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Waterville, WA
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member BK-Hunters
N 47° 38.836 W 120° 04.235
10T E 719997 N 5281255
Quick Description: The county seat of Douglas County, Waterville is the largest town in the county, with a population of around 1,200.
Location: Washington, United States
Date Posted: 1/31/2019 2:24:28 PM
Waymark Code: WM1005E
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member Math Teacher
Views: 0

Long Description:
The writers of the American Guide Series Book, Washington: a guide to the Evergreen State stopped by Waterville for a quick visit, jotting down the following tidbit of Waterville history.
WATERVILLE (2,617 alt-, 939 pop.). Clay pits and limestone quarries add to the town's revenue. Waterville has had three names: it was Okanogan City in 1884, when it was the main stopping point on the road to the Okanogan country toward the north; later it was called Jumper's Flats because of claim-jumping activity prior to the construction of the railroad; it was finally platted as Waterville, when water was secured from a 3O-foot well. Horse racing is an annual fall event, with a pari-mutuel track operating under the Washington State Racing Commission.
From Washington: a guide to the Evergreen State, Page 313
Douglas and Lincoln Counties were created in 1883, 6 years before Washington was to become a state. Were it not for the lobbying efforts of a Mr. J. W. Adams, a "professional townsite boomer", there would have been only a Lincoln County. The original county seat was a place named Okanogan City, later to become the present day hamlet of Douglas. A 24 foot by 36 foot store was built on the site and was used as the county courthouse. When it turned out that there was no usable water to be had the county seat was moved six miles west to a new town named, quite appropriately, Waterville. The county legally became a county in 1888 and a small shack, the second building on the site, was built. In 1889 a permanent courthouse was built, a substantial two storey wood frame building which managed to survive several years before burning down.

By this time a number of wood frame buildings had been built in Waterville, but a block south of the present downtown core. The construction of the large First National Bank building caused others to build commercial and retail establishments near to it, rather than on Walnut Street. Soon, Waterville's downtown began to stretch west along Locust Street, all buildings built subsequently being of brick construction. The notable exception of the Centennial Feed Building stands across Chelan Avenue from the First National Bank building, as does the Douglas County Bank building, erected in 1910-11, a Neoclassical structure and the building most easily recognized as a bank.

All downtown buildings are of brick, save for the Centennial Feed Building, a single storey wood framed building on the west side of North Chelan. The brick for the district was manufactured locally in brick yards, first established in 1889. The oldest structure in the district, on the northeast corner of Locust Street and Chelan Avenue, is the First National Bank/Kincaid/IOOF Block, constructed in 1891.

In the 1892 photo below the First National Bank, the only brick building yet built in the district, is the large building furthest in the distance on the left. In the contemporary photo it's the white building on the left. All the wood frame buildings, of course, are now long gone.

Crowning the Waterville Plateau, the small community of Waterville is surrounded by large expanses of wheat fields, and a spectacular view of the majestic Cascade Mountain Range. Founded in 1885 and incorporated in 1889 by the Territorial Charter, it holds the long-standing claim as the highest incorporated town in Washington State with an elevation of 2,622 feet above sea level.

Waterville was established as the Douglas County seat on May 2, 1887, with a population of several hundred people. The most recent survey places the population at 1,140. Residents here enjoy a relaxed lifestyle and reasonable cost of living, a diverse economy with potential for growth, and access to high-speed fiber via the Douglas County Community Network.

Visitors will enjoy the many historic buildings, Waterville Museum, Pioneer Park, a municipal pool, the Badger Mountain Ski Area, snowmobiling, snow kiting, and more. It is also the home of the North Central Washington Fair held each year the third week of August. Check out the "Visting" tab for more things to do in Waterville.
From the Town of Waterville

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Book: Washington

Page Number(s) of Excerpt: 313

Year Originally Published: 1941

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