Timeline of the the Okanogan/Okanagan Country
- 1811 - David Thompson, astronomer and explorer, of the North West Company [Hudson's Bay Company of what became Canada] was the first known white person to see the mouth of the Okanogan/Okanagan River where it joins the Columbia River.
- 1811 - The Okanogan/Okanagan Valley was first explored in 1811 by David Stuart and Ovid de Montigny of Fort Astoria [now Oregon], who were the first white traders in the Okanogan/Okanagan Country.
- 1811 - Alexander Ross of the Pacific Fur Company (Astorians) founded Fort Okanogan at the confluence of the Columbia and Okanogan Rivers, which was taken over shortly by the Hudson's Bay Company [now Canada].
- 1848 - The Okanogan Country became part of Oregon Territory.
- 1853 - The Okanogan Country became part of Washington Territory.
- 1854 - The Okanogan Country became a part of Walla Walla County, which was an original county of Washington Territory.
- 1858 - Gold was discovered on the Fraser River in British Columbia.
- 1860s - After the California Gold Rush, miners came from the San Francisco Bay area to the Similkameen-Okanagan area of British Columbia and then down into the Okanogan Country of Washington Territory; they were seeking gold.
- 1863 - The Okanogan Country was a part of Stevens County which was set off from Walla Walla County in 1863.
- 1879 - The Columbia Indian Reservation was created.
- 1888 - The 120-foot sternwheeler City of Ellensburgh carrying 45 tons of freight and several passengers for the Okanogan left from Pasco on the Columbia River, then went six miles up the Okanogan River.
- 1888 - Okanogan County became a county of Washington Territory.
- 1889/11/11 - Washington Territory became the 42nd State in the Union with the capital at Olympia.
- 1899 - Chelan County was carved out of the south part of Okanogan County and the north part of Kittitas County.
- 1906 - The Spokane Falls and Northern Railway (Great Northern Railway) came to Molson in Okanogan County. This was the first rail service in the county.
The Great Northern Railway brought many of the people who came to the Okanogan Country from the East Coast of the US, Eastern Canada, the US Mid-West, and from foreign countries. Some came as railroad workers; others came as homesteaders. Some settlers came as a whole carload from one place; for example, Pontiac IL to Pontiac Ridge in Okanogan County.
- The line from Spokane up the Kettle Valley into BC bobbled along the border at Molson, Chesaw, and Oroville in Okanogan County before going back into Canada. It was known by: Kettle Valley Railway; Spokane Falls and Northern Railway; Vancouver, Victoria and Eastern Railway (not finished); Washington and Great Northern Railway (W & GNR). The elevation at Molson was 3700 ft. The track spiraled down 27 miles to Oroville at 920 ft. Brakemen jumped from car to car and tightened the brakes by hand.
- The SF & NR was started by Daniel Chase Corbin in 1889, as far as Colville [COLL-vill] in Stevens County, WA.
- Corbin sold it to the GNR, which in turn sold it to the Northern Pacific in 1898. The latter sold it back to the Great Northern after about two years.
- In 1906 the SF & N came to Molson and in 1907 to Oroville. The GNR abandoned the line between Molson and Oroville in 1931 and between Molson and Curlew (Stevens County) in 1935.
- The Great Northern Railway extended its line from Oroville WA to Princeton BC in late 1909 and withdrew the extension in 1917.
- The GNR track from Wenatchee in Chelan County north to Oroville 4 miles south of the Canadian border was completed in 1914. The line continued to be used by the Burlington Northern Santa Fe.
This page was last updated Monday, 06-Feb-2017 21:21:47 EST