News

Wapato YTB-788 - History

Wapato YTB-788 - History


We are searching data for your request:

Forums and discussions:
Manuals and reference books:
Data from registers:
Wait the end of the search in all databases.
Upon completion, a link will appear to access the found materials.

Wapato

(YTB-788: dp. 356; L 109'; b. 31'; dr. 14'; s. 12 k.;
cpl. 12; cl. Natick)

Wapato (YTB-788) was laid down on 14 January 1966 at Marinette, Wis., by the Marinette Marine Corp.; launched on 18 April 1966; and completed two months later.

Assigned to the 10th Naval District, Wapato has operated out of San Juan, Puerto Rico, into 1980, assisting warships in the harbor there and providing waterfront fire protection.


Begin Your Lakefront Legacy

In a world where years seem to fly by, it’s important to slow down, relax, and spend time with loved ones. Ponderosa at Wapato Point on Lake Chelan is the ideal destination for families seeking a place to call their home away from home or their full-time home.

Wapato Point has been a treasured escape for decades. It’s a place where people from all walks of life can immediately unplug, kick off their shoes, grab a drink, and get on “Lake Time.”

Inspired by this heritage, Wapato Point Resort is introducing a new way for families to write their name on the lake’s shore.

Welcome to Ponderosa.


DiscoveringLewis & Clark

W apato (wah-puh-toe), the Indians called it. Its scientific name is Sagittaria latifolia—from the Latin sagittaria (saj-i-tare-ee-uh) meaning "arrow-shaped" and latifolia (lat-i-fole-ee-uh) for "wide leaf." Wapato came to the Corps' attention on October 22, 1805, near the mouth of the Deschutes River.

Wapato, Sagittaria latifolia Willd.

Some or even all of the men may have called it arrowroot, arrowleaf, or arrowhead. If this plant was what Sacagawea was referring to when she told Clark she favored spending the winter anyplace where there was "plenty of Potas," it may be that some of the men had recognized it as "duck potato" or "Indian potato." It was first officially named and described by Carl Ludwig Willdenow (1765-1812), a physician, botanist and taxonomist who was head of the Botanical Garden in Berlin, Germany, from 1801 until his death.

In fact, Meriwether Lewis temporarily dropped behind the rest of the party "to examine a root of which the natives had been digging great quantities in the bottoms" along the Deschutes.

The leaves of this herbaceous plant are sagittate, or arrow-shaped. The leaf stems spring from the base of the plant, celery-like. Below, in the muck, are rhizomes that produce small starchy tubers at their tips, the way potatoes do.

The plant still grows, in a dozen slightly different species and varieties, in marshes, swamps, borders of lakes, streams, and ponds in every one of the lower 48 states except Nevada, as well all of Canada south of 60° North Latitude.1 Consequently it could have been recognized by all the members of the Corps of Discovery—although maybe not as food. In any case, that undoubtedly explains why Lewis didn't collect a specimen of it.

Fresh wapato might be roasted in a fire's embers, the way the expedition first tasted it on November 4, when its appearance reminded Clark of "a small Irish potato." For preservation, Native people pounded the dried roots and compressed the meal into cakes that Lewis said served well as bread. Throughout the Fort Clatsop winter, wapato was a frequent feature of the Corps' diet, obtained by trading with local people, and a welcome addition to meals of "pore elk" when they boiled meat and roots together.

The captains named today's Sauvie Island, in the Columbia River off Multnomah County, Oregon, "Wappetoe Island." On March 29, 1806, Clark recorded how the women harvested wapato—"by getting into the water, Sometimes to their necks holding by a Small canoe and with their feet loosen the wappato or bulb of the root from the bottom from the Fibers, and it imedeately rises to the top of the water, they Collect & throw them into the Canoe, those deep roots are the largest and best roots."

Primary Source

A. Scott Earle and James L. Reveal, Lewis and Clark's Green World: The Expedition and Its Plants, Helena, MT: Farcountry Press, 2003.

Funded in part by a grant from the National Park Service, Challenge Cost Share Program

    United States Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Plants Database, http://plants.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=LOCO4. Accessed December 15, 2014.

This site is provided as a public service by the Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation with cooperation and funding from the following organizations:

Journal excerpts are from The Journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, edited by Gary E. Moulton, 13 vols. (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1983-2001).

©1998&ndash2021 by Discovering Lewis & Clark ®


Important Foods: Wapato

Can you guess what naturally nutritious carbohydrate has arrow-shaped leaves, extracts nutrients and metals from wetlands, and is traditionally harvested with your toes?
Here’s a hint: It loves its home in the Sandy River Delta where it helps nourish muskrats and porcupine with its tubers swans, geese and ducks eat its seeds.

Yes, it’s the aquatic plant Sagittaria (arrow-shaped) cuneata E. Sheldon or “Wapato.” It’s also known as “Duck potato” or “arrowroot.”[1] Explorer Merriweather Lewis dropped back one day from the rest of the party “to examine a root of which the natives had been digging great quantities in the bottoms along the river.”[2]

Lewis may have recognized this herbaceous plant because it grows in every state except Nevada, Alaska and Hawaii. Surprised that they were a food source, Lewis noticed Native Americans harvesting the small starchy tubers about the size of chestnuts. The tubers or “potatoes” are produced by the plants’ rhizomes growing in wetland silt and muck.

The plant still grows in marshes, swamps, streams, ponds and lake borders. When wetlands are recovered and natural habitats are restored, like at the Sandy River Delta near Troutdale, Oregon, the wildlife also benefit as the native plants thrive again.

Wapato once grew in abundance and it was eaten by many indigenous groups throughout Washington and Oregon. The tubers were widely traded from harvesting centers to neighboring areas. Often, along the middle and lower Columbia, families would own large patches of wapato, camping beside their harvesting sites for a month or more.[3] Sometimes villages spent the mild winter near wapato ponds or sloughs. Sauvie Island, in Multnomah County, Oregon across the Columbia River from the Confluence Land Bridge, was named “Wappetoe Island” by Lewis and Clark. On March 29, 1806, Clark recorded how the women harvested wapato:

“by getting into the water, Sometimes to their necks holding by a Small canoe and with their feet loosen the wappato or bulb of the root from the bottom from the Fibers, and it imedeately rises to the top of the water, they Collect & throw them into the Canoe, those deep roots are the largest and best roots.” [4]

Pulling out the plant did not loosen the tubers the silt had to be worked to get at them. Muskrats also enjoyed wapato and one could sometimes find tubers that they had dug up, as one source points out.[5]

