In its heyday, Bordeaux had it all. This once-booming logging town – south of Olympia – was home to a school, hotel, post office, sawmill, homes and a general store. It first started as just a logging community in the late 1890s but officially became established as a town in 1903 by Thomas and Russell Bordeaux, two owners of the Mason Logging Company.
The company town thrived – peaking in the 1920s – but it wasn’t before long until they ran out of their sole resource. All of the surrounding forest available for timber was becoming further and further away until it completely ran out. The Bordeaux mill was finally closed by 1941, and residents moved to find work elsewhere.
Ironically, the forest has grown back in time around the old ruins. Though not many structures are left: just the foundations, incinerator and remains of the powerhouse. Most are draped in moss, leaves and some have graffiti.
The old grounds are set along Mima Creek, just south of Olympia off Bordeaux Road SW. You can find parking by a cement bank vault, which had been used to store the wages of the loggers and other workers. Then as you walk further north into Bordeaux you’ll reach the other structures that still remain.
Wandering these forgotten grounds is fascinating. Could you imagine what life in this old logging town was like?