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Quiet town in the shadow of Mount Rainier

Graham offers small town atmosphere

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About 20 years ago, the mountain town of Graham had a population of about 9,000. Over this period of time, it has become one of the fastest growing municipalities in the country, with over 15,000 folks arriving in just the last decade.

Graham is named after Smith Graham, who in 1905 was the foreman of the Cascade Timber Company's logging camp near where the city stands today. The story goes that because mail from Tacoma was given to him to distribute to the loggers, the phrase "Take the mail to Graham" is how the settlement got its name.

Most of the town's first settlers came by railroad. They were farmers, loggers and wood mill laborers.

Since the area had been logged extensively, "stump farmers" made their appearance. They removed most of the stumps in order to make the land fit for building homes, farming and pastures.

Their work laid the ground for the growth of Graham.

Located in unincorporated Pierce County, the town is cited as a rural area that has recently been the location of several new housing developments.

Coldwell Banker Danforth has been instrumental in this development.

The most direct way to travel to Graham is to head east on WA-512. Follow the highway to the 9th Street SW, 94th Avenue East exit.  Turn right on to 94th and travel until reaching 152nd Street East. Turn left onto 152nd until intersecting with WA-161 South, or Meridian East. Follow until reaching Graham.

Greeting visitors is a clean town featuring numerous places to eat, to include Kassie's Korner, Starbucks, Culpepper's Bar and Grill, Amici Italian Eatery, the Flying Tomato Bar & Grill, Julianito's Mexican Food, Oliver's Fish & Chips, the Round Up Restaurant & Lounge, Sun's Teriyaki, the Thai Mekong Restaurant and the Lime Berry Frozen Yogurt stand.

Rounding out the offering of stores is Walgreens, Graham Auto Repair, Graham Hay Market, Safeway, Dinosaur Tire, Starbucks, Dollar Tree, Rite Aid and the South Hill Mall.

Not far away is Mount Rainier. While there are no hotels or motels in Graham, there is the Rainier View RV Park and Camp Lakeview, providing visitors with an easy jumping off point to enjoy fishing or hiking in the area.

As far as shopping goes, Puyallup is about 10 miles away, where there is a large concentration of commercial businesses.  Tacoma and Seattle are also nearby.

But for those who seek a small town atmosphere of friendly neighbors, farms and horses with nearby areas to fish, hike and hunt near Mt. Rainier, Graham may be that place.

For more information, visit  Graham's live social media feed here.

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