Sunnyside, Washington

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Sunnyside is a city in Yakima County, Washington, United States. The population was 13,905 at the 2000 census.



On September 16, 1902, residents voted 42 to one to incorporate as the town of Sunnyside. By state law a town needed to have 300 citizens in order to legally incorporate. With 314 residents, Sunnyside was just eligible to legally vote for incorporation.

The first mayor of Sunnyside was the town druggist James Henderson.

The settlement was originally founded by Walter Granger in 1893. The name "Sunnyside" was coined by a merchant named W. H. Cline. Granger was involved in the financing and construction of the Sunnyside Canal which would allow Yakima River water to irrigate the area. However, due to the Panic of 1893, Granger's creditors foreclosed on the canal, and the town's population dwindled to seven families.

Five years later, members of the German Baptist Progressive Brethren (also known as Dunkards) relocated to Sunnyside in order to form what they called the Christian Cooperative Colony. The Brethren bought the entire town site and soon developed its first bank, and a telephone system. They enforced clauses prohibiting alcohol, dancing, and gambling as a condition on every parcel of land sold. Because of this, old maps of Washington identify the town with a cross or halo symbol.

Sunnyside's population continued to increase as Dunkards from South Dakota moved to the town. Later, in the 1930s, refugees from the Dust Bowl also moved to Sunnyside.[3]

Under the leadership of mayor William Bright "Billy" Cloud (1870-1959), Sunnyside initiated a project to pave its dirt streets on June 5, 1917. This project was necessary since years of irrigation had raised the water table to the point that the streets had become unbearably muddy. The cost of the entire project was $62,629.45.[4]

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