In the 1820’s, Native Americans showed the adventuresome botanist David Douglas the secrets of wapato harvesting and he thrived on them almost exclusively when in the field. Wapato is very bitter if eaten raw, but like potatoes they may be boiled, steamed or fire-roasted. Indigenous people dried them, too, for soups or pounded them into cakes (and traded them to newcomers like Lewis and Clark) or ground dried wapato into flour. Other edible parts of wapato include the tender unfurling leaves and stalk. Boil them like other greens. The flower stalk before it blossoms and the lateral tips of the immature rhizomes are also edible, raw or cooked. The white petals of the blossom are tasty raw with a mild mint flavor. [6]

In 2011, this sacred first food returned to the Yakama Nation. Wheat lands were transformed to original wetlands after a decades-long restoration process carried out by the tribe. Wapato also returned after a seventy year “respite.” [7] Wapato was as important to the Yakama diet as other sacred foods like salmon or huckleberries. To celebrate and to reintroduce this first food, a school gym was designated as the feasting hall and laid out like traditional longhouses. By introducing it to students, tribal elders felt that future generations would now have the opportunity to preserve traditions and sacred rituals that had fallen out of practice. Student Emmanuelle Wallahee commented,

“I was taught that nothing’s ever lost. It’s just been put away for awhile.” [8]

Before foraging for and ingesting wild plants, it is extremely important to know the dangers and be 100% certain of the plant’s identity. Wapato may have been an important food source historically but not today, according to Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde cultural educator Greg Archuleta. He told us wapato is known to absorb metals and other pollutants. The USDA lists it as not palatable for human consumption.

UPDATE: After we first posted this story, archaeologist Melissa Darby contacted us to say that there are many places where wapato does not include metals and other pollutants, including Sauvie Island near Portland. She said tests there showed the wapato to be “clean and safe” to eat. Darby adds, “Let everyone know that the idea of wapato with heavy metals is overblown, and not to eat it near mine tailings but other than that it is ok.” Thanks Melissa!

More reading on Wapato place names:
Wapato, WA (a town built on purchased Indian allotment lands): http://www.wapato-city.org/

This area was originally part of the Columbia or Chief Moses Indian Reservation, established by two executive orders in 1879 and 1880. The reservation originally extended from Lake Chelan and the Chelan River on the south, to the Columbia and the Okanogan River on the eastern side, to the Canadian border on the north, and to the crest of the Cascade Range on the western side. Chief Moses’s homelands included the site of Sacajawea Park and the Confluence Listening Circles, but his people were no longer welcome there. In 1883, President Chester A. Arthur gave in to the demands of the settlers and railroad builders, and restored nearly all of this reservation to public domain. [9]

End Notes

[1] Not to be confused with the Arrowroot starch, drawn from the rhizomes of several tropical plants, traditionally Maranta arundinacea, Manihot esculenta, and Zamia integrifolia, which are often labelled as “arrowroot.” Arrowroot biscuits are popular for babies when teething.

[2] Fiefer, Barbara. “Wapato, Sagittaria latifola.” Discovering Lewis & Clark. August 2006. http://www.lewis-clark.org/article/2723

[3] USDA National Resources Conservation Services. “Wapato Sagittaria cuneata.” plants.usda.gov/plantguide/doc/cs_sacu.docx

[4] Fiefer. “Wapato, Sagittaria latifola.”

[5] Chris. “Wapato.” The Nature Niche. July 26, 2013. https://thenatureniche.com/2013/07/26/wapato/

[7] Lyons, Natasha, et al. “Katzie and the Wapato: An Archaeological Love Story.” Archaeologies 14, no. 1. 7-29. Archaeological digs carried out by the Katzie First Nation in the Fraser Valley sloughs unearthed 4700 year-old wapato there.


Wapato Genealogy (in Yakima County, WA)

NOTE: Additional records that apply to Wapato are also found through the Yakima County and Washington pages.

Wapato Birth Records

Wapato Cemetery Records

Reservation Community Memorial Park Billion Graves

Wapato Census Records

Federal Census of 1940, Wapato in Yakima County, Washington LDS Genealogy

United States Federal Census, 1790-1940 Family Search

Wapato City Directories

Wapato Death Records

Wapato Immigration Records

Yakima County Clerk, Naturalization Records, 1882-1907, 1973-1980 Washington State Archives

Wapato Marriage Records

Wapato Newspapers and Obituaries

Offline Newspapers for Wapato

According to the US Newspaper Directory, the following newspapers were printed, so there may be paper or microfilm copies available. For more information on how to locate offline newspapers, see our article on Locating Offline Newspapers.

Fil-Am Moderator. (Wapato, Wash.) 1954-1940s

Wapato Probate Records

Wapato School Records

Wapato, WA High School 1926 Wa-Hi-Se-An Yearbook Old Yearbooks

Additions or corrections to this page? We welcome your suggestions through our Contact Us page


HistoryLink.org

The City of Chelan, in the North Central Washington county of the same name, straddles the entrance to the Chelan River at the southern extremity of Lake Chelan, the largest natural lake in Washington. Chelan (the town) was started in the late 1880s, sustained during its first decades by logging, mining, agriculture, and early tourism. Although its remote location slowed population growth, a magnificent setting and abundant resources eventually drew many to the area. The town prospered and the Chelan River was soon dammed for irrigation and hydropower. In more recent years, with the timber and mining industries largely inactive, Chelan has been best known as a scenic resort community supported primarily by tourism, with contributions from orchards, vineyards, and wineries.

Long, Narrow, and Deep

Lake Chelan was formed more than 10,000 years ago, carved out by a valley glacier that extended from the crests of the Cascade Mountains to the Columbia River. The narrow lake (two miles at its widest) snakes through the hills for more than 50 miles in a northwest to southeast direction, ending in the south at the inlet to the Chelan River. It is the largest, longest, and at nearly 1,500 feet, deepest lake in Washington and the third deepest in America. Ironically, it empties into the state's shortest river -- the Chelan, which (although dammed dry for much of the twentieth century) flows barely four miles before joining the Columbia for the run to the sea.

The lake is fed by multiple streams and one sizable river, the Stehekin. Along much of its length the shoreline is dominated by steep terrain and is nearly inaccessible by land. But in the southeast it opens into an area of fertile, rolling hills, and it was mostly here that both Indian and non-Indian settlers chose to put down roots.

The Chelan Indians

It is believed that regular human habitation at Lake Chelan began about 10,000 years ago when a group that became known as the Chelan settled at various places along the margin of the lake. Thought to be an offshoot of the much larger Wenatchi Tribe, they spoke the Wenatchi dialect of the Interior Salishan language.

