The west shore. (Portland, Or.) 1875-1891, June 01, 1884, Page 192, Image 29

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N 1R3 the Territorial Legislature divided tlie large
uniiifvfif Yiiltima. nnd of the northern nortion formed
the county of Kittitim. The new county lies very near
1110 goograpliiciu center oi me lemiiory, iineo-iuuiwio m
it being nortli of tlie forty-sixth parallel. On the north
the Wenatchee River forms its boundary line; on the
w vnt the great Columbia Hows between it and the great
bunch grass plateau known as the "Big Bend Country ;'
Yakima County lies to the south; and on the west it
meets the counties of King mid Pierce on the summit
ridge of tlie Cascade Mountains. Its area of 3.G00 square
mileH presents a surface generally mountainous and rug
god, interspersed with well-watered and fertile valleyB in
the nortli and west, sinking toward the southeast into
beautiful rolling hills and broad stretches of grassy plain.
The nutritious bunch grass, tlie "stockman's friend,"
covers the plains and hills and throws its picket line far
up the sloping sides of the mountains.
Naturally the loading industry was stock raising for
many years after the first Battlement of the country. The
mnjority of those who engaged in this business now con
stitute tho wealthiest citizens of the county. Twenty
yoara ago this groat industry began, and it is only ten
years since the great fertility of the soil induced many
settlors to engage in farming. The soil is peculiarly
adapted to the growth of cereals. Wheat avorages from
thirty to thirty-five bushels to the acre in the Kittitas
Valley, barley forty, and oats from forty-five to fifty.
This yield is maintained year after year. Drought is
unknown, tho irrigating ditches that rim the valley in all
directions supplying a ceaseless How of pure water from
tho immorons mountain streams. Vegetables grow abun
dantly and of large size, while all kinds of borries thrive.
The principal valley is that of Kittitas, about thirty
five miles long and ton wide. Through it runs the
Yakima River in a southeasterly direction. On the east
side of tho stream, and near the center of the valley, lies
Ellousburg.the county seat, a thriving town of 500 inhab
itants. It was founded many years ago by Hon John
Shandy, now representing Kittitas and Yakima counties
m tho Territorial Legislature. With his family he
settled there and built a trading post, about which the
town has gradually gathered. It contains quite a num
or of largo building., nearly every kind of business
Wing reprnkHl There are four large general store
of merchandise, three hotels, a bank, three blacksmith
shop, three drug stores, two saddlery shops, one
..ry store, d several feed stables, restaurants, bakery
oUv Two week y papers aro published, and tho poo, e
enjoy ho advances of a daily mail d conned X
stage lino with Yak ma and point, beyond to the JubT
...i and the ra.lroml A school house w,ich cost S"
i ono of the institutions of the town Pro nZ '
Wing made to found an academy tV 1 1 7
W the auspices of the Si , JS?
Two church organisations exist, and for one u Z?8
m conm of construction, Five rist e " f lho6 "
number of sawmill, are locntcd
valley, which supply flour and lumber to Yakima and
Kittitas counties, and even across the Columbia to tlio
Big Bend.
The altitude of Ellensburg is 1,500 feet above the sea
level. The winter weather is clear and cold, the ther
mometer in extreme seasons reaching 30 degrees below
zero. This is seldom, however, and the usual winter
weather is sunny and bracing. Snow occasionally falls
to the depth of two feet, but soon succumbs to the melt
ing breath of the Chinook wind, which does not neglect
Kittitas in its travels inland. The most disagreeable
feature of the climate are the strong winds of spring and
summer, but to these one quickly becomes accustomed.
Taken as a whole, tho climate is an' agreeable one, the
summers being pleasant and not too warm, and the winter
clear and invigorating, without extended periods of cold
Wenatchee Valley, lying along the northern boundary
of the county, has a much lower altitude than Kittitas,
and is better adapted to fruit culture. Miller & Freer,
the pioneers of Wenatchee, have long kept a trading post
at the mouth of that stream, and possess an orchard that
yields fruit in abundance. This finds a ready market at
good prices across the mountains in Ellensburg, and in
the Wenatchee Valley itself. The valley is as yet thinly
settled, and good homes may be found here by industri
ous men upon Government land. Many of the settlers
are setting out small orchards and vineyards, and the
luscious peaches, grapes and apples of the Wenatchee
will find a more extended market throughout that portion
of.the Territory.
About twenty miles from Ellensburg is Swauk Creek,
a considerable mountain stream discharging into the
Yakima. Here are a number of settlements nestling m
the little valleys along its course, and some five miles up
the stream from where it is first approached by the road
from Ellensburg are the Swauk placer mines. The
coarse gold of these mines is their'distinguishing feature.
Lumps and nuggets are found ranging from one dollar to
seven hundred. Considerable gold has been taken out,
but the diggings are deep and the. gold irregularly dis
tributed, rendering it difficult to follow the lead. The
mines are worked by a few white men and a number of
Chinamen. Several quartz ledges of much promise have
been discovered and are being prospected. A mill has
been erected. Fifteen miles further into the mountains
are the well-known quartz mines of Peshastin and Nig
ger creeks, which were first worked in 1861 and aban
doned in the stampede for the mines, of Idaho. Of late
years several rich veins of ore have been worked by
arastras, and the Schaffer mine has a six-stamp mill
running on good rock. This mine has been developed
without the aid of outside capital, and has been to
unusual expense in making roads and bringing in
Directly westward from the Swauk settlements are to
be found many homes on the plateaus and slopes border
jng the Teanaway, and still further west in the valley of
the upper Yakima. Here is a large area of cultivable