The City of McCleary was founded as a logging camp in 1898. McCleary was incorporated in 1943. McCleary currently has a population of 1,653 based on the 2010 census. Henry McCleary came to the area to log cedar, building a mill in 1906. In 1923 the plant broke all records by producing over 300,000 doors in sixty days, an average of six boxcars a day. In 1941, McCleary sold the mill and the town to Simpson Logging. Simpson upgraded the utilities and sold the light and water plants to the new City of McCleary the following year. Today, the door plant currently employs nearly 300 and manufactures high-quality wood doors. McCleary is just 25 minutes from I-5 at Olympia. The city is governed by a mayor and five council members.
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