That the tribe came to be called the "Chelan" may have been the doing of Alexander Ross (1783-1856), an explorer for the Pacific Fur Company. Traveling along the Columbia River from 1811 to 1813, Ross came to the place where it is joined by the Chelan River. Local Indians told him that the name of the river was Tsill-ane, ("deep water") and that it arose from "a lake not far distant" (Early Western Travels, 149). In his diaries, and without further comment, Ross included the "Tsill-ane Indians" as members of the "Oakinacken nation" (Early Western Travels, 275). Whether before Ross the people who now are called the Chelan used the name "Tsill-ane" to refer to themselves appears unknowable.

At the time whites started making significant encroachment into the upper-Columbia region, Innomoseecha was the recognized chief of all the Chelans, and he would represent the tribe at important councils. But the Chelans lived in largely independent bands, although they would come together to meet common challenges. Mobility, intermarriage, and slavery had blurred tribal distinctions in the region before the arrival of outsiders, and the Chelans and Entiats were often considered one people by early settlers and by federal and local governments. This oversimplification was heightened when they and several other tribes and bands were consolidated on the Columbia Reservation in the late 1870s.

The Chelans maintained an all-season village called Yenmusi' Tsa ("rainbow robe," believed to be an allusion to the play of light on the lake's surface) where the town of Chelan now lies and summer habitations north and slightly inland from the lakeshore. They regularly crossed the Cascades Mountains on foot and traveled west down the Skagit River to trade with tribes in north Puget Sound traveled northeast to Kettle Falls and southwest to Celilo Falls to trade and to fish and trekked east to the plains of Montana to hunt buffalo. They were not notably warlike, but would fight when necessary and were fully capable of defending themselves against attack.

In their home territory, the Chelans hunted game ranging from deer to marmots gathered fruits, roots, and vegetables and fished in both the lake and in local rivers. They burned off forested areas to encourage the growth of plants that would attract grazing animals cooperatively drove deer, mountain goat, and other game into brush fences for slaughter and used tunnel-shaped fish traps and other devices to maximize catches. The Chelan River was impassable to salmon due to its high flow rate and steep falls, but the tribe took non-migratory fish, including cutthroat trout, bull trout, and burbot from the lake. They had a legend to explain why salmon could not make it up to Lake Chelan:

"Coyote noticed the very beautiful daughter of a Chelan chief fishing for salmon in Lake Chelan, so he decided to ask for her hand in marriage. When Coyote asked the girl's father if he could marry his daughter the chief refused in no uncertain terms. This so enraged Coyote that he immediately threw huge boulders into the Chelan River. The boulders created rapids and falls that have ever since prevented the salmon from navigating upriver to the lake" (Wapato Heritage)

It cannot be determined how large the Chelan Tribe was before its numbers were reduced by smallpox, measles, flu, and other diseases, but in 1850 there were about 250 living along the Columbia River and 1,185 in villages on the lake. Within just 20 years, by 1870, their numbers were believed to have been reduced to fewer than 300.

Treaties and More Treaties

The first non-Indians to live in the Chelan and Wenatchee valleys were prospectors and miners, many of them Chinese, who arrived as early as 1863 to search for gold. They were subject to frequent attacks by Indians, and in 1875 it was reported that up to 300 Chinese miners died in a single massacre. Others carried on until rampant anti-Chinese sentiment among white settlers in the 1880s led to the murder of some and the expulsion of all.

Lake Chelan proper was not settled by non-Natives until near the very end of Washington's Territorial days, in part because of its isolated and difficult location. A second reason was complications flowing from the government's efforts to put Indians on reservations and take their land for settlement, which often left the title to that land in dispute. Treaties were made and abrogated, reservations established and rescinded. Land fell into and out of tribal ownership. Many Indians simply refused to live on the reservations, staying put where they and their forebears were born.

Isaac Ingalls Stevens (1818-1862), Washington's first Territorial governor and superintendent of Indian affairs, was tasked with negotiating treaties that would move Natives to reservations and free up land for American settlement and exploitation. He was energetic and committed, and he went about his work with enthusiasm and guile. Whether they agreed or not, several tribes, including the Chelans, were considered by Stevens to be participants in the 1855 Yakama Treaty negotiations that established the Yakama Reservation. (An Indian Claims Commission opinion more than 100 years later backed Stevens, ruling that the Chelan, Entiat, Wenatchee, and Columbia Indians were all included under the name "Pisquouse" in the treaty document.) But many simply refused to be bound to reservations or to leave their traditional areas, and many of those ended up banding together under the Columbia Sinkiuse chief, Moses (1829-1899), who rejected the treaty.

Moses and his followers fought occasional skirmishes with authorities, but they largely remained aloof, neither overly friendly nor openly aggressive, an enigma rather than an imminent threat. In 1877, although torn by loyalty to his ally and friend, Chief Joseph (1840-1904), Moses abstained in the war between the U.S. and Joseph's Nez Perce. But he was under steady pressure to move onto either the Yakama or the later-established Colville reservations, and he wanted neither.

In 1879 the federal government gave up, and President Rutherford B. Hayes (1822-1893) created the Moses Reservation (also called the Columbia Reservation) on a huge swath of land that started north of Lake Chelan and stretched to the Canadian border. Later that year a small contingent of U.S. soldiers under the command of Colonel Henry C. Merriam (1837-1912) built a sawmill and a small fort called Camp Chelan where the lake empties into the Chelan River. They were the first non-Indians to inhabit that site, but did so for less than a year before leaving to establish Fort Spokane.

After the army abandoned Camp Chelan in 1880, the Moses Reservation was extended by executive order to include all of Lake Chelan, including where Merriam's camp had been and where the town of Chelan later would be sited. This, at least in theory, protected the area around the Chelan River from white settlement. In 1883, a 15-mile-deep strip along the Canadian border, rich in minerals, was withdrawn from the reservation by executive order after negotiation with Chief Moses. In 1883 or 1884, the federal government again negotiated with the chief, this time for the surrender of the remainder of the Moses Reservation. It was a controversial bargain, one that brought Moses personal gain in the form of an annuity, and he would be harshly criticized by many for trading away Native land.The rescission of the Moses Reservation was officially ratified by Congress in 1886.

Moses and most of his followers, including the Chelans, moved to the Colville Reservation, and President Grover Cleveland (1837-1908) opened the former reservation land at the south end of the lake to "homesteads." The seemingly innocuous use of this word would before long greatly complicate efforts to found a town where six years earlier Camp Chelan had briefly stood.

