Codding Cove was founded in 1887 as a land-grant colony at the mouth of the Queets River. The settlers were led by Cyrus Codding and William Waters and their families. Local lore has it that the town name was settled by the flipping of a coin. Early industries included logging, cattle, and apples orchards. Early transportation consisted of a steamboat that came to town twice a year.
Highway 101, completed in 1920 and now called the “Old Road”, became the center of town which boasted a City Hall, Police Station, volunteer fire department, grand hotel, stone church, elementary school, three restaurants, a farmer’s market co-op, and a gas station. The town came roaring back following the Great Depression during World War II owing to the need for beef cattle and lumber. As the number of travelers along the coast increased in the ‘50’s and ‘60’s, the town added motels, retail tourist shops, restaurants, and bed and breakfast inns. The establishment of the Olympic National Forest in 1967 curtailed logging activity. A nature reserve was set aside to protect a wide variety of nesting and transiting birds. Upgrading Highway 101 to a paved four-lane highway and the construction of the magnificent Centennial Bridge in 1988 spurred further growth.
Codding Cove today boasts 8,800 full-time residents (2010 census), served by a variety of housing, including historic houses, tract houses, apartments, cottages, and bungalows and supported by an economic base of tourism, beef cattle, and food production (apples, plums, peaches). Visitor attractions include an historic hotel and a 3-star resort hotel, river boating, beachcombing, nature hikes, mountain adventures, antiquing, and local crafts and artwork, and a fully staffed medical clinic and pharmacy. Crossroad Antiques is regionally famous. Original wood public buildings have been replaced with impressive stone structures and a modern community theater has been added in the Town Center. Coddington School is a respected K-12 institution. Original homesteads on the tidelands north of the river have become beautiful second homes for Washington urbanites.
On your way north or south on Highway 101, Codding Cove is worth a visit, for part of a day, a weekend, or a memorable vacation.