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Page 1 of 11 of the Tenino Area of Interest.
In 1851, Stephen Hodgdon, a Maine native, settled on a site on the old Oregon Trail where it forked north toward Tumwater and east to Yelm Prairie and Fort Nisqually. His farm soon became known as Hodgdon’s Station and was a regular stagecoach stop between the Columbia River and Olympia.

 In 1872 the railroad reached Hodgdon’s farm and a depot was built and named “Tenino,” which comes from a Coastal Salish word meaning “a branch in the trail” or “meeting place.” The railroad and the opening of the sandstone quarries, beginning in 1888, turned Tenino into a bustling community of 1,000 by the early 1900s. The market for sandstone began to decline in 1912, but its influence is still evident in the town. When Interstate 5 was opened in 1954, Tenino’s economy shifted to thermal-electric generation in nearby Hanaford Valley.
Information courtesy of (1) Thurston County Historic Commission.