The Hard Way In

Also in 1886, William Sanders (b. 1861) and Henry Domke (often spelled "Dumpke" and "Dumke" in older sources) arrived at Lake Chelan after an arduous trek from the north. They had traveled down the Columbia and then up the Methow River to the top of a mountain divide, from where they could see the lake. As they tried to work their way down to it, their only horse fell over a cliff, taking along their supplies. The men subsisted on fish caught from streams until they finally managed to reach the lake shore.

Sanders and Domke built a crude boat and made it safely to the south end of the lake where it empties into the Chelan River. There they were greeted by Chelan and Entiat Indians from Moses's band who had not moved to the Colville reservation and had either taken 640-acre allotments granted as part of the agreement that terminated the Moses Reservation or had simply refused to leave their ancestral land. Sanders and Domke got on well with the Indians and decided to settle there.

Sanders was at Chelan to stay, but Domke, said to be a dreamer, was not. He managed to talk a Portland firm into selling him a portable sawmill on credit, which was dragged up to the lake and erected at a place he named Domke Falls. It was not a success -- the most widely reported story is that when Domke diverted water into the mill, the machinery actually ran backwards. No lumber was ever cut there, and the mill was repossessed and removed. Domke, discouraged, moved away and disappeared from the Chelan story. William Sanders stuck it out, and was present to greet additional settlers who started to trickle in. He eventually started a successful dairy farm on the lake.

Ignatius A. Navarre (1846-1919) and Lewis H. Spader (1857-1931) also arrived at Chelan in 1886. Navarre had practiced law in Seattle and later was a probate judge for Yakima County. From 1882 to 1885 he worked as a government surveyor in parts of what are now Douglas, Chelan, and Okanogan counties, and he may have visited south Lake Chelan as early as 1884. What is known for sure is that in 1886 Navarre filed a homestead claim just a few miles away from the Chelan River on the lake's south shore. His wife, Elizabeth Cooper Navarre, became the first white woman to settle permanently on Lake Chelan (Colonel Merrian's wife and children had accompanied him during the short life of Camp Chelan). The Navarres' only son, Joseph (b. 1889), was indisputably the first white child born on the shores of the lake.

Born in Turmoil

The convoluted history of the Moses Reservation and the 1886 allotments of land to some tribe members was soon to stymie the first attempt to create a town of Chelan. President Cleveland's 1886 order dissolving the Moses Reservation had opened the land at the south end of the lake for homestead purposes only. In July 1889, Okanogan County Probate Judge C. H. Ballard filed a plat for a town at the site of the short-lived Camp Chelan with the land office in Yakima (at least one source says Waterville).

The plat was accepted, but should not have been -- the land could not legally be platted as a townsite because its use was restricted to "homesteads" by President Cleveland's order. And now it could not legally be used for homesteads, because homesteads were not permitted on property platted as a town, and the plat had been accepted and recorded. This put everything into legal limbo. By the time the magnitude of the mess was discovered, Ballard had sold more than 1,000 lots for $5.75 apiece.

Straightening out this absurdity took an act of Congress, which came in 1892 when it granted a federal "patent" for land that included the property Ballard had chosen for the townsite. This had the desired effect of reversing President Cleveland's homestead limitation, but created a whole new problem. To grant such a patent, Congress had to make a formal finding that there were no "adverse claims" to the land, and it did so. But, of course, there were adverse claims -- those of Indians who had taken allotments rather than move to the Colville Reservation, and that of at least one Native, Long Jim (the hereditary Chelan chief), who had refused to take an allotment, relying instead on a claim that his father, Chief Innomoseecha, had never ceded his ancestral land and that Chief Moses had no authority to do so. The most problematic issues involved his land, which was very near the townsite boundary, and that of Chelan Bob and Cultus Jim, both of whom lived downriver on allotments near Chelan Falls.

Eight white settlers soon forcibly took possession of the Indians' land. In one particularly egregious incident, a newcomer from Canada, Alfred William LaChapelle (1846-1943), "drove Chelan Bob and Cultus Jim away, appropriated their crops to his own use, and made complaint that the Indians were dangerous characters" (Illustrated History of North Washington, 676). The two Indians were briefly jailed, and the state land office ruled in favor of the settlers. But U.S. Secretary of the Interior John Willock Noble (1831-1912) overturned that ruling in 1893 and ordered the land returned to the Indians. His successor, Hoke Smith (1855-1931) ordered federal troops to oust LaChapelle and the seven other white settlers, but this action was enjoined by Washington's first federal circuit court judge, Cornelius Holgate Hanford (1849-1926).

Hanford, however, allowed the federal government and the Indians to sue to eject the settlers, and when this suit was heard, he vindicated the rights of Long Jim, Chelan Bob, and Cultus Jim. As explained in a newspaper of the day:

"According to a decision handed down by Judge Hanford, of the United States Circuit court, in May, 1897, three square miles of cultivated lands in the vicinity of Lake Chelan, then occupied by white families, reverted back to Indians. The action was brought in the name of the United States against A. W. LaChapelle, but with this were consolidated seven other suits. The decision of Judge Hanford applied to all of them . .

"The matter has been in constant litigation since 1890 . . Two of the Indians, Long Jim and Chelan Bob, were born on the land formerly occupied by them, and the wife of Cultus Jim was born there. They testified that their fathers' fathers had land there for generations. The testimony was that the whites came in 1890. Prior to that time the rights of the Indians had been respected by the whites in that locality … , the Indians refusing tempting offers to buy them off" (The Spokesman Review, quoted in Illustrated History of Stevens, Ferry, Okanogan and Chelan Counties, 676).

Native Americans did not always fare so well in disputes with white settlers and state authorities, but this ruling put to rest the last of the competing claims and confusions at Chelan. The town, legitimized by the 1892 act of Congress, could now reach whatever its potential was to be, with white settlers and the few remaining Indians living side by side on land they owned.

Starting a Town

Although today Chelan is famed as a recreational mecca, it was the quest for riches that first brought waves of newcomers to the lake's shore. Gold, silver, copper, and other minerals were to be found in abundance Ponderosa pine and Douglas fir blanketed the surrounding mountainsides a limitless supply of pure alpine water was on tap for consumption, irrigation, and later, power generation. Chelan's early settlers did not wait for arcane legal complications to be resolved before putting in place those things that make a town.

The pioneering families were soon joined by other settlers, at first very few. In April 1888, the families of Captain Charles Johnson (1842-1912), Benjamin F. Smith (b. 1858), and Tunis Hardenburgh (1832-1898) settled on the south end of the lake about a mile west of the Chelan River. This site was first called Lake Park, then Lakeside, and until 1956 existed as a separate town. Lake Park would become the settlers' first industrial center because the depth of the water there, unlike at the entry to the Chelan River, was sufficient for boats and log booms.

