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Simon Plomondon developed a farm. Bancroft tells us that in 1846 "There were 1,500 acres fenced and under cultivation, 11 barns, and in the vicinity 1,000 cattle, 200 horses, 100 swine, and 2,000 sheep." 16 A Catholic mission was planted there in 1839, and one also at Fort Nisqually.
At Port Nisqually fur trading was soon overshadowed by stock raising, dairying, some grain raising and the curing of meat for the Russian-American trade. Wilkes wrote on his expedition in 1841, “In connection with the company's establishment at Nisqually they have a large dairy, several hundred head of cattle, and among them seventy milch cows, which yield a large supply of butter and cheese; they also have large crops of wheat, peas, and oats, and were preparing the ground for potatoes." 17
A glance at tables 2 and 3 showing the population of the counties in early Washington and table 4 showing the population of towns in ter, ritorial days indicates that settlements west of the Cascades grew very slowly. In 1860, Clark, Lewis, Chehalis, Cowlitz, Thurston, Pierce, King, Snohomish, Skagit, and Whatcom Counties all together did not have more than 2,000 inhabitants. Seattle, Tacoma, Everett, and Bellingham were not mentioned in the census.
Marshall wrote recently of the sparseness of population in the early territorial days in Washington, saying that “in 1860 it was still mainly a virgin wilderness; in the entire Territory there were less than 12,000 people. Walla Walla, the largest town, had only 772 inhabitants, and the census takers did not even mention Seattle, Tacoma, or Spokane." 18
Ezra Meeker.—Ezra Meeker says: The first through road from the Columbia River to the Sound began at Monticello, near the mouth of the Cowlitz River (present site of Longview) and ended at Tum. water (two miles southwest of Olympia) at the extreme southern point of Puget Sound, a distance of seventy miles. This on paper was a military road but I am not aware of any expenditure of the Government ever being made to either survey or improve it. Monticello was more a name than a town, being the farmhouse and outbuildings of Uncle Darb Huntington, as we all called him, with a blacksmith shop, store, two or three families, and a stable. Here the passengers were dumped off the little steamers from Portland and other Columbia River points, and here, in the earliest days, the hapless traveler either struck the trail (afterwards supplanted by the road) or would tuck himself with others into a canoe, like sardines in a box, where an all day journey up the Cowlitz River was his fate, unmoved and immovable except as an inte. gral part of the frail craft that carried him to Hard Bread's tavern for the night.
At first, travelers to the Sound ascended the Cowlitz to the landing further
14 Bancroft, Herbert Howe. History of the Northwest Coast, vol. II, p. 613. 17 Ibid., p. 614. 18 Marsball, Thomas M. American History. New York, The Macmillan Co., 1930. P. 347.
up the river than where the mud wagon road left the Cowlitz, and from the landing were sent on their way by saddle train or over the makeshift of a road cut by the Simmons-Bush party in 1845, over which they dragged their effects on sleds to the head of the Sound, or to be specific, to the mouth of the Deschutes River, afterwards and now known as Tumwater, two miles south of Olympia.
I have no history of the construction of the later road all the way up the right bank of the Cowlitz to the mouth of the Toutle River (Hard Bread's), and thence deflecting northerly to the Chehalis, where the old and new routes were joined, and soon emerged into the gravelly prairies where there were natural roadbeds every where. The facts are, this road, like “Topsy", just “growed", and 80 gradually became a highway one could scarcely say when the trail ceased to be simply a trail and the road actually could be called a road. First, only saddle trains could pass. On the back of a stiff-jointed, hard-trotting, slow-walking, contrary mule, I was initiated into the secret depths of the mudholes of this trail. And such mudholes. It became a standing joke after the road was opened that a team would stall with an empty wagon going down hill, and I came very near having just such an experience once, within what is now the municipal limits of the thriving city of Chehalis.
