Wenatchee, Washington: Wikis


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Wenatchee, Washington
—  City  —
Nickname(s): Apple Capital of the World and the Buckle of the Power belt of the Great Northwest
Location in the state of Washington
Coordinates: 47°25′24″N 120°19′31″W / 47.42333°N 120.32528°W / 47.42333; -120.32528Coordinates: 47°25′24″N 120°19′31″W / 47.42333°N 120.32528°W / 47.42333; -120.32528
Country United States
State Washington
County Chelan
Incorporated January 7, 1893
 - Mayor Dennis Johnson
 - City 7.3 sq mi (19.0 km2)
 - Land 6.9 sq mi (17.8 km2)
 - Water 0.4 sq mi (1.2 km2)
Elevation 780 ft (237 m)
Population (2000)
 - City 27,856
 Density 4,048.9/sq mi (1,563.3/km2)
 Metro 99,219
Time zone PST (UTC-8)
 - Summer (DST) PDT (UTC-7)
ZIP codes 98801, 98807
Area code(s) 509
FIPS code 53-77105[1]
GNIS feature ID 1527897[2]
Website www.cityofwenatchee.com
Climate chart (explanation)
average max. and min. temperatures in °F
precipitation totals in inches
source: DRI

Wenatchee is located in North Central Washington and (pronounced /wɛˈnætʃi/, us dict: wĕ·năt′·chē) it's the largest city and county seat of Chelan County, Washington, United States.[3] The population was 27,856 at the 2000 census. Located at the confluence of the Wenatchee and Columbia rivers near the eastern foothills of the Cascade Range, Wenatchee lies on the western side of the Columbia River, across from the city of East Wenatchee. The Columbia River forms the boundary between Chelan and Douglas County. Wenatchee is the principal city of the 'Wenatchee–East Wenatchee, Washington Metropolitan Statistical Area', which encompasses all of Chelan and Douglas counties. However, the 'Wenatchee Area' generally refers to the land between Rocky Reach and Rock Island Dam on both banks of the Columbia, which includes East Wenatchee, Rock Island, and Malaga.

The city was named for the nearby Wenatchi Indian tribe. The name is a Salish word that means "river which comes [or whose source is] from canyons" or "robe of the rainbow." Awenatchela means "people at the source [of a river]." The city of Wenatchee shares its name with the Wenatchee River, Lake Wenatchee and the Wenatchee National Forest.

Wenatchee is known as the "Apple Capital of the World" due to the valley's many orchards, which produce apples enjoyed around the world. The city is also sometimes referred to as the "Buckle of the Power Belt of the Great Northwest." The "Power Belt of the Great Northwest" is a metaphor for the series of hydroelectric dams on the Columbia River. Rock Island Dam is located nearest the middle of this "belt", and so was labeled the "Buckle". This saying is printed at the top of every issue of Wenatchee's newspaper, the Wenatchee World, and is no longer in common use elsewhere.[4]



Archeological digs in nearby East Wenatchee have uncovered Clovis stone and bone tools dating back more than 11,000 years, indicating that people migrating during the last Ice Age spent time in the Wenatchee area. The Columbia River and nearby mountains and sagebrush steppes provided an ample supply of food. Clovis points are on display at the [1]Wenatchee Valley Museum & Cultural Center and research findings are available through the Wenatchee World [2].

As early as 1811, fur traders from the Northwest Fur Company entered the Wenatchee valley to trap and trade with the Indians. In 1863, Father Respari, a Catholic priest, began his missionary work with the Indians. He was followed some 20 years later by Father De Grassi, who built a log cabin on the Wenatchee River near the present town of Cashmere. Throughout the 1800s other white settlers came to homestead the land. Wenatchee was platted in September 1888 and officially incorporated as a city on January 7, 1893. The 1900 U.S. Census counted 451 residents.

Great Northern Railway completed its railroad line between St. Paul, Minn. and Seattle in 1893. Its route through the Wenatchee Valley was quite significant to the development of this region. The railroad not only facilitated passenger travel to and from Wenatchee, but provided the opportunity for freight shipments of wheat, apples and other products to national markets.

By the early 1900s the Wenatchee Commercial Club was advertising the region as the "Home of the World's Best Apples." The tree fruit industry provided the economic backbone for the region for a century and still is an important source of revenue along with tourism and other industries.

Wenatchee Fire Station No. 1 is listed on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP).

