Welcome to Shelton
The City of Shelton, Washington is the only incorporated city in Mason County and is also the county seat. Shelton is conveniently located just 20 miles outside of Olympia, Washington's state capitol. Shelton has a host of nicknames, including "Gateway to the Olympics" and "Christmastown USA". The City of Shelton includes 6.11 square miles and our current population is 10,430.
Shelton was officially incorporated in 1890 and was named after David Shelton, a delegate to the territorial legislature. Shelton was first known as Sheltonville.
Shelton's economy has a strong base in logging and lumber milling. The Simpson Lumber Company, founded in 1900, was once the second largest timber holder in Washington state. Simpson split into two separate units in 2006, and Green Diamond Resource Company continues to operate from its downtown Shelton offices.
As logging activity grew in Shelton, other industries began to flourish as well - including dairy, beef cattle ranches, and oyster farming. Oyster farming still has a strong presence in Shelton, which is home to farms for Taylor Shellfish, Seattle Shellfish, and others.
Simpson Lumber, along with Mark Reed and the town of Shelton, built the Shelton General Hospital in 1920. Shelton General was replaced by Mason General Hospital in 1968 and continues to serve Shelton and Mason County today as Mason General Hospital and Family of Clinics.
In 1955, the Shelton-Mason County Chamber of Commerce began referring to Shelton as "Christmastown, USA", due to the high volume of fir and pine trees being grown in the area. In 2019, Shelton officially broke the Guinness world record for "most lit Christmas trees".
Shelton hosts a variety of iconic events and festivals, drawing visitors from both throughout Washington and beyond. Notable events include OysterFest, the Mason County Forest Festival, the Shelton Farmers Market, and more. Explore Hood Canal has more information on many of these events and other visitor information for our area.
Shelton is a hub for Mason County, particularly for retail and government services. Shelton's downtown neighborhood is situated along Railroad Avenue, with historic homes, businesses, and restaurants. There is also a strong retail presence along Wallace Kneeland Boulevard in north Shelton, which is home to Wal-Mart, Fred Meyer, and several restaurants.
The Port of Shelton operates the Oakland Bay Marina, Sanderson Field Airport & Industrial Park, and John's Prairie Industrial Park. The Washington State Patrol operates a training facility, and Mason County houses several of their departments in Shelton. Mason County PUD 3 provides electric services and fiber optic telecommunications from their Shelton offices for customers throughout Mason County. The Shelton School District serves approximately 4,379 students across 8 schools. The William G. Reed Public Library, opened in 1989, is located at 710 West Alder Street and is a part of the Timberland Regional Libraries system.
The City of Shelton operates under the Council-Manager form of government. The Shelton City Council consists of seven individuals who are responsible for policymaking in the City. The Council appoints a City Manager, who is responsible for the administrative functions of the City. The current Mayor of Shelton is Eric Onisko and the Deputy Mayor is Joe Schmit.