The story of Bonney Lake and the plateau is not about towns and their storefronts, but of the enduring people who settled there before and after Washington achieved statehood. In spite of their brief presence, Michael Connell and Reuben Finnell are names credited for many of the area's key landmarks. In 1864, pioneer William B. Kelley arrived at the plateau. His public service as a territorial legislator and county auditor made him one of the most respected individuals of eastern Pierce County. Other pioneers, such as the Moriarty and Vandermark families, engaged in logging and farming on the plateau, which continued to be considered a wilderness. Oscar "Doc" Bowen, one of the settlers who arrived from the 1930s dustbowl, had a spiritual impact when he called for construction of the area's first church. Less than two decades later, Kenneth Simmons saw potential for further growth and pressed to incorporate the plateau's west end – forming the town of Bonney Lake.
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