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Historic Ellensburg Timeline

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Click on the bold titles as you move down the timeline to read more about each historical moment of Ellensburg's past!



Ellensburg is a city in and the county seat of Kittitas County, Washington, United States. It is located just east of the Cascade Range at the junction of Interstate 90 and Interstate 82. The population was an estimated 21,111 as of 2019.







 

Alexander Ross enters Kittitas Valley
1814
Alexander Ross was a fur trader with the North West Company, and is credited as the first European-American to enter Kittitas Valley in 1814. Through his notes, it was recorded that Ross, along with a party made up of a clerk, two French-Canadian trappers and their wives, had been on a winter mission to trade horses when they entered Kittitas Valley and encountered the local Native Americans at a gathering place called Cle-ho-han. The bands and tribes had gathered together to dig roots and play sport, exchange words, and celebrate. Ross also recorded the abundance of horses, wilderness, and how the valley must have been more than six miles in each direction he looked. He called the valley "the Eyakema Valley'' in his notes, but other history accounts of the area identified it as the Kittitas Valley.




Ben Snipes Begins his Work in the Kittitas Valley
1860s
Ben Snipes was born in North Carolina in 1835, and during his youth they moved many times before settling in Iowa by 1847. It was there that he learned about cattle and how to handle them. With the California Gold Rush happening in 1852, Ben Snipes took his things and left home, seeking to make it rich in the gold fields. Like many men of the time, he failed to succeed and instead turned his sights on the one thing he knew--cattle.

He moved to Washington Territory, where he looked to gain a foothold in the cattle industry near the Columbia River in Klickitat County, but to do so, he needed a partnership. He made a deal with his former employer where he would do the work, and get a half interest in the results. He got his first cattle and quickly multiplied the herd -- by the spring of 1856, he had 102 head of cattle.

Ben Snipes then drove his herd into the gold mines along the Okanagon Lake and Thompson River country, selling his cattle at $125 per head. Settling at The Dalles, Oregon, he chose to go into the cattle business by himself, using his successes in the gold mine country to pursue a desire to be at the top of the Columbia-Yakima valley. He built a log cabin in 1859 in the Valley, which has often been credited as being the first home for a white man in the area. By the end of 1861, Snipes had gained the reputation of being the Northwest Cattle King, sporting somewhere between 25,000 to 40,000 cattle in his herd, although he often said he did not know how many he truly had.

Over the years, after several severe winters negatively impacted his cattle herd. Snipes went into the Yakima Valley expecting a worst-case scenario. His cattle inventory was between 2,500 to 3,000 head, but he had his loyal team to help him in this time of uncertainty. He went to Portland to borrow $50,000, which he planned to use to purchase the stock he needed. Unfortunately, this placed Snipes in a large amount of debt, but he knew with the better season for cattle and being one of the only cattle suppliers in the Northwest, Snipes could retain his title as Cattle King. But after another severe winter reduced the number of cattle in the valley, and with the Northern Pacific Railway entering the Valley in the mid-1880s, Snipes believed that the cattle business was coming to an end.

Looking for new investment opportunities, Snipes acquired more than a hundred acres of land in what's now the busiest area in Seattle city. He was slowly but surely getting more financially stable, and he was loaning to others who were in need. Snipes had also built a flouring mill at The Dalles to support the wheat in the area that he picked up his first cattle. Looking to branch out more, he remembered that Ellensburg didn't have a bank. As he couldn't find a proper building to host a bank in the city, Snipes had a three-story stone building built and opened the bank on February 22, 1889. On July 4, 1889, a fire started and would destroy many of the buildings of the city, including the bank. It opened in a temporary building that still stands today. Snipes soon decided to open a branch in Roslyn.




The Completion of the Snoqualmie Pass
1867
The Snoqualmie Pass was one of the most vital achievements for Kittitas Valley as it was one of the first wagon roads to be completed. This road linked the valley to the Puget Sound, allowing business people to travel to and from these areas with more ease. The pass wouldn't incorporate the first toll of the area in an effort to maintain the road connecting Seattle through Ellensburg to Walla Walla. Frederick Ludi, the first settler of the Upper Valley, would use this road when he would settle what is now Thorp in 1867. John Alden Shourdy would also use this road to discover and settle in Ellensburg in 1871.




