A Review of the Resources and Industries of the State of Washington, 1909
by Ithamar Howell
1  2  3     Next Part
Home - Random Browse



* * * * *


I. M. HOWELL. Secretary of State Ex-Officio Commissioner

GEO. M. ALLEN, Deputy Commissioner,


To His Excellency M. E. Hay, Governor of Washington:

We have the honor to transmit herewith the Biennial Report of the Bureau of Statistics, Agriculture and Immigration for the year 1909, dealing with the various resources and industries of Washington.

Very respectfully,

I. M. HOWELL. Secretary of State, Ex-Officio Commissioner.

GEO. M. ALLEN, Deputy Commissioner,



This publication represents an effort to place before the general public, and particularly the visitors at the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition, a brief description of the principal resources and industries of the State of Washington.

Its imperfections may be accounted for largely by reason of the fact that funds for the purpose did not become available until the first day of April of the current year. This necessitated unusual haste in securing and preparing the material upon which the pamphlet is based. However, we have endeavored to deal conservatively and fairly with the various subjects under consideration, and to present all the information possible within the limits of the space at our disposal.

Our purpose has been to supply the reader with an outline of the salient facts which account for the marvelous growth and development which the commonwealth is enjoying. To go largely into detail within the scope of a pamphlet of this size would be, manifestly, an impossibility. We might readily exhaust our available space in dealing with one industry or in describing a single county. Details, therefore, have been necessarily and purposely avoided.

We have sought to bring the entire state within the perspective of the reader, leaving him to secure additional facts through personal investigation. Along this line, attention is called to the list of commercial organizations and local officials presented [Page 4] in the statistical portion of this report. Nearly all the larger communities of the state maintain organizations, equipped to supply detailed facts relating to their particular locality. Much valuable information may be obtained on application to these organizations or to local officials.

An expression of appreciation is due those who have assisted us by supplying information and collecting photographs for use in this publication. Without such aid the completion of the pamphlet would have been materially delayed.


The State of Washington as now constituted, was, prior to 1853, a portion of the Territory of Oregon. During the year mentioned, a new territory was carved from the old Oregon boundaries, which the statesmen of that day evidently believed was marked by destiny for the achievement of great things, for they conferred upon it the name of Washington.

That our state, thus highly distinguished, has already demonstrated itself worthy of the exalted name, so happily bestowed upon it, the most carping critic must admit. With a population now reaching up toward a million and a half, and with all the forces that make for industrial, commercial and agricultural supremacy in full swing, and gathering new momentum yearly, Washington is moving onward and upward toward a position among the very elect of our great sisterhood of states.

As briefly as the story may be told, the fundamental facts which underlie the marvelous advancement made by the state during recent years will be set forth in the pages of this pamphlet.


By virtue of its varied topography, Washington is naturally divided into a number of districts or sections, each possessing its own particular characteristics.

Olympic Peninsula.

The first of these districts may be described as consisting of that section of the state including the Olympic mountains and extending westward from them to the Pacific ocean. Within the limits of this Olympic peninsula, as it is ordinarily termed, there is standing one of the largest and most valuable tracts of virgin timber yet remaining in the United States.

[Page 6] Puget Sound Basin.

The second district includes the territory lying between the Olympic and Cascade mountains, the chief physical feature of which is the great inland sea known as Puget Sound. The shore front of this important waterway exceeds 2,000 miles, and its length is broken by numerous bays and harbors, upon which are located Seattle, the state's metropolis, and the growing cities of Tacoma, Everett, Bellingham and Olympia. The climate of this section is mild in winter and cool in summer, extremes in either season being practically unknown. Deep sea shipping enters the port of Puget Sound from every maritime country on the globe, and the industrial and commercial interests of this section are expanding with extraordinary rapidity.

The Cascade Mountains.

The Cascade mountains constitute the third of these natural divisions. This range extends in a broken line across the width of the state, at a distance of about 120 miles from the Pacific ocean. These mountains, their rugged peaks capped with a mantle of eternal snow, their sides covered with a heavy timber growth, and their valleys carrying numerous sparkling mountain streams, with illimitable possibilities for the development of power, are one of the important assets of the state, the value of which has not as yet even been estimated. The mineral wealth of the Cascades, only a slight knowledge of which has as yet been secured, will ere long contribute largely to the prosperity of the state, while the more moderate slopes of the mountains serve a valuable purpose for the pasturage of numerous flocks and herds.

Okanogan Highlands.

The fourth district is known as the Okanogan highlands, and occupies that portion of the state lying north of the Columbia river and east of the Cascade mountains. This section of the state contains valuable timber and mineral wealth in addition to presenting many attractive opportunities to the farmer and horticulturist. It has been hampered thus far by [Page 7] lack of adequate transportation facilities, and for this reason land may be had at exceptionally reasonable figures.

Columbia River Basin.

The Columbia river basin is by far the largest natural division of the state, and, generally speaking, includes the section drained by that river and its tributaries. Within the confines of this district are the great irrigated and grain-growing sections of the state, which are a source of constantly increasing wealth.

This great "Inland Empire," as it has come to be called, has made thousands of homeseekers independent, and is largely responsible for the rise to commercial greatness of the splendid city of Spokane. Other cities of growing importance lying within the Columbia river basin are Walla Walla, North Yakima, Ellensburg and Wenatchee, while scores of smaller communities are annually adding to their population with the continued development of the districts of which they are the immediate distributing centers.

The Southeast.

The Blue mountains form the chief natural characteristic of the extreme southeastern section of the state, which constitutes the sixth division. This is comparatively a small district, but one that is highly favored by climatic and soil advantages, and it is well timbered and watered.

The Southwest.

The southwest is the seventh and final division of the state. It comprises an extensive district, fronting on the Columbia river and the Pacific ocean. It is heavily wooded and its chief industries are based upon its timber wealth. The taking and canning of fish and oyster culture are also important industries, while fruit growing and general farming are carried on upon a constantly increasing scale.


Probably few other states in the Union excel Washington in the great variety, abundance and value of the natural gifts prepared and ripe for the hand of man within its borders. Preceding races were content to leave its wealth to us, being themselves satisfied to subsist upon that which was at hand and ready for consumption with no effort but the effort of taking. The impenetrable forests were to them a barrier to be let alone. For the minerals within the mountains they had no use, and to gather wealth from the tillage of the soil needed too much exertion. Fish and game and fruits all ready to gather were all they sought, and the state had enough of these to attract and hold a large population. But the vision of the white man was different. His eye scanned the peaks of the Cascades with its great eternal white Rainier having its head thrust up among the clouds, and he realized that around and beneath them must be a vast hoard of the precious metals. His eye caught the dazzling grandeur of the white-capped Olympics, but he realized that they held in reserve something more substantial to his needs than scenery and hunting grounds. The impenetrable barriers of the forest-covered foothills were to him a treasure worth the struggle for an empire. He scanned the glittering waters of the bays and inlets of Puget Sound and its great open way to the Pacific Ocean and realized that it meant more to him and to his children than a place to catch a few fish. He viewed the vast plains of "barren" land within the great winding course of the Columbia river and believed it worth more than pasturage for a few bands of ponies.

The thousand tumbling water-falls that hastened the course of the rivers toward the sea meant more than resting places for the chase. No wonder the hardy pioneers whose vision saw the grandeur of Washington and comprehended its meaning dared a mighty journey, vast hardships and trying and dangerous hazards to save this empire to Uncle Sam. Washington, saved by the energy and foresight of a few, has become the [Page 9] delightful home of a million and more, and their possession is one that Alexander or Napoleon would have coveted, had they known.


From British Columbia to the majestic Columbia river and from the Cascade mountains westward to the ocean a vast forest of magnificent timber stretches out over mountain and hill and valley, covering the whole landscape of western Washington in a mantle of living green. The majestic fir trees, which, as small evergreens, adorn the lawns of other climes, here stretch their ancient heads 300 feet heavenward and give the logger a chance to stand upon his springboard and, leaving a fifteen foot stump, cut off a log 100 feet in length and 7 feet in diameter free from limbs or knots. Side by side with these giants of fir are other giants of cedar, hemlock and spruce crowded in groups, sometimes all alike and sometimes promiscuously mingled, which offer to the logger often 50,000 feet of lumber from an acre of ground.

But these great forests of western Washington are not all the forests within the state. The eastern slope of the Cascade mountains well down toward the lands of the valleys is mostly covered with timber. A belt from 30 to 50 miles wide stretching clear across the north boundary of eastern Washington is mostly a forest, while a large area in the southeastern corner of the state, probably 24 miles square, is also forest covered.

To estimate the amount of timber which can be cut from these vast forest areas is difficult; estimates are not accurate, yet it is probable that the lumber made will in time far exceed any estimate yet placed upon this chief source of the wealth of the State of Washington. Of the fir the estimate has been made that shows still standing enough timber to make 120 billion feet; for the cedar the estimate is 25 billion feet, while the same amount of 25 billion feet is credited to hemlock; 12 billion feet of spruce are claimed, 12 billion feet of yellow pine and probably 6 billion feet of other woods, including maple, alder, oak, yew, ash and many others, together forming the great mass of 200 billion feet of lumber. Where forest areas are cut off, the [Page 10] sun and air at once start to life seeds which lie dormant in the shade and a new crop at once starts and the old ground is in a few years reforested in nature's prodigal way, a thousand seeds sprouting and growing where only one giant can ultimately stand.

