Manage episode 337411292 series 2967248
Wenatchee refers to a river and its valley, as well as a tribe (the Wenatchi) and a town. Wenatchee is the county seat of Chelan County and is located at the confluence of the Wenatchee and Columbia rivers, in the heart of the nation's primary apple-producing region. Judge Thomas Burke, who owned large stakes in the Seattle, Lake Shore & Eastern Railroad, the Wenatchee Development Company, and the Great Northern Railway, was ironically nicknamed "The Father of Wenatchee."
The Miller-Freer Trading Post, founded in 1871 by Samuel C. Miller and Franklin and David Freer, was the first business to open. Don Carlos Corbett, on the other hand, is credited with naming the town Wenatchee. He platted a portion of the 1,400 acres along the Columbia that the Wenatchee Development Firm had purchased in 1888 and 1889 on behalf of the company. This location would shortly be replaced by a new one a mile distant on the Great Northern Railway's route. Despite its location at the crossroads of rail and river transit, the new town's development was limited by a dry environment and a scarcity of arable ground suitable for grain production.
Irrigation, which began on a significant scale in 1904, gave the Wenatchee area the ability to water the river's narrow benches and expand its apple empire. Rufus Woods, who arrived in town a year later, was an important figure in the community. He would go on to acquire and edit the Wenatchee Daily World, as well as being a driving force behind the construction of Grand Coulee Dam. He had a vision for Wenatchee and the advancement of its interests that no other local leader could match.
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