The First Settlers Arrive
1867 & 1868
Frederick Ludi and John Goller were the first settlers of the Upper Kittitas Valley. Their original plan was to go from the Cascade Mountains to the Puget Sound, but they ended up at Manastash Creek. They lived there for a year but decided to relocate due to their inability to adapt to the cold winters and heavy snow that came with the area. After they moved on from Manastash Creek, they eventually found what is now Ellensburg in 1867. William "Bud" Wilson was also around at the time of their arrival, but he lived amongst the Native Americans already there. He built a small cabin that would later be turned into Robber's Roost in 1870.

The next year in 1868 saw the arrival of the Tillman Houser family, originating from the Auburn area. It took them 10 days to travel across the Native American trail across the Snoqualmie Pass. All of their supplies were carried in a wagon and they walked the whole way. Another family that made its way to Ellensubrg were the Splawns from Yakima. The family consisted of Charles Splawn, his wife Dulcina Thorp, and their three children Sarah, Harrison, and Clarence. Dulcina Thorp is known as the first white woman in the Kittitas Valley, and the daughter of Fielden M. Thorp, the man whom Thorp would be named after. The next year Splawn and Thorp gave birth to Viola Splawn, the first white child to be born in the Kittitas Valley.




Robber's Roost is Established
1870
Robber's Roost was the first business in the Kittitas Valley, which started out in a small cabin purchased in 1870 by AJ Splawn & Ben Burch, two settlers of Ellensburg. Before Splawn purchased the cabin, it was the home of William Wilson. Wilson was one of Ellensburg's first non-native settlers, and was the man Wilson Creek got its name from. John Gillispie, a fellow settler of the area, had volunteered to make a sign for the store, giving Robber's Roost its name.

Many settlers and native people had plans to travel through the Snoqualmie Pass. Robber's Roost proved to be a vital part in those journeys as it was able to provide travelers with supplies that were necessary to completing the journey. Something else that gave it its fame was offering free traps for buyers, and the cheap prices for other items. Splawn had no idea of fur trading, and when he traveled to The Dalles to get more supplies, he discovered that he had no idea of what he was doing, vowing to learn more about the trade.

Knowing the Indians gathered at Che-loh-an, a gathering site that was ten miles away from Robber's Roost, Splawn built a half-mile race track below the shop to attract the tribe. The tribe would dig roots and play sports with one another, one of them being horse racing, and they enjoyed Splawn's track he would trade with tribesmen to make a profit. One day a far-off tribe came to Robber's Roost in search of a long distance horse race from the We-nat-sha mountain to the shop. Looking to make more sales for the shop, Splawn paid off a young tribesman to race someone from the challenging tribe while he conducted business at the finish line, and did help the young rider win by whipping the horse.

In the summer of 1871, new settlers came to Ellensburg with an abundance of cattle, becoming a big business in the Ellensburg area. Splawn built a fence with a neighboring store where the Northern Pacific railroad was. This was also the year where Pat Lynch was involved with a court case where he and his brother Windy Johnson shot at each other. Lynch took seven bottles of vinegar bitters, and gave some to the jury, impairing some of them in the process. The remaining members of the jury found Lynch not guilty, and the first court held in Yakima country disbanded.

In this same year, John Alden Shoudy purchased the Robber's Roost trading post from Splawn, who had purchased too many supplies and did not have enough demand for these items. Splawn also wanted to return to his range-riding. Shoudy had entered the valley to assess the toll road for a group of businessmen in Seattle on the Snoqualmie Pass, and seeing great promise returned to Ellensburg. With his purchase of the cabin, Shoudy acquired 180 acres of land (as allowed through the Homestead Act).