Later in 1888, L. H. Woodin and A. F. Nichols opened a sawmill at Lake Park that, unlike poor Mr. Domke's, proved to be a useful and profitable enterprise. Mill equipment was brought up the Columbia by steamship, then carried by horse from Chelan Falls overland by local Indians, including those known to the whites as Long Jim, Cultus Jim, Crooked Mouth Bob, Wapato John, and John's son, Sylvester. The mill was the first of several on the lake that would supply virtually all the lumber with which the early communities would be built.

Just east of Lake Park, at the Chelan townsite, a post office was established in 1890. At that time there were more than 300 rough buildings there, mostly thrown up merely to preserve claims to lots. By the next year three general stores, a hardware store, a drug store, two saloons, and a blacksmith's shop were up and running.

The first true residence (as opposed to the earlier shacks) on the Chelan townsite was built by Thomas R. Gibson during this time, and by late 1891 a local paper could boast (albeit in ignorance of the full extent of the legal problems that lay ahead):

"Over two years ago the present site of the town was platted and it has had a steady growth ever since. A new town only a mile up the south shore has been laid out within a year and named Lake Park, where the steamers land, and it is a beautiful situation. The two places together have five stores, three hotels, one sawmill, one market, one or two real estate offices, a good livery stable, two church organizations, and a live Sunday School" (Chelan Falls Leader, November 19, 1891).

Trails, Rails, Roads, and Boats

From times long past through the early days of non-Indian settlement, the primary means of reaching Lake Chelan was on trails, some blazed by Indians, others trampled down by the habitual passage of wildlife. The Columbia River was less than four miles from the lake, but passage between the two at their nearest point was exceedingly difficult. One prominent foot trail ran from Navarre Coulee on the Columbia northeast about seven miles to the south end of the lake, and this was used most frequently by the earliest settlers. Other trails pierced the forest at the north end of the lake, from which the settlements to the south could be reached by boat.

The City of Ellensburg, the only steam vessel operating on the upper Columbia River from 1888 to 1897, and James J. Hill's (1838-1916) Great Northern Railroad, completed in 1891, both brought travelers near, but not to, Lake Chelan. Not until 1914 did the railway extend up to the mouth of the Chelan River, where Chelan Station was built on the north shore, still several miles from the lake.

As part of the short-lived Camp Chelan project, the army in 1879 had cut a circuitous wagon road that linked the camp to White Bluffs far to the south in what is today Benton County. The last three miles of this road was a steep stretch up the north side of the Chelan River gorge. In 1891 a Chelan Falls pioneer, Laughlin MacLean (1856-1910?), carved a second wagon road to the lake, this one along the south side of the gorge. For the next 40 years, these two roads would provide the primary access to the lake from the south. A young boy traveling from Chelan Station to the lake in 1915 described the frightening last leg of the trip:

"My mother, sister and I were all eyes when we got off the train at Chelan Station and looked at that hill opposite the river. Where we came from, anything over a 1/2 percent grade was called a hill . . The ChelanTransfer picked us up . . It was pulled with a four-horse team. I can still hear the teamster’s commanding voice as the traces came tight with a jerk and we started up. When I say up, I mean up . . The horses’ bellies were not far off the ground . on the second switchback I looked back and down and I’ll swear it was a 100' of nothing. I was the most frightened five-year-old boy in the state of Washington" (Barkley).

A wagon road connected the towns of Chelan and Lakeside, and in 1889 a wooden bridge was built that spanned the Chelan River where it left the lake, joining the settlements on either side. In later years, additional rough roads would be cut, but well into the twentieth century, Chelan was not an easy place to get to. Plans by the Chelan Railroad & Navigation Company in 1903 to build an electric railway from the Columbia River to the town never materialized, and no passenger rail line would ever reach the lake.

Growth, Governance, and God

One of the earliest organizations established in Chelan was a Board of Trade, and it touted the area's attractions in an 1891 brochure intended to draw others to settle there:

"Future Metropolis of Central Washington With Immense Water Power . Unlimited Resources . A Manufacturing Center . Healthful Climate . Magnificent Scenery and the Finest Pleasure Resort in America" ("Cultural Resources Overview and Research Design," p. 5-40).

That year on January 3 The Chelan Leader published a list of businesses located in Chelan that included three general merchandise stores, a hardware store, a blacksmith, an undertaker, a printer and newspaper, a bank, a hotel, a saloon, a doctor, and a dentist, among others.

A failed attempt to incorporate the town in early 1893 did nothing to slow its growth, but the national financial panic that started that year did. Despite the crisis, Chelan did better than many, blessed as it was with natural beauty and abundant resources. But access to the lake and the new town at its southern end remained difficult.

Starting even before the full resolution of the problems caused by the original plat, the Chelan townsite was steadily enlarged, with plat extensions filed in 1891, 1892, 1898, 1901, and 1902. In May 1902, the male citizens (women did not yet have the vote) voted by a margin of 56 to 7 to formally incorporate the town. Amos Edmunds (1849-1923) was elected Chelan's first mayor and John Albert Van Slyke (1857-1932) became town treasurer. They were joined by a five-member city council.

In 1894, town residents were presumptuous enough to file a petition to move the official seat of what was then Okanogan County from Conconully to Chelan. The proposal was not put to a vote at that time, but resurfaced again in 1898. This time a vote was taken, and the measure lost, 530 to 253, the margin attributed to widespread speculation that the boundaries of Okanogan County would soon be altered and the issue thus moot. This occurred the following year, when the legislature created Chelan County from portions of Kittitas and Okanogan counties, effective November, 1900. The legislation designated Wenatchee as the new county's seat, forever thwarting Chelan's governmental ambitions.

In Chelan, as in most small towns across America, religion was given its full due. The first, non-denominational Sunday school opened August 11, 1889, held on an outdoor platform. A Congregational Church was started in 1890, followed by Methodist Episcopal (1891), Catholic (1904), Seventh Day Adventist (1905), and Church of the Nazarene (1914). One early church building, St. Andrews Episcopal, was designed by noted Spokane architect Kirtland Cutter (1860-1939) and built in 1898 using logs towed from the northern reaches of the lake and milled at Lakeside. It is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Public entertainment was a scarce commodity, and in 1893 a group of local women contacted the Chautauqua Circle of New York, an organization that brought teachers, preachers, entertainers, and speakers to rural areas throughout the country. A Chelan chapter was established on June 30 of that year, and for nearly four decades it would bring a wide variety of entertainment and educational features to the town, not finally disbanding until 1932, during the depths of the Great Depression.

