Early travelers coming up the Cowlitz River saw a large rock formation next to the river, which they named Castle Rock. It was here, nestled between the Willapa Hills and the Cascade Mountains, that William and Eliza Huntington made their homestead in 1852. Theirs and several other early land grants make up what is now the site of Castle Rock, as well as nearby homes and farms. Descendants of many early pioneer families continue to live in Castle Rock, including Pyle, Jackson, Merrill, Dougherty, Whittle, Studebaker, and others. The town and its people have survived a series of natural disasters in the 20th century, including floods, an earthquake, a Pacific hurricane, and the eruption of Mount St. Helens, each time picking up the pieces of their lives and rebuilding. With the virtual collapse of the timber industry, Castle Rock is now beginning to find its identity and ability to prosper in the 21st century.
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