The Descriptive Journal, extra to the Goldendale Sentinel, Goldendale, WA.
December 19, 1896, page 3
Many Attractive Features and Abundant Resources.
ITS GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS
Climate and Topography - Fertile Table and Rolling Lands - A Soil Adapted to Raising Abundant Crops of Wheat, Barley, Oats and Cereals of all Kinds - Inexhaustible Timber Resources
Klickitat county is over 130 miles long and contains
about 300 square miles. It has a population of about 8000 inhabitants. It
has a river frontage of over 125 miles along the northern bank of the Columbia.
Stock raising and agriculture occupy the attention of the people who are
enterprising and industrious. As one enters the valley, either from Grants
station or The Dalles he is at once enraptured with the grand panoramic view
of Mt. Hood and Mt. Adams, standing in all their glory, crowned with the
purity of snow towering heavenward with their sublime magnificence. The earth
bends low in veneration and as the sunrises and sets a halo of glory crowns
their summits and a fiery and mystic glow lends enchantment to the scene.
The county of Klickitat is about equally divided between timber and agricultural land; containing 25 townships of timber, fir, yellow pine and cedar predominating. The lumbering interest is in its infancy. The day is not far distant when all this timber will come into demand. One need only take a tour through this region to become convinced that in Klickitat may be found the most valuable belt of timber in the United States. Some of these trees stand out like the mighty sentinels of the ages, towering heavenward, 200 or 300 feet in height, straight as a narrow and free from limbs until the top is reached, and from four to six feet in diameter. There is enough timber in our county to keep a dozen saw mills going every day for the next 100 years. There is enough timber to supply our own county and the adjoining counties of Oregon, which are timberless, with all the fuel for fire wood and all of the material for building purposes.
Hon. D.W. Pierce & Son are extensively engaged in the lumbering and planing mill business in Goldendale. This firm recognize the vast importance and future possibilities of the lumbering industry in Klickitat county, and are ever ready to lend a helping hand to any enterprise that will tend to promote our lumbering interests.
A more honorable and accommodating firm than D.W. Pierce & Son can nowhere be found.
Cedar Valley is almost unknown to the outside world but all the country needs is a recognition of its quality of timber in the lumber market. Cedar valley is a choice spot in the state of Washington. It is a perfect forest grove. Should a railroad ever reach our county, and we confidently look for one, Cedar valley will become a thrifty community and a favored spot for homes.
Camas Prairie needs special mention. It is situated in the western part of the county, near Mt. Adams. For pure and healthful air, for a pleasing variety of scenery and climate, for cool nights in summer and warm days in the winter, for streams bright and sparkling with the purest and coldest of water in the hottest summer day, Camas cannot be equaled much less excelled. It is the Eldorado, so far as climate is concerned, of the Pacific coast. Camas has also a quality of timber and agricultural land which needs only the advent of a railroad to bring it into market for competition. Most of the people of Camas follow stock raising for a livelihood.
Mr. Chas. S. Moore at Fulda, is one of the enterprising stockmen in that section.
Mr. S.M, Trenner, at Glenwood follows diversified farming. The soil of Camas is of a black sandy loam. Mr. Trenner has succeeded in raising one of the best gardens and orchards in the county. For small fruits, such as strawberries, raspberries and all kinds of vegetables it is equal if not superior to any part of the state.
A large portion of Camas is natural hay land. The people in that section of country are in a thriving condition and would not exchange their occupation for the best of farms.
Along the Klickitat river may be found spots of from one to ten acres that for richness of soil, climate and protection from winds and storms, cannot be beaten. The land is peculiarly adopted for fruit raising, and with a little clearing of the young oak and brush and briar, thrifty orchards could be started that would amply repay in the growth of luscious fruit for the toil and sacrifice of a secluded life along the Klickitat.
About one half of Klickitat consists of fine farming land, some of the being very rich bottom land.
Centerville, a town of about 200 inhabitants, is located in the midst of the best farming section in our county. Centerville has a number of enterprising citizens among whom might be mentioned the Crofton brothers, who were in this county when all of Klickitat was a vast wilderness. They have been engaged chiefly in the stockraising.
Messers. Gilmore and Crofton are doing a fair business in Centerville and have succeeded in establishing a reputation for honesty and integrity. It is to the interests of the farmers to patronize that firm and to help build up their own community.
Mr. Pete Ahola, the hardware man is a gentleman who has gained the respect of all. The writer has the pleasure of being intimately acquainted with the gentleman and takes pride in recommending his stock of goods to the consideration of our people.
Centerville can boast of a first class school, under the instruction of Prof. Hill, the present teacher. The pupils are making marked progress in their work. Prof. Hill is a teacher who combines in himself the moral as well as the intellectual qualities.
Mr. Hayden is also a resident of Centerville and has done much to promote the moral and financial interest of our county.
Centerville can also be proud of a class of farmers who are industrious and law abiding citizens.
All that the people of our county need to advance in prosperity is a condition of things that will enable them to sell their wheat at a fair remuneration.
Father Gard is the only Catholic priest in our county. He is a highly cultured gentleman, one who is broad and liberal in his views, abreast with the times in matters of science as well as religion. He is doing a great deal of good in his quiet and christ like way in ministering to the peoples spiritual welfare.
Columbus is a small town of about 200 inhabitants, situated along the Columbia river, and is the center of a rich fruit-producing section. Along the Columbia in Klickitat county are to be found orchards famous for their enormous yields of the best of fruits, such as prunes, grapes, pears, peaches and apricots. The fruit is ever in demand and finds a ready market.
In the eastern part of our county are located Bickleton and Cleveland, close to the Yakima county line. They are both small towns, only three miles apart, and as yet in their infancy, but with the advent of a period of prosperity Bickleton and Cleveland will yet become large and prosperous towns.
Blockhouse is distant seven miles from Goldendale and is a splendid place for business. The Indians on their way to the "blackberry patch" stop at this point and do their trading. Mr. and Mrs. Kayser the proprietors of the general merchandise store at the Blockhouse carry a large stock of all kinds of merchandise suitable for the trade of that section and are prosperous and enterprising people. They have succeeded, as very few people have, in building up a trade that well repays their efforts. They are favorably known for their generosity, and have accommodated the people in the trying times of financial distress, and with the return of better days upon which we are now entering the people will not forget the kindness shown them by Mr. and Mrs. Kayser.
The public schools in our county will average up in the standard of morality and education with most counties in the state.
Prof. C.M. Ryman is county school superintendent and has fulfilled the duties incumbent upon him in an efficient and scholarly manner.
Prof. Colburn is superintendent elect, a gentleman of long experience in the profession of teaching, known for his ability, fairness and integrity. We bespeak for him a kind word, a hearty welcome and generous cooperation on the part of the teachers and patrons of our public schools. Prof. Colburn is engaged in a cause which is dear to every Americans heart, the pride of our country, our public schools.
The county is divided into 56 school districts. The average term of school is about six months, and there are some 6o teachers employed in the county.
Prof. C.M. Ryman has done his best and has succeeded in advancing the cause of education to its present standard.
The committee on the examination of teachers consist of professor Neal, present principal of the Goldendale pubic schools, and professor Hodson.
The teachers of our county are mostly self made men and by hard work, by patient study, by close application they have gained for themselves a reputation for thoroughness of work and successful teaching. We congratulate the county upon its corps of teachers.
Klickitat county offers many inducements to the homeseeker, and to the capitalist seeking investment. Within her borders are to be found untold opportunities awaiting the faith and courage of man to rouse material from her dormant lethargy and compel her to yield her richest treasures.
© Jeffrey L. Elmer