After the saddle train came the mud wagons, in which passengers were conveyed (often invited to walk over bad places, or possibly preferred to walk) over either the roughest corduroy or deepest mud, the one bruising the muscles, the other straining the nerves in the anticipation of being dumped into the bottomless pit of mud. 10
Community centers west of the Cascades. Gradually during the territorial period the vast resources west of the Cascades were tapped by roadways branching eastward from the present Pacific Highway to the foothills and westward to the Pacific. The mighty forests of fir, cedar, and hemlock were invaded to furnish lumber to the depleted areas of New England and the Mississippi Valley as well as to California and far foreign ports. Ships fashioned on the ways on Puget Sound coursed all the ocean deeps. Salmon fishing developed into a world industry. New world ocean ports grew up naturally at Seattle, Tacoma, Olympia, Grays Harbor, Willapa Harbor, Everett, and Whatcom (Bellingham). In the wake of the lumberjack followed the rancher in the fertile alluvial valleys. In time some of the finest grain and dairy farms of the world have developed. Gradually it dawned upon the engineer that in the rushing mountain streams electric energy unparalleled awaited only harnessing to furnish light and power. Among the towns to develop early along the Pacific Highway and to establish schools were Castle Rock, Kalama, Kelso, Toledo, Chehalis, Centralia, Tumwater, Olympia, Steilacoom, and Puyallup.
Communities east of the Cascades.-East of the Cascades the very first struggling settlements were planted by British fur traders. In 1809 a Northwest Company fort was built at Lake Pend d'Oreille. In 1811 Fort Okanogan was established by David Stuart, partner of John Jacob Astor, at the point where the Okanogan River joins the Columbia. The Spokane House, probably at Spokane Falls, had been built some time before 1811. Spokane Garry, an educated Indian, conducted a school there for some years about that time. Fort Colville at Kettle Falls was established by Americans in 1826. It was a strategic post for military and fur-trading purposes. At a later time, 1855, gold and other minerals were discovered, which gave the present Colville its beginnings and considerable importance.
* Meeker, Ezra. Seventy Years of Progress in Washington, pp. 36–37.
Old Fort Walla Walla, early called Wallula, as it is now, was a most important trading post. It is at the confluence of the Walla Walla River with the Columbia. Many emigrant trains from the East took passage here down the Columbia. Traffic from the lower Columbia was frequently unloaded here for transshipment by pack train to the Walla Walla, Spokane, Okanogan, and Coeur d'Alene regions. A military post was established at the present site of Walla Walla in 1856. It immediately became the great distributing center for sup plies from the East and from down the Columbia to the mining regions in what is now northeastern Washington, Idaho, and eastern Oregon. Schafer says:
The trails radiated in all directions from the little town, and during the packing sea. son long lines of horses and mules were ever coming and going.
In the winter of 1866-67 between five hundred and six hundred were kept within seven miles of Wallula. During ten days in the month of July 1869, when times were dull, trains aggregating five hundred fifty-nine packs were fitted out at Walla Walla.20
Gradually the fertile, level plain and rolling hills stretching for miles in every direction came to be rich in agricultural lands. Some of the most productive wheat ranches in the world have been developed in that region. The agricultural college was located in Whitman County, which has a world's record in wheat raising. In the wheat-growing district northeast of Walla Walla the towns of Dayton and Waitsburg were founded early.
Spokane very early became a center for mining operations in the Okanogan, Coeur d'Alene, Kootenai, and Colville regions. It also was the point of radiation to the great wheat fields to the south in the region of the present cities of Cheney, Sprague, Harrington, Ritzville, Colfax, Palouse, Garfield, and Pullman. To the north and west lay the “Big Bend" country along the Columbia where great wheat fields eventually displaced the sagebrush and bunch grass. The towns of Davenport, Creston, and Waterville have all grown up as accessory centers for that rich agricultural belt.
