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City Of Othello

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500 E Main St, Othello, WA 99344
http://www.othellowashington.us
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(509) 488-5686 Additional Contacts
 
Cattle Era Settlement in the Othello area began in 1871 when the Hutchisons erected a cabin on Crab Creek west of the present City of Othello where they started a cattle ranch. Others settled in the Othello area also raising cattle. The nearest civili...read more
Cattle Era Settlement in the Othello area began in 1871 when the Hutchisons erected a cabin on Crab Creek west of the present City of Othello where they started a cattle ranch. Others settled in the Othello area also raising cattle. The nearest civilization was the army depot at White Bluff south of Saddle Mountains. In 1881, the town of Cunningham on the new Northern Pacific Railroad at the base of Providence Hill was platted to serve the southern Big Bend area. Homestead Era Homesteaders began to arrive in 1901. Without a water source, there was no natural place to start a community. Scattered shacks for houses, stores, post office and schools spread between the Adams Cemetery at Highway 26/Foley Road and the only water, Crab Creek. Railroad Era In 1907, a town site was platted and built by the Milwaukee Land Company when the location of the new railroad division point was determined. By 1909, Chicago/Seattle trains were passing through the new community, which by that time had a population of 250. In 1910, the Othello Plat was incorporated as a fourth-class city. In 1909, the Northern Pacific Railroad built a spur from Palouse (Connell) through a new platted community six miles east of Othello. It was named Bruce and was the favored train route to Portland and Pullman. In 1920, Othello area had a population of 649, but stabilized around 400 after the railroad yards, roundhouse and electrification were completed. In addition to being a terminal point for the electric locomotives west to Seattle and the steam locomotives east to Chicago, Othello was one of six rail car icing stations west of Milwaukee and was a livestock watering stop. The Milwaukee Railroad abandoned the trackage in 1980 and the line from Warden to Othello was purchased by the Burlington Northern Railroad and is now operated by a short line. Dry Land Era During the devastating drought of 1928-1931, most of the homesteaders left the arid land, although a few remained to prosper in the low rolling hills east of Othello. These dry land farms had to cultivate thousands of acres because the yield of wheat was so low and due to lack of water, they could only get a crop every other year. The difficulty in producing enough feed without irrigation water for the hundreds of horses it took to operate these huge farms, restricted prosperity until the advent of the crawler tractor in the 1930s. Irrigation Influence With only 9 inches of rain a year, water was needed to irrigate the rich, fertile soil of the basin within the big bend of the Columbia River. In 1942, Grand Coulee Dam was completed. By 1950, construction work in the Columbia Basin Irrigation Project had progressed sufficiently to irrigate land around Othello. Construction workers had started to move into the area and the towns population had climbed to 526. In 1947, the Bureau of Reclamation located their district offices and housing for hundreds of workers on the north east side of town. The first irrigation water arrived in the Othello area in 1952 and by 1960, the citys population had reached 2,669. Radar Base Contribution Located 6 miles south of Othello is the Othello Radar Station. The station was the base for the 637th Radar Squadron and was an important link in the cold war defense. It was established in 1951 and had a crew of 200 men. The base was deactivated in 1973. In the late 50s, three Titan missile bases were built in the area. (Royal City, Warden and Batum) The construction, operating and decommissioning crews of these missile bases were part of Othello for 10 years. Industrial Growth The City got its first industry in 1958 when an ice plant was constructed to ice the produce boxcars at the Railroads new Othello Icing Station. Later the ice plant shipped ice blocks to the Seattle and Montana Icing Stations. French fry production plants soon followed and have grown to become the major economic base for the community followed by other agriculture production and processing activities. By 1968, t
 
 

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Cattle Era Settlement in the Othello area began in 1871 when the Hutchisons erected a cabin on Crab Creek west of the present City of Othello where they started a cattle ranch. Others settled in the Othello area also raising cattle. The nearest civilization was the army depot at White Bluff south of Saddle Mountains. In 1881, the town of Cunningham on the new Northern Pacific Railroad at the base of Providence Hill was platted to serve the southern Big Bend area. Homestead Era Homesteaders began to arrive in 1901. Without a water source, there was no natural place to start a community. Scattered shacks for houses, stores, post office and schools spread between the Adams Cemetery at Highway 26/Foley Road and the only water, Crab Creek. Railroad Era In 1907, a town site was platted and built by the Milwaukee Land Company when the location of the new railroad division point was determined. By 1909, Chicago/Seattle trains were passing through the new community, which by that time had a population of 250. In 1910, the Othello Plat was incorporated as a fourth-class city. In 1909, the Northern Pacific Railroad built a spur from Palouse (Connell) through a new platted community six miles east of Othello. It was named Bruce and was the favored train route to Portland and Pullman. In 1920, Othello area had a population of 649, but stabilized around 400 after the railroad yards, roundhouse and electrification were completed. In addition to being a terminal point for the electric locomotives west to Seattle and the steam locomotives east to Chicago, Othello was one of six rail car icing stations west of Milwaukee and was a livestock watering stop. The Milwaukee Railroad abandoned the trackage in 1980 and the line from Warden to Othello was purchased by the Burlington Northern Railroad and is now operated by a short line. Dry Land Era During the devastating drought of 1928-1931, most of the homesteaders left the arid land, although a few remained to prosper in the low rolling hills east of Othello. These dry land farms had to cultivate thousands of acres because the yield of wheat was so low and due to lack of water, they could only get a crop every other year. The difficulty in producing enough feed without irrigation water for the hundreds of horses it took to operate these huge farms, restricted prosperity until the advent of the crawler tractor in the 1930s. Irrigation Influence With only 9 inches of rain a year, water was needed to irrigate the rich, fertile soil of the basin within the big bend of the Columbia River. In 1942, Grand Coulee Dam was completed. By 1950, construction work in the Columbia Basin Irrigation Project had progressed sufficiently to irrigate land around Othello. Construction workers had started to move into the area and the towns population had climbed to 526. In 1947, the Bureau of Reclamation located their district offices and housing for hundreds of workers on the north east side of town. The first irrigation water arrived in the Othello area in 1952 and by 1960, the citys population had reached 2,669. Radar Base Contribution Located 6 miles south of Othello is the Othello Radar Station. The station was the base for the 637th Radar Squadron and was an important link in the cold war defense. It was established in 1951 and had a crew of 200 men. The base was deactivated in 1973. In the late 50s, three Titan missile bases were built in the area. (Royal City, Warden and Batum) The construction, operating and decommissioning crews of these missile bases were part of Othello for 10 years. Industrial Growth The City got its first industry in 1958 when an ice plant was constructed to ice the produce boxcars at the Railroads new Othello Icing Station. Later the ice plant shipped ice blocks to the Seattle and Montana Icing Stations. French fry production plants soon followed and have grown to become the major economic base for the community followed by other agriculture production and processing activities. By 1968, t