The city of Spokane was once known as the "Lilac City" due to the abundance of lilac bushes that were planted in the city's parks and gardens. Today, the city hosts an annual Lilac Festival and parade to celebrate its floral heritage.
Franklin County, located in the state of Washington, has a rich and diverse history spanning over centuries. The area was originally inhabited by various Native American tribes, including the Palus, Yakama, and Walla Walla peoples. These tribes relied on the Columbia River for sustenance, using it as a major trading route.

The modern history of Franklin County began with the Lewis and Clark Expedition in the early 1800s. They explored the region and established relationships with the local tribes. The influx of European settlers, mainly fur traders, began in the mid-1800s, leading to clashes between the native inhabitants and the newcomers.

In 1883, Franklin County was officially created and named after Benjamin Franklin, one of the country's founding fathers. The establishment of the Pasco-Kennewick Railroad brought significant development to the area, as it facilitated transportation of goods and people. Agriculture became a vital industry, with settlers cultivating wheat, apples, and other crops. Irrigation projects in the early 1900s further boosted agriculture, transforming the county into a major agricultural hub.

The 20th century saw Franklin County experience significant growth and diversification. The construction of the Hanford Site during World War II brought economic prosperity to the region, providing jobs for thousands of workers. This nuclear facility, initially built for producing plutonium for the Manhattan Project, played a crucial role in the United States' atomic defense during the Cold War.

Today, Franklin County continues to thrive as a vital agricultural and industrial center in southeastern Washington. The county's rich history is reflected in its museums, cultural sites, and heritage festivals, allowing visitors to appreciate and learn from the past while enjoying the county's natural beauty and vibrant communities.

This timeline provides a concise overview of the key events in the history of Franklin County, Washington.

  • 1811: David Thompson, a fur trader, explores the area that would become Franklin County.
  • 1836: The first white settlers arrive in the region.
  • 1873: Franklin County is officially established.
  • 1905: Pasco is incorporated as a city.
  • 1943: Hanford Site is established as part of the Manhattan Project.
  • 1963: The Columbia Generating Station (nuclear power plant) becomes operational.