A year later, his wife Mary Ellen Stewart Shoudy settled in the Kittitas Valley along with their family. With the move of the family to the valley, Shoudy built the first A-frame building to house the store, which was renamed "The Family Store." The family then occupied the old trading post building. In 1875, Mary Ellen and John Shoudy platted the land and officially gave the name "Ellensburgh" to the area.

This spelling would later remove the "h" by the United States Post Office in 1894, turning the town into Ellensburg. President Benjamin Harrison created the US Board of Geographical Names and Places in 1894 to standardize geographic name spellings throughout the federal government. All places with "burgh" at the end, including Ellensburgh, removed the "h" in their spellings. The one except to this change was Pittsburgh, which fought a seven year battle to keep it.




The Gold Rush Begins
1873
The Gold Rush of Kittitas County began in the Swauk Creek area. The Swauk Mining District was able to cover over 1,000 acres and brought hundreds of workers in the valley within the first few years of operations. By 1881, Cle Elum and Roslyn became the two cities that had the gold rush business within the strongest grasps. This area boomed in workers coming, including foreigners from Italy, Croatia, and even Poland. Not even dangerous explosions and mine collapses were able to get people to walk away from the mining scene. The discovery of coal and opening coal mines caught the attention of the Northern Pacific Railroad Company as it made them able to commit to their plan to bring a train line through Kittitas County.




Kittitas County Separates from Yakima County
1883
Despite the Kittitas valley population being small in the 1880s, the citizens had their political pursuits in mind already. Because the county seat Yakima City was so far from Ellensburg, trips there to settle county disputes became tedious and many citizens agreed it wasn't worth the effort. They decided to pick between two choices; move the county seat to Ellensburg or organize a new county. The people of Yakima objected to these ideas, mostly because they would find more difficulties from the citizens from the Naches gap to the Columbia river. At the election of 1880, voters supported Democratic candidate George S. Taylor to the legislature as opposed to Republican nominee John A. Shoudy. Many believed that Shoudy would divide the county or remove Yakima City from its county seat position.

In the election of 1882, the two men ran for the same office once again, this time the Kittitas valley Democrats elected Shoudy over Taylor by a lead of fifty-six votes. One of the reasons was that the taxpayers and board didn't believe that it was in the county's best interests to not build a new courthouse. Old Yakima citizens were not in favor as they believed it would cause more division if a county became two separate entities. One S.T. Packwood was a lawyer that had many expenses that couldn't be forgotten if the county was to remain one collective area. So he talked with the Yakima National Bank, and they made a case to Judge J.R Lewis to approve Kittitas to become its own county. Shoudy's bill for the creation of Kittitas County saw virtually no opponents, and the new county was on its way to becoming a reality.

In December of 1883, the board of county commissioners held a meeting about the new Kittitas County. This was done to establish the relationship between Yakima and Kittitas counties, knowing what will be transferred to which area. Even Klickitat county was involved in case the two counties were unable to come to an agreement. After the agreements were made, Kittitas County had other problems to take care of. Despite having no courthouse, a building to take the place of one, or the funds to create one, the early years of the local government saw a lot of meetings in different places. Bank vaults were used as recordkeeping. Luckily, the political landscape was handled by capable people and they were able to maintain the economy. In response to the discovery of coal in Roslyn, Ellensburg citizens were able to get money to circulate through the county. In 1886, the people of Kittitas County saw their courthouse being constructed by John Nash, and the leaders of Kittitas County took ownership of the building on February 28, 1887. In the early 1950s, the historic courthouse was deemed insufficient to the growing community's needs. Once a new courthouse was built surrounding the old building, the historic courthouse was demolished, leaving the current structure in place. A jail expansion in the early 2010s filled in the courtyard that had replaced the old building.




First Kittitas County Fair
1885
From September 30 to October 2, 1885, the first Kittitas County Fair was held near Ellensburg, two years before Kittitas County was organized. The event ran for three days, and attracted celebrants from throughout the Kittitas Valley. Exhibitions include livestock such as horses, hogs, and chickens. Among the games and entertainments are catching a greased pig and climbing a greased pole.

