Tonasket, Washington

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Tonasket is a city in Okanogan County, Washington, United States. The population was 994 at the 2000 census.



Tonasket was officially incorporated on December 16, 1927. It is named after Chief Tonasket of the Okanogan people,[3] a local leader from this area who assumed the status of grand chief of the American Okanogan after the drawing of the U.S.-Canada border by the Oregon Treaty of 1846, assuming a leadership role in Okanogan territory formerly held by Chief Nicola who lived north of the border.

Tonasket is a small community located along the eastern bank of the Okanogan River in north central Okanogan County, Washington. State Highway 97, the main north-south highway through central Washington, bisects the city on its way north to the Canadian border approximately twenty miles north. The city, with an elevation of approximately 900 feet above sea level, is bordered on the north by Siwash Creek, and the south by Bonaparte Creek. The present population is estimated to be approximately 995.

The city, which has been the site of a U.S. Post Office since 1901, was platted in 1910 and incorporated in 1927. Tonasket serves as a hub for agricultural and forestry industries in north central Okanogan County. It is the location of three major fruit storage and processing facilities and the offices of the Tonasket Ranger District of the Okanogan National Forest. Tonasket is also the home of the Okanogan Family Faire[4], a local barter fair and harvest celebration and the first of its kind in the world. The city is also increasingly becoming a convenient jumping off point for visitors coming to the area to enjoy the myriad of opportunities for outdoor recreation in the surrounding areas.

Many descendants of pioneer families still reside in Tonasket and the surrounding areas and are interested in preserving and sharing the history of their heritage. A son of one of those pioneer families, Walter H. Brattain, grew up on a cattle ranch near Tonasket, attended Tonasket schools and shared the 1956 Nobel Prize in Physics (with William Shockley and John Bardeen) for the invention of the transistor.


Tonasket is located at 48°42′20″N 119°26′19″W / 48.70556°N 119.43861°W / 48.70556; -119.43861 (48.705626, -119.438568).[5]

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