Shelton, Hammersley Inlet

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Shelton, Hammersley Inlet

by | Jan 29, 2019

Shelton is a community located at the head of Hammersley Inlet, in Oakland Bay, Washington. Shelton was founded in 1890 and named after David Shelton, a delegate at the time to the territorial legislature.

Before the current system of interconnected roads, Shelton was served by a small fleet of steamboats, part of the Puget Sound Mosquito Fleet. Starting in the mid 19th century, a large number of private transportation companies were running passenger and freight boats on Puget Sound and nearby waterways and rivers. These boats served the many small coastal communities and were vital to the local economy until roads were built. The economy of Shelton was built around logging, farming, dairying, and ranching as well as oyster cultivation on Oakland Bay.

Hammersley Inlet connects the tidal estuary of Oakland Bay to the greater South Puget Sound. The inlet was named by Charles Wilkes, during the exploratory Wilkes Expedition of 1838-1842, for George W. Hammersley, one of the expedition’s midshipmen. Hammersley Inlet is approximately 9 miles (15 km) of rapidly flowing water during the tidal exchange with velocities up to 5 knots (9 kph). The swift-flowing water creates good conditions for shellfish production and the inlet is known for having abundant clams and oysters. There are few navigational aids in Hammersley because the many log booms towed through the inlet over the years have destroyed them. Read more here and here. Explore more of Shelton here:

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