KITTITAS COUNTY PLACES
The purpose of this page is to identify some towns, flag stations, communities, and locations that were used in describing where people lived. Some still exist; others are no longer there. The information was compiled from various sources. Please contact KCGS if you know of any additions or corrections. We are indebted to Lynn Blazek for compiling this information.
NEW Information: The Kittitas County Historical Museum (located at 114 E 3rd Street in Ellensburg) has a wall mounted map showing where various type locations are or have been located in Kittitas County. Additional information about dates when these locations have been in existence is also noted alongside the map. The map has an interactive portion where a viewer can select from various categories like towns and flag stations etc. Those locations will then light up on the map.
BASIC INFORMATION ON THE BEGINNINGS OF KITTITAS COUNTY
The first white man known to be in the County's area was Alexander ROSS who first traveled through in 1812. There were others who later came through, and a Catholic mission was begun in 1848 on Manastash Creek. In 1860 HALD & MEIGS of The Dalles, Oregon, had a trading post at Manastash Ford. The area was established as Ferguson County in 1863 and in 1883 it was divided with this area becoming Kittitas County. The first families (ROZELLE and HARRINGTON) tried to live here the winter of 1865, but it was too harsh. By 1866 William WILSON was here living with the Indians. In 1867 Frederick LUDI and John GALLER started the first settlement which was on Manastash Creek near where it flows into the Yakima. Later that year the Charles COOKE family came to the area followed by other permanent families (the HOUSER and SPLAWN families and others). The Presbyterians started a church in 1879. The first whire child born here, in 1869, was Violetta SPLAWN, followed a few months later by twins born to the DAVERLIN family. The first Post Office was established in 1869 at Taneum Creek. The Northern Pacific Railroad came through in 1886.
Badger Pocket is the southeast part of the lower valley. It was crossed by early road from The Dalles.
BEEKMAN The company town of Beekman, just north of Ronald, was known also as Jonesville. From 1913-1928 some 300 miners and their families lived there and it was a stop on the Northern Pacific Railroad line. Jonesville (Beekman) no longer exists.
BERTHA Bertha was a Post Office from 1898-1900. It was located on the Northern Pacific line, about 6 miles west of Cle Elum.
BEVERLY Beverly is on the east side of the Columbia River just south of Wanapum Dam and Vantage. It is mentioned in our historical information, however it is actually in neighboring Grant County. Beverly Junction is across the river from Beverly and is in Kittitas county.
BLEWETT PASS Route of the original gold miner's wagon road over the Wenatchee Mountain Range between the Swauk Mining Camp and the Peshastin Mining Camp. It was named Blewett Pass because the Blewett Mining Company maintained the road for years. The cross-state Sunset Highway was built over the pass in the early 1920's and then the road was realigned in the 1950's to go over nearby Swauk Pass. People continued, however, to call it the "Blewett Pass" Highway. The State Department of Transportation finally ended the confusion by renaming Swauk Pass as Blewett Pass. Today the new road, Highway 97, goes over "Blewett Pass" and the old road goes over "Old Blewett Pass". There was once a lodge at the top of Old Blewett Pass, but it no longer exists.
BOYLSTON Boylston was a Post Office from 1910-1919. It was on the Milwaukee Railroad, 10 miles SE of Kittitas. Its 1920 population was 20.
BRISTOL or BRISTOL FLAT Bristol was a small railway station and trading point. It was situated at the mouth of Swauk Creek, 9 miles southeast of Cle Elum.
CASLAND Casland had a Post Office from 1919-1930. It was located in the fork of the Teanaway River, 6 miles north of Cle Elum. It was founded in the 1890's, reached a peak population of 400, and by the 1930's had disappeared. It was a railroad town with a water tank for steam engines.
CHERRY CREEK It is by Kittitas, in the eastern part of the lower valley. It was also known as Warm Spring Creek.
