Many Swedish people found the Washington much like their native country. Though lumbering was the initial lure, the forest-covered land ultimately won them over.
The first settlers were:
Those early settlers cleared land and farmed during the summer. They logged during the winter. In 1941, dairying appeared to be the chief steady income.
Indian relics, spear heads for example, were found on the Charles Hansen farm.
People were attracted to the community by the sawmill located at Wallace and operated by Mellen Smith. Also, lumber camps were scattered throughout the woods. Mellen Smith also worked the coal kilns at Wallace. The store was an old fashioned, high platform with numerous steps for the entry. It was managed by George Smith.
The pioneers brought their supplies on their backs over the corduroy roads built over swamps and trails in the forest fraught with mosquitoes. In spite of the difficulties however, neighbors visited each other frequently.
Washington School was established about 1880 by Charles Nelson and Edward Paulson. Mrs. Agnes (Gartland) Van Patten was one of the first teachers.
Among the leaders of the Bethel Mission Church were Andrew Newlin, Nels Anderson and Leonard Holm. The church was established in 1885.In 1931, a fire destroyed the town of Wallace and threatened Washington.
Source: Menominee County Book for Schools, edited by Ethel Schuyler. Menominee, Michigan: Office of County School Commissioner, 1941.