Yacolt was originally named Garner, named for the family who homesteaded 160 acres in 1887. In 1876, Joseph Eaton established the first post office to serve the Yacolt area out of his home near Rock Creek. The post office was officially established in 1895 with two locations, one named Garner and the other named Yacolt. Over time, the Yacolt name won out.
What does Yacolt mean? Yacolt translates to “valley of the demons” or “haunted place.” It was named for a Native American legend about several children camping in Yacolt, many years ago, who wondered away from camp never to be seen again. It was believed that evil spirits had taken them.
September 11-13, 1902, saw the largest fire in the state history sweep through Yacolt, Washington. The fire is now infamously known as the Yacolt Burn. At the time of the fires the town consisted of 15 buildings and was almost destroyed by the fire. However, a few short years later on July 31, 1908, Yacolt was officially incorporated. In 2008, the town celebrated its 100th anniversary.
The fire’s origin is still unknown; however, there was speculation that it was an accident resulting from local loggers working. The fire burned over 370 square miles and resulted in 38 fatalities.