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Mountain TrailHistory of the Yakima Valley

In 1805, men from the Lewis and Clark expedition were the first white men to view the Yakima Valley. Their descriptions of the wildlife and fertile soil in the valley attracted trappers and settlers. In 1847 a Catholic mission was established, and soon settlers began to arrive. They came over the Cascade Mountains by wagon train. Some of these old wagon trails are still visible today in the Chinook Pass area.

As more people moved into the valley in the 1850's, disputes erupted between settlers and Native tribes, leading to the Yakima Indian Wars of 1855. Fort Simcoe was established, and eventually the Indians were placed on a reservation. By 1870 there were 432 pioneers in the Yakima Valley. In the next decade this number grew to nearly 3,000, and by the turn of the century there were approximately 15,000 residents.

Old Irrigation DitchThe city continued to grow, with water and electricity becoming available, railways supplying industry and agriculture, and libraries and other civic services taking hold. In 1907, a streetcar system was developed. This old transportation system has recently been renovated and is now available as a tourist and community attraction in downtown Yakima.

Today Yakima's international claim to fame is her apples, grapes, hops, and other excellent agricultural products. The Valley is often called "The Fruit Bowl of the Nation". According to Census 2000 the population of the City of Yakima is 73,040.

Modern Apple OrchardMore Resources recommended links

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