Of these timbers, the fir, largest in quantity, is also largest in usefulness. For bridge work, shipbuilding, the construction of houses, etc. it is unsurpassed. Cedar is lighter and more easily worked and for shingles chiefly and many other special uses is superior. Spruce is fine grained, odorless and valuable for butter tubs, interior finish, shelving, etc. The hemlock is valuable not only for the tannin of its bark, but as a wood for many purposes is equal to spruce. The yellow pine, where it is plentiful is the main wood used in house construction and for nearly all farm purposes. The yellow pine is the chief timber in all eastern Washington. The harder woods, maple, alder, ash, etc., are used where available in furniture construction and for fuel, as are also all the other woods.


Not content with covering half the surface of the state with forests for fuel, the Creator hid away under the forests an additional supply of heat and power sufficient to last its future citizens an indefinite period. The white man was not slow to find and locate the coal measures in many counties, notably in Kittitas, King, Pierce, Lewis, Whatcom and Thurston, and to put it to the task of driving his machinery. The coal measures of these counties are of vast extent, and, although little developed yet, there are 3,000,000 tons of coal mined annually in Washington. Other counties are known to have coal measures beneath their forests, but as yet they have not been opened up for commerce.

The coal already mined includes both lignite and bituminous varieties and furnishes fuel for the railroads, steamboats and power plants, giving very satisfactory results. Much of the bituminous coal makes an excellent article of coke and provides this concentrated carbon for the various plants about the state engaged in smelting iron and other metals.

[Page 11] The fixed carbon of the coal ranges from 48 to 65 per cent. and the total values in carbon from 64 to 80 per cent. and the ash from 3 to 17 per cent. The coal measures underlie probably the great bulk of the foothills on both sides of the Cascades and some of the Olympics, the Blue mountains of the southeast and some of the low mountains in the northeastern part of the state.

Besides these coals already mentioned, it is known that veins of anthracite coal exist in the western part of Lewis county, the extent and value of which have not been fully determined, and, owing to the absence of transportation, are not on the market.


The general topography of the state suggests at once the probability of deposits of ores of the precious metals, and the cursory prospecting already done justifies the outlook. Practically the entire mountain regions are enticing fields for the prospector. Substantial rewards have already been realized by many who have chanced the hardships, and there are now in operation many mining enterprises which are yearly adding a substantial sum to the output of the wealth of the state. The ores occur chiefly in veins of low grade and great width and known as base on account of the presence of sulphur, arsenic and other elements compelling the ores to be roasted before smelting.

There are, however, some high grade ores in narrow fissures and in a few localities free milling ores and placer deposits are found. In most cases the free milling ores are the result of oxidation and will be found to be base as water level is reached in the mining process.

Mining of precious metals is being prosecuted in Whatcom, Skagit, Snohomish, King, Pierce, Lewis, Skamania, Cowlitz, Okanogan, Chelan, Kittitas, Yakima, Klickitat, Ferry and Stevens counties.

Of the metals the mines of the state are producing gold, silver, lead, copper, quicksilver, zinc, arsenic, antimony, molybdenum, [Page 12] nickel, cobalt, tungsten, titanium, bismuth, sulphur, selenium, tellurium, tin and platinum.

There are also iron mines, and quarries of marble, granite, onyx, serpentine, limestone and sandstone—beds of fire clay, kaolin, fire and potter's clays, talc and asbestos and many prospects of petroleum.

Mining is suffering for the lack of transportation for the low grade ores, but prospects are excellent for relief in this regard in the near future. The era of wildcat exploitation has been relegated to the past and legitimate mining is now getting a firmer hold in the state, and we look for results within the next five years which will astonish many who think themselves well informed.


A glance at the map of the state will disclose a remarkable combination of salt and fresh waters within the jurisdiction of the state of such a character as to amaze one not familiar with it, but learned in the habits of the finny tribe in general.

The ocean is the great feeding ground. Out of its mysterious depths the millions of fish come into fresh waters fat and rich from the salt water vegetation.

The great Columbia river in the south, Willapa harbor, Grays harbor, the majestic straits of Fuca and the equally majestic straits of Georgia on the north are all great open highways from the sea, not only for merchandise laden ships, but for myriads of salt water food fishes which annually traverse their bottoms. Into these open mouths flows a great network of fresh water rivers and streams, draining the entire area of the state and providing the spawning waters for the fishes from the sea not only, but for millions of strictly fresh water fishes. Not only these, but late years have proven the shore waters of the state to produce also great numbers of oysters, clams, crabs and shrimp. Nor is this all, because the proximity of the state to the ocean gives it a great advantage in profiting from the fishing industry among that class of the finny hosts who refuse to leave their salt water homes. So that from the whales of Bering sea to the speckled beauties that haunt the mountain [Page 13] streams, through the long list of delectable salt and fresh water food, the fisherman of Washington has an enticing and most profitable chance to satisfy his love of sport and adventure not only, but to increase his bank account as well.


Washington is particularly blessed in having a diversity of soils, all admirably adapted to some department of agriculture and giving the state the opportunity of great diversity in the occupations of its people. The central plateau of eastern Washington, made up of level stretches and undulating hills, is all covered with a soil composed of volcanic ash and the disintegration of basaltic rocks which, together with some humus from decayed vegetation, has made a field of surpassing fertility for the production of the cereals with scant water supply; but under the magic touch of irrigation it doubles its output and makes of it not only a grain field but an orchard and garden as well. Underneath the forests of eastern Washington, along the northern border of the state and in its southeastern corner there is added a large proportion of clay, a necessary element for perpetual pasturage, and widening the field for fruit growing.

In western Washington, upon the bench lands and on the hills and foothills the forests are supported upon a gravelly soil, intermixed with a peculiar shot clay which disintegrates with successive tillage so that when the forests are removed the soil becomes ready for all the grasses and grains and fruits. In the valleys more silt and humus make up the soil, and when the cottonwoods, alders and maples are gone there is left a soil deep and strong for the truck gardener and general farmer, which will endure successive tillings for ages. At the deltas of the rivers are large reaches of level lands, some of which have to be diked to prevent the overflow of the tides, which have had added the fertility of the salts of the ocean and are probably the richest lands in the state fit for cereals and root crops, not omitting the bulbs which have made the deltas of Holland famous. There are also extensive peat beds which, scientifically [Page 14] fertilized, will produce abundant returns to the intelligent farmer.


The lands of the state are owned, some by Indian tribes, some by the general government, some by the state, but largely by individual citizens and corporations.

Indian Lands.

Of the Indian lands most of them have been "allotted" and the balance will soon be thrown open to settlement. Of these the largest in western Washington are the Quinault and Makah reservations and in eastern Washington the great Colville reservation. This latter will in time make two or three counties of great value, being adapted to general farming, dairying, fruit growing and mining, and having an abundance of forest area for fuel and building purposes. Those in western Washington are timbered areas at present.

Government Lands.

The remnant of government lands are chiefly among the more barren areas of eastern Washington and the poorer forest lands of western Washington. The method of obtaining title to government lands is generally known, and if not, can be obtained from the general land offices, one of which is in Seattle, Olympia, Vancouver, Spokane, Waterville, Walla Walla and North Yakima. The government still holds title to nearly six million acres, and, while the best has been acquired by others, the diligent searcher can still find homesteads and desert claims worth energy and considerable expense to secure.

State Lands.

A recent estimate of the value of the state lands still in possession makes them worth 56 million dollars. They include nearly 3,000,000 acres, a large portion of which is heavily timbered. These lands may be obtained from the state through the state land commissioner by purchase outright on very easy terms, or may be leased for a term of five to ten years at a low rental, the lessee receiving virtually a first right to purchase.

These state lands are as good as any in the state and offer to the homeseeker a splendid opportunity for a start.

[Page 15] In this state there are also numerous tide lands, oyster lands, and shore lands to be obtained at various prices, both from the state and from private individuals who have already acquired title from the state.


It is probable that no state in the Union is better equipped for creating power than the State of Washington. Numerous waterfalls of magnitude are already successfully utilized. Among these the most noted are the Spokane falls, capable of producing 400,000 horse power; the Snoqualmie falls, with a sheer descent of 250 feet, with a capacity of 100,000 horse power; Puyallup river at one place is furnishing about 20,000 horse power; the Cedar river has a capacity of 50,000 horse wer; the Nooksack falls with 15,000 horse power already generated; Tumwater falls with 4,000 horse power, with Chelan falls, the Meyers falls and the falls of Asotin creek all in use to limited extent. The waters of the Yakima river are also in use in part for power purposes, but more extensively for irrigation. Besides these there are many minor streams already harnessed.

But the unused water powers of the state far exceed that portion now developed. All its streams are mountain streams, excepting perhaps, the Snake and Columbia rivers. These mountain rivers in a flow of 50 to 200 miles make a descent of 2,000 to 5,000 feet in reaching sea level, providing innumerable opportunities to use the falls already created by nature, or to divert the waters and produce artificial falls.

No heritage of the state is of greater value and none more appreciated than this water power. Since the introduction of electricity as a lighting and motive force, its creation by water power looms into immense importance. The exhibition of its achievements to be seen in Washington today is amazing to the men whose vision of light and power was first with the tallow dip and four-footed beasts, and later with kerosene and steam. Electricity, created by our water falls, lights our cities and farm homes, draws our street cars and some railroad cars—pushes most of the machinery used in manufactories, to the great satisfaction and profit of our citizens.

