Cashmere, Washington

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Cashmere is a city in Chelan County, Washington, United States. It is part of the WenatcheeEast Wenatchee Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 2,965 at the 2000 census.



Early people

The indigenous people of the area were the Wenatchi people, who were sustained by abundant game and anadromous fish. The Wenatchee River, which runs through Cashmere, was historically home to coho, chinook, and sockeye salmon, as well as steelhead. These wild stocks have been severely impacted by the dams on the Columbia River, although several runs still exist. The Wenatchi people were displaced to the Colville Indian Reservation by the federal government, but still claim some fishing rights in the area.

First Europeans and settlement

The first European to enter the Mission Valley was Catholic missionary Father Respari, of the Oblate Fathers, in the 1850's. He lived among the Wenatchi people for twenty years teaching them his religion. He was succeeded in the 1870's by Jesuit missionary Father Urban Grassi who built the St. Francis Xavier Mission in 1873. After the missionaries' departure, the valley was next settled in the 1880's by ranchers and squatters. There were enough settlers in the area to necessitate the construction of a one-room schoolhouse in 1886. This sparse settlement was later known as Old Mission, after the Catholic missions of past. No true town existed until George Kline opened the first store further down the valley in 1888 to serve the burgeoning ranch population. A post office was soon established and Kline was appointed postmaster. The town was named "Mission" after the early missionaries.[3]

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