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Several Orting area families are interested in starting a Christian Based Cooperative in order to give homeschool families more class opportunities, ie. Foreign Language, Video Editing, Global Positioning Systems, Math Tutoring, etc. Are you interested in participating or would like more information?
Please contact Dawn at dawnwa96@yahoo.com.
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Orting, Washington

Incorporated April 22, 1889.
Orting was “formed” by William Henry Whitesell, Thomas Headley, Daniel Lane, and Daniel Varner, who all filed Donation Land Claims in 1854. They were the only four families that filed Land Claims around what is now Orting.

Part of “The Whitesell Story”*, written by Mrs. J.C. Taylor (Margaret Whitesell) sometime during the mid-1930’s and submitted by her niece, Effie (George) Anderson states that the friendly Indian that visited the Whitesells warning of the Indian War was named “Jake” (see the Indian War for more information on this).

Transportation in and out of Orting was extremely difficult until the early 1870’s, when coal was discovered on the headwaters of the Puyallup River. The Northern Pacific Railroad needed coal for their operations, so they built a railroad line through Orting in 1877. Population growth skyrocketed after that.

Because the railroad line ran right through the Whitesell property, it became known as Whitesell’s Crossing. Henry Whitesell became the first postmaster in the area, with the post office being called “Carbon”. It was later changed to Orting however.

It seems Puyallup and Sumner are not the only towns in the area that have mysterious names. Orting also has no hard documentation on how the name came into being.
There seem to be three variations on the name:

  • Some say that when the close-by town of Carbonado chose it’s name, the mail became confused.
  • Another version is that the town of Carbon, MT (formerly, Carbon, WT for Washington Territory) was the same name as the town of Carbon in Washington.
  • The most feasible as to how Orting was picked, however, is an account that Civil Engineer Black of the railroad said the Indian meaning of Orting was “A prairie in the woods”.

* “The Whitesell Story” can be found in the book “The History of the Town of Orting” at the Orting Library

Orting Quick Facts
(from 2002)

Population: 3,760, up 78.54 percent since 1990.
Median age: 30.2 (state average: 35.3).
Race: 92.4 percent white; 1.3 percent Asian; 0.6 percent black; 3.4 percent Hispanic; 1.0 percent American Indian/Alaska native.
Median home value: $135,900 (state average: $168,300).
Industry employing the most people: Manufacturing.
Median household income: $53,500 (state average: $45,776).
Percent of families in poverty: 7 percent (state average: 7.3 percent).
Mean travel time to work: 36.2 minutes.
Bachelor's degree or higher: 12.1 percent.
Married: 63.5 percent.
In the armed forces: 0 percent.
School districts: Orting School District.
Community events: Daffodil Festival.

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