Water, Tourists, and Roads

During the twentieth century, Chelan developed in much the same manner as other rural communities in the West, enjoying periods of boom punctuated by episodes of bust. The area's timber and mineral resources were eventually all but exhausted, but its third great resource, water, has played a vital and continuing role. In significant ways, the past and present story of the city of Chelan is found in its relationship to the waters of the lake from which it takes its name.

Attempts to dam the Chelan River near Chelan date back as far as 1889, when L. H. Woodin, hoping to provide a steady supply of water to the new town, impeded the river's flow with a rickety wood structure about a half mile downstream. This was washed away by the next spring flood.

Later dams would serve to irrigate agriculture, alter the level of the lake, and, eventually, provide hydroelectric power. The first dam built specifically to raise the level of the lake was completed at the foot of Chelan's Emerson Street in April, 1892. Called Buckner Dam, it raised the lake by several feet, inundating some low-lying areas but providing water to other properties, increasing their value considerably. Just a month later, work was started on a 6,000-foot flume for the new Chelan Falls Water Power Company. But the project's chief financier, David W. Little (1851-1892), soon died, a late-spring flood damaged both the flume and Buckner Dam, and the financial Panic of 1893 hit -- a triple blow that brought all work to a permanent halt.

In January 1893, the larger and stronger Ben Smith Dam was built by the Chelan Water Power Company, designed to raise the level of the lake enough to allow steamships to moor at Chelan. Although this new structure was built to withstand the normal seasonal variations in lake levels, Mother Nature had a nasty surprise in store. In June 1894, massive spring floods fed by the melt of record snowfalls swept away this newest structure and caused damage up and down the lake and beyond. As described by an early resident:

"The massive flood raised the lake level 11 feet over the 1892 low water mark . [and] changed the course of Fish Creek endangering Moore's Hotel . inundated the whole main street of Lake Park until the steamers could land at the front porch of the Lake View House washed out and caved in the Chelan River below town until it sounded like thunder and felt like earthquakes rechanneled a fourth of a mile of the mouth of the Chelan River and washed away and moved around many buildings in Chelan Falls" (Lake Chelan in the 1890s).

Power Generation

After that cataclysm there seems to have been little more done with the lake or the river until 1901. Morrison McMillan Kingman (1859-1938) purchased the Chelan Water Power Company in early 1899, and he joined with the town to build a dam on the river that, by May 1903, was providing the area's first regular and substantial supply of electricity. Another dam was built that year to raise the level of the lake and once again allow ships to moor at Chelan. These facilities, under various ownerships, would reliably serve the area for more than two decades.

The Chelan Electric Company, a subsidiary of the Great Northern Railroad, purchased the Chelan Water Power Company in 1906. Over the next two decades it carried out studies for a new Chelan River dam, but built nothing. In 1925, its interests were sold to the Washington Water Power Company, a private firm with headquarters in Spokane. In early 1926 Washington Water Power was granted a 50-year federal license to construct a new dam and powerhouse on the Chelan River. Work began in April, and at its peak the project employed 1,250 men, housed in four camps. Most crews worked on the dam, intakes, tunnel, and powerhouse, but others were sent to clear the shores of the lake of brush and trees in anticipation of a considerable rise in water level upon completion of the project.

The steel-reinforced concrete dam was built about one-half mile downstream from where Lake Chelan enters the river, within the town limits. Its primary purpose was to divert the river's flow into two intakes that funneled into a 10,694-foot long, 14-foot wide tunnel (bored mostly through solid granite) that ends in two generating turbines at the powerhouse on the southwest bank of the river near Chelan Falls. The first generating unit was put on line in September 1927, followed by the second 11 months later. When the project was completed in 1928, it was the largest electrical-generating facility in the Northwest and brought many benefits to the Chelan Valley and other areas, including Coulee to the east and the Okanogan Valley to the north.

Now operated by the Chelan County PUD, the Chelan Dam and its powerhouse remain an important source of power in the county and have barely changed in the 84 years since they were completed. But the dam also raised the lake's level by 21 feet, inundating vast areas of shoreline, with ill effects. Some of these consequences were catalogued in a later study:

"The project provided no mitigation for the loss of fish runs, the inundation of wildlife habitats, or the disruption of traditional native use of the lakeshore or river gorge. The Chelan River channel became dry during much of the year, as the water was rerouted through the power tunnel to the powerhouse below. Private property ownership was affected all around the lake, as the water level rose 21 feet in the summer and fall of 1927" ("Cultural Resources Overview and Research Design," p. 5-53).

Major efforts to enhance irrigation in the southern reaches of Lake Chelan were generally part of larger projects affecting a wider geographical area. Although there is some agricultural activity within Chelan's city limits, including vineyards and orchards, most of the farms at the lake's southern end are located about eight miles north, near the town of Manson.

Much of the land in south Lake Chelan best suited to agriculture was still owned by local Indians in the early 1900s, and federal law prohibited its sale. This changed in 1906 when Congress passed legislation permitting the disposal of all but 80 acres of each Native allotment. Almost immediately, a consortium of private investors incorporated the Wapato Irrigation Company and began buying up properties about seven miles north of the entrance to the Chelan River. Tapping nine creeks and two lakes north of the town of Manson, the company built six miles of canal and wooden flumes to carry the water to a reservoir at Antilon Lake, whose outlet was dammed to create a reservoir. Water from the system was first delivered to area users in 1911.

The provision of water was tied closely to land speculation. The irrigation company's real estate was conveyed to the Lake Chelan Land Company, which bought additional land and marketed five-acre orchard plots to settlers with claims "that five acres would make a man an independent income, and twenty acres would make a man a fortune" ("Cultural Resources Overview and Research Design," p. 5-48).

By late in the second decade of the twentieth century, both the land company and the Lake Chelan Water Company (which now owned the water rights) were in deep financial trouble. When the former declared bankruptcy, local orchardists formed the Lake Chelan Reclamation District, which could sell bonds and levy taxes on land to finance its operations. Over the ensuing years, the district expanded and improved its irrigation network and is still (2012) an active entity.

Word of the natural beauty of Lake Chelan spread early, and by the late 1800s tourism already was a major source of revenue for the town and the region. Facilities to house visitors sprang up at Chelan, Lakeside, and Stehekin to the north, and tourists flowed in, primarily from west of the Cascades. There were guest accommodations in place as early as 1892, and in 1901 at Chelan, Clinton C. Campbell (1855-1938) built the Campbell Hotel, renamed the Chelan Hotel in 1904, and still in business today (2012) as Campbell's Resort. Campbell's original hostelry charged 50 cents per night for a room and the same for dinner. It was just one of several tourist hostelries to open on the lake's south end during the first decade of the new century. Marking the new year in 1904, The Chelan Leader boasted:

"The tourist travel to the lake has far exceeded that of any previous year, taxing to their upmost capacity all the hotels and resorts. The public park has been plowed and fenced and will be planted to trees next spring. A fine, costly, well-equipped sanitarium is one of the acquisitions of the year. Taken altogether the Lake Chelan community has made a decided advance over any previous year in its history" (The Chelan Leader, January 1, 1904).

