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.
Stevens County, located in northeastern Washington state, has a rich history that dates back thousands of years. The area was originally inhabited by Native American tribes, including the Spokane, Kalispel, and Colville tribes, who lived off the land and used the abundant natural resources for their sustenance.

In the early 1800s, fur traders from the Hudson's Bay Company arrived in the area, establishing trading posts and further interacting with the local tribes. The arrival of European settlers in the mid-1800s brought significant changes to the region. The discovery of gold in the Colville River in 1856 attracted miners in search of riches, leading to the establishment of small mining communities.

In the late 19th century, the Great Northern Railway was built through Stevens County, connecting it to the rapidly expanding American rail network. This facilitated greater settlement as more people were attracted to the region by the promise of fertile lands for farming and timber resources. The county's economy became increasingly dependent on agriculture, mining, and logging.

In the early 20th century, Stevens County experienced a period of growth and development. Towns like Colville and Chewelah blossomed as commercial centers, with schools, hospitals, and other infrastructure being built. However, the devastating effects of the Great Depression and the decline of mining and logging industries in the mid-20th century led to economic challenges for the county.

Modern-day Stevens County has seen a diversification of its economy. The scenic beauty of the region, with its lakes, forests, and mountains, has made it a popular tourist destination for outdoor activities such as hiking, fishing, and camping. Agriculture, including farming and livestock production, continues to be an important economic sector. With its rich history and natural beauty, Stevens County remains a place of significance in the state of Washington.

This timeline provides a glimpse into the major events and milestones that have shaped the history of Stevens County, Washington.

  • 1800s: Native American tribes, including the Spokane and Colville, inhabit the region that is now Stevens County.
  • 1841: Explorer and fur trader David Thompson becomes the first known European to enter the area.
  • 1855: The Colville Indian Reservation is established through a treaty with the local tribes.
  • 1867: The Stevens County area is organized as a part of Spokane County.
  • 1883: The first sawmill in the county is established, leading to increased logging activity.
  • 1899: Stevens County officially separates from Spokane County and is established as its own county.
  • 1909: The first electric power plant is built near Marcus, providing electricity to the region.
  • 1934: The Grand Coulee Dam, the largest concrete dam in the United States, begins construction on the Columbia River.
  • 1941: The completion of the Grand Coulee Dam brings significant economic growth to Stevens County.
  • 1974: The Little Pend Oreille National Wildlife Refuge is established to preserve the region's natural habitats.
  • 1980s: The logging industry declines, leading to a transition to a more diversified economy.
  • 1991: The Chewelah Casino, operated by the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation, opens in Stevens County.
  • 2018: Stevens County celebrates its 120th anniversary since becoming an independent county.