[Page 16] GAME.

The State of Washington was once a paradise for the sportsman in its every corner. Its desert lands were full of jack rabbits and sage hens; over its mountains and foothills roamed herds of elk, mountain goats, deer, and many bear, cougar and wild cats. In its timbered valleys were pheasants and grouse in plenty. Upon its waters and sloughs the wild ducks and geese were in vast flocks, while its waters teemed with salmon in many varieties, and several families of the cod tribe, sole, flounders, perch, mountain trout and other fish.

While these conditions cannot now be said to exist in full, yet at certain seasons, and in some places, the same game, animals, birds and fishes are in abundance, and the sportsman, while he may not have his "fill," may satisfy a reasonable amount of his craving for the excitement of the frontier. The state has deemed it wise to restrict the time and place within which its game can be taken and the amount a single individual shall kill. These regulations suffice partly to preserve the game from extinction and help replenish the state's treasury, and are considered wise and reasonable.


If Washington is mighty in forest possession, provided with fuel for centuries in its coal beds, rich in precious metals, with great open waterways full of fish roads from the ocean and millions of fishes in its inland waters, with game upon its thousand hills and its vast plains loaded with waving grains and red with luscious fruits, still its crowning glory is its matchless scenery.

Towering above the clouds, with its head crowned with eternal snows, its sides forever glistening with icy glaciers till their feet touch the green tops of its foothills, near the center of the state, stands in imposing grandeur the highest mountain of the states—grand, old Mount Rainier.

Through its center north and south the Cascade mountains in a zigzag course lift their clustered peaks and mountain passes from four to eight thousand feet above the sea, while Mount Olympus and his colleagues higher still poke their inspiring [Page 17] front heavenward. Between these two white and green clad mountain ranges, protected from the blizzards of the southwestern plains and from the hurricanes from the ocean, lie in safety the placid waters of Washington's great inland sea, matchless Puget Sound.

Where else upon the globe is such a diversified stretch of tranquil water, upon whose shores the ocean tides ebb and flow, upon whose surface the navies of the world could maneuver to their heart's content, while visible from shore to shore are the vast evergreen forests, interlaced with winding waters and stretching gently upwards till they reach the visible mountain peaks a hundred miles away, thousands of feet skyward?

Scarcely less enchanting is the view eastward from the Rainier's lofty height—a vast stretch of hill and plain almost surrounded by green mountain sides, through whose gray and green fields flow the great winding courses of the mighty Columbia and the lazy Snake rivers, while a multitude of smaller streams gleam through the forest sides of the mountains over innumerable waterfalls. Here within the foothills you gaze upon the largest lake within the state, a beauty spot to enchant alike the artist and the sportsman. Deep within its rocky sides and full of speckled beauties lying like a mirror in the stretch of green hills about it, lies Lake Chelan, and on its unruffled bosom a fleet of boats ply for fifty miles beyond its outlet till reach the mining foothills of the mountains. A hundred miles eastward, still among the scattered pines of northeastern Washington, the Spokane river tumbles in masses of foam and spray over a succession of rocky falls on its way to the Columbia, while still further on the Pend d'Oreille and upper reaches of the Columbia river flow close up among the mountains and foothills and present a series of beautiful combinations of rock, trees, hills and valleys, of forests and waterfalls of magnificent beauty. Washington in its scenery is magnificent in proportions, wonderful in its variety, grand and imposing in form and feature—picturesque—enticing—"a thing of beauty and a joy forever."



The description of the resources of a state naturally suggests what its industries are. The forests of western Washington inevitably lead to the lumber industry and the fertile soil of eastern Washington point as unerringly to agriculture. These are the two great industries of the state. The lumberman and the farmer are in the majority. Already there are sawmills enough in operation to cut up all the standing timber in the state within fifty years. They employ probably 100,000 men. This includes those engaged in logging and the subsidiary industries.

Of the trees the fir is pre-eminently useful, and more than half of the forests of the state are fir trees. It is of greater strength than any of the others and hence is used for all structural work where strength is of special importance. It is rather coarse grained, but when quarter sawed produces a great variety of grains very beautiful and capable of high finish and is extensively used for inside finishings for houses as well as for frame work. Its strength makes it ideal for the construction of ships. The yellow pine is strong, medium grained and well fitted for general building purposes, and is very extensively used in eastern Washington.

Cedar is very light and close grained and is chiefly used for shingles, and for this purpose has no superior. The cheaper grades are also used for boxes and sheathing for houses and many other purposes.

The spruce furnishes an odorless wood especially useful for butter tubs; for shelving and similar uses it is superior to either the fir or cedar. It is a white, close grained lumber, and appreciating in value.

The hemlock, whose bark produces tannin for the tanneries, is also a close grained light wood coming more and more into [Page 19] general use, for many purposes, especially where it will not be exposed to the weather.

Logs frequently seven feet in diameter require big saws, and big carriers 50 to 100 feet long, and hence Washington has probably the largest sawmills in the world.

Our lumber is used at home and shipped all over the world to make bridges, ships, houses, floors, sash, doors, boxes, barrels, tubs, etc. Factories for the manufacture of wood products are scattered all over the state. Most of the sawmills and some factories are driven by steam made by burning sawdust, slabs, and other refuse of the mills. Coal and electricity, however, are both in use.


The mining of coal for foreign and domestic purposes is one of the most important of Washington's industries. The annual output of the mines is about three million tons, worth about eight million dollars; Fifty thousand tons of coke are made annually, worth at the ovens about $300,000. The coal mining industry gives employment to 6,000 men. The production of coal for 1907 was distributed as follows:

Kittitas County, tons 1,524,421 King County, tons 1,446,966 Pierce County, tons 612,539 Lewis County, tons 101,275 Thurston County, tons 33,772 Whatcom County, tons 3,160 Clallam County, tons 300

The coke nearly all comes from Pierce county.

Nearly forty different corporations and individuals are engaged in coal mining. The coals thus far commercially mined are chiefly lignite and bituminous. These coal measures lie along the base of the foothills, chiefly of the Cascade mountains. Higher up are some mines of anthracite coals, not yet on the market for lack of transportation. As far as discovered they are chiefly near the headwaters of the Cowlitz river in Lewis county. Coal forms the largest factory in furnishing steam for the mill roads. Some of the railroads, notably the [Page 20] Northern Pacific and Great Northern, own their own mines and mine the coal for their own engines and shops.

It is also the main fuel supply for domestic uses, although fir and yellow pine cordwood is extensively used when the cost of transportation is not too great.

Coal is also the chief fuel used in steamboats, both those plying over inland waters and the ocean-going boats as well. Here also, however, the fir wood proves a good substitute and is used to some extent by local steamers on the Sound.

Coal is also used to create both steam and electricity for most of the large heating plants in the cities and in many factories and manufacturing plants, flour mills, elevators, etc. The fact that vast coal measures lie within 50 miles of the seaports of Puget Sound is a very important factor in insuring the construction of manufacturing establishments and the concentration of transportation in these ports.

Coal is also used in all the large cities for the manufacture of illuminating gas and as a by-product of this industry coke, coal tar, and crude creosote are produced.

The coke from the ovens goes chiefly to the smelters for the reduction of ores, both of the precious metals and iron.


The mining industry other than coal is quite rapidly reaching importance among our industries. There are in the state three large smelters, whose annual output of precious metals far surpasses in value the output of our coal mines. The ores for these values, however, do not all come from the mines of this state. Other states, British Columbia, Alaska, and some foreign countries help furnish the ores. But Washington has within its borders a great mineralized territory, not yet thoroughly prospected and very little developed, yet which materially assists in supplying these smelters with their ores.

The smelter at Everett receives a steady supply of arsenical ores of copper, lead, gold, silver and zinc from the mines of Snohomish county which are of magnitude sufficient to make profitable the railroad which has been built to Monte Cristo [Page 21] purposely for these ores. This smelter has a special plant for saving the arsenic in these ores, which materially adds to the value of its output and is said to be the only one of its kind in the nation.

Besides the mines at Monte Cristo, there are copper mines being successfully worked at Index, whose ores are shipped both to Everett and Tacoma.

At Tacoma is located one of the largest smelting and refining plants in the nation, which draws its ores from all parts of the world. At North Port in Stevens county is a smelter which is chiefly supplied with ores from this state, supplemented by those of British Columbia. At Republic in Ferry county are mines producing gold and silver ores of such extent as to have induced the building of a branch line of railroad to carry their ores to this smelter. There are also in Stevens county large deposits of silver-lead ores, which will be large producers as soon as better transportation is secured. This last statement is also true regarding many mines in other counties.


The business of catching, preserving and selling fish gives employment probably to more than 10,000 men in this state and adds probably four million dollars annually to its wealth production. The fishes include salmon, which is the chief commercial species, cod in many varieties, halibut, salmon trout, perch, sole, flounders, smelt, herring, sardines, oysters, clams, crabs and shrimp from its salt waters, and sturgeon, trout, perch, black bass, white fish and many others from the fresh water. Great quantities of salmon and halibut are shipped in ice-packed boxes, fresh from the waters, to all parts of the nation. Of these fish, many salmon, halibut and cod are caught in Alaskan waters and brought into this state to be cured and prepared for the market.

The salmon are chiefly packed in tin cans after being cooked; the cod are handled as are the eastern cod, dried and salted. The business of handling the smelts, herring, etc., is in its infancy, as is also that of the shellfish.

