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Letter of Transmittal 3 

Foreword 5 

Irrigated Lands of Washington 7-15 

Lands Watered 7 

Methods of Irrigation 7 

Capital Required 9 

Special Advantages 9 

Selecting a Location 11 

Soil 11 

Climate 13 

Frost Data 13 

Climatic Table 15 

The Irrigated District by Counties — 

Chelan County 17-25 

n::!> Okanogan County 25-37 

Stevens County 37-39 

Spokane County 41-45 

Grant County 45-47 

Douglas County 49-51 

Yakima Valley 53-57 

Kittitas County .57-59 

Yakima County 59-63 

Benton County 63-67 

Walla Walla County. 67-71 

Asotin County 71-73 

Other Eastern Washington Lands 73-75 

Irrigation in Western Washington 75-79 

Clallam County 75 

X Pierce County 79 

•^ Earning a Living before Orchards Come into Bearing 81-91 

' r^ Profits from Irrigated Lands 91-95 

^ Cost of Placing Land in Crop 96 





Bureau of Statistics and Immigration 




Deputy C 


Office OF the 
Bureau of Statistics and Immigration. 

Olympia, Sept. 20, 1910. 

Hon. I, M. Howell, Ex-offlcio Commissioner : 

Sir — ^Pursuant to your instructions, I have prepared and 
have the honor to transmit herewith a report deahng with the 
irrigated lands of this state, with a recommendation that an 
edition of 10,000 copies of same be pubHshed for general dis- 
tribution in connection with the work of this department. 


Geo. M. Allen, 

Deputy Commissioner, 
Approved for publication, October 1, 1910. 
I. M. Howell, 

Ex'officio Commissioner. 


It is quite within the range of possibilities that the products of 
the irrigated lands of Washington will in time exceed in annual value 
the present output from our combined timber and cereal-producing 
areas. Inasmuch as the forest and grain products aggregate not less 
than $100,000,000 in value each year, this statement might, at first 
thought, be viewed as one born of undue enthusiasm. Regarded in the 
light of the facts, however, it would appear conservative. 

Careful authorities have estimated that the total irrigable lands of 
the state exceed 2,000,000 acres in area, of which not more than 
twenty-five per cent, have thus far been reclaimed. With this entire 
area productive, to secure a yield of $100,000,000 in value annually 
would require only an average of $50.00 per acre — an amount far below 
the returns from lands now irrigated and which have reached the pro- 
ducing stage. 

In this report an effort has been made to review the progress of 
irrigation in the state up to the present time and to assemble such 
facts as will be of assistance to homeseekers who may be in search of 
a location on irrigated lands. The development to date has been small 
in comparison with what will occur in the future. The activity of the 
federal reclamation service, coupled with that of private companies, will 
result in tens of thousands of acres of land being reclaimed and placed 
on the market within the next few years. 

This situation has created an insistent demand upon the state au- 
thorities for information, which it is the purpose of this report to 
supply, in so far as is possible within its fixed limitations. It has not 
been possible within the scope of this pamphlet to describe every pro- 
ject and community in the irrigated districts, the aim being to make 
the report as reasonably representative of the various counties where 
irrigation is practiced as circumstances would admit. 

Much of the data has been secured from field investigations and 
through reports of men actually engaged in the cultivation of irrigated 
lands. Government reports and other recognized authorities have 
also been freely consulted. It is believed, therefore, that the informa- 
tion presented will be found reliable and fairly comprehensive, and it 
is hoped the pamphlet will prove of service to many who may be look- 
ing to Washington irrigated lands for a new home location. 

Special acknowledgement is due Mr. S. O. Jayne, irrigation expert of 
the United States department of agriculture, for valuable data sup- 
plied in preparing the map of irrigated and irrigable lands which iff 
published herewith. 


Generally speaking, the bulk of the irrigated lands of the state lies 
along the valleys of the streams which find their sources in the eastern 
slopes of the Cascade mountains. These rivers, chief among which 
are the Yakima, Wenatchee, Entiat, Methow and Salmon, traverse a 
series of valleys, once a waste of arid sagebrush lands. Now these 
same lands present in many places the aspect of one continuous garden 
and orchard, reaching for miles up and down the streams. 

The proximity of these extensive arid sections to the mountain 
streams and the swift descent of the latter from their places of origin 
in the Cascades to their respective points of confluence with the Colum- 
bia river present a combination of natural conditions highly favorable 
to the development of extensive irrigation enterprises. 


