There were other settlers on the westernmost shores of Puget Sound when David Shelton arrived in 1854. Development was slow, but by 1888, Shelton's claim prevailed to become the hub of commerce and the seat of Mason County. The town welcomed "all who were willing to work," promoted journalist Grant C. Angle. Shelton became the headquarters for the Simpson Timber Company and a research center for Rayonier, Inc. Shellfish growers shipped oysters across the country. Strong fellowships were built through churches and organizations such as the Masons, and celebrations like the Fourth of July and the Forest Festival. The surrounding forests and waters provided work and recreation, but the town of Shelton gave its residents a sense of community.