[Page 22] The propagation of oysters, both native and eastern, is assuming great importance in many places in the state. In Shoalwater bay, Willipa bay, Grays harbor, and many of the bays and inlets of Puget Sound, oysters are being successfully grown. In some instances oyster farms are paying as much as $1,000 per acre. The state has sold many thousand acres of submerged lands for this purpose. It has also reserved several thousand acres of natural oyster beds, from which the seed oysters are annually sold at a cheap price to the oyster farmers, who plant them upon their own lands and market them when full grown.

The native oysters are much smaller than the eastern oysters and of a distinct flavor, but command the same prices in the market.



The largest and most important industry in the state is without doubt the cultivation of the soil. The great variety of the soils and climatic conditions has made the state, in different parts, admirably adapted to a large variety of farm products. Vast fields of wheat cover a large proportion of the uplands of eastern Washington, the average yield of which is greater than that of any other state in the Union.

The diked lands of western Washington produce oats at the rate of 100 to 125 bushels per acre. In some counties in southeastern Washington barley is more profitable than any other cereal, on account of the large yield and superior quality.

Corn is successfully raised in some of the irrigated lands, but is not as profitable as some other crops and hence is not an important factor in Washington's grain supply. Rye, buckwheat, and flax, are successfully grown in many localities. In western Washington, particularly, peas form an important ration for stock food and are extensively raised for seed, excelling in quality the peas of most other states.

[Page 23] Hops.

Hops are a large staple product in many counties of the state. They are of excellent quality, and the yield is large and their cultivation generally profitable. The chief drawback is in the fluctuations of the market price.

Grass and Hay.

Grass here, as elsewhere, is very little talked about, although it is one of the large elements that make the profits of agriculture. Saying nothing of the vast amount of grass consumed green, the state probably produces a million tons of hay annually, averaging $10 per ton in value. Western Washington is evergreen in pasturage as well as forests and no spot in the Union can excel it for annual grass production.

East of the mountains a very large acreage is in alfalfa, with a yield exceeding six tons per acre.


On the alluvial soils of western Washington and the irrigated lands of the eastern valleys, potatoes yield exceedingly heavy crops of fine tubers, often from 400 to 600 bushels per acre. All other root crops are produced in abundance.


Extensive experiments have proved that the sugar beet can be raised profitably in many counties and sugar is now on the markets of the state, made within its borders from home-grown beets.

Truck Gardening.

Garden stuff is supplied to all the large cities chiefly from surrounding lands in proper seasons, but much is imported from southern localities to supply the market out of season. The soils utilized for this purpose are the low alluvial valley lands and irrigated volcanic ash lands. The yield from both is astonishing to people from the eastern prairie states, and even in western Washington, with its humid atmosphere and cool nights, tomatoes, squashes and sweet corn are being generously furnished the city markets. The warm irrigated lands of eastern [Page 24] Washington produce abundant crops of melons, cucumbers, squashes and all other vegetables.


The conditions for successful fruit growing are abundant, and peculiarly adapted to produce excellence in quality and quantity in nearly all parts of the state, but some localities have better conditions for some particular fruits than others, e. g., western Washington excels in the raising of raspberries and other small fruits of that sort, its climate and soils being suited to the production of large berries and heavy yields.

Certain localities in eastern Washington excel in the yield of orchard fruits, chiefly on irrigated lands. Owing to the abundant sunshine, the fruits of eastern Washington are more highly colored than those of other sections of the state.

Taking the state as a whole, horticulture is rapidly assuming vast importance. Thousands of acres are yearly being added to the area of orchards, and remarkable cash returns are being realized from the older plantings now in full bearing.

This is true of all the common orchard fruits, apples, pears, peaches, plums, cherries, etc.

In western Washington large plantings of the small fruits are growing in favor, some of the new fruits receiving especial attention. One plantation of thirty acres is devoted exclusively to Burbank's phenomenal berry.

Grapes are being grown on both sides of the mountains, the eastern side, however, giving this fruit much more attention. Cranberries are being produced in quantities on some of the bog lands near the sea coast.

Nuts have been planted on both sides of the mountains in an experimental way, and it has been found that walnuts, chestnuts, and filberts are profitable. In the southeastern section of the state, nut growing bids fair to develop into a considerable industry.


The glory once enjoyed by this industry is rapidly changing color. Formerly, a predominating feature of the state was its [Page 25] big herds feeding gratuitously on government lands. This condition still exists to an extent, the forests being utilized, under regulations by the government, but the herds are limited.

Individual farms and small herds are now the order of the day and, incidentally, better breeds are developing. This is true of horses, cattle and sheep. The demand for horses is chiefly for the heavy draft animals for use in the logging camps and on the streets of the cities, and the demand is fairly well supplied, chiefly in eastern Washington.

Good cows and fat steers are always in demand, and Washington's market for them is not fully supplied from the home farms. The same is true regarding sheep and hogs. The phenomenal growth of the seaport towns on Puget Sound and the difficulty in clearing the lands in western Washington combine to make the consumption exceed the home grown supply, and many are imported from neighboring states.

There is abundant room for expansion in stock raising in the state. Conditions are admirable. Grass is abundant for pasturage, hay is a prolific crop, the climate is mild, no pests afflict the cattle, and the markets are at the door and always hungry.


There are few states in the Union equal to Washington in its possession of natural conditions suited to make dairying profitable. In all of western Washington, in the western part of eastern Washington, and in both the northeastern and southeastern sections of the state, the climate and soil conspire to make ideal grazing. Particularly is this true in the western part of the state. All the grasses grow in luxuriance, and with proper care and forethought there may be secured almost twelve months of green feed annually. The crops best adapted for use as ensilage grow well, making large yields. Timothy, clover hay and alfalfa are the standbys for winter feed so far as the coarse feed is concerned, and while mill stuffs and all grains are high in price, so are correspondingly the products of the dairy. Butter ranges from 25 cents to 40 cents per pound, and milk sells in the coast cities for 10 cents per quart.

[Page 26] POULTRY.

Perhaps no part of agriculture is more profitable to the wise farmer than his barnyard fowls, and in Washington this is exceptionally true. Eggs retail in the coast towns at 25 cents to 60 cents per dozen. Turkeys at Thanksgiving time are worth from 25 cents to 30 cents per pound dressed, and other fowl in proportion. Conditions can be made as ideal for poultry raising in this state as anywhere, and with the market never satisfied, the poultry raiser has every essential to success in his favor.


Bee culture among the orchards and alfalfa fields of eastern Washington is a side line which should not be neglected by the farmer or horticulturist. Many are fully alert to the favorable conditions, and Washington honey is on sale in the late summer in most of the cities and towns until the supply is exhausted, and then that from other states comes in to meet the demand.

Pasturage for bees is also abundant in many parts of the western half of the state, and many a rancher among the forest trees has upon his table the products of his own apiary.


The State of Washington has natural products either within its own borders or nearby, to foster many manufacturing industries, besides those having lumber for their raw material.

In the Puget Sound basin are vast deposits of lime rock, which is manufactured into commercial lime, supplying the home market not only, but is being shipped also to foreign ports. These are chiefly on San Juan island.

Considerable granite of fine quality is used in building and cemetery structures, from quarries in Snohomish and Skagit counties. Sandstone is being used for building purposes and is of splendid texture. Onyx of great variety and beauty is extensively quarried in Stevens county. Marble of good quality is being sawed up to limited extent. Quarries in southeastern Alaska furnish rather a better quality and are more extensively worked.

[Page 27] Clays of great variety, including fire clays and those suitable for terra cotta, are abundant, and large factories in King county are turning out common and pressed brick of many colors and fine finish, vitrified brick for street paving, terra cotta, stoneware, drain tile, sewer pipe and other kindred products.

At Concrete, a town of 1,200 people in Skagit county, two factories, employing 500 men, are daily turning out 1,400 barrels of Portland cement of fine quality, which is finding ready market in all the large cities.

At Irondale, in Jefferson county, a large plant has been in operation turning out pig iron. It is now in process of being turned into a steel plant and within a few months will be turning out steel bars and pipes for sewer, gas and other purposes. The ores are obtained from Whatcom and Skagit counties, some bog iron in the immediate vicinity and additional ores from Vancouver island. More than a half million dollars has already been invested and this will probably reach a full million when the plant is in complete operation. Although iron ores are present in the state in large quantities, no other serious effort is being made to supply the state with home made pig iron or its products. Here is a vast field awaiting brains and capital. The above represent only a few of the many lines of manufacturing that have been successfully developed in Washington.


Commerce and transportation are two affinities, ever seeking each other. They have found on Puget Sound an ideal trysting place. Here the ships of the ocean reach immense placid waters, not duplicated on either side of the continent, and for this reason the railroads have come from the interior to meet them. From foreign ports all over the world ocean carriers are bringing in great loads of merchandise and passengers, and the railroads coming from the Atlantic coast across the entire continent bring like loads of merchandise and human freight, and here they are exchanged. Teas from China and Japan for cotton from Galveston and cotton goods from Massachusetts; [Page 28] rice and silk, hemp, matting, tin, copper and Japanese bric-a-brac are exchanged for grain, flour, fish, lumber, fruit, iron and steel ware, paper, tobacco, etc. Merchandise of all sorts from Asia, the Philippines, South America and Australia is here exchanged for different stuffs raised or made in every part of the American continent and some from Europe. This commerce, however, is in its infancy. The Northern Pacific and Great Northern railways have fattened on it for years. All their rivals have looked on with envious eyes till now a mad rush is on among them all for vantage ground. The Milwaukee, Canadian Pacific and Burlington systems already run their trains here, while the Union Pacific and others are rushing for terminals on Puget Sound tide water. And while thus racing for the great long haul prizes, they are incidentally giving to the state a complete system of transportation in all its parts and for all its multitudinous productions.

