In the 1800s more lumber tonnage was shipped from Oakville than any other town west of Chicago, Sawmills and shake mills lined the creeks. The logging industry supported the thriving city of Oakville until the middle of the 20th century. As the huge trees that once covered the Chehalis River valley begin disappearing the timber camps were gradually replaced by small farms, dairies and even a cheese plant in downtown Oakville. Cream, milk and butter was shipped to Tacoma and Seattle on the "Cream Train".
Card parties, plays and recitals filled the evenings. Sewing circles, cakewalks and game nights funded the local churches and schools. The historic Methodist church was built north of town in 1889. It was moved to its present location on Harris Street by rolling down State Street on logs. The Methodist Church quilt makers recently pieced a quilt from embroidered and punch work squares dating from the 1930-40's.
There were two railroads laying track toward the coast, and the city of Oakville was on the way. Due to the extremely narrow area between the Chehalis river and the Porter Bluffs, only one railway would have room to pass through. The race was on! When the dust had cleared the winner continued on to the coast. The abandoned tracks of the loser are still evident southeast of Oakville.
The Oakville National Bank was robbed several times in the '20s and '30s. Usually, the robbers were apprehended. However, the last horseback bank robbery in Washington state is still unsolved. The horsemen took to the hills and were never captured.
The population of the Oakville area has remained stable over the last 120 years. There are approximately one thousand friendly folks living here.