On October 5, 1931, Clyde Pangborn and co-pilot Hugh Herndon landed their plane, the Miss Veedol, in the hills of East Wenatchee and became the first to fly non-stop across the Pacific Ocean. The 41 hour flight from Sabishiro Beach, Misawa, Aomori Prefecture, Japan won them the Harmon Trophy symbolizing the greatest achievement in flight for the year 1931.

In 1936, with the completion of Rock Island Dam, Wenatchee was protected from the summer flooding of the Columbia River and the first of 14 hydroelectric projects on the Columbia began generating power. The reservoirs behind the dams made it possible to irrigate thousands of additional acres in the Columbia Basin.

In 1975, the headquarters of Stemilt Growers was moved from nearby Stemilt Hill to Olds Station, Wenatchee. The company grows, packs and ships tree fruit and would go on to become the largest fresh market sweet cherry shipper in the world.[5]

The so-called Wenatchee sex ring, an example of day care sexual abuse hysteria, occurred in 1994 and 1995.[6]

Every year from the last week of April through the end of the first week of May, Wenatchee hosts the Washington State Apple Blossom Festival, which probably brings in the largest number of people Wenatchee sees annually, with the exception of all the migrant workers coming in to pick the crop. It features 2 relatively large parades, the Apple Blossom Youth Parade on the last Saturday in April and the Apple Blossom Grand Parade on the first Saturday in May, a food fair representing cuisine from around the world, and a travelling carnival.

According to CNN's Money Magazine, Wenatchee had the second fastest forecast real estate value growth for June 2006–June 2007 in the country.


Public K-12

The former Carnegie Library, also listed on the NRHP, is now home to the Washington State Apple Blossom Festival.
Wells House, another NRHP building. Its former grounds are now home to Wenatchee Valley College.

Public K-12 education in Wenatchee is provided by the Wenatchee School District #246, which also serves the communities of Malaga, Olds Station, South Wenatchee, Sunnyslope, and Wenatchee Heights. The city is served by seven elementary schools which provide education from kindergarten through Grade 5. Columbia, Lewis and Clark, Lincoln, Mission View, Newbery and Washington Elementary schools provide instruction within, or near, the city limits of Wenatchee, whilst Sunnyslope Elementary provides instruction in the orchard and suburban hills of Sunnyslope, north of Wenatchee. Students then progress to one of the city's three middle schools, Foothills, Orchard, or Pioneer Middle Schools, which provide Grade 6 through Grade 8 instruction within the City Limits. All Wenatchee middle schools transfer their graduating student body up to Wenatchee High School, which operates Grade 9 through Grade 12, with the option for students to enroll in Running Start and attend Wenatchee Valley College for grades 11 and 12, or attend North Central Skills Center in Olds Station. The School District does maintain Westside High School, an alternative high school, and the Valley Academy of Learning, which is an alternative education program where parents play the active role in education of their children.

Wenatchee Internet Academy

In 2006, the Wenatchee School District #246 began offering students of Wenatchee High School and Westside High School the ability to take selected classes online at the Wenatchee Internet Academy. These classes employ use of Moodle and Blackboard software packages for managing the distance learning program. All classes are designed by educators at Wenatchee High School and operated by local instructors within the Wenatchee School District.

Private K-12 Instruction

The city is also supported by numerous private schools, most of which are religious, including Children's Gate Montessori School (Pre-K - K, Non-Sectarian), Cascade Christian Academy (K-12 Seventh Day Adventist), The River Academy (K-12 Non-Denominational/Christian), St. Joseph School (K-5 Catholic), St. Paul's Lutheran School (K-5 Lutheran Church). [3]

Higher Learning and ESD

Wenatchee is also home to the North Central Educational Service District, serving all of North Central Washington, and Wenatchee Valley College, a 2-year Community College with its main campus in Wenatchee and a satellite campus in Omak, WA. The main campus has an average student population of 3500 of all ages. Wenatchee Valley College has one of the largest community college service areas in the state of Washington, covering more than 10,000 square miles (30,000 km2). [4]

Washington State University is represented in Wenatchee by the Tree Fruit Research and Extension Center, the North Central Washington Learning Center, and Chelan Co. Cooperative Extension.


