Tag Archives: Washington

Male Sage-grouse

“Really Fantastic and Great to Behold”

Take a closer look at the Great sage-grouse, a native bird species that was endangered by loss of habitat in the Columbia River region. This unusual bird plays an important cultural and environmental role in the desert lands of Oregon and Washington, and efforts are being made by the Yakama Nation to improve habitat and increase the number of sage-grouse living here. more >

Western Pond Turtles, familiarly known as Mud Turtles, once thrived near Fort Vancouver. By Jerry Kirkhart via Wikimedia Commons

Vancouver: Land of the Mud Turtles

By Mary Rose One hundred miles above the mouth of the Columbia River, the Hudson’s Bay Company built its premier fort in the West. The French Canadians called it “Jolie Prairie”[1] but long before the presence of outsiders, Native Americans … more >

A Russian Cossack served as overseer of the Chinese laborers at Ainsworth, WT in the 1880's. Note the "Barracks" train cars at the right that housed the thousands of workers who converged on the railroad community practically overnight. Photo courtesy Frank County Museum.

Town Vanishes: Dust, Bust and Railroads of Ainsworth

Each Confluence site has countless stories that remain invisible. The Confluence Story Circles at the convergence of the Snake and Columbia Rivers remind us that this was a trading and gathering place for indigenous people for millennia. For a very short period however, it was also the town of Ainsworth. If you’ve never heard of it, that’s because it vanished. more >

Color plate from a 1906 Toppenish Nursery Sales  Representative’s Guide

How Native Farmers Shaped the Northwest Apple Industry, Part 2: Snake River and Yakima Valley

When you bite into a northwest apple, you are tasting the history of this region. Washington State is the largest producer of apples in America. The well-known roots of this industry are connected to historic sites along the Columbia River system. What’s not so well known is the significant role Native American farmers played in the early years of modern apple production, as they adapted to tectonic changes brought by settlers. Part two of this series explores how apple production spread to eastern and central Washington. more >