30 Schafer, op. cit., p. 224.
Walla Walla was the outfitting point for the Oro Fino mines of Idaho, then a part of Washington, and in 1860 and 1861 thousands of men rushed to those fields. Their way led up the Snake River to the mouth of the Clearwater, and then along that stream and on into the diggings. At the mouth of the Clearwater a town developed with marvelous rapidity. It was named Lewiston in honor of Captain Meriwether Lewis. The later organization of Idaho Territory cut Lewiston out of Washington, but it is a pleasure to observe that just across the Snake River, on the Washington side, has recently developed a city which has received the name of Clarkston, in honor of Cap tain William Clark. Thus Lewiston and Clarkston, though in different States, are now smiling at each other across a river discovered and explored by Captains Lewis and Clark. 21
Irrigation coming after statehood made possible large areas watered by the Yakima and Wenatchee Rivers. Thousands of acres formerly inhabited by the jackrabbit and sage hen have become garden spots now shipping fruit, especially apples, to all parts of the world.
5. Independence North of the Columbia
In 1851 a definite movement was made by the settlers north of the Columbia to secure separation from that part of Oregon south of the Columbia. R. D. Bigelow, who enters so prominently into later educational history, made a Fourth of July oration at Olympia that launched the plan in all seriousness. A newspaper, the Columbian, the first in Washington, was started in Olympia on September 11, 1852. This paper immediately began agitation for the legal establishment of the new territory. As a result of this, a convention was called to meet on October 25 of that year at the house of H. D. (Uncle Darb) Huntington at Monticello. This was near the mouth of the Cowlitz River not far from the present site of Longview. (Longview's conspicuous hotel, is named the Monticello.) A memorial was addressed to Congress praying that the territory of Columbia be set off as an independent political unit.
Ezra Meeker says that the new region had a scant 4,000 white population when admitted as a territory. He estimated that there were probably 15,000 Indians. The new territory at the outset included all of the region north of a line east of the lower Columbia River and extending east to the Rocky Mountains. Idaho and a part of Montana
а were later carved out of eastern Washington and Oregon. According to The Pioneer and Democrat of Olympia a census of the new counties formed in the new Washington Territory contained the following numbers of white people:
11 Meany, Edmond S. History of the State of Washington. P. 234.
The influx of population was slow. Until the advent of railroads few towns of any importance were developed. Some of the centers of population were villages at rural crossroad centers where farmers traded at the village store, which contained the post office. Here they found a blacksmith shop and sometimes a grist mill. Other centers were fishing villages on the coast or on the rivers; and still others were the lumber camps. In any case they were all small. Transportation was such as not to permit long journeys. Later marine shipping ports, of course, brought together considerable aggregations. Even there it takes the railroad to augment and supplement the watercraft. Ocean shipping must be distributed to interior land communities and a hinterland is necessary to provide goods for ocean ports. Consequently the large increase in population and graded schools followed the opening up of railroads, discussed in another place.
The conferring of statehood also acted as a stimulus to attract settlers. The term "territory" suggests primitive conditions and backwoods' hardships deterring prospective settlers from seeking that re. gion. With statehood a settled reality it seemed as if stability, prosperity, and a comfortable existence were assured.
Table 4.- Population of chief cities of Washington at successive dates
1, 638 8, 135
3, 747 | 13,660 15,337 11,062 24, 298 23, 585
2,993 8, 918 197 1,062 3, 338 7. 838 24, 814 27, 644 2, 608 8,171 10, 058
21, 723 30, 823 10, 170 30, 567 12,766 10, 652 17, 773 10, 188
3,979 365, 583 115, 514 106, 817 15, 766 15,976 11, 627 22, 101
593 1, 107
917 3, 533
3,863 6, 996 7.795 2, 321 2, 286 5,351 3, 443 4,181 2, 847 80, 671 237, 194 315, 312 36, 848 104, 402 104, 437 37, 714 83, 743 96, 965
3, 126 9, 300 12, 637 10, 049 19, 364 15, 503 451 4,050
6, 324 3, 154 14, 082 18, 539
4, 558 42, 837 19, 922 36, 006 3, 545 4, 709
1,722 3, 588
1 Combined in 1928.
' ln 1860. population 264.