CLE ELUM Judge Thomas L. GAMBLE founded Cle Elum in April of 1883 along the Yakima River, 20 miles NW of Ellensburg. His claim was in Section 26, Township 20N, Range 15E. The second settler was his friend Walter J. REED. Cle Elum first had a Post Office in 1887. Cle Elum is situated on the upper Yakima River, just below where the Cle Elum River enters the Yakima. It is on the main line of the Burlington Northern - Santa Fe (originally the Northern Pacific RR). The trains still go through town, but no longer stop there. In 1900 the population was under 300, by 1904 it had a population of 1,500. The 2000 US Census lists its population as 1,755. Today the town is growing quickly due to the establishment of a new large planned community (Suncadia Resort), which is situated to the west of the main part of Cle Elum. It has also been known as Clealum.
COCKEN Cocken was a post office location from 1885-1886. The exact location is not known, but it is possibly near S8, T20N, R22E.
CLIFFDELL Cliffdell was a Post Office from 1924-1934 along the Naches River about 25 miles northwest of Naches. It is near the Kittitas Co. and Yakima Co. lines.
COLEMAN CREEK Coleman Creek was originally known as Altapes Creek. It flows south through the lower valley to the south foothills and to the Yakima River. It was named for Charles Coleman.
COLOCKUM PASS This is the area of the Wenatchee Mountains that the stage line passed over, following the old Indian trail called the Colockum Trail.
COOKE CANYON and CREEK This in the Wenatchee Mountains (north side of county). The creek runs from the Wenatchee Mts. to the southern foothills where it joins the Yakima River.
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DENMARK Denmark was by the south foothills of the County, southeast of Ellensburg. It was settled in the 1890's by Danish families, hence the name.
DUDLEY Dudley was a flag station on the Northern Pacific. It was located between Thorp and Bristol.
EASTON Easton was a railroad station village situated along the east side of the Yakima River. It had a Post Office beginning in 1890. It is 13 miles northwest of Cle Elum. The town was platted by A.O. and W. W. JOHNSON in 1902. The plat was on 3 acres in Township 20N, Range 13E. The early population had lumbering and railroad occupations; it had a well-known sawmill. The population in 1904 was 150; the 2000 US Census gives a population of 383. Today it also sits along I-90, it has a few merchants and a school.
ELLENSBURG Ellensburg was founded on Wilson Creek, about 3 miles from its confluence with the Yakima River. Andrew Jackson SPLAWN had a store that in 1871 was sold to John A. SHOUDY and William DENNIS. SPLAWN's store had the name "Robber's Roost", but Mr. SHOUDY renamed it Ellensburgh in honor of his wife. The final h in the name was dropped in 1894 by the post office. In 1872 the SHOUDY's erected a second cabin and Jacob BECKER started a blacksmith shop. In 1873 Ellensburg got a Post Office. The SHOUDY's recorded the first plat in 1875 in Section 2, Township 17N, Range 18E. In 1886 the Northern Pacific was built through the town. At Statehood, the local citizens petitioned for Ellensburgh to become the capital of the new state, but the honor was given to Olympia instead. On July 4, 1889, a fire destroyed most of the business district and much of the residential area. The city was given the State Normal School in 1890, which became Central Washington College of Education, then Central Washington State College, and is now Central Washington University. Ellensburg is known today for its Labor Day Rodeo (since 1923), Ellensburg Blues (agates), and Jazz in the Valley festival. Ellensburg was the home of artist John CLYMER who did more than 80 Saturday Evening Post covers; his art is shown in the Clymer Museum on Pearl Street. The 2000 population was 15,414 according to the US Census, and housing developments continue to add to its edges constantly these days.
FAIRVIEW DISTRICT Fairview District is in the northeast part of the valley, east of the Yakima River.
FISH LAKE MINES This area was 31 miles by stage from Cle Elum (listed in the 1920 Kittitas Co. phone directory).