Not only the low lands immediately adjacent to the streams are 
thus brought within reach of gravity water flow, but the higher levels 
or bench lands are also irrigated in the same manner, the canals and 
flumes reaching such lands, often being visible, clinging to the cliffs 
several hundred feet above the stream level. To accomplish the water- 
ing of the high lands, it has been necessary to build immense reservoirs 
for impounding flood waters, to tunnel mountains in search of proper 
grades for carrying the canals, and to overcome many other obstacles 
requiring expert engineering skill. 

In addition to the lands immediately tributary to the above men- 
tioned streams, there are considerable irrigated areas located at var- 
ious points along the Columbia river and in the country lying east of 
that stream, as well as vastly larger tracts that still remain unre- 
claimed. To a small extent irrigation is also practiced in western 
Washington. All of the above sections are treated elsewhere and in 
detail in this report. 


Various methods of irrigation have been devised where conditions 
were such as to preclude the possibility of securing gravity water. 
Pumping plants operated by electricity or gasoline are employed quite 
extensively. Such plants are common along the Columbia river and 
are also in frequent use at points away from the streams where well 
water is available reasonably close to the surface. On some of the 
streams, current wheels have also been found a useful and economical 
means of irrigating, where a small lift only is required. Irrigation 

Washington Irrigated Lands 9 

by pumping bids fair to be undertaken on an extensive scale with 
the development of plants for the conversion of available water power 
into electrical energy. 


The amount of ready money required to insure success to a person 
locating on irrigated lands depends largely upon the individual, the 
number of acres he desires to secure, his willingness to endure tem- 
porary hardships and his ability to support himself and family while 
his lands are non-producing. The development of a tract of irrigated 
land is not what is usually termed "a poor man's proposition." Raw 
land under ditch and ready for improvement will cost $200.00 and up- 
wards per acre. Usually it may be purchased on terms extending 
over a period of several years, but the man without means to make the 
first two or three payments will need to draw heavily on his ability as 
a ''hustler" if he succeeds in meeting his obligations as they mature. 

He must count also on the expense of clearing and planting his land, 
building a house, cost of farm implements, a horse or team and wagon, 
and when these are provided, he must look forward to a considerable 
period during which he will receive practically no direct returns from 
his land. Some men, it is true, have started in practically without 
ready resources, save an abundance of pluck, and ability to turn every 
opportunity to account, and have succeeded beyond their expectations; 
but they are in the minority. An available capital of $2,000.00 is none 
too much to start with, and the settler's prospects of success will be 
augumented in proportion as his cash resources are greater. 


As an offset to the somewhat onerous conditions enumerated above, 
the man who locates on Washington irrigated land enjoys certain ad- 
vantages to which the average farmer is a stranger. If he has exer- 
cised ordinary judgment in the selection of his land, the element of 
chance is largely eliminated from his field of operations. His rela- 
tion to his land may be likened to that of a manufacturer to his plant. 
His raw materials are in the soil and in the moisture supply which is 
independent of natural precipitation and available for use at a moment's 
notice. In the warm sunshine, continuing at times for six months 
without interruption, he finds the motive force necessary for trans- 
forming his raw material into the manufactured article. His crop 
ready for shipment represents his finished product, the selling qualities 
of which are largely governed by the skill and energy he applies in 
its growth and the preparation for market. 

If his soil lacks any of the essential elements that make for fertility 
and productiveness, he can call to his aid the experience of state and 
federal experts, who will advise him as to the best method of meeting 
his particular problem. The same advantage holds good with reference 
to the garden and orchard pests he will encounter. Remedies have been 

Washington Irrigated Lands 11 

found for practically all of them, and the proper authorities will instruct 
him in their application. 

If he possess initiative and a desire to experiment, he may originate 
improved methods and economies which will work to his financial 
betterment. In any event, his work will provide him a constant mental 
stimulus as well as a field for physical effort, and all the advantages 
will accrue to him that are inherent in a life of out-door activity. 

To the foregoing should be added the fact that the irrigated sec- 
tions within a few years become thickly settled. Twenty acres con- 
stitute a large holding, and the tendency is in the direction of five- and 
ten-acre tracts to the family. Neighbors, in consequence, are close at 
hand, rural mail delivery is generally established, good roadways are 
constructed, improved railroad facilities induced, while schools and 
churches are always readily accessible. In short, the social side of life, 
throughout the irrigated districts, will be found developed on a sane, 
wholesome basis. 


The best suggestion that can be given upon the above point is for 
each person to make an investigation for himself and find a location 
that will best suit his particular requirements or purposes. It is not 
safe, under any circumstances, to buy land without having first seen 
it, or, in any event, without having a report from some person of good 
judgment and established reliability. Inferior tracts may be found in 
the best districts, and the only way to make sure of avoiding such lo- 
cations is to secure first-hand information before purchasing. 