Of almost equal importance to the state is its great fleet of local steamers which ply its inland waters, and the numerous electric lines that are rapidly uniting its cities and villages and giving a new and cheap method of migration. From the city of Spokane and radiating in every direction, electric lines are in operation and more are in course of construction, bringing the most distant points of the great "Inland Empire" into close touch with its metropolis and great distributing center. On the west side the same thing is true, only in less degree. Between these two groups of transportation facilities, and the commerce which the union of rail and tidewater has created, the citizens of Washington have found innumerable opportunities of employment.

These opportunities are increasing and broadening every year with the continued development of the state and in multiplied and varied form they await the newcomer who possesses the ability to rise to the demands of the situation.


Washington is a land of widely diverging natural conditions. Its topographical characteristics vary from the low southern exposures of the inland river valleys, where strawberries mature as early as April, to the mountain summits of the Cascades and Olympics, where winter reigns supreme the year round. Between these extremes may be found every range of climate known to the semi-tropical and temperate zones.

For the Homeseeker.

Our lands include those suitable for the successful raising both of the more tender, as well as the hardier fruits. Every grain, other than corn, yields splendid results, while the truck gardener, small fruit grower, dairyman, stock raiser and, in fact, every man who aims to secure a living and a competence from some form of farm industry will find, if he looks for it, a spot within the confines of this state that will meet his most exacting requirements.

To insure success in any of the above lines requires pluck, energy, stick-to-it-iveness, a determination to secure desired results, and some capital. But given these, the man who is looking to Washington as a favored location for the establishment of his household gods need have no fear of the outcome.

Land may be secured suitable for any of the different purposes mentioned, and with proper care it may be made to yield beyond the most sanguine expectations. A market is ready and waiting to absorb every class of product at profitable prices. Transportation facilities are already excellent and the millions now being expended in new railway construction through the state give some idea of what the future holds forth in this particular.

[Page 30] For the Business Man.

To the business man a new state, developing as is the State of Washington, naturally offers numerous and attractive opportunities. New communities are springing up along the lines of the Milwaukee, the Portland & Seattle, and other railways now in process of construction, each demanding its quota of commercial enterprises, while the older cities and towns are continually absorbing new additions to their population, thus paving the way for new business facilities.

For the Investor.

The investor will find an attractive field of action in Washington, and with the exercise of caution and prudence may anticipate far better returns than he has been accustomed to, without undue risk of the impairment of his capital. Raw lands, timber lands, improved farms, irrigated lands and city and town property are exhibiting a steady increase in value and undoubtedly will continue to do so for years to come. The capitalist may take his choice of any of these forms of investment, or he may turn to private, industrial or municipal securities which are constantly being offered on excellent terms and based upon unimpeachable assets.

For the Manufacturer.

To the manufacturer this state offers all the conditions that may be classed as prerequisite to success. Cheap electric power is available in nearly every community of any size in the state, while millions of horse power remain still undeveloped in the rivers and mountain streams. Raw material is here, in abundance, and the markets of the world are accessible through rail and water transportation. The principal manufactured products of the state consist of lumber and lumber products, flour, feed and various cereal foods, butter, cheese, evaporated milk, crackers and candy, baking powder, soda, fruit extracts, clothing, boots and shoes, baskets, bags, beer, ice, brick and other clay products, iron products, wagons and agricultural implements, turpentine, leather products, cordage, saws, boilers, asbestos, water pipes, tin cans, railway equipment, ships and [Page 31] boats, canned fruits and vegetables and a variety of other products. Desirable locations are frequently offered free to those who will establish manufacturing industries.

For the Wage Earner.

The wage earner who comes to this state sufficiently fortified to maintain himself and family for a period may usually expect to find satisfactory employment at good wages. Washington has never been exploited as a poor man's paradise, but there is a tremendous development in progress throughout the state in every line of industry and there is a steady demand for mechanics and laborers of all classes.

The foregoing is intended to present in brief form an outline of the opportunities that await the enterprising newcomer in this state. Success is being achieved in all of the various lines touched upon, by thousands who have located here in the past few years, and as yet the resources of the state have scarcely been touched. The future of Washington is big with promise, based upon results already achieved, and in that future the newcomer may expect to participate in proportion to the effort he expends.


The importance of a complete and well rounded public educational system has not been overlooked at any stage in the growth and development of this commonwealth. From kindergarten to university no link is wanting to supply the ambitious boy or girl with the very best training that modern educational experts have evolved.

The common school system of the state is based upon the theory that every child must be educated, and that the state must provide the facilities for the accomplishment of this purpose. This theory has been carried out so thoroughly and intelligently that there is scarcely a child in the state of school age who does not live within easy reach of a school house. Moreover, attendance is compulsory and no child is excused unless satisfactory reasons are presented to the proper authorities.


Upon admission of Washington to statehood a land endowment was granted to the state by the federal government for common school purposes which in round numbers totals nearly two and one-half millions of acres. This land is offered for sale or lease by the state, through the office of the state land commissioner, and the proceeds constitute a permanent and irreducible fund to be invested for educational purposes.

In addition to the foregoing lands, the state university has an endowment of 100,000 acres; the agricultural college, 90,000 acres; the scientific school, 100,000 acres, and the state normal schools, 100,000 acres. As yet only a small portion of these lands has been disposed of. The expense of maintaining our schools, therefore, is met almost entirely by taxation.


The University of Washington occupies a campus of 350 acres, located entirely within the limits of the city of Seattle. [Page 33] The buildings of the university consist of the administration building, science hall, chemistry building, engineering building, power house, dormitories for men and women, and other smaller buildings. In addition to the foregoing, the university will come into the possession of a number of commodious structures at the conclusion of the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition. For the current year, the enrollment of students at the university is 1,838. The faculty consists of 115 members and for the ensuing biennial period the legislature appropriated the sum of $673,000 for the support of the institution.

The State College of Washington is located at Pullman, in Whitman county. This institution emphasizes technical and scientific education and in its agricultural departments has accomplished remarkable results. It is annually giving the state a number of highly trained experts in modern agricultural science, and the farming interests of the state have been greatly assisted by the work of the college. Instruction is given in civil engineering, mechanical and electrical engineering, geology, botany, chemistry, zoology, economic science and history, modern languages, domestic economy, besides the practical operation of a dairy farm and other branches of agricultural industry. The institution, in addition to its land endowment, receives annual assistance from the federal government and a biennial appropriation from the state legislature.

The state also maintains three normal schools, located respectively in the cities of Bellingham, Ellensburg and Cheney. These institutions have a combined attendance of about 850 and are the recruiting ground for securing instructors in the public schools.

At Vancouver is the State School for the Deaf and Blind. The defective youth of the state are cared for in a well equipped institution located at Medical Lake, in Spokane county, and at Chehalis is the state training school for incorrigibles.


The problem of making a home and providing a competency for old age upon the lands in western Washington is somewhat different and more difficult than doing the same upon the prairie lands of the east. As they come to the hands of the would-be tiller of the soil, they present a forbidding and disagreeable aspect. The loggers have left them with considerable standing timber, with the tops of the giants of the forests lying where they fell, scattered over the land and covering it with an almost impenetrable mass of great limbs and brush and dead logs. If seen in the summer, there is added the view of a mass of green vegetation, rank and to a large extent covering up the mass of dead stuff left by the loggers with the huge stumps sticking up through it all, mute monuments of the lost wealth of the forest. In some instances this is somewhat relieved by the fact that, either by accident or design, the fire has been there and swept through it all, leaving nothing but blackened and smouldering emblems of its prior greatness. In this case, however, only the lighter part of the refuse has been destroyed. The great stumps of fir and cedar are there still, blackened and perhaps with their dead hearts burned out. Great and small decaying logs are there, some too wet to burn, some with the bark alone burned off, and some with the dead centers burned out, scattered about or piled in crisscross masses as they had fallen during the ages of the forest's growth. In either case it looks different from the smooth surface of the sagebrush plains about to be converted into irrigated farms or the clean face of the prairie lands covered with grass and ready and longing for the plow. But with all their forbidding aspects, black with a portentous cloud of hard labor and long waiting, their known hidden wealth lures on the hardy pioneer to the task. He throws off his coat, rolls up his sleeves, gathers together his tools, and with the indomitable courage of the Anglo-Saxon [Page 35] tackles the problem, works and fights and rests by turns till within a few years he finds himself triumphant. Eventually, beneath his own orchard trees laden with fruit, and in the comfort and delight of his big home fireplace, he contemplates the rewards of his struggle, as he sees his cows complacently chewing their cuds in his green pastures and listens to the neigh of his fat horses, and at his table, laden with all the bounty of his rich lands, thanks his Maker for the successful completion of a hard struggle and the enjoyment it has brought to him and his family.


