The first European settlement in Washington was established by the Spanish in 1775 at Neah Bay on the Olympic Peninsula.
Lincoln County, Washington is located in the eastern part of the state and has a rich history dating back to the 1800s. The area was originally inhabited by Native American tribes, including the Spokane, Coeur d'Alene, and Colville tribes, who lived off the land and engaged in trading activities.

In the mid-1800s, European settlers began to arrive in Lincoln County, drawn by the opportunities for agriculture and ranching. The construction of the Oregon-California Trail through the area further increased settlement, as pioneers traveled through the region on their way to the Pacific Northwest. The establishment of the Palouse and Colville Indian Reservations in the late 1800s also had a significant impact on the county's population and development.

The county was officially established on November 24, 1883, and was named after President Abraham Lincoln. The town of Davenport was chosen as the county seat, and it remains so to this day. In the early years, the county's economy relied heavily on ranching, farming, and mining.

Throughout the 20th century, Lincoln County experienced both growth and decline. The construction of the Grand Coulee Dam in the 1930s brought significant economic benefits to the region, providing jobs and supporting agricultural development. However, like many rural communities, Lincoln County also faced challenges, including the effects of the Great Depression and the decline of certain industries.

Today, Lincoln County continues to be primarily an agricultural region, known for its wheat, barley, and livestock production. It also benefits from its proximity to Spokane, a major economic center in the region. While the county's population remains small compared to urban areas, it is proud of its history and continues to preserve and celebrate its rural heritage.

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

  • 1800s - The area that would become Lincoln County was inhabited by various Native American tribes, including the Spokane, Palouse, and Colville tribes.
  • Late 1800s - European settlers began to arrive in the region, establishing homesteads and rural communities.
  • November 24, 1883 - Lincoln County was officially established when it was split from Spokane County.
  • 1880s-1890s - The population of Lincoln County grew rapidly as more settlers arrived, attracted by the fertile agricultural land.
  • Early 1900s - The Lincoln County economy was primarily based on agriculture, with wheat being the main crop.
  • 1920s - The Great Depression had a significant impact on Lincoln County, causing a decline in agricultural productivity and economic hardship for many residents.
  • 1940s-1950s - The county experienced a period of recovery and growth, with improvements in agriculture and infrastructure.
  • 1970s-1980s - Lincoln County saw a decline in agricultural activities and population as mechanization and changes in farming practices led to consolidation of farms.
  • 1990s-present - Lincoln County has made efforts to diversify its economy beyond agriculture, focusing on tourism, manufacturing, and services.