Club Sport League Stadium
Indoor Footbal (Professional)
Wenatchee Valley Venom Indoor football American Indoor Football Association Town Toyota Center
Indoor Soccer (Professional)
Wenatchee Fire FC Indoor soccer Professional Arena Soccer League Wenatchee Valley SportsPlex
Baseball (Minor League)
Wenatchee AppleSox Baseball West Coast League Paul Thomas Field
Hockey (Minor League)
Wenatchee Wild Ice hockey North American Hockey League Town Toyota Center
Amateur Ice Sports and Hockey
Wenatchee Figure Skating Club Figure Skating United States Figure Skating Association Town Toyota Center
Wenatchee Curling Club Curling United States Curling Association Town Toyota Center
Wenatchee Jr. Wild Ice hockey USA Hockey Town Toyota Center
Wenatchee Banshees Womens Hockey Ice hockey USA Hockey Town Toyota Center
Wenatchee Mens Hockey League (formerly Wings Hockey Club) Ice hockey USA Hockey Town Toyota Center
Pro-Am Football
Wenatchee Valley Rams Football Washington Football League Wildcat Stadium
Youth Baseball
Wenatchee Packers Baseball American Legion Recreation Park

The Ridge to River relay race, a fund raiser for local non-profit organizations, kicks off the Apple Blossom Festival each spring. Modeled after Bellingham, Washington's Ski to Sea, athletes participate in one or all of following legs; cross country skiing, downhill skiing/snowboarding, running, bicycling, and kayak/canoeing and portage. The Junior Ridge to River is held the week before the adult competition and is a way that the youth of the area can compete in a similar competition.

The Wenatchee Valley Super Oval in East Wenatchee is a quarter-mile mile high banked asphalt oval used for local racing.

In the fall of 2008, the Town Toyota Center was completed, and hosts some professional and junior professional sporting events, in addition to touring events and expositions.


The Wenatchee Valley and the surrounding areas provide an abundance of sports and recreational activities for any season. There are several facilities including the [7] tennis club, an Olympic size swimming pool, an ice arena, several 18-hole and 9-hole golf courses, a 9-hole disc golf course, and countless baseball diamonds and soccer fields. There are lots of places to hike, fish and hunt, both birds and larger game. Boating and water recreation are also quite common. Many kayak, windsurf and water-ski on the Columbia. Whitewater rafting and inner-tubing is frequent on the Wenatchee River. In the winter, the mountains near Wenatchee provide great snowmobiling, sledding at Squilchuck State Park, as well as skiing and snowboarding at Mission Ridge (30 minutes drive) and Stevens Pass (1 hour and a half drive). Nordic skiing is available at the Stevens Pass Nordic Center, Leavenworth (25 minute drive), and the Methow Valley (1 hour and 45 minute drive).

The city also offers a large system of parks and paved trails known as the Apple Capital Recreational Loop Trail. The 10-mile (20 km) loop which runs both banks of the Columbia River is used by cyclists, walkers, joggers, and skaters. In the winter cross country skiers and snowshoers also use the trail. The trail connects in the south at the Old Wenatchee-East Wenatchee Bridge, better known as the walking bridge, and in the north at the Richard Odabashian Olds Station Bridge. Much of the hillside areas surrounding the city of Wenatchee have been purchased by or have their rights held by the Chelan-Douglas Land Trust which protects them as a natural resource and as a site for hiking in the foothills. The foothills trail system along the western edge Wenatchee provides numerous short trails of varying difficulty for walking, hiking and mountain biking.

The Wenatchee Youth Circus, ("The Biggest Little Circus in the World") founded by Paul K. Pugh in 1952, continues to provide circus fans with opportunities to watch a real, live circus (minus the wild animals) with performers ranging in age from 6-18. The circus travels and performs in the summer months, practices indoors in the winter, and sets up its rigging for outdoor practices during the fair weather of springtime.

Music and the Arts

Wenatchee is home to many music groups including The Wenatchee Valley Symphony, Wenatchee Big Band, Columbia Chorale, and The Apollo Club. The Music Theater of Wenatchee and Mission Creek Players present quality theatrical productions and musicals. Wenatchee also boasts the Mariachi Huenachi Band and a renowned mariachi program in the Wenatchee School District.

Famous Natives

  • The cartoonist Bud Sagendorf, of Popeye fame, was born in Wenatchee.
  • The Pro Tour cyclist Tyler Farrar, of Tour de France fame, was born and raised in Wenatchee.

Sister cities

Wenatchee has four sister cities:


The Wenatchee River, just before it flows into the Columbia.

