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Methow Valley Historic Milestones

Winrthrop Historical

MAJOR METHOW VALLEY MILESTONES

8,000 BC – First Year Round residents arrive (remains of pit houses still exist)

Mid-1700’s – Horses first arrive, valley residents become more seasonal

1811 – NW Fur Company explores Columbia River

1849 – Ft. Colville trading post received 349 grizzly bear pelts in one season

1858 – Chinese immigrants begin placer mining at the mouth of the Methow River

1871 – Methow Tribe ordered to move to Colville

1885 – Gold discovered at the head of Twisp River

1888 – First cattle ranch in the Methow Valley

1890’s – Silver boom south of Twisp

1894 – Steamboat service begins between Wenatchee & Pateros

1901 – Winthrop platted as a town

1905 – First creamery in North Central WA opens in Twisp

1909 – Road completed past Mazama (West)

1912 – Methow Valley Journal begins & first bank opens

1915 – USFS ranger station built in Winthrop

1920 – Electricity arrives in Methow Valley

1921 – Nearly all irrigation ditches are completed

1924 – Fire burns downtown Twisp, 23 buildings lost

1939 – USFS Smoke Jumper Base established

1948 – Major Flood strikes Twisp & Methow Rivers

1968 – -40° F temps devastate Winthrop orchards

1968 – Sun Mountain Lodge opens

1970 – Black Canyon Fire (14,500 acres)

1972 – North Cascade Highway opens (St Hwy 20)

    Early Winters Ski Area proposed

    A Second Major Flood

1989 – $22 mil restoration of Sun Mountain Lodge

1991 – Big Valley Ranch (845 ac) purchased by Wa State Department of Wildlife

1993 – Winthrop Emporium & Twisp Methodist church burn

1994 – Winthrop Methodist church burns

1995 – New Liberty Bell High School opens

1996 – Freestone Inn opens

1996 – Record-breaking snowfall

2001 – Thirty-mile fire kills 4 firefighters

2011 – Spring Creek Pedestrian Bridge completed

2014 – Carlton Complex Fire: 268,764 acres, WA State’s largest wildfire, 293 homes & cabins lost, plus 260 outbuildings/garages

2015 – Okanogan Complex Fire: 3 firefighters killed (in the Twisp River Fire). NEW record-WA State’s largest wildfire, approx 800 sq miles!

EXCELLENT METHOW VALLEY HISTORICAL INFORMATION:

Visit the wonderful Shafer Museum, located just above town on Castle Avenue (509-996-2712)

And check out these four excellent local books:

Lost Homeland, by Richard Hart (New Fall 2017!)

The Smiling Country, by Sally Portman
Bound for the Methow, by Kit McLean and Karen West
MAZAMA: The Last 125 Years, by Doug Devin