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Brewster, Washington
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member BK-Hunters
N 48° 05.920 W 119° 46.771
11U E 293065 N 5331004
Quick Description: Incorporated on April 29, 1910, Brewster lies on the north bank of the Columbia River, just west of its confluence with the Okanogan River.
Location: Washington, United States
Date Posted: 2/9/2019 4:07:21 PM
Waymark Code: WM101X2
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member Math Teacher
Views: 0

Long Description:
In 1811, David Stewart of Astor's Pacific Fur Company established Fort Okanogan on the Okanogan River, the first American fur trading post in Washington, just north of the present site of Brewster. While not really a gold rush town, the Brewster area did experience a gold rush in 1859, well before Brewster came to be settled. Later in the nineteenth century, well after the gold seekers had moved on, cattle and sheep ranchers began to settle in the area. Brewster was founded in 1896, with a post office called Brewster beginning operation in 1898.

Being on the main road leading up and down the Columbia Valley, Brewster was graced with a visit by the writers of the American Guide Series Book, Washington: a guide to the Evergreen State, making the following observations concerning the (then) village:

BREWSTER, 77 m. (812 alt., 447 pop.), at the confluence of the Okanogan and Columbia Rivers, a village of a few new brick and many old frame buildings, surrounded by lawn-bordered houses scattered among the sagebrush, is an oasis in this desert country. Originally, it was a junction point for navigation on the Okanogan and Columbia Rivers. The first attempt to build here was in 1892, but the depression of 1893 delayed development. In 1896 a steamboat company, which had been mooring across the river at Fort Columbia and was desirous of establishing a new landing, purchased the present site of Brewster from one John Bruster, whose name has been altered in naming the town.
From Washington: a guide to the Evergreen State, Page 459
With unlimited irrigation water available from the river, it soon became apparent that fruit growing had a future in the area, with thousands of acres of orchards being planted in the area. Today the city has four fruit packing houses, shipping several million boxes of fruit annually. As a result of the great amount of labour required by the fruit growing industry, large numbers of migrant labourers were drawn to the area to work in the orchards. Many of these labourers came from Mexico and many of them chose to remain in the area permanently, giving Brewster and area a large and vibrant Hispanic speaking community. This is evident today in the many Mexican restaurants to be found in the area, as well as the signs printed in English and Spanish.

Beginning in the 1880s paddlewheelers began to steam up and down the Columbia River as far north as Brewster. All the settlements on the river, including Brewster, were able to grow as river travel brought in supplies and settlers, carrying out the products of their efforts. In 1914 the Great Northern built a railway line up the Columbia River Valley from Wenatchee to Oroville at the Canada-U.S. border. This spelled the death knell for the paddlewheelers while providing faster, more convenient transportation to the area.

Brewster, founded by a man named Covington, was named for an early settler of the town named John Bruster. Today, Brewster is a city of 2,400 people, 700 households, and 540 families. This does not include the rural families and households who shop and get their mail here, which would increase those numbers somewhat.

Many of the civic buildings of the city are located in a little gaggle along South 3rd Street on the eastern edge of downtown Brewster, near the bank of the Columbia. Town hall and the police station, together in one building, stand across 3rd Street from the fire hall and the library and south of the Legion. All were built well before Brewster's 1997 post office, which stands on the opposite end of downtown Brewster near Highway 97, the major thoroughfare through the Okanogan. Highway 97, incidentally, may be one of the longest routes in North America, running just short of 2,000 miles from Weed, California to Watson Lake, Yukon Territory.

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Book: Washington

Page Number(s) of Excerpt: 459

Year Originally Published: 1941

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