There are a number of companies developing fruit lands in the 
state that undertake to plant the tracts they sell and care for same 
until the bearing period is reached. Where the responsibility of the 
company is fully established and the land is known to be adapted to the 
purpose, this plan of securing land may be profitably followed. The 
chief advantage lies in the fact that the purchaser may continue at his 
customary vocation during the period his land is non-productive. 


The soil of the irrigated districts is in the main similar to that 
which is characteristic of eastern Washington as a whole. It is com- 
posed largely of a mixture of ash or dust of volcanic origin, sedimentary 
deposits washed down from the mountains and surrounding hills, and 
disintegrated basaltic rocks which through the ages have undergone 
a pulverizing process. Combined with accretions of decayed organic 
matter in varying quantities, it possesses great fertility, is remarkable 
for its moisture-retaining qualities, and is easily and readily tilled. 
It occurs in different depths, ranging from three feet to sixty feet, 
and there is often found an underlying strata of gravel providing ready 
drainage. In response to the application of water, it yields prolifically 
of all manner of products common to temperate and semi-tropical 

Washington Irrigated Lands 



Inasmuch as different points in the section of the state under con- 
sideration vary widely in altitude, it is difficult to generalize with 
reference to climatic conditions. The characteristics are dry, hot 
summers and moderately cold winters, with a snowfall varying from a 
few inches to several feet. At times extremes both of heat and cold are 
experienced. The absence of moisture from the atmosphere operates 
against excessive discomfort from the heat, and the summer nights 
usually bring a pleasing coolness. The spring and autumn seasons are 
delightful, the only annoying feature being the prevailing winds, 
which lose much of their unpleasantness, however, as the area of 
orchards increases. The accompanying tabulations from reports of the 
United States weather bureau present detailed climatic data covering 
numerous points in the district: 

(From Report of U. S. Weather Bureau). 


Okanogan Country- - 

Colville Country— 



Spokane Country- 


Chelan Country- 

Wenatchee (near) 

Big Bend Country— 



Palouse Country— 



Walla Walla and Snake 
River Country- 
Walla Walla 


Yakima Valley— 





Upper Columbia Val.— 















Average date 

first killing 

frost in 


September 21 

September 7 
September 3 

September 22 
October 14 

October 19 
October 21 

September 20 
September 6 

September 10 
September 14 

November 8 
October 29 

September 7 
September 21 
September 21 
October 8 

October 15 
October 18 

Average date 

last killing 

frost in 


May 18 

June 5 
June 15 

May 23 
March 26 

April 10 
April 30 

May 31 
June 28 

May 25 
June 1 

April 1 
April 14 

June 9 
May 23 
May 23 
May 7 

April 28 
April 28 

Earliest date 

killing frost 

in autumn 

September 10 

August 21 
August 26 

September 11 
September 7 

September 25 
October 1 

August 26 
August 17 

August 26 
August 26 

September 28 
October 19 

August 12 
September 6 
September 6 
September 25 

September 25 
September 21 

Latest date 


frost in 


June 23 

July 26 
July 29 

June 25 
June 8 

May 4 
May 21 

June 25 
July 30 

July 26 
June 24 

May 3 
May 21 

July 26 
June 6 
June 14 
June 2 

May 25 
May 18 

Waihington Irrigated Landi 







Chelan county is located on the eastern slopes of the Cascade moun- 
tains, the summits of which constitute the county's western border. 
It extends eastward to the Columbia river, and the county's three im- 
portant valleys, the Wenatchee, Entiat and Chelan, slope from the 
mountain peaks to the edge of the river. In these valleys, and more 
especially in the first named, the development of irrigated lands to a 
high productive state has been reduced almost to an exact science. 


The Wenatchee valley has attained more than a local reputation as 
"The Home of the Big Red Apple" and as the section where "Dollars 
Grow on Trees," and an astonishing array of facts and figures may be 
assembled in support of the contentions expressed in these familiar 

The line of the Great Northern railway, passing up this valley on 
its way to tidewater on Puget Sound, is bordered on both sides by an 
almost continuous succession of orchards, which cease only when the 
arable valley lands merge into the more rugged surface of the moun- 
tain sides. 

Individual Holdings Small. 

The individual holdings are comparatively small, the tracts owned 
by a single family usually running five, ten or twenty acres. Ex- 
cellent wagon and automobile roads traverse the valley, and a trip 
by motor or rig over its length gives one the impression of driving 
about the suburbs of some large city. Neighbors all along the route 
are close to each other, and everywhere there is manifest the evidences 
of a friendly rivalry in the beautification of home surroundings. 

Abea Ibbigated. 

