Cusick, WA may be a small town, but it has a rich history. Located in Pend Oreille County, Cusick has been a hub for trade and transportation since the early days of settlement in the area. Through the years, several interesting and pivotal events have taken place near this quiet northwestern Washington town. Here are seven historical events that have occurred in the Cusick area.
1. The Pend Oreille Gold Rush
In the late 1850s, gold was discovered in the Pend Oreille River near present-day Cusick. This sparked a small gold rush, and many prospectors came to the area to try their luck at striking it rich. Though the gold was never as plentiful as the California or Alaska rushes, it still brought many people to the area and helped establish Cusick as a trading town.
2. The Arrival of the Railroad
In the late 1800s, the Northern Pacific Railroad arrived in the Cusick area. This brought more people and commerce to the town, cementing its status as a transportation hub. The railroad also facilitated the logging industry in Pend Oreille County, which would become a major economic driver for the area.
3. The Establishment of the Kalispel Indian Reservation
In 1887, the Kalispel Indian Reservation was established near Cusick. The reservation, which spans over 4,500 acres, is home to the Kalispel Tribe of Indians. The reservation is an important cultural and economic center for the tribe, and is still active today.
4. The Flood of 1952
In 1952, a major flood struck the Pend Oreille River valley, including the Cusick area. The flood destroyed homes and businesses, and caused extensive damage to infrastructure. The disaster led to the establishment of flood control measures in the region, which are still in place today.
5. The Construction of Box Canyon Dam
In the 1950s and 60s, the Box Canyon Dam was constructed on the Pend Oreille River near Cusick. The dam was built to generate hydroelectric power for the region, and it has been in operation since its completion. The construction of the dam had a significant impact on the local ecology and economy, and it remains a controversial topic to this day.
6. The Cedar Creek Fire of 2016
In 2016, the Cedar Creek Fire burned over 44,000 acres near Cusick. The fire destroyed many homes and buildings, and forced hundreds of people to evacuate. The Cedar Creek Fire was one of the worst wildfires in Washington state history, and it had a major impact on the Cusick community.
7. The Tragic Death of Avista Lineman Chris Voltz
In 2017, Avista Lineman Chris Voltz was tragically killed while working on power lines near Cusick. Voltz was a beloved member of the community, and his death was deeply felt by many. The tragedy led Avista to implement new safety measures for workers, and it sparked a conversation about the dangers of working in the electrical industry.
These seven events are just a small sample of the rich history of Cusick, WA. From gold rushes to wildfires, this quiet town has seen its fair share of triumphs and tragedies. As the region continues to grow and change, it's important to remember and learn from the past.
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