home to the K-12 Mossyrock School District of over 400 students.

The area is well-known for recreational opportunities and provide a welcoming atmosphere to visitors and residents alike who enjoy outdoors activities. The immediate Mossyrock area lies within the Klickitat Creek drainage basin which is known for its highly fertile soils. Agricultural traditions remain alive today with both large-scale and small-scale farming. With several large berry grower and tree farmers the area preserves its rural charm.

The influence of the nearby Dams of Riffe and Mayfield, both built in the 1960’s, remains to this day also since they transformed the wild Cowlitz River into two recreational lakes, Riffe Lake and Lake Mayfield.

Our Public Works Department maintains a high-quality fresh water distribution system from a pair of deep wells in the Klickitat Prairie. A modern, efficient WasteWater Treatment Plant built in 2001 serves the area. Public investment in these systems along with City buildings including a large Community Center, several miles of City streets, lighting, stormwater management and Parks support the public health, safety, welfare and economics.

Community volunteer efforts are a major factor in the vitality of this City and surrounding area. Volunteer and civic groups are too numerous to list but include parade organizers, quilters, veterans, community dinners, Lewis County Fire District #3 volunteers, and many Mossyrock School District activities.

Mossyrock is a community that values and honors family, education, its history and takes pride in looking to the future.

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