GALENA Galena was located at the junction of Camp Creek with the Cle Elum River in the Cle Elum mineral district, about 30 miles northwest of Roslyn. The town site was platted by A. F. YORK, a County surveyor in 1890. It was intended to be the large town in the Upper Cle Elum area and was the terminus of the old Northern Pacific survey into the mining country. Thirty-five blocks were platted and many sold, but it existed in name only. However, it was a Post Office location from 1905-1909.
HYAK Hyak was located along the Milwaukee Railroad at the east end of the Snoqualmie Tunnel, 17 miles NW of Easton. It had a Post Office from 1919-1958. Today Hyak has a ski resort area known as Summit East, between Snoqualmie Pass and Lake Keechelus. Its 1920 population was 30.
JONESVILLE The company town of Beekman, just north of Ronald, was known also as Jonesville. Charlie JONES was the mine superintendent. From 1913-1928 300 miners and their families lived there. It was a stop on the Northern Pacific Railroad line. Jonesville (Beekman) no longer exists.
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KEECHELUS Keechelus was a Post Office from 1915-1919. The exact location of the Post Office is no longer known, but it was near the lake. It is 22 miles northwest of Cle Elum. In 1920 the population was 25.
KEECHELUS DAM CONSTRUCTION CAMP This camp was home to about 700 people from 1912-1917. It was located about 5 miles south of Hyak, on the downstream side of Keechelus Dam. In about 2000, the US Bureau of Reclamation had an archaeological dig of the site done.
KITTITAS Kittitas was platted in April 1884 by the Kittitas Improvement Company. J. D. DAMMON was president and Austin MIRES was secretary of the company. The project was later abandoned. The town was established finally in 1889, but was not incorporated until 1931. It was on the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad, and the depot is the only remaining feature of the yards that were there. The Depot has been put on the National Register of Historic Places. Kittitas today has a population of 1,105 (2000 US Census). It has a few stores, a post office (opened in 1909), a small city library, and its own School District. It sits about 1 mile north of I-90 and is about 7 miles east of Ellensburg.
LAKEDALE Lakedale was a village on the Roslyn branch of the Northern Pacific Railroad, 4 miles west of Roslyn.
LAUDERDALE Lauderdale was located at the junction of Highway 97 and Highway 970 on Swauk Creek. The place was originally called McCallum after Peter McCALLUM established a store there in 1882 and a post office in 1884, to serve miners in the Swauk Mining Camp and farmers on Swauk Prarie. The post office closed in 1897 and the area came to be called Virden because Virden School was located there. In 1921 Lloyd LAUDERDALE opened a gas station and lodge and the area then became known as Lauderdale. In 1973 the State Department of Transportation realigned the road and destroyed the station. The area is now without a name on the map.
LIBERTY Liberty is the name of a historic gold mining camp on Williams Creek, two miles off Highway 97, twenty-two miles from Ellensburg and seventeen miles from Cle Elum. The area was first settled in 1873 when gold was discovered in Swauk Creek near the mouth of Williams Creek. The camp was called Swauk mining camp. Soon there was a second camp two miles up Williams Creek and it was called Williams Creek mining camp. In 1892 a post office was established in the Swauk mining camp, but the postal authorities would not allow it to be called Swauk Post Office because there was already a Sauk Post Office on the Sauk River. Instead it was named Liberty. In 1897 the Williams Creek mining camp was renamed Meaghersville after a miner who discovered a major gold deposit at the site and who had a store there. Mining activity gradually moved from Liberty on the Swauk to Meaghersville on Williams Creek. In 1912 the Post Office was moved, building, sign and all, to Meaghersville and Meaghersville gradually came to be called Liberty. Map makers have been confused about the location of Liberty ever since. Today Liberty on Swauk Creek does not exist and Liberty on Williams Creek is a seventeen acre historic district with a population of 14.
