White Salmon, Washington may seem like a small, sleepy town nestled in the Pacific Northwest, but it has a rich history that dates back to the early 1800s. From Native American settlements to gold rushes, here are seven major historical events that have taken place near White Salmon.
1. The Native American Presence: The area surrounding White Salmon was home to various Native American tribes for thousands of years before European explorers arrived. The Wasco and Klickitat people were the predominant tribes in the region and relied on fishing and hunting for their survival. Today, there are still several Native American reservations in the nearby area.
2. The Oregon Trail: White Salmon was a hub for pioneers traveling westward on the Oregon Trail in the mid-1800s. The town’s location on the banks of the Columbia River made it an ideal spot for weary travelers to rest, restock supplies, and set off for the next leg of their journey.
3. The Gold Rush: In the 1850s, a gold rush swept through the Pacific Northwest, and White Salmon was no exception. Prospectors combed the nearby hills and rivers in search of gold, and the town served as a bustling center for miners and their families.
4. The Railroad: The Northern Pacific Railroad laid tracks through White Salmon in the late 1800s, connecting the town to the rest of the country and spurring growth and development in the area.
5. The Columbia River Gorge Highway: In the early 1900s, the Columbia River Gorge Highway was built, connecting Oregon and Washington and running through White Salmon. The highway provided access to some of the most stunning natural scenery in the country and snaked through the rugged landscape of the Gorge.
6. The Broughton Lumber Company: In the early 1900s, the Broughton Lumber Company established a sawmill in White Salmon. The mill quickly became one of the largest employers in the area, and the town’s economy revolved around the logging industry for many years.
7. The Condit Dam: The Condit Dam was built on the White Salmon River in the 1910s in order to provide hydroelectric power to the region. The dam served the area for nearly a century before it was finally removed in 2011 in order to restore fish habitat in the river.
White Salmon, Washington may be a small town, but it has a fascinating and varied history that reflects the larger historical trends and events of the Pacific Northwest. From Native American settlements to gold rushes to hydroelectric power, the town has seen it all, and its rich heritage is still visible in the landscape and community today.
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