Guide to Historic Wilkeson, WA | Visit Rainier

Historic Wilkeson Washington

Coal was discovered in the hills and canyons of the Carbon River valley in the 1800s. For the purposes of mining this find, the Northern Pacific Railroad built a rail line to Wilkeson.

Today, a trip to this community offers visitors a rare opportunity to take an authentic step back in time to the rich heritage and culture of the 19th century Pacific Northwest. Once known as the roughest mining town west of Butte, Montana, Wilkeson offers attractions including a look at the historic Wilkeson Elementary School, the coke ovens, and the Wilkeson Sandstone Quarry.

Walk the town’s side streets to see fine examples of 19th-century architecture, most notably a handsome building signed “Holy Trinity Orthodox Church” and the Wilkeson Town Hall, both listed in the National Historic Registry. And if you like a good cup of coffee, don’t miss the Nomad PNW coffee shop for an epic cup of java. For a more spirited beverages stop by the Pick & Shovel Saloon & Restaurant.

Visitors, don’t miss the Annual Wilkeson Handcar Races occur on the third Saturday in July each year. Vendors will open at 9:00 am and the parade will begin at 11:00 am. Come and enjoy the handcar races among other fun in this historic Washington coal mining town.

Area Resources

Town of Wilkeson