LONEROCK Lonerock was a Post Office that began in Chelan County in 1904, but was located in Kittitas County from 1907-1908. It was located at the Gulick farmhouse, 15 miles south of Galena on the Colockum Pass Road.
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MANASTASH RIDGE, CANYON AND CREEK Manastash is a main ridge along the south side of the valley, south of Ellensburg, with the Yakima River Canyon cutting through the mid-section of the ridge. Manastash Creek was the site of the Mission built in 1848 by the Catholic missionaries. Today I-82 cuts through the ridge.
MARTIN Martin was a flag station and railroad construction camp on the Northern Pacific Railroad, and also known as Tunnel City. It was located along the old Seattle-Walla Walla Trail. Platted in 1886, it had a Post Office from 1892-1902. It was located 4-1/2 miles northwest of Easton, at the eastern end of the Stampede Tunnel. It had a few small businesses.
McCALLUM McCallum was the name of a store and stage stop established by Peter McCALLUM in 1882 on Swauk Creek at the present junction of Highway 97 and Highway 970, eighteen miles northwest of Ellensburg. It had a Post Office from 1884 to 1897. The area was later called Virden and then Lauderdale. Today it does not have a name on the map.
MEADOWBROOK Meadowbrook was a Post Office from 1913-1916. It was located at the southeast end of Lake Keechelus, along the Milwaukee Railroad.
MEADOW CREEK Meadow Creek, population 100 in 1920, was at that time a discontinued Post office location on the Yakima River and Milwaukee RR, 25 miles from Cle Elum. Mail went to Keechelus.
MEAGHERSVILLE Meaghersville (pronounced Mearsville) was the name of a gold mining camp on Williams Creek. Originally it was simply called Williams Creek camp. Then it was briefly referred to as New Yakima and in 1897 the name Meaghersville was adopted. Thomas MEAGHER had discovered an old channel gold deposit and had a prosperous mine at the location on Williams Creek. He, together with Charles BIGNEY another prosperous miner, laid out a townsite that was name Meaghersville. In 1912 the Liberty Post Office was moved to Meaghersville and Meaghersville gradually came to be called Liberty. Liberty still exists as a living ghost town with a population of 14.
MILTON The Milton Post Office, 1881-1884, was actually housed in several farm homes. All of these farms were about a mile or so northwest of Thorp.
MINERAL SPRINGS Mineral Springs is a campground and restaurant in the Wenatchee National Forest near where Medicine Creek enters Swauk Creek, along Highway 97 near Blewett Pass. It was originally called Sulpher Springs and was a favorite place for camping and taking mineral baths. The mineral springs no longer exist, but the name lives on.
MOUNTAIN HOME Mountain Home was at the present juntion of the old Blewett pass highway and the new Blewett Pass highway on Swauk Creek at the mouth of Hurley Creek. SASSA's Ranch was a wagon stop on the original wagon road between the Swauk gold mining camp and the Peshastin gold mining camp. There also was a sawmill at the site which burned in 1921. Mountain Home on Blewett Pass no longer exists. Mountain Home was also the name of the COFFIN Ranch on Colockum Pass. It does still exist.
MURDOCK NANEUM CREEK and CANYON This was the location of one of the first Catholic missions. The Creek Crosses the lower valley and meets Yakima by the southern foothills.
NELSON Nelson first boomed in the 1880's when the Northern Pacific Railway came through. It was on the Yakima River 6 miles south of Easton and Cle Elum was the closest post office, though Nelson did have it's own post office in 1905. It was a town of loggers and miners. There was a school there from 1910-1935, and in 1935 the population was 50.
NEW YAKIMA New Yakima was an early name of the Liberty area. Also see the information on Williams Creek and Meaghersville.
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OREN Oren was another name for the Milton Post Office, in the same area (northwest of Thorp), but from 1884-1891.
PLEASANT GROVE Pleasant Grove had a Post Office after Taneum, from 1872-1881. The Post Office, however, was located in different homes during that time period.
