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Washington Counties

There are 39 counties in the state of Washington. Washington was carved out of the western part of Washington Territory and admitted to the Union as the 42nd state in 1889. The first counties were created from unorganized territory in 1845.
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Mason County, Washington

Mason County Education, Geography, and History

County Seat: Shelton
Year Organized: 1854
Square Miles: 961
Court House:

411 N Fifth - Building 1
County Courthouse
Shelton, WA 98584-3466

Etymology - Origin of County Name

C. H. Mason, the first secretary of the Washington Territory.


County QuickFacts: Census Bureau Quick Facts

County History

Mason County was formed out of King County on March 13, 1854. Originally named Sahewamish County, it took its present name in 1864

Mason County encompasses the southern reach of Hood Canal and many bays and inlets of southern Puget Sound and once extended to the Pacific Ocean. After settlement, the mainstay of the economy was logging. Simpson Timber became not just the main employer, but the largest source of jobs in the state. As the importance of forest products declined, the county became an important recreation destination and bedroom community to Olympia and Tacoma. The largest employer is the State of Washington which operates a prison and the State Patrol Academy at Shelton. The 2004 estimated population was 53,637.


According to the US Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,051 square miles (2,722 km2), of which, 961 square miles (2,489 km2) of it is land and 90 square miles (233 km2) of it (8.56%) is water.

Neighboring Counties:

  • Jefferson County, Washington - northwest
  • Kitsap County, Washington - northeast
  • Pierce County, Washington - east/southeast
  • Thurston County, Washington - southeast
  • Grays Harbor County, Washington - southwest


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