Orting – According to the 2011 census, population 8,632. This little town lies at the base of Mt. Rainier, directly in the path of the lahar that would occur should that venerable mountain decide to erupt. Yet it has rested there since Frederick E. Eldredge’s town plat was officially incorporated as a town on April 22, 1889. Discounting the fact that it belonged to the Indians prior to 1854, the land was first owned, by way of donation land claims, by Daniel Varner, Henry and Margaret Whitesell, Thomas Headley, Daniel Lane. George Gunson bought Varner’s claim in 1861. By 1880 the land had been abandoned and was claimed by Fred Eldredge.
There is little left of historical Orting, but there is the Soldier’s Home . It has served its original purpose for 122 years as of June 25th. The assumption might be that the home was of Federal origin, but not so. It was created under Washington State Constitution to provide for Civil War vet’s who had found their way west in search of the opportunities that were so well publicized, truthfully or not. The provision, “The legislature shall provide by law for the maintenance of a soldiers’ home for honorably discharged Union soldiers, sailors, marines, and members of the state militia, disabled while in the line of duty and who are bona-fide residents of the State,” created the Home which is run by the Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs today. It has been home to vet’s from the Mexican War, Indian War, Civil War, Spanish-American War, both World Wars, Korean War and Viet Nam. If it isn’t already, I sure it will be providing a home and care for vet’s for our conflicts in the Arab countries as well.