Grant County, Washington

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Grant County is a county located in the U.S. state of Washington. As of 2000, the population was 74,698. The county seat is at Ephrata. Its largest city is Moses Lake. It was named after U.S. President Ulysses S. Grant.

Grant County was formed out of Douglas County on February 24, 1909.[1]

Contents

History

Native American cultures in the area included the Interior Salish, Wenatchi, Okanagan. The first white settlers began to arrive in the mid-to-late-19th century, primarily with the goal of raising livestock. One government official described the area in 1879 as, "…a desolation where even the most hopeful can find nothing in its future prospects to cheer...".[citation needed]

When railroads arrived they also brought new settlers, and the economy began a shift from ranching to dryland farming. This transition required the people to have ready access to water, and irrigation became a necessity. The first large-scale irrigation attempts began in 1898, but it would be years before real success.

With the influx of dryland farming, the county soon boasted access to three major railway systems; the Great Northern Railway, Northern Pacific Railroad, and the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad. In addition, the Columbia River in this area was navigable. This allowed crops to be transported out of the area easily. Towns like Wilson's Creek, Quincy and Ephrata began to thrive.

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