One of the reasons that the fair came to be was the reunion of Civil War veterans from the Grand Army of the Republic (G.A.R.). The Ellensburg chapter of this organization hosted this reunion through the James Parsons Post, Number 11. The original location was near the Ellensburg KOA, often referred to as the "Upper River Bridge." This post would later be renamed the David Ford Post after John Ford Clymer's great-grandfather. This event was not held on official fairgrounds as one did not exist in Kittitas County yet. The Ellensburg Fair had also been at the Woolen Mill.

Ranchers and townsmen worked together to prepare for this event by cleaning the land, creating a racetrack, providing seating with locally grown plants, and similar services. Many local businesses were able to display their products and services at the fair such as produce, wine, handcrafted items, clothes, paintings, and flowers. The last night of the fair featured a ball in Downtown Ellensburg.

In 1923 a permanent fairground site was established. From that year on the Kittitas County Fair was an annual Labor Day weekend event. The Ellensburg Rodeo, held concurrently with the Fair, was organized officially in 1923.




City of Ellenburg Completes its Organization
1879 - 1886
In 1879, Henry M. Bryant and Austin A. Bell opened the second trading post in the town, located at the old stockade building. Leopold Blumauer started a general store that same year, and John H. Smithson opened a butcher shop.Many other stores opened in the early years; blacksmith shops, barber shops, furniture, and other establishments. However, in 1883, a fire was started at several stores, and many citizens came to stop the spread of the flames.

As the success from Robber's Post grew, Ellensburg became an essential area for travelers going through the Snoqualmie Pass. This required Ellensburg to become more organized and become a functional town. The growth of Ellensburg started slowly, gaining speed in 1883 when the First National Bank of Ellensburg & the Ellensburg Hook and Ladder Company Number 1 were established. Later on November 24, 1883, the County of Kittitas was established, separating from Yakima County in the process, with Ellensburg as the county seat. This was done in response to it being essential for all travelers coming through the county and Kittitas Valley.

While the town was able to build something for itself, it was not always easy for everyone. There have been several fires in the span of ten years. One of the largest fires was the July 4, 1889 fire when the town was racing to become the state capital. Many of the advertising to vote for Ellensburg was destroyed, and it caused the city to stop campaigning and rebuild the town.

On January 1, 1884, Ellensburg's incorporation was ratified due to the territorial act from the legislative assembly of Washington Territory. Later that month, this assembly enacted a second Charter of Incorporation, which soon saw Ellensburg form its city government afterwards. Ellensburg held its first elections on February 26, 1886, electing Austin Mires as mayor. A few years after Washington became a state in 1889, Ellensburg requested re-incorporation under the new state laws on January 24, 1893.

The next six years saw many important buildings and establishments being built, such as the Ellensburg Academy, a private Presbyterian school, on September 24, 1884. That same year, General C.B. Lamborn of the North Pacific Railroad made a request to the city of Ellensburg to establish a new depot location there. After a deal involving land exchange, the depot was completed in 1886. The next year saw the completion of the county courthouse. By the end of 1889, Ellensburg gained a population of over 2,500 citizens.




The Kittitas County Localizer (now Ellensburg's Daily Record) is founded
1883
The city of Ellensburg had begun to provide the community newspapers through the "Kittitas County Localizer," a newspaper organization that issued its first newspaper on July 12, 1883. The Ellensburg Localizer operated for twenty-six years when former publishers J.C. "Cliff" Kaynor and William S. Zimmerman took control of the organization, renaming it to the Evening Record in 1909. This partnership would last for three years with Zimmerman as editor and Kaynor serving as the financial and business representative.

In 1912, Kaynor bought out Zimmerman, becoming a leader in Ellensburg's development such as being a rodeo board member, supporting the Grand Coulee project, and serving as the president of the National Newspaper Publishers Association. Kaynor changed the name of the paper to the "Ellensburg Daily Record" on April 23, 1938, giving the organization the slogan of being the "Center of the Northwest's Greatest Irrigation Development."

