Established in 1845, Lewis County was the very first county created in Oregon Territory and originally encompassed half of modern-day Washington and part of British Columbia. By 1854, Washington State had been formally established and Lewis County had received its final boundaries, which it maintains today. Lewis County is south of Thurston County and north of Skamania and Cowlitz Counties.
Lewis County, like many of its neighboring counties, began as a lumber based economy, focusing on both the extraction of wood from surrounding forests as well as wood processing through local mills. While lumber related industries persisted until after the Second World War, Lewis County’s economy shifted towards power with the discovery of coal in the 1950s.