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Location of Naselle, Washington
Location of Naselle, Washington
Country United States
State Washington
County Pacific
 • Total 2.3 sq mi (5.9 km2)
 • Land 2.3 sq mi (5.9 km2)
 • Water 0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
33 ft (10 m)
 • Total 419
 • Density 164.6/sq mi (63.6/km2)
Time zone UTC-8 (Pacific (PST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-7 (PDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 360
FIPS code 53-48015
GNIS feature ID 1512495

Naselle is a census-designated place (CDP) in Pacific County, Washington, United States. The population was 419 at the 2010 census. Though very near Columbia River's estuary, the valley's Naselle River flows west into nearby Willapa Bay and then into the Pacific Ocean. Close about the town lie the evergreen-covered Willapa Hills. The river's name has been spelled Nasel and Nasal. An early settler along the river called it the Kenebec. The name comes from the Nisal Indians, a Chinookan tribe formerly residing on the river.


As of the census of 2000, there were 377 people, 160 households, and 110 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 164.6 people per square mile (63.6/km²). There were 184 housing units at an average density of 80.3/sq mi (31.0/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 92.57% White, 0.27% African American, 2.12% Native American, 0.53% Asian, and 4.51% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.53% of the population. 33.2% were of Finnish, 10.0% German, 7.9% Irish and 7.5% American ancestry according to Census 2000.

There were 160 households out of which 31.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.4% were married couples living together, 6.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.3% were non-families. 25.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 17.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.36 and the average family size was 2.85.

In the CDP, the population was spread out with 23.3% under the age of 18, 5.0% from 18 to 24, 22.5% from 25 to 44, 26.5% from 45 to 64, and 22.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 44 years. For every 100 females there were 95.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.1 males.

The median income for a household in the CDP was $35,769, and the median income for a family was $40,250. Males had a median income of $36,875 versus $18,125 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $17,714. About 4.0% of families and 4.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 7.5% of those under age 18 and 2.1% of those age 65 or over.

History and culture

The community first flourished as a logging town, and logging remains the dominant private industry. Settled primarily by Finnish and Scandinavian immigrants, the community has maintained this cultural heritage despite a declining percentage of traditional family names. Since 1982, Naselle has hosted a "Finnish-American Folk Festival" every other year, and in 2006 co-hosted, with the nearby city of Astoria, OR, the national festival FinnFest USA.

Jennifer L. Holm's Newbery Honor-winning novel Our Only May Amelia is set in pioneer Naselle, then spelled "Nasel", and is based on Holm family documents of life as a Finnish-American frontier family.

Past and present residents of note include Oscar Wirkkala, logger and inventor; Wilho Saari, kantele performer and teacher and Rex Ziak historian.

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