The summer climate at Chelan offered respite from the cooler and wetter weather found west of the Cascades, and the lake and surrounding areas offered recreational opportunities including fishing, boating, hiking, and simple sunbathing. Although somewhat depleted in later years, the fishing at the lake was once considered some of the best in the world.

Through the Years

The growth of the city of Chelan has been constrained over the years, first by inaccessibility and later by terrain, water, and neighboring communities. It grew, not by leaps and bounds, but incrementally. The single biggest increase in population occurred between 1920 and 1930, when the first roads opened, work on the Chelan Dam drew workers from far away, and the number of inhabitants grew from 896 to 1,403. From that point on, population growth was more gradual, hitting 2,445 in 1950, 2,802 in 1980, 3,526 in 2000, and 3,890 in the most recent census (2010). Oddly, although Lakeside merged with Chelan in 1956, that decade saw the city lose population, albeit only by 43 souls.

The economy of the city is, and has been for decades, dominated by tourism, and this is likely to hold true for decades to come. In the earlier years of the twentieth century, a few sawmills, and box factories that primarily made shipping boxes for local growers, provided additional employment and income for the town. One local business, the Chelan Transfer Company, proved an enduring success, providing stage service in the town's early days and still doing business in the twenty-first century.

There simply do not exist the space, transportation links, or infrastructure to support large industries in Chelan, although the local economy is bolstered by commercial orchards, vineyards, and several wineries. Immigrants from Italy were known to have cultivated wine grapes on south Lake Chelan as early as 1891, apparently for their own consumption. Commercial growing came later, and started with juice grapes in the late 1940s, with over 150 acres under cultivation in Chelan and nearby Manson growing grapes for the Welch company. The first commercial wine-production vineyard opened in 1998, and by 2006, 140 acres of the Chelan Valley were devoted to growing grapes for wine.

A devastating tragedy struck the town on November 26, 1945, when a bus carrying 20 school children heading to Chelan went off the road and plunged into the lake. Fifteen students and the driver drowned. When the bus was raised, only six bodies were inside. Due to its depth, Lake Chelan has earned a reputation of never surrendering its dead, and the remains of the other nine fatalities were never recovered. It remains the single worst school-bus accident in state history.

Despite its well-deserved reputation as a recreational wonderland, Chelan has since the completion of the Chelan Dam had one major environmental eyesore -- an almost always dry riverbed stretching from the downstream wall of the Chelan Dam all the way to the powerhouse at Chelan Falls. What once had been a rapidly flowing wild river was tamed by progress into nonexistence, leaving a dramatic and precipitous gorge with nothing but rocks at the bottom. Under the term of the original hydropower license, no lake water was required to be released into the river, which would act only as an overflow canal for the dam. Such overflows rarely occurred, and almost never in sufficient volumes to restore the river even briefly.

As part of its relicensing in 2004, the PUD submitted a plan to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the state that once again made the river flow, largely by pumping water that had already been used to generate electricity back up to the head of the river's lower reach. A primary goal was to provide habitat for cutthroat trout, but members of the United Tribes of the Umatilla Reservation thought the flow insufficient, and appealed the decision. The appeals board agreed that the plan did not ensure that water quality standards would be met, but upheld it as a rational balancing of the competing interests. Today (2012) the long-dry river once again runs year-round, although its long-term effect on the fish populations remains to be seen.

Chelan Today

Known throughout Washington and beyond as a prime vacation destination and summer-home site, Chelan today (2012) sees thousands of vacationers in both summer and winter, drawn by recreational activities on land and water. The summer influx of vacationers can swell the city's population to more than 25,000.

Whites and Hispanics today make up more than 96 percent of Chelan's permanent population. Median household income nearly doubled in the city between 2000 and 2010, from $28,000 to nearly $53,000, still slightly below the state average. For full-time residents, the town has three public high schools, three elementary schools, and a full range of businesses and support services.

Chelan has proved sensitive to the vagaries of the national and regional economies, but its magnificent setting and wide range of accommodations and recreational offerings have carried it through the tough times. The city works constantly to improve its facilities and infrastructure while preserving and protecting its long heritage. In 2012, the Historic Downtown Chelan Association and the City of Chelan were recognized as an "Outstanding Partnership" by the Washington Main Street Program, cited for their efforts in "maintaining and enhancing the charm, safety, livability, and history of Chelan’s downtown core" ("Awards and Accolades").

Association of Washington Cities

Lake Chelan, 1921

Map, south Lake Chelan, 1879

Courtesy Chelan County Public Utility District

St. Andrew's Episcopal Church (Kirtland Cutter, 1898), Chelan

Courtesy North Central WashingtonMuseum, Christopher Long Collection (83-84-19)

Ice skaters on frozen Lake Chelan, ca. 1900

Courtesy Chelan County Public Utility District

Wapato John and wife, Madine, near Chelan, ca. 1900

Courtesy UW Special Collections (NA1316)

Homestead, Chelan, Lake Chelan, ca. 1900

Courtesy UW Special Collections (WAS0444)

View from south, Town of Chelan, ca. 1901

Courtesy North Central Washington Museum, Christopher Long Collection (83-84-137)

Chelan Water Power Company dam, Chelan River, 1903

Courtesy Chelan County Public Utility District

Chelan River Gorge, 1910s

Lakeside, now part of Chelan, Lake Chelan, 1907

Courtesy North Central Washington Museum (Lindsley 515)

Lake View House hotel, Lakeside, Lake Chelan, 1907

Courtesy Chelan County Public Utility District

Stage Road, Columbia River to Chelan, ca. 1909

Courtesy North Central Washington Museum (Lindsley 445)

Chelan, 1920s

Houses inundated by dam completion, Chelan, Lake Chelan, 1928

Courtesy Chelan County Public Utility District

Chelan, 1930s

Chelan, 1950s

City of Chelan, downtown, 1970

Photo by Werner Lenggenhager, Courtesy Washington State Digital Archives (AR-07809001-ph000832)

Woodin Avenue, Chelan, September 7, 2008

Photo by Joe Mabel, Courtesy Wikimedia Commons

Lake Chelan, city of Chelan, September 29, 1950

Courtesy UW Special Collections (LIN0166)

