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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.
Lewis County, located in the southwestern part of Washington state, has a rich and diverse history that dates back thousands of years. The area was first inhabited by various Native American tribes before European contact. The Lewis County region was explored in the late 1700s by Spanish explorers, followed by British explorers in the early 1800s.

In the mid-1800s, settlers began to establish communities in what is now Lewis County. The first non-native settlement in the area was Tumwater, located along the Deschutes River. As more settlers arrived, logging and agriculture became the primary industries in the region. The fertile soil and abundant natural resources attracted many people to the area.

The establishment of the Northern Pacific Railroad in the late 1800s further boosted the growth and development of Lewis County. The railroad connected the county to other parts of Washington state and facilitated the transportation of goods and people. Logging became a major industry, with numerous sawmills operating in the area.

The 20th century brought further economic growth to Lewis County. The expansion of the lumber industry, alongside the development of other sectors such as mining and manufacturing, contributed to the county's prosperity. However, like many other areas in the Pacific Northwest, Lewis County faced economic challenges in the latter half of the century due to the decline of the timber industry.

Today, Lewis County is known for its scenic beauty, outdoor recreational opportunities, and historic sites. The county continues to be influenced by its rich logging heritage and is home to several museums and exhibits that showcase its history. Additionally, Lewis County serves as a gateway to Mount Rainier National Park, attracting visitors from around the world.

This timeline provides a condensed summary of the historical journey of Lewis County, Washington.

  • 1845: Lewis County is established as one of the original nine counties in the Washington Territory.
  • 1851: The first white settler, J.W. Brewer, arrives in Lewis County.
  • 1853: The county seat is established in Monticello, which later becomes known as Olympia.
  • 1861: The county seat is moved to Toledo.
  • 1883: The Northern Pacific Railroad reaches Lewis County, boosting economic growth in the region.
  • 1892: The county seat is moved again, this time to Chehalis.
  • 1905: The Great Northern Railway completes its line through Lewis County, further enhancing transportation and trade.
  • 1912: The Chehalis River floods, causing significant damage to the county.
  • 1930s: The Great Depression brings economic hardship to Lewis County.
  • 1942: Fort Lewis, a major military base, is established nearby, bringing increased population and economic activity to the area.
  • 1980: The eruption of Mount St. Helens to the east of Lewis County causes disruption and damages in the region.
  • 2000s: Lewis County continues to be primarily an agricultural and timber-producing region, while also growing in residential and recreational development.