Because of its notable proximity to Tacoma, Olympia, and Shelton, Allyn was first settled in the mid 1800s. The brand new sawmill on Sherwood Creek and the rest of the town's small commercial and private ventures were soon served by a flotilla of steamboats called the Puget Sound Mosquito Fleet. This modest but invaluable operation carried passengers, mail, and freight to and from the area until the 1920s.

Now, under towering Olympic Mountains in quiet harbors, kayaking has become a staple for those with an urge to explore. Annually, the Grapeview area hosts the Water and Art Festival, a day-long event feauring local entertainment and artists, and a must-stop for anyone who feels best with a paddle in their hand.