Castle Rock, Washington

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Castle Rock is a city in Cowlitz County, Washington, United States. It is part of the 'Longview, Washington Metropolitan Statistical Area'. The population was 2,130 at the 2000 census.



Castle Rock is centered primarily on the donation land claim of Eliza and William Huntington, who settled at the location in 1852. The city was platted December 12, 1888 and incorporated on June 20, 1890. Castle Rock was named after a large volcanic rock formation, which rises 190 feet high. The rock formation, resembling a castle, became a geographic landmark for Cowlitz Indians and Hudson’s Bay Company traders as early as 1832. Castle Rock prospered as a Cowlitz River steamboat port and trading center for valley farms. The local sawmill was the first to produce cedar shingles, using the Western red cedar, which grows in abundance in the region

By 1940, the population had reached 1,182 and was supported by dairy farming, truck farming, and lumber manufacturing. Sword ferns, common in the region, were picked each year by several hundred people to be processed into medicine. In the spring, large quantities of Cascara Sagrada bark were gathered, dried, and shipped.[3]


Castle Rock, the Gateway to Mount St. Helens, is situated between the Cowlitz River and Interstate 5, 117 miles south of Seattle, Washington and 58 miles north of Portland, Oregon, 46°16′26″N 122°54′18″W / 46.27389°N 122.905°W / 46.27389; -122.905 (46.273991, -122.904916).[4]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.3 square miles (3.4 km²), all of it land. It is the northern most city in Cowlitz County. Spirit Lake Memorial Highway (State Route 504) connects the city to the Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument and Spirit Lake recreation areas.


As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 2,130 people, 833 households, and 562 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,597.3 people per square mile (618.3/km²). There were 890 housing units at an average density of 667.4/sq mi (258.4/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 93.19% White, 0.23% African American, 2.02% Native American, 0.28% Asian, 0.38% Pacific Islander, 1.64% from other races, and 2.25% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.33% of the population. 18.7% were of American, 18.3% German, 12.9% English, 6.9% Irish and 6.1% Norwegian ancestry according to Census 2000. 96.5% spoke English, and 3.0% Spanish as their first language.

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