Wenatchee is located at 47°25′24″N 120°19′31″W / 47.42333°N 120.32528°W / 47.42333; -120.32528 (47.423316, -120.325279)[8] at the confluence of the Wenatchee River and the Columbia River in the Columbia Basin just east of the foothills of the Cascade Range. Unlike the climate of Western Washington, Wenatchee's climate is arid. Nested in the rain shadow of the Cascade Mountains, there are blue skies 300 days of the year. Technically a desert, irrigation from the Columbia River and her tributaries allows for the large amount of agriculture in Wenatchee and the surrounding areas.

The city of Wenatchee is bordered by the Wenatchee River on the north, the Columbia River to the east, and the Wenatchee Mountains to the south and west. These high, rugged peaks form a wall around the western and southern sides of the city.

Although there are numerous jeep trails and forest roads out of Wenatchee to the south and west, most are too rugged to be passable by most vehicles. Because of this, the city of Wenatchee proper has only two entrances and exits which can be used by passenger cars; the North Wenatchee Avenue Bridge (North End Bridge) to the north, and the Senator George Sellar Bridge (South End Bridge) to the south. Once across these bridges, motorists can continue on to other points in the state.

While Colockum Pass is listed as a route out of Wenatchee (via the south end of the city on most maps produced by the Washington State DOT), and is a potential exit from the Wenatchee area, the route is clearly labeled as not being suitable for passenger autos, though its initial sections provide access to a railroad bridge at Rock Island and farther south the Rock Island Dam, both of which can be used in emergencies.

Another potential exit road leads north from the Mission Ridge ski area to an intersection with an unimproved road that extends west to US 97 (via the ghost town of Liberty) or north into Cashmere; again, this route is (when shown at all) marked as not suitable for passenger autos.

Because of the dangers involved in having only two points of ingress and egress into the city during an evacuation, not to mention traffic congestion, officials have mentioned the possibility of additional bridges potentially being designed in the future over the Columbia or Wenatchee Rivers, as reported periodically by the Wenatchee World.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 7.3 square miles (19.0 km²), of which, 6.9 square miles (17.8 km²) of it is land and 0.4 square miles (1.2 km²) of it (6.14%) is water.


As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 27,856 people, 10,741 households, and 6,884 families residing in the city. The population density was 4,049.6 people per square mile (1,563.3/km²). There were 11,486 housing units at an average density of 1,669.8/sq mi (644.6/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 80.93% White, 0.39% African American, 1.13% Native American, 0.95% Asian, 0.13% Pacific Islander, 13.99% from other races, and 2.48% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 21.52% of the population.

There were 10,741 households out of which 33.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.4% were married couples living together, 10.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.9% were non-families. 30.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.53 and the average family size was 3.17.

In the city the population was spread out with 27.4% under the age of 18, 10.0% from 18 to 24, 28.3% from 25 to 44, 19.3% from 45 to 64, and 15.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 95.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.8 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $34,897, and the median income for a family was $45,982. Males had a median income of $35,245 versus $26,062 for females. The per capita income for the city was $19,498. About 10.6% of families and 15.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 19.7% of those under age 18 and 5.7% of those age 65 or over.

Crime and Public Safety

Public Safety within the City of Wenatchee is provided by three law enforcement agencies (Wenatchee Police Department, Chelan County Sheriff's Office, and the Washington State Patrol), two fire departments (Wenatchee Fire & Rescue and Chelan County Fire District No. 1), and two private ambulance companies (Ballard Ambulance and Lifeline Ambulance). East Wenatchee Police and Douglas County Fire District No. 2 (East Wenatchee) also assist with police and fire protection services within the city through mutual aid agreements.



Transit services within Wenatchee is provided by Link Transit, a public transit authority serving Chelan County and the major population centers of Douglas County. Link also runs intercity bus service from Wenatchee to many of the communities in the region. Wenatchee is also served by the AppleLine bus route from Ellensburg to Omak.

Trailways busses also stop at Columbia Station.


The city is served by Pangborn Memorial Airport with flights to/from Seattle on Horizon Air.


Wenatchee is in the major railroad line of the Great Northern Railway (now BNSF Railway) to Seattle. It was once the eastern terminus of the Great Northern's electric operations (1928/1929-1956) on its New Cascade Tunnel route via the Chumstick Valley, which went all the way to Skykomish. Here, steam or diesel locomotives were changed or coupled to electric locomotives for this route. Today, Amtrak's Empire Builder serves the city.

See also


External links

Simple English

Wenatchee is a city in Washington State, the United States of America. The city has a population of about 30,000 people.[1] It is served by Pangborn Memorial Airport.


Other Websites

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