In the 1840’s, Kelso was founded along the banks of the Cowlitz River by a surveyor named Peter Crawford. He named the town after his Scottish home. Kelso has a unique historical past. It holds a story of struggle against competition in business and professions, its disasters and its faith in itself to overcome all odds and to expand, grow and progress in every way. The complete and colorful history of Kelso is recorded in detail in a book by local resident/author Camilla Summers (deceased). Her book, ‘About Kelso’, takes the reader from the time before Peter Crawford through the effects of the Mt. St. Helens eruption in 1980.