In 1910, August Lovegren sold all 31 shares of Preston Mill Company stock at $5,000 a share to C.J. Erickson for a total price of $155,000. Lovegren, his wife, and eleven children relocated to the Willamette Valley in Oregon where it appears he developed another mill town.
Erickson, who had been the contractor for the Denny Regrade and the low bidder for the first drydocks in Bremerton, followed in his predecessor’s footsteps. Preston had begun as a company town, and Erickson carried on in this tradition. Worker homes were built and owned by the company and rented to occupants at $1.50 per room, per month; Preston Mercantile, the Preston Mill Company Store, supplied the community with a variety of goods, the costs of which were deducted from worker paychecks; and the Company provided community recreational facilities. About this latter company benefit, Erickson outdid Lovegren, who had provided picnic grounds for the community, by constructing a large community hall in Preston proper complete with a library, swimming pool, basketball courts, kitchen, and a stage.
During these early years of the twentieth century, the Preston Mill Company experienced its peak period eventually owning 12,000 acres of land and employing 200 men. Accordingly, the town of Preston and the area known as Upper Preston developed. In addition to the company store, Preston boasted of a butcher shop, a church, a school, a hotel, and a post office. Upper Preston featured a school and a store.
Although it is a small town, Preston has its beauties, and people love to come from all around the states to visit this town. If you want to learn and have a touch of history, this is a place to visit. It has about two hundred people, which is not much, but as you can see, you will find a lot of interesting things. Usually, people come to Preston to learn something new about their American history. And of course, although it is a small town, you can enjoy the beautiful landscape. Preston offers many wonderful things if you are a person who just likes nature and likes to learn something. There are many interesting facts from early history and from the years that were crucial for American history. The town was pretty active during the Prohibition, and you would be amazed the things you can find out about this little town.