The name is of Yakama origin, Wa pa too", which is an edible root of great value to Yakimas and settlers alike. Settlers have been in the area since as early as 1885. In 1903, the Postal Service changed the name of the town from Simcoe to Wapato, because Simcoe was too much like Fort Simcoe. This fourth class town was landlocked by Yakama Nation property but was progressive enough to have a newspaper, Wapato Independent, and postal and telephone service. City Hall, police station, jail, and fire protection were 1909 projects. Power came to Wapato in 1910. The 1911 project was a water system. The first Buddhist temple in Washington is here in Wapato. The main industry of Wapato is farming and ranching. This drew many different groups of settlers that have made the town diverse, Japanese, Filipino, Hispanic, and white. Diversity has given our town its uniqueness which is celebrated throughout the year at different events. The City is still renowned for its metal sculptures, fresh fruit and vegetable stands, and nearby wineries.