RECLAMATION Reclamation was a Post Office from 1922-1923. It was located near the end of Lake Keechelus.
REECER CREEK Reecer Creek runs from the north to the Yakima River, on the west side of Ellensburg.
ROBBER'S ROOST Robber's Roost was the store that was originally formed by A. J. (Jack) SPLAWN and Ben BURCH in 1870. They sold the store to John A. SHOUDY in 1872. Mr. SHOUDY renamed the community that sprung up around it Ellensburg in honor of his wife. (See Ellensburg above)
ROBINSON CANYON Robinson Canyon is northwest of Ellensburg between Manastash Creek and Taneum Creek.
RONALD Ronald lies at the mouth of the No. 3 mine of the Roslyn Coal District, 2 miles northwest of the city of Roslyn. In 1904 it was described as having a discontinued post office (which had opened in 1890) and no business establishments, with a population that had numbered 2,200 at one time. The closure of the mine removed the city's support. In 1920 the city had a population of 700. The city was named for Alexander RONALD, an early superintendent of the mines. Today there is a small community with a store and a tavern.
ROSLYN Roslyn was a coal-mining town, which opened to the commercial world in 1886, but coal was discovered there in 1885. Logan M. BULLITT platted the site of Roslyn at the mouth of the mines; he was a vice president of the Northern Pacific Coal Company at the time. Roslyn is located 3 miles NW of Cle Elum, at Section 17, Township 20N, Range 15E. The Post Office there opened in 1887. At one time the town was connected to Cle Elum, which is 4 miles away, by a freight train on a short branch line. With the many nationalities that came to work in the mines, Roslyn developed a very unique cemetery. There are 3 city and about 23 fraternal and ethnic cemeteries in a small area next to the town. The 1920 population was 4,200. Today's population is 1,017 according to the 2000 US Census.
ROWAN Rowan was a Post Office from 1911-1912 and was renamed Wymer in 1912. It was on the Yakima River 16 miles southeast of Ellensburg, along the Northern Pacific Railroad.
ROZA Roza was a flag station for the Northern Pacific Railroad. It was situated 21 miles south of Ellensburg in the Yakima River canyon, and 10 miles north of Yakima. It had a Post Office from 1904-1935. The 1920 population was 60. Today there is a dam and a BLM recreation site.
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SALMOM LA SAC Between 1890 and 1900 about 1,000 people lived in this area, mostly miners and loggers. In 1912 French investors built a railroad depot there for an interurban line that was to run to Yakima, but it was never built. Today that depot is a US Forest Service Guard Station.
SNOQUALMIE PASS This is a small community at the far west edge of Kittitas County. It has a ski area, currently known as Summit West. 2000 population is 201.
SOUTH CLE ELUM South Cle Elum is located along the Milwaukee Railroad line. It less than 1 mile south and across the river from Cle Elum. The Post Office opened there in 1909. According to the US Census of 2000, its population is 457.
SPARTA Sparta was located 3 miles southwest of Ellensburg, on the west side of the Yakima River. It had a Post Office from 1879-1882.
STAMPEDE It was a flag station of the Northern Pacific Railroad, 49 miles NW of Ellensburg. Easton was the post office.
SULFER SPRINGS Area now known as Mineral Springs (see above).
SWAUK Swauk was the original name of the gold mining camp on Swauk Creek at the mouth of Williams Creek. It was started in 1873 and in 1892 was renamed Liberty when a post office was established in the camp. The post office was moved the Meaghersville in 1912 and Meaghersville came to be called Liberty. Swauk and old Liberty no longer exist.
SWAUK MINING DISTRICT The mining district was formed in 1873.
SWAUK PRAIRIE Although some books show this as having a settlement, researchers have not found this to be anything other than a prairie area in the county.
TAMARACK SPRINGS Tamarack Springs is on State land today, southwest of Kittitas.
TANEUM The Post Office there closed in 1870. Taneum Canyon and Creek are about 2 miles NW of Thorp.