Having thus presented the picture in perspective, we will now work out some of the details which help to rob it of its difficulty and add to its attractiveness. If the lands have not been burned off, and in many instances where this has been done, the rancher will find a lot of cedar logs, perhaps partially burned, and possibly long black stubs that it will be wise to save. Cut into proper lengths and put into piles for preservation, they will make his raw material for fencing, barns, etc. The cedar is straight-grained, splits easy, and true, and to the rancher is very valuable, taking the place of sawed lumber for a great many farm purposes. Having carefully saved the cedar, the rancher will fire his clearing, thus getting rid of a large share of the logger's waste with practically no labor. To the task of disposing of the remaining logs and stumps he will bring modern tools and methods into action. The axe and shovel and hand lever have given place to gunpowder, the donkey engine, derrick and winch. Stump powder puts all the big stumps into pieces easily. The modern stump-puller lifts out the smaller stumps with ease. The donkey engine and derrick pull together and pile the stumps and logs into great heaps, and once more the friendly fire helps out; and while the dusky woodlands are lighted up with passing glory the rancher sleeps to wake up and find his fields almost ready for his plow, nor has the task had half the hard labor nor consumed half the time that years ago would have been expended in clearing the same amount of oak and maple and hickory land in the valley [Page 36] of the Mississippi. It should be said, however, that what is gained in time and saved in labor costs money. The expense of clearing the logged-off land by these modern methods and tools will run from $40 to $150 per acre, dependent upon various conditions, number and size of stumps, etc.

There are in western Washington thousands of acres which are being pastured and tilled, from which the large stumps have not been removed. In these instances the same methods can be used, handling all the small logs and stumps and litter, and after the first burning, carefully repiling and burning the refuse and then seeding to grass. In the ashes and loose soil, grass seed readily starts, and a single season will suffice to provide fairly good pasturage, which will annually grow better.


The following table, taken from the report of a government inspector, will give an idea of the cost of the different materials and labor used in clearing logged-off land:

Cost of removing stumps from 1 foot to 4 feet in diameter from 120 acres of land in 1907:

========================================================================== Labor. MONTH. Powder, Fuse, Caps, Stumps, lbs. ft. No. No. Hours. Dollars. - - - - June 13,700 10,100 2,400 2,135 2,380 $650.00 July 1,750 2,050 400 239 260 87.00 August 2,750 2,700 700 445 324 114.90 September 1,950 2,160 500 383 324 126.37 October 1,250 1,000 300 237 198 77.53 November 2,350 3,100 800 378 283 114.97 - - - Total 23,750 21,100 5,100 3,818 3,709 $1,170.77 Av. pr. Stump 6.22 5.52 1.33 0.987 0.3006 Av. Cost, cents 19.76 2.37 .87

The average cost of the removal of each stump is shown below:

Cents. Powder 49.76 Fuse 2.37 Caps .87 Labor 30.66 ——- Total 83.06

The average cost of the materials used was as follows: Powder, per pound, 8 cents; fuse, per 100 feet, 43 cents; caps, per 100, 65 cents.

[Page 37] There are probably two and one-third million acres of logged-off lands in the state, of which only half a million are under tillage or pasturage. The same report shows the distribution of these lands as follows:

=========================================================================== Acreage Acreage Acreage in Total Per cent. COUNTY. merchantable logged cultivation. acreage. suitable for timber. off. agriculture. - - - - Chehalis 583,200 112,748 11,216 807,432 90 Clallam 296,611 195,933 11,784 504,329 75 Clarke 190,000 108,661 51,570 350,231 Cowlitz 500,000 25,000 20,000 704,000 75 Island 8,013 99,866 9,317 117,196 75 Jefferson 186,647 59,427 4,657 254,385 50 King 640,000 110,000 74,857 1,243,000 Kitsap 45,429 171,364 7,978 224,771 Lewis 543,995 160,425 47,059 884,050 65 Mason 240,211 150,430 7,540 398,181 Pacific 367,827 62,720 23,042 453,139 Pierce 413,044 150,000 27,915 658,052 75 San Juan 10,000 80,000 4,000 95,684 Skagit 306,759 149,923 45,605 502,287 25 Snohomish 258,005 270,422 20,908 558,336 Thurston 291,200 120,000 13,680 428,005 Wahkiakum 74,564 67,337 3,642 145,544 50 Whatcom 78,405 258,302 35,059 371,766 - - - - Total 5,033,911 2,352,109 428,829 8,700,388 -

There are a great many acres of these lands that can be slicked up and burned over and prepared for seeding, not disturbing the stumps, at an expense of about $10 per acre. Thus treated, good pasturage can be secured cheaply. In time some of the stumps will rot out and be easily removed. When the stumps are not too thick, the lands can be successfully prepared and planted to orchards without removing the stumps, and their unsightly appearance can be turned into a thing of beauty and great profit by planting evergreen blackberries and loganberries about them, using the stumps for trellises. These berries in the climate of western Washington are wonderfully prolific and find a greedy market.


There are several facts about making farms out of logged-off lands which should not be lost sight of, because they largely compensate for the labor spent in the undertaking. One of these is that the problem of fuel is solved for a lifetime and for the coming generation. Five acres can be left untouched as a reserve and in a remarkably few years it will re-forest itself. [Page 38] The growth of trees under the humid atmosphere of western Washington is astonishing, and a very few years will suffice to provide one with a wood lot to last a generation. Meanwhile some of the fir logs and alder and maple trees will be preserved from the fire and piled up to provide fuel for the years until the wood lot furnishes a fresh green supply.

Then, too, as has already been suggested, the fence question, no small item in a prairie country, is satisfactorily answered with no expenditure but for labor. The cedar logs, splitting with ease, can be turned into rails or boards or posts—preferably the former—and the rails put on top of each other between two posts fastened together at the top make as good a hog-tight and cattle-proof fence as can be desired, and these rails will last in the fence for a century. For the house, doubtless more satisfaction can be had by patronizing the nearest saw-mill, although many houses made out of split cedar timbers and boards are in the state, proofs at once of the usefulness of this timber and the hardihood and ingenuity of the rancher. But for the barn and stable, pig-stye, hennery, chicken-coop and fruit boxes, and a great many other things, the rancher patronizes his reserve log pile instead of the lumber yard, and saves time and labor in so doing. Another fact which compensates the rancher in western Washington in the struggle for a home which will provide a safe and generous support in his old age is that during all the labor and waiting he is enjoying a delightful climate, in which no blizzard drives him from his work. No cyclone endangers his life and fortune. No snakes lurk in the underbrush. No clouds of dust blind his eyes. No sultry summer suns make him gasp for breath, and no intense cold freezes his face or feet. He can work if he wishes as many days as there are in the year, and know that every stroke of his axe or mattock is a part of his capital safely invested that will pay back an annual dividend for a lifetime. No soil will respond to his energy more quickly or more generously.

There is one more possible compensation. Fir logs and stumps and roots and bark are all full of pitch. Factories are now in operation that are turning this wood into charcoal and [Page 39] saving and refining all the by-products, particularly turpentine, wood alcohol, pitch and tar. These factories are successful and paying dividends, but are on a large scale and permanently located. It is probable that some genius will soon evolve a movable plant, capable of serving the same purpose, which can go from one ranch to another. When this is done, it will be found that the refuse left by the logger is worth several times more than the cost of getting it off the land with powder and fire, and, instead of being a burden upon the land of $100 per acre, will become a matter of merchandise to be sold for much more and removed from the land with no expense to the owner.

As a final word, it should be remembered that, after these lands are put under good tillage, every acre can be made to return more than the cost of clearing annually. Western Washington has never been able to produce enough to feed its wonderfully increasing population. Meats, vegetables, fruits, poultry, eggs, etc., are all constantly coming in from outside to supply the markets. This condition keeps prices high. It has been so for twenty years, and will be for twenty years to come. From $100 to $500 per acre per year can be had from fruits and vegetables. The same can be realized from poultry, nor will the dairy fall far behind when the scrub cow is abandoned and a choice thoroughbred animal takes its place and the soil is intensely tilled and fertilized.

The logged-off lands when first looked at are black and big labor and difficulties. When the problem is intelligently understood—undertaken with comprehension and some capital and plenty of grit—the solution is easy and the rewards ample and gratifying.


The lands which require irrigation in the state are chiefly the lower lands in the valleys of the rivers east of the Cascade mountains.

The winds from the Pacific, though heavily laden with moisture, are forced to surrender the greater portion to western Washington, as they meet the cold heights of the mountain ranges. The mountains themselves receive a very heavy fall of snow in winter, which fills the lakes and sources of the rivers on the eastern side, providing a large amount of water available for irrigation purposes, for lands not too far distant. Within fifty miles from the mountain peaks there is a drop of about 4,000 feet. The sides of the valleys in the main are gradual slopes. These conditions make irrigation very feasible. Its wonderful results have been seen and the process of irrigation has found a wide field within the past few years.


Not only the Yakima valley, where this method of farming had its beginning in the state, but many other places, are now being made productive which were once thought wholly worthless on account of their aridity. Among these are the Wenatchee valley, the Entiat, the Methow, the Chelan, and the Okanogan—all on the slope of the Cascades. The immediate low lands of the Columbia and Snake rivers and considerable of the narrow valleys of the small streams emptying into them have in many instances been irrigated.