Chelan Dam construction, Lake Chelan, September 25, 1927

Courtesy Chelan County Public Utility District

Volunteers count fish in nearly dry Chelan River beneath Chelan Dam, Chelan, 1999


City of Wapato

Special Meeting June 16 @ 6:30 PM
Special Meeting June 16 @ 6:30 PM
NOTICE OF SPECIAL MEETING JUNE 10TH @ 6:00 PM
NOTICE OF SPECIAL MEETING JUNE 10TH @ 6:00 PM
Voters Guide – Rules for Candidates
Voters Guide – Rules for Candidates
OPEN HOUSE: SHORELINE MASTER PROGRAM (SMP) PERIODIC UPDATE
OPEN HOUSE: SHORELINE MASTER PROGRAM (SMP) PERIODIC UPDATE
February 16, 2021, Council Meeting
February 16, 2021, Council Meeting
Notice of Public Hearing December 21, 2020
Notice of Public Hearing December 21, 2020
On November 16, 2020, at 6:30 pm, A Special Meeting will be held, followed by the Regular Council Meeting at 7:00 pm.
On November 16, 2020, at 6:30 pm, A Special Meeting will be held, followed by the Regular Council Meeting at 7:00 pm.
The City of Wapato encourages caution and safety this Halloween.
The City of Wapato encourages caution and safety this Halloween.
Closed Council Session will be held before the Regular Council Meeting at 7:00 pm on November 2, 2020.
Closed Council Session will be held before the Regular Council Meeting at 7:00 pm on November 2, 2020.
Noctice of Special Meeting October 15, 2020
Noctice of Special Meeting October 15, 2020
Regular Council Meeting – Monday, September 21st @ 7:00 pm
Regular Council Meeting – Monday, September 21st @ 7:00 pm
Phone lines and Computers are back up.
Phone lines and Computers are back up.
Intoducing JJ’s Birrieria & Antojitos
Intoducing JJ’s Birrieria & Antojitos
Friday, August 21st, Peacekeeper Society Drive-thru Food Distribution
Friday, August 21st, Peacekeeper Society Drive-thru Food Distribution
COVID-19 Utility Assistance
Closure of Noah’s Ark
Closure of Noah’s Ark
August 3rd, 2020 Council Meeting
Notice of Sealed Bids
2016 Chevrolet Impala LT
2015 GMC Yukon Denali
Peacekeeper Society Food Distribution
Peacekeeper Society Food Distribution
Attention Citizens of Wapato
Opening of City Hall
July 6, 2020 Council Meeting
Firework Ordinace Reminder
Firework Ordinace Reminder
Yakima County Businesses – Mask Campaign // Negocios del Condado de Yakima – Campaña de Máscaras
Yakima County Businesses – Mask Campaign // Negocios del Condado de Yakima – Campaña de Máscaras
Thursday, June 30th Free Mask / Gratis Mascarillas
Thursday, June 30th Free Mask / Gratis Mascarillas
Mask Directive
Introducing Police Chief Nolan Wentz
Friday, June 19, 2020 – Special Meeting

HOW MANY REASONS DO YOU NEED TO COME TO THE POINT?

Enjoy 116 acres of fun and relaxation
Hike to The Point, golf, bike the trails, swim in one of 7 indoor and outdoor pools, play on the sandy beaches, go boating, water skiing or paddle boarding. All these activities and more await you and your family at Wapato Point.

Location, Location, Location.
Wapato Point is situated on a sweeping lake promontory amid scented apple orchards and wine vineyards in Manson, Washington. The resort lies between the Columbia River and the base of the Cascade Mountains, up lake from high-desert terrain and down lake from the protected National Forests and National Park. It truly is unique.

Seven Pools on the Resort Grounds.
With six outdoor pools for seasonal use plus one indoor 25-meter pool facility, the aquatic complex is complete with workout area, changing rooms, view hot tub and kiddy pool. Daily adult lap swimming is available.

Four Seasons of Activities for Everyone.
Nearby find two 18-hole golf courses, a waterslide park, boating, skydiving and paragliding, jet skis, boat rentals zip, lines, professional fishing guides, a tennis academy, water and snow skiing, plus the Mill Bay Casino. All these options and more offer year-round entertainment.

13 Wineries Within 3 Miles.
There are more than 30 independent wineries in the acclaimed Chelan Valley AVA. With more than a few local tasting rooms within walking distance in Manson, many more boast on-site restaurants an easy drive away. To explore the Chelan wine country, Wapato Point is a perfect home base.


The Dawes Act

In 1887, the Dawes Act was signed by President Grover Cleveland allowing the government to divide reservations into small plots of land for individual Indians. The government hoped the legislation would help Indians assimilate into white culture easier and faster and improve their quality of life.

But the Dawes Act had a devastating impact on Native American tribes. It decreased the land owned by Indians by more than half and opened even more land to white settlers and railroads. Much of the reservation land wasn’t good farmland, and many Indians couldn’t afford the supplies needed to reap a harvest.

Prior to the Indian reservation system, women Indians farmed and took care of the land while men hunted and helped protect the tribe. Now, men were forced to farm, and women took on more domestic roles.


Upcoming Wapato Family Reunions

One key to a successful Wapato reunion is preparation, and for the family researcher that means getting the word out in advance on what to bring (such as the family photo collection) arranging for the display of shared information and planning activities conducive to sharing and one of the best ways to get others to participate is in bringing something of your own to share such a picture pedigree, compiled family history or biographical sketch, or even a copies of a treasured photo as a gift for each family -- you may even want to consider putting together a reunion newsletter in advance to be distributed at the reunion, asking for help in solving one or more specific family mysteries: you never know who might have insight they are willing to share, one-on-one. The article "Reunions: Beyond Aunt Pat's Rhubarb Pie and Aunt Edna's Wet Kisses" may provide you with tips for hosting a successful Wapato reunion.

Suggested use: Print a copy of this free research checklist, and keep track of the Wapato genealogy resources that you visit. If your web browser does not print the date on the bottom, remember to record it manually. Today is 21/Jun/2021.

To keep track of the latest transcriptions published by Genealogy Today, please follow Illya D'Addezio on Facebook, @illyadaddezio on Twitter, or +IllyaDAddezio on Google+.

Copyright © 1998-2021 Genealogy Today LLC. All Rights Reserved.

If you host the Wapato blog or web page, please link to this surname-focused resource. Here's the HTML code for a basic link. Simply cut/paste this code on to your page.


Watch the video: Whats up with Wapato? (May 2022).