The name would be changed to "The Daily Record" in 1973 with the new slogan of "Serving Kittitas County" to convey its intention to report news across the entire county. The Daily Record was the second daily newspaper in the state to make the transition from typewriters to computers for reporters to write with. In November 1981, the Daily Record adopted a cable-TV channel to its organization. In 1992, the newspaper was sold to McClatchy Newspaper group, and later to the Pioneers Newspapers Inc. in 1996. To this day, the Daily Record continues to adapt and change with the times.





The Race for the Capital
1883 - 1890
Washington Territory's first Territorial Governor, Issac Stevens, chose Olympia to be the territorial capital on November 28, 1853. This had been the obvious choice as population in other cities weren't as consistent or large as Olympia, but when it came time to get a state capital, North Yakima and Ellensburg became popular areas by voters due to the Pacific Railroad depots. The Kittitas Standard editor had gone on record stating that Ellensburg had the most accurate representation of Washington of any city. The citizens of Ellensurg agreed, and as Olympia wanted to keep it's capital status, the race began.

Ellensburg has had electric lightning since December 1888 when the Ellensburg Light and Power Company began operation. All hotels and some streets were lighted, and this led to people being more willing to bring economic growth. In the months before statehood, the local real estate rose dramatically, some of the most expensive homes being listed at $8,500. Newspapers and other advertisements had aggressively told the public that Ellensburg would be the state capital.

The two biggest rivals in the race for the capital were Olympia and North Yakima (which changed its name to Yakima in 1917. Union Gap had been known as Yakima City, but it changed its name earlier.), despite many others being considered. Walters and Company, a land speculation firm in Ellensburg, pledged 40 acres to create a state house and other public grounds in support of the race. North Yakima challenged that with a 50 acre bid of land and paying $10,000 to move the capital structure from Olympia to North Yakima.

The Washington Farmer, a North Yakima newspaper, had taken the opportunity to attack Ellensubrg with an article in the midst of the race. It stated that Ellensburg was far too narrow to host a capital, not being able to advertise the fact that the capital would be there. Other jabs taken were the icy weather would destroy any chance of being productive there, and the crime rate being higher than in King County at the time. Another paper from Centralia stated that the name "Ellensburg" was not dignified enough to be a state capital, and a long back and forth started from this slander.

Austin Mires and John Shoudy were Kittitas County representatives to the Constitutional Convention and they left Ellensburg with mayor William Rollins Abrams in Olympia in early July 1889 to attend. On July 4 of that year, Ellensburg was devoured by a massive fire. Mayor Abrams rushed to help in the efforts to take out the fire and rebuild the city. The race for state capital was put on hold in order to take care of this more important task at hand.

On October 1, 1889, Washington's men voted to approve the new state constitution, and the vote of the state capital was included on the ballot. Of all the cities in consideration, the top three were chosen to be on the ballot of the next general election; Olympia, North Yakima, and Ellensburg. The election on November 4, 1890 saw the votes cast turn in favor of Olympia as the state capital with an overwhelming 37,413 votes. Ellensburg received 7,722 votes while North Yakima came in third with 6,276.




Northern Pacific Railroad
1886
On March 31, 1886 Ellensburg welcomed the first Northern Pacific Railroad train to come to its city borders. Originally ending a little west before Cle Elum, this train line expanded in June 1887 to reach the Puget Sound. This new coverage from the train line made the connection between Kittitas County and the rest of the state, and by extension the country, much easier. The population of the county and the number of businesses within it had increased dramatically. Ellensburg was chosen to be the location of the railroad depot as it was the the center of a valley with ranches and fertile farmland, and it was only expanding more and more. This original depot was built in 1886, and would later be replaced by a new one in 1910.

The man that was responsible for the railroad construction was town founder John Shoudy. He made several deals to encourage the railroad to cross the Yakima twice, and thus two trestles. There would usually only be one trestle built for a railroad, but this would now have seen the same growth of the railroad through Ellensburg as it did. Had this deal not happened, Ellensburg may not have ever been considered as a worthy candidate for Washington state capital. Along with this design, Shoudy made deals for the railroad to receive prime choices of land and a few plats of land in Ellensburg. One of these land plats was the First Railroad District, now a historical district in Ellensburg.





