History of the Town of Creosote and Wood Treatment Plant

Two years after its formation, Perfection Pile Preserving Co. came under new management and was named Pacific Creosoting Co. and American Cross Arm Co. In the next decade, the plant expanded and modernized, thanks largely to Horace C. Henry, a successful and ambitious capitalist who was interested in expanding wood treatment in the Puget Sound area. At the time, J.M. Coleman operated another creosote plant, by Elliott Bay. Henry’s death in 1929 led to the merging of the two plants into the West Coast Wood Preserving Co.

In 1947, Walter L. Wyckoff bought Coleman’s share in the West Coast Wood Preserving Co., and the name was lengthened to the West Coast Wood Preserving Co. and the Baxter-Wyckoff Company. Twelve years later, the name was simplified to Baxter-Wyckoff Co. In 1964, Wyckoff bought Baxter’s interest in the company and renamed the plant to the Wyckoff Co., which it remained until its closure two decades later.

In the early 1900s, Bill Point was used as a lumberyard, and later for making bricks. In 1904, Perfection Pile Preserving Co. began to occupy the site, which was the first of a number of owners of the wood treatment plant which would operate at the site in the next eighty years. At the turn of the twentieth century, treatment of the wood used outside, such as dock pilings and telephone poles, became a necessity. Without treatment, the outdoor environment quickly wore the wood down, making frequent replacement a necessity. Treated wood could last many years. Creosote, a dark, oily liquid processed from coal tar, was a common treatment.

Pacific Creosoting Co., in the early 1900’s