The work of reclaiming the arid lands has been wonderfully accelerated and widened in scope by the national government. The projects of the reclamation service now include practically all of the available waters of the Yakima valley for irrigating the lands therein. In Yakima county alone there are probably [Page 41] 260,000 acres now under ditch, and probably 50,000 more will be reclaimed this season. This is probably not more than half the lands in the county capable of irrigation. The fact that the general government is in control of these projects insures as wide and just a distribution of the available waters as possible. The cost of irrigation, which is from $50 to $60 per acre, is paid by the owners of the land in ten annual payments. There is also an annual charge for maintaining the canals from $1.25 to $1.50 per acre. These projects of the government cover the lands in Benton and Kittitas counties also—both of these counties being in the Yakima valley. The government is also engaged in managing an extensive project in the southern part of Okanogan county, where probably 50,000 acres will be reclaimed.

There is a large acreage in Franklin and Walla Walla counties, about the junctions of the Snake and Columbia rivers, to which Pasco is central, which is arid. The government has once turned this project down, but is now reconsidering it, and it is reported that these lands will soon be put under ditch by the joint action of the government and the Northern Pacific railway, which owns a large portion of the lands.

Meanwhile private enterprises are reclaiming extensive tracts in Klickitat county, and in fact nearly all the counties bordering on the Columbia and Snake rivers in eastern Washington. It is probable that there are more lands capable of irrigation in the state than can be irrigated with available waters. This fact adds to the importance of the question of what to do with arid lands when no water can be put upon them.


There are three methods in use in supplying water to the arid lands. The first and the one most generally adopted for obvious reasons is the gravity system. The waters are impounded in lakes or artificial reservoirs and carried thence in large main canals, winding about the hills so as to secure a low uniform grade. Once established, no other force is needed but the usual flow of the water.

[Page 42] Another method resorted to when the gravity system is impossible is to pump the water from the big rivers into smaller reservoirs leading to the canals, the pumps being kept busy only during the months in which the water is needed. This method is quite successful, but requires a somewhat larger annual expenditure. It is being used in some extensive projects, the water being taken out of the Columbia river.

The third method is in securing the water by means of artesian wells. This method is naturally limited to small areas, the projects being undertaken by individual private owners. Several spots have been found in the arid belt where this method is successful.


The soils over the entire areas of eastern Washington on the arid lands is a volcanic ash mixed with disintegrated basaltic rocks and some humus, varying in depth and in the amount of sand it contains. The low lands are usually more sandy and warmer and earlier in season. The depth of this soil is in some places 80 feet and generally so deep as to insure great permanency to its fertility. It readily absorbs and holds moisture, and is admirably adapted to artificial watering. In some spots there is an injurious surplus of alkali. It is generally covered with sagebrush and has the appearance of sterility, but upon cultivation under irrigation, produces wonderful results in quantity and quality of grains and grasses and fruits and vegetables.


Wheat, oats and corn are successfully grown, but not in large acreage, because larger profits can be realized from other crops.


Hops, for example, which can be produced at a cost of 7-1/2 cents per pound, yield from 1,500 to 2,000 pounds per acre, and potatoes, yielding from 300 to 500 bushels per acre, and receiving the highest market price, are both more profitable than wheat or oats.

[Page 43] ALFALFA.

Alfalfa, yielding from eight to ten tons per acre, and commanding from $6.00 to $12.00 per ton, is a very profitable crop. Much wheat and oats are cut when in the milk and sold for hay, and yield better returns than when matured and threshed.


The smaller fruits are very profitable under irrigation, yielding from $300 to $500 net per acre, while apples, pears, peaches, grapes, etc., often far exceed these figures, sometimes yielding as much as $1,000 per acre net.


Dairying is extensively followed on the irrigated lands, particularly in Kittitas county, where the cool atmosphere is very favorable, and the farmers find that turning timothy and clover, alfalfa and grain hay into butter fat is more profitable than wheat-raising.


There is a good deal of this arid land which will have to be freed from the sagebrush and smoothed over before it will be fit for irrigation. This expense, together with building headgates and lateral ditches, building flumes and seeding to alfalfa, will cost from $15.00 to $20.00 per acre, depending upon the character of the surface, the size of the sagebrush, and amount of flumes, etc. Some, however, very smooth lands can be prepared for seeding at less expense.


The hay crops are in large part sold on the ground and fed to cattle and sheep which have summered in the mountain ranges and are carried through the winters on the farms in the valleys. What is left after supplying this demand is baled and shipped by rail to the markets on Puget sound, Portland or Spokane. The Sound country is also the chief purchaser of the fruits, although many winter apples, on account of their superior quality, are shipped to eastern markets.

[Page 44] Potatoes and other vegetables usually go west, although an occasional season finds the eastern market depleted, and then the shipments go to the best market.

Hops are sold to be delivered at railroad stations and go east, many even to Europe.


The irrigated lands are yearly appreciating in value, mindless of the large acreage annually added to the supply. This is largely due to the fact that they are bought up and held for speculative purposes. However, there are still many farms in the hands of first purchasers from the government, and others still to be had directly from the government and others from the Northern Pacific company, not yet under ditches, which may ultimately be reclaimed. These latter can be had from $7.00 to $25.00 per acre. The lands already under ditch, or which will soon be irrigated certainly, are held from $50 to $100 raw and from $125 to $200 with water rights paid for. Much land is on the market, already planted or to be planted to orchards, and cared for, for a term of years until the orchards are in bearing, which can be purchased on easy terms, ranging in price from $200 to $500 per acre.


Nearness to transportation is a valuable factor in determining the price of lands—whether under irrigation or otherwise. The lands being irrigated in eastern Washington are, for the most part, adjacent to competing railways and water craft on both the Columbia and Snake rivers. Projects are in contemplation by the government and state to remove all obstructions from the Columbia river and give a great navigable stream from Kettle Falls to the mouth of the river. This will add to the shipping facilities by increasing the number of boats which will ply the river and be of great help to all farmers holding lands adjacent. Numerous trolley lines are already running in many directions—and more are projected—among the irrigated farms connecting with the cities of Spokane, North Yakima, [Page 45] and Walla Walla. These add greatly to the facility and cheapness of transportation.


The character of the climate is well suggested by the crops which can be harvested. They include peaches, apricots, grapes, figs, tomatoes, peanuts, sweet potatoes, and other things which require a warm summer and warm soil. Very little moisture comes upon the land in the summer. The winters are moderately cold, with some snow, which is joyfully hailed by the farmers, for all moisture is quickly absorbed by the soil and held for summer's use. The spring season is two or three weeks earlier than in the Puget sound basin. Moderate winds prevail during the summer months, coming from the east and west by turns, and prevent excessive sultry weather.


Aside from the ordinary agricultural pursuits suggested by the foregoing, which includes grain-growing, horticulture, dairying and truck gardening, should be mentioned stock-raising, particularly of sheep, many thousands of which are yearly wintered in the valleys and summered on the ranges. Bee culture and poultry-raising are also both becoming important.

In closing, it should be said that the activity of the government and private investors together has given a great impetus to the settlement of these arid lands, and the population is rapidly increasing, being made up of a miscellaneous assortment of Uncle Sam's energetic, wideawake, industrious citizens, building homes and making fortunes more rapidly, probably, than in any other part of irrigated regions in his domain.

The doors are open, too, for the newcomers, for ten times the population now there can well be made prosperous.




Adams county is in the center of southeastern Washington, cut out of the once great desert plateau, covered with sage brush. It has developed into one of the most important food-producing counties of the state. It has a population of about 13,000 and covers 1,908 square miles of territory.


Its climate is not different from that of the balance of the district in which it is situated, and, although some days in winter are severely cold and some in summer hot, its dry atmosphere softens the asperity of its cold, and its generous crop yields are full compensation for the heat of the summer's sun. Its mean temperature ranges from 30 degrees to 40 degrees in winter and from 50 to 74 degrees in summer. Its usual coldest days are 20 degrees to 25 degrees and its hottest ranging above 100 degrees. Its rain and snow give about 12 inches of water. It has one small stream, a tributary of the Palouse river.


The Northern Pacific railway cutting the county diagonally from northeast to southwest and the Oregon Railroad & Navigation railway across its southeast corner and near its south and west borders furnish good facilities for handling its generous wheat crops. To these are soon to be added the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul, the Portland & Seattle, and the North Coast roads, giving the county very superior railroad facilities.


Wheat is its great staple crop, and the last year out of a crop acreage of 275,000 gave to the world nearly 6,000,000 bushels, an average of upwards of 20 bushels to the acre. When this average is compared with that of the wheat fields of the Mississippi valley, it is no wonder that the value of its realty has increased for the purposes of taxation more than 300 per cent. in the past six years. Horses, cattle, hogs and sheep are to a limited extent raised on the farms, and are important adjuncts to its prosperity.


RITZVILLE is the county seat, and has a city hall, electric lights and water system, flour and feed mills, and is the chief distributing center of the county.

LIND will be one of the important points on the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul railway, now building across the county.

WASHTUCNA also is to have another outlet for its wheat over the Portland & Seattle railway, projected and building. All these towns have good schools, churches, warehouses, mercantile establishments, and all enjoy an abundance of prosperity from the marketing of the crops.



Asotin county occupies the extreme southeastern corner of the state, being separated from Idaho on the east by the Snake river and from Oregon on the south by the state boundary. Its population is about 7,500, its area 640 square miles.

It takes in a portion of the Blue mountains, from which numerous small streams furnish abundant water for all domestic farm purposes and for irrigating quite a large area of lands, which makes the county ideal for the stock-raiser and fruit-grower.