Washington State Normal School (now CWU) is Founded
1891 - Present
Washington State Normal School 1891 - 1936
In response to the 1889 Washington legislators motioning to create teacher training schools for a new school system and curriculum, Washington State Normal School was open and started operations in 1891.This was required under the State Enabling Act of February 22, 1889, forming constitutions and state governments for the newly adopted states to the Union; North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, and Washington. It was called a "normal school" because of its intent to train teachers to instruct a common or "normal" curriculum in the state. This came from the French phrase "ecole normale" school in 1658, which was the base of the pattern for schools to follow. Principal Benjamin Franklin Barge supervised the school that offered classes grade curriculum, with 50 students ranging from 18 to 50 years old. Dormitories were not offered until Kamola Hall was completed in 1911, then known simply as the Dormitory. It was renamed after the daughter of Yakima Chief Owhi, a crucial figure in the Yakima Indian War, and he signed the Treaty of Walla Walla. This name change was promoted in Andrew Jackson Splawn's letter to the Board of Trustees. Men were able to move on campus with the completion of Munson Hall in 1928. Before these two halls were created, the student body would live in homes around the community or in the three-story Nash Block, where Umpqua Bank is today.

It wasn't until 1894 when the first facility was built, named Barge Hall after Principal Barge due to his early involvement in the school's history. This building provided a library, classrooms and other essentials. In 1909 students who didn't have plans to teach but wanted to get started on higher education were permitted to this school.

Central Washington State College 1937 - 1960
During Robert Erive McConnell's role as the State School President, many new programs and degrees were introduced with a total of 745 students. During this, many faculty members were upset with McConnell's behavior when he fired Professor Joe Trainor for skipping the 1940 graduation ceremony. World War II also brought stress onto the school by seeing a large drop in male enrollment, and many faculty members requested a leave of absence due to it.

World War II would see the aviation program at Central Washington College of Education gain traction as pilots were in high demand for the war effort. The school was used as a training base for pilots, using Kamola Hall as the men's dormitory. Another use that the military used the campus for was utilizing Bowers Field as a sub-base for Payne Field and in defense of Seattle. It is important to note that Bowers Field was named after Robert Keith Bowers, the first resident of Ellensburg to be killed in World War II at Pearl Harbor.

Central Washington State College 1961 - 1976
President James Brooks time in office saw the name of the school change to Central Washington State College, representing the expansion of the new additions to the offered in degrees and other pursuits that don't relate to prepping for teaching. During the 1970s, a state-wide economic decline saw morale decline alongside enrollment rates. In response to this, the Board of Trustees was created. In 1977, the school changed its name to Central Washington University.

Central Washington University 1977 - Present
The trustees hired sociologist Dr. Donald L. Garrity to be the new President of the University. Despite state-mandated budget cuts and other obstacles, Garrity's time as President saw the rise of international programs where faculty would go abroad to campuses such as Japan, Mexico, Hungary, and many more to recruit students and staff members. This international program would lead to the inclusion of the Japanese garden to honor President Garrity on campus. In 2006, new hires brought more diverse staff and students to campus, along with new buildings,a student center, and impressive music facility, greeted Central's undergraduates, master's students, and community members. It also saw the rise of satellite campuses being built and becoming accessible for students who couldn't attend classes at the Ellensburg campus. Makeshift facilities were made before, but it wasn't until this year that six permanent locations became available for students. These six locations were Moses Lake, Lynnwood, Des Moines, Pierce County, Yakima, and Wenatchee.




The Milwaukee Road
1909
In 1908, the Chicago, Milwaukee, and St. Paul Railroad, otherwise known as the Milwaukee Road, built its transcontinental route across Kittitas County, from Beverly on the eastern border through the Snoqualmie Pass on the western side. Workers created the communities of South Cle Elum and Kittitas, and built multiple depots and whistle stop stations along the route. In Ellensburg, they built the depot on B Street (near where Kiwanis Park is today), which was removed after the Milwaukee Road ended service and declared bankrupcy. The original trackline is preserved as the Palouse to Cascades State Park Trail, except for the section that crosses the Central Washington University campus.





