Two years after the peace treaty with the Yakima Indians had been signed, (in 1857), Col. George C. Write and his command were engaged in a fight with the Yakima on the south bank of the Naches River near Eschbach Park. It was there Col. Wright built what the early settlers called the Basket Fort, built with bottomless baskets filled with willow branches, earth, and stones which made up the foundation.
A.J Splawn came to Washington Territory in 1860 at the age of 15 and proceeded to file on Cowiche land. In an 1888 Tax List, records show A.J owed $5,448 in taxes for his land in Cowiche. His ranch was named "Springdale" on the south fork of Cowiche Creek. A.J imported hereford cattle form England stock to his ranch and his involvement in the growth and establishment of land holdings covered much of Washington state. He Married late in life and his wife, Margaret Larson Splawn ran his Cowiche ranch from his death in 1917 until 1950.
In 1926 the Washington State Fair included a pack horse and Chariot Race event…200 race horses boarded on the fairgrounds.
The price of Gold, newly minted, in 1933 was $33.20 per ounce … and in 1934 there was a Yakima Polo Club and a Wiley City Polo Club. Things in the valley have changed but it’s nice to reflect on our Valleys history.
Jim’s Garage began in 1945 with the original location next to the C P C Warehouse and along the railroad tracks. The Second location was across Naches Avenue from the CPC building and the third location was the upper Valley Farm Service which opened in 1976. That building now contains two newer businesses.
The Cowiche telephone company started in 1905. Cowiche had only 3 telephone customers. In 1908, ten customers… in 1909, Eleven… in 1911, 48… in 1931 168 customers, which included Tieton customers since Tieton did not have a telephone company. Traffic hours to use the lines were 6AM to 10PM.
Early pioneers William and Elizabeth Louden came to live in Cowiche in 1885, and when William died leaving Elizabeth with four small boys, she made her living by milking their cows and taking butter to Yakima to sell. She later married Colin Carmichael and they founded Yakima City Creamery, originators of the Maid O Clover brand and makers of Carmichael Ice Cream. Their creamery was at the junction of W. Walnut and 5th Avenue, north of the Lions Pool site.
In 1905 the pioneers of Cowiche conceived the idea of the Tieton Canal, precursor to Yakima-Tieton Irrigation District that brought in the valleys first irrigation water in 1911. The Yakima-Tieton was the first project of its kind to pay all of its indebtedness to the federal government
Cowiche was settled in 1885 by a sheep rancher named John Cleman, (you may have heard of the mountain that was named after him)…and Anson White who came here originally as a surveyor for the government. The original town was located north of Cowiche Creek at the junction of Cowiche Mill Road and Pioneer Way
Newland’s Pharmacy began in 1930 with William Newland and Continued as a Pharmacy with Will’s son Bill Newland until 1990, when bill retired. The building still stands, and home to another business today, in The City of Tieton.
Tieton State Bank was built in 1917 and that building still stands today. It closed in 1933 as a result of the stock market crash of 1929 and began a new life as Tieton Café.