Mount St. Helens, located in southwestern Washington, erupted on May 18, 1980, causing the deadliest and most economically destructive volcanic event in the history of the United States.
Klickitat County, located in the southern part of Washington State, has a rich and diverse history that spans thousands of years. The area was originally inhabited by Native American tribes, including the Yakama, Klickitat, and Wanapum, who relied on the abundant natural resources of the region for their livelihoods. European exploration of the area began in the early 19th century, with fur traders and trappers venturing into the region.

In the mid-19th century, a major event that shaped the history of Klickitat County was the establishment of the Oregon Trail, which passed through the region on its way to the Pacific Northwest. This brought an influx of settlers to the area, leading to the establishment of numerous towns and the development of agriculture and trade.

With the arrival of the railroad in the late 19th century, Klickitat County experienced a period of rapid growth and economic expansion. The railroad facilitated the transportation of goods, including lumber, wheat, and cattle, allowing the county to become a major player in these industries. The towns of Goldendale and Bingen, among others, grew in importance as trade and transportation hubs.

The 20th century brought further changes to Klickitat County, with the decline of certain industries and the emergence of new ones. The timber industry, which had been a key economic driver, began to wane, while the tourism and outdoor recreation sectors gained prominence. Today, Klickitat County is known for its stunning natural landscapes, including the Columbia River Gorge, Mount Adams, and the Gifford Pinchot National Forest, attracting visitors and outdoor enthusiasts from far and wide.

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

  • 1805: Lewis and Clark Expedition pass through Klickitat County
  • 1855: Yakama Indian Reservation established
  • 1858: Gold discovered in the Simcoe Mountains
  • 1859: Klickitat County created as part of Washington Territory
  • 1883: Railroad reaches Goldendale, boosting economy
  • 1906: Columbia River Highway constructed, connecting the county to the rest of the state
  • 1930s: Great Depression leads to economic challenges
  • 1980s: Wind farms begin to develop, taking advantage of the area's strong winds
  • 1997: Creation of the Columbia Gorge National Scenic Area to protect the natural beauty of the region
  • 2000s: Growth of tourism industry due to outdoor recreation opportunities