Ellensburg Rodeo Begins
1923
Looking to create local business and celebrate the community, citizens of Ellensburg coordinated many group efforts to put on the first annual Ellensburg Rodeo. A big part of the Rodeo's success was the new population of townsmen who wanted to experience a recreation of the "Wild West", including cattle roundups. Ellensburg was an especially good fit for this event as it is in the heart of a cattle valley and many citizens could accurately recreate this event.

The three groups responsible for the business end of the Rodeo were downtown businessmen, the Yakima tribe, and the Fair Board. Advertising as "Sunday Rodeos," the typical day saw somewhere between 100 to 300 attendees. These Sunday Rodeos were the most crucial aspect of the success of the event as it brought in the most visitors, often drawing the attention of thousands of people. The best farmers and ranchers from the community would compete in these rodeos, and it made locals excited about the idea of holding an annual rodeo to draw the larger PNW to attend.

The Rodeo took most of the summer to plan and prepare for, being held through September 13th to September 15th. This event became a huge success as it encapsulated the community and the nostalgic aspects of the Wild West. Local Lilian Pope had gone on record saying that because many of the contestants were townsfolk, "it really made a difference [because] it was really more of a local show." This is what made the Ellensburg Rodeo so successful, and to this day is still being held annually.




Ellensburg hosts Washington State Conference for Women
1977
1976-1985 was the United Nation's Decade of Women, a global initiative that advocated for the integration and participation of women in development, world peace, and the elimination of gender discrimination. In 1977, Ellensburg hosted the Washington State Conference for Women in participation of this initiative. This conference had a debate over whether to support the proposed Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) in the United States. The ERA found opponents in conservatives and liberal feminists, who defeated a resolution supporting this amendment. Despite this, those in favor of the ERA managed to elect pro-ERA delegates to represent Washington in the national women's meeting in Houston, Texas. Ten years later, there was another conference that served to reevaluate the original conference and see how the ideals and mission were upheld.




Ellensburg continues to serve as the county seat and central hub for diversity, art and contemporary education to weave together with history and a traditional western way of life. Generations of locals and Central Washington University students share the beauty of surrounding farms, ranches, geographical wonders, and a preserved, historic downtown; travelers are encouraged to do the same. Ellensburg remains a top producer of quality hay in Washington state, a beginning point for the leaders of tomorrow, and the host to the famous Labor Day weekend Rodeo. Devoted residents work effortlessly to keep life vivacious and welcoming in the valley.



Work Sited

World Conference of the International Women's Year - United Nations Washington State Conference for Women, 1977 - University Archives and Special Collections - Central Washington University (cwu.edu)
Robber's Roost, Washington State, circa 1889-1912 - Ellensburg Heritage - Washington Rural Heritage
Andrew Jackson Splawn and Ben Burch open a trading post, "Robber's Roost," on the site of the future Ellensburg in 1870. - HistoryLink.org
A Step Back in Time: History of Downtown Ellensburg Vol. 1 - Ellensburg Downtown Association
www.historylink.org
genealogytrails.com
First Kittitas County Fair is held near Ellensburg for three days beginning on September 30, 1885. - HistoryLink.org
History (kittitasvalleyeventcenter.com)
Ellensburg - Thumbnail History - HistoryLink.org
Ellensburg - Washington, United States - Britannica
washingtonruralheritage.org
dailyrecordnews.com
Central Washington University - HistoryLink.org
Rodeo History - Ellensburg Rodeo Hall of Fame
Kamola Hall turns 100 - Top Story | dailyrecordnews.com
U.S. Board on Geographic Names - National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (nga.mil)
State History Enabling Act (wa.gov)
James Madison University - JMU Centennial Celebration - What's a Normal School?
Ellensburg loses its bid to become state capital on November 4, 1890. - HistoryLink.org
Snipes, Ben, Northwest Cattle King: A Talk by Roscoe Sheller - HistoryLink.org


Saide Thayer from the Kittitas County Historical Museum served as a consultant.
 










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