The irrigation of the low lands has had a wonderful effect in stimulating the fruit industry, and resulted in a great advance in land values, particularly about Clarkston and Cloverland, while the cool water of the mountain streams and their grassy slopes make the dairy business especially profitable. General farming, however, is still the standby of the bulk of the population. At Clarkston the lands irrigated and planted to orchards have reached in many instances a value of $1,000 per acre, the waters being taken out of Asotin creek. About Cloverland, waters from George creek have wrought almost an equal increase in values. Cloverland is on a plateau about 2,500 feet above sea level, and the lands irrigated and planted to winter apples are paying handsome dividends to their fortunate owners. On ordinary farm lands wheat yields 25 to 50 bushels per acre and barley from 40 to 60 bushels per acre.


The transportation is limited to the power of steamboats on the Snake river and the Oregon Railroad & Navigation railway, which is reached at Lewiston, across the river from Clarkston.


ASOTIN, the county seat, situated about seven miles south of Clarkston, on the Snake river, has about 1,500 people within its borders. It [Page 48] has a flour mill, warehouses, churches, schools, public library, light and water systems, and is a prosperous, thriving town.

CLARKSTON, an important commercial center, is situated on the flats of the Snake river, in the northeast part of the county. Its population somewhat exceeds that of Asotin. It has all the business institutions of a thriving town, is the main distributing point for a large area, and is rapidly growing.

CLOVERLAND, CRAIGIE AND ANATONE are thriving smaller towns.


Benton county is bounded north, east and south by the Columbia river and west by Yakima and Klickitat counties. It has an area of 1,600 square miles and a population of about 9,000 people.


The Yakima river traverses the center of the county in a very crooked course, through the valley of which the Northern Pacific railroad winds its way to the top of the Cascades. Both north and south of the valley of the Yakima are extensive hill and plateau lands, which are being rapidly utilized for general farming. The valley lands are arid and useless without irrigating water.


Extensive irrigation projects are in successful operation and projected to bring a very large portion of the valley lands into successful use, for these lands, when irrigated, are of unsurpassed fertility. Lands capable of irrigation have rapidly risen in value during the past few years because of the immense yields of all crops under irrigation.


The Northern Pacific railway through its center, the Portland & Seattle around its southern and eastern border and the North Coast coming into the Yakima valley from the northeast and the southeast, together with the shipping on the Columbia river, give abundant means of marketing its products, while several local electric roads are projected to connect its towns and help to open up the newly developed portions of the county.


General farming on the uplands, truck-gardening and fruit-raising on the irrigated lower lands are the chief occupations. On account of the great fertility of the volcanic soils and the early springs, Benton county is able to supply the large towns with fruits and vegetables some two weeks earlier than most other sections, giving it quite an advantage in prices. The county is rapidly growing in population and prosperity.


PROSSER, its chief town and county seat, is on the Yakima river and Northern Pacific railway in the western central part of the county, and has about 2,000 population. It is the chief distributing center of the county. It has three weekly newspapers, six churches, good water supply, banks, stores, warehouses, lumber yards, etc.

KENNEWICK, at the easterly center of the county, on the Northern Pacific and Portland & Seattle railroads and on the Columbia river, is a town of much importance, having about 1,500 people. It is noted for the remarkable earliness of its fruits and vegetables. It has the usual business, church and school establishments, including an ice and cold storage plant.

KIONA, on the Yakima river, midway between Prosser and Kennewick, CARLEY AND PETERSON, in the southern portion of the county, on the Columbia river, are all growing and prospering smaller towns.


Chehalis county is central among the counties bordering on the Pacific, the towns about Grays Harbor being its seaports. It has an area of 2,600 square miles and a population of 35,000.


Its industries arise out of its vast timber belts, its fertile low lands, and its fisheries. It is said to have 800,000 acres of magnificent timber lands, the great bulk of it unmarketed. Logging and the manufacture of wood products make up its chief occupation, though general farming and fruit-raising is rapidly gaining. The lands of the county when reclaimed from the forests are fertile and respond generously to the labor of the husbandman. In 1906, 15,000 apple trees were planted in the county. The fishing industry, including the canning of salmon, sardines, clams and oysters, is a thriving industry and destined to develop into much larger proportions.


Grays Harbor is open to the ocean, but is splendidly protected and has safe anchorage. It is the largest lumber shipping port in the state. The Humptulips and Chehalis rivers empty their waters into the bay, and are both navigable for some distance.

In addition, the Northern Pacific railroad skirts both sides of the bay and a logging railroad from Shelton, in Mason county, has nearly reached the ocean, going through the county from east to west. Other railroads have surveying parties in the field, and a conflict is on to share the vast lumber-carrying trade of the county with the Northern Pacific, which has till now monopolized it.

Chehalis county is one of the most important counties in the state, and offers an abundant opportunity for Yankee energy to exercise itself [Page 50] in almost every avenue of business. Its opportunities and resources are numerous and vast. The newcomer may look long and find no better place for his talents.


MONTESANO is the county seat, located at the head of navigation on the Chehalis river, and on the Northern Pacific railway. It has a population of about 3,500. It has sawmills, sash and door factories, and is surrounded by a prosperous farming community, dairying being very remunerative.

ABERDEEN is the commercial metropolis of the county. Nearly $15,000 is daily paid out to wage-earners. Much commerce from the ocean is centering here, 736 vessels clearing from Grays Harbor in 1907. Seven hundred and seventy-seven thousand dollars has been appropriated by congress for the improvement of the harbor. The city has terminal rail rates, and the Northern Pacific and Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul railroads are hustling after its trade. The business portion of the city is built of stone, brick or cement. It has eleven large sawmills, many shingle mills and various other factories for utilizing the products of its timber, besides fish and clam canneries and other factories. Its population, now about 15,000, is rapidly growing.

HOQUIAM, Aberdeen's nearby neighbor, has a population crowding 11,000, and is a hustling manufacturing and commercial center, not different in its general business from Aberdeen.

ELMA, twelve miles east of Montesano, is a town of 2,700.

COSMOPOLIS, south of the river from Aberdeen, has about 1,200, and is a sawmill town.

OAKVILLE, MAKRHAM and SATSOP are small growing towns on the Northern Pacific railway. Many other embryo towns will in time grow into prosperous business centers.


Chelan county is one of picturesque beauty and abundance of both developed and undeveloped wealth. It faces the Columbia river eastward, while its back rests against the peaks of the Cascades, 5,000 to 6,000 feet above the sea. Lake Chelan is the largest fresh water body in the state, fifty miles long and one to four wide, and lies 400 feet higher than the Columbia river.

Chelan county has 2,000 square miles, much of it mountainous and full of minerals. Its population is at present about 14,000.


Horticulture, agriculture, lumbering, stock-raising, mining and dairying all flourish on the bountiful natural fitness of the county for these occupations. The climate is attractive. It is a sunshiny county.


Steamers ply up and down the Columbia river. The Great Northern railway crosses the county through the valley of the Wenatchee river and the Washington & Great Northern railway is projected along the western boundary of the Columbia river.


All kinds of temperate zone fruits mature here in wonderful perfection and abundance. The valleys run with water from the mountains to irrigate the lands, and furnish vast power, much of it undeveloped. Hills in the western part of the county are timbered and all the vacant lands are grass covered. Over 1,000,000 fruit trees have been planted in the last three years in the county.

The mountain foothills are full of mineral veins of copper, gold, silver, lead and molybdonite. Some have been producing for twenty years. Trout in the streams and game on the hills add to its attractiveness.


WENATCHEE is the county seat and largest town, having about 3,500 people. It is located on the Columbia river near where the Great Northern railway crosses it. It is the chief distributing center for the county and much other territory, chiefly north of it.

LEAVENWORTH, westward of Wenatchee, and also on the railroad, has a population of 1,200 and is a division point.

CHELAN, at the foot of Lake Chelan, has about 700 people.

CASHMERE, on the railroad, is of about equal size.

LAKESIDE, PESHASTIN and ENTIAT are smaller towns, all thriving and growing.


Clallam county occupies 2,000 square miles of the northwestern part of the Olympic peninsula, having 35 miles of shore land on the Pacific and 90 miles on the straits. The Olympic mountains and foothills cover the southern half mostly, while the northern half is made up of lower hills and valleys. Several large lakes nestle among the mountains; one of them, Lake Crescent, is a famous summer resort. Lake Crescent is known as the home of the celebrated Beardslee trout. The eastern and southern parts have a rainfall sometimes nearing 100 inches annually, while in the eastern northerly part it is about 20 to 25 inches only.

An important section of the county is that known as Sequim Prairie This is a level district of about 5,000 acres, located three miles back from Port Williams. Most of it is under irrigation, and the soil thus treated produces marvelous crops.

[Page 52] RESOURCES.

Lumber, fish, agricultural products and coal comprise its chief resources. The timber of the county is very vast and very little exploited. Its proximity to the ocean makes it very advantageous for all fishing industries. Its valleys are noted for the fertility of their soils, and many a farmer has grown wealthy from their cultivation.


Facilities for getting about are limited to boats and wagons. A splendid boat service is maintained with Seattle and other Sound ports, and a system of public roads is now in process of construction that will be unexcelled in the state. Several surveying parties are now in the woods and it is believed that Grays Harbor and the Straits of Juan de Fuca will be soon united with railroad iron and Clallam county will come to its own.

1  2  3     Next Part
Home - Random Browse