TEANAWAY CITY Teanaway City was platted in 1885 by Henry ORTLEY, and a Post Office was located there from 1885-1901. In it's heyday it had quite a few shops and businesses. By 1888 the businesses there moved to Cle Elum and the town had all but disappeared. The last operating place was the depot, which closed in 1909. It was located along the Northern Pacific Railroad tracks, near the current Teanaway Junction area. This is along the Yakima River, about 4 miles southeast of Cle Elum.
THORP Thorp is a farming town, about 8 miles northwest of Ellensburg and 17 miles southeast of Cle Elum. In 1904 it had a population of approximately 200; in 1920, 375; today's population is about 273 (2000 US Census). It is situated on the west bank of the Yakima River. The main line of the Northern Pacific Railroad used to run through town, so it was an important shipping point at one time. Currently the Burlington Northern-Santa Fe Railroad runs there, but the train does not stop. It had a Post Office beginning in 1881. John N. and Sarah Isabel NEWMAN filed the first town site plat 9 July 1895. In May 1900, Milford A. and M. THORP added Thorp's Addition to the town. In 1885 Milford THORP (who settled here in 1879) bought James McMURRAY's claim and it became the land the town stood on.
THRALL Thrall was a flag station on the Northern Pacific Railroad. It was located about 5 miles southeast of Ellensburg. From 1911-1915 it was a Post Office location. Its 1920 population was 200.
TUNNEL CITY Tunnel City is a town site project that came to nothing. J.S. WISNER laid out the city in 1886. It was to be at the eastern end of the Stampede Tunnel. The area was also the Post Office of Martin. Today nothing remains.
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UMTANUM Umtanum was a flag station on the Northern Pacific Railroad. It was 13 miles southeast of Ellensburg, at the mouth of the Umtanum Creek (today called Umptanum), on the west bank of the Yakima River. A Post Office was located there from 1906-1911.
VANTAGE Vantage is 26 miles east of Ellensburg, along the Columbia River. A bridge across the Columbia River was built there in 1927. The original town was moved uphill when it was flooded by the water held back by Wanapum Dam. It had a post office from 1945-1964. Today it is also known as the location of Gingko Petrified Forest. It is a small community; the 2000 population is 70 (US Census).
VIRDEN Virden was located at the junction of Highway 97 and Highway 970, along the Swauk Creek. It was originally called McCallum because of the McCallum Post Office there from 1884 to 1897. George VIRDEN came to the area in 1876 and homesteaded on a ranch on Swauk Creek and also mined gold in the mountains east of Liberty. The Virden school was started on his land and the area came to be called Virden. Later it became Lauderdale. Today it does not have a name on the map.
WENASS (today known as Wenas) "The Wenas" (the Wenas Wildlife Area of the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife) is an area of mountain ridges and foothills. It is south of Ellensburg, and west of the Yakima River Canyon.
WHISKEY DICK CANYON Whiskey Dick Canyon is on the east edge of Kittitas County, and drops from the Kittitas Valley to the Columbia River. It has an intermittent creek. Today it's name titles a well-known annual triathlon, which has a climb from the River to the valley as one of its sections.
WILLIAM'S CREEK William's Creek was the original name of a gold mining camp on Williams Creek two miles from its junction with Swauk Creek. It was briefly called New Yakima and then, in 1897 was named Meaghersville. In 1912 the Liberty Post Office was moved to Meaghersville and the area became known as Liberty. Liberty still exists and has a population of 14.
WILSON CREEK This creek was named for William WILSON who was the first settler in the Kittitas Valley. It runs through the County Fairgrounds on the east side of Ellensburg.
WYMER Wymer was settled in 1906, and was a Post Office location from 1912-1938. It was a Northern Pacific Railroad flag station in the Yakima Canyon, 16 miles SE of Ellensburg. Its 1920 population was 114. (See Rowan)
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