In the earlier days, small diversions of water were made by settlers 
who occupied the level lands along the river, for the purpose of 
irrigating their alfalfa fields. Some domestic orchards were inci- 
dentally set out, and the remarkable results obtained from these paved 
the way to the extensive scale upon which fruitraising as a commer- 
cial enterprise is conducted at the present time. 

For a number of years, moneyed interests have been engaged in the 
construction and development of irrigation enterprises, and it is 


c Pkoject, Okasogas ( 

Chelan County 19 

quite evident at the present time that within a very few years every 
available acre of irrigable land in the valley will be reclaimed. 

In the district lying between Leavenworth and Rock Island on the 
'Columbia river, and including several thousand acres on the east side 
of the Columbia river opposite Wenatchee, it is estimated that there 
are not less than 28,000 acres of land under irrigation. 

Wenatchee Canal Company. 

Practically one-half of the above acreage is under the ditches of 
the Wenatchee Canal Company, which is now engaged in enlarging 
its high line canal in anticipation of supplying several thousand 
acres of bench lands with water. This company's operations extend 
the full length of the valley, reaching also across the Columbia river 
into Douglas county. 

Icicle Ditch. 

What is known as the Old Mission canal is being replaced by a new 
ditch fed at Icicle creek, near the town of Leavenworth. The new 
project will cover the lands now watered by the Mission canal and an 
additional 2,000 acres. The lands are located between Leavenworth 
and Monitor, and the total length of the ditch will be 18 miles. It is 
being constructed on the most approved lines, involving the replacing, 
at intervals, of wooden flumes by tunnels driven through solid rock. 

Jones-Shotwell Ditch. 

Lands to the amount of 1,000 acres, located between Peshastin and 
^Monitor, are watered by the Jones-Shotwell ditch. The water for the 
project is taken from Peshastin creek. 

Wenatchee Water Power Company. 

The above company's ditch, known also as the Gunn ditch, provides 
ivater for about 1,500 acres of land lying between the towns of Cash- 
mere and Wenatchee. It is estimated that fully 80 per cent, of the 
orchards under this project are in bearing. 

Other Lands. 

Centering about the little town of Cashmere is a thickly settled 
section of about 1,200 acres of land. This is one of the beauty spots of 
the Wenatchee valley, happily termed "The Vale of Cashmere." There 
is a diversification of effort here, fruitraising being supplemented by 
dairying, poultry-raising and gardening, the district as a whole pre- 
senting rural conditions almost ideal. 

At Malaga, a fruit and hay district located seven miles south of 
Wenatchee on the Columbia river, is the Lockwood ditch, which waters 
3,500 acres of land. This is one of the oldest ditches in the valley. 
Its water supply is obtained from Stemilt creek. 

Near Leavenworth, several hundred acres of land are supplied 
with water through the Peters ditch. 

Chelan County 21 

In addition to the areas above enumerated, there are many small 
tracts under private irrigation ditches, located in the numerous creek 
valleys and gulches which head into the Wenatchee valley proper. 
Some of these lands are supplied with water from live rivulets, others 
from springs and still others from small storage reservoirs in which 
the spring flood waters are impounded. 


Prices of Lands. 

Prices of lands in the Wenatchee valley cover an extremely wide 
range. The prospective purchaser may exercise a choice extending 
from raw lands at $400.00 and $500.00 per acre to full bearing orchards 
for which selling prices have been recorded five and six times the 
above amounts. Under these conditions, he may regulate his purchase 
to suit his particular inclinations or the limitations of his resources. 


In locating in this section, the homeseeker has the advantage of 
rail transportation both east and west, affording easy access to es- 
tablished markets extending from the Atlantic to the Pacific coasts. In 
addition, he will find himself in an environment where pioneer con- 
ditions have been met and overcome, where good schools and churches 
are at hand, with telephone and rural mail delivery established, and 
all the other accessories of our advanced civilization readily avail- 

In summer, the pine-covered slopes of nearby tnoiintains, their 
lakes and streams filled with trout, offer a pleasant field for recrea- 
tion, while but a short half day's trip over the range is Puget Sound 
with its myriad islands and 2,000 miles of shore line, one of the 
country's greatest summer playgrounds. 

The growing city of Wenatchee, the metropolis of the valley, is 
easily reached from all points in the district. It is a thriving place, 
having advanced in a few years from a village to a trade and distri- 
buting center of commanding importance. The rapid growth of the 
city is bringing many metropolitan advantages within reach of resi- 
dents of the valley. 


The Entiat river rises in the Cascade mountains 60 miles from its 
point of confluence with the Columbia, and is a typical mourtain 
stream, having an average fall of 50 feet to the mile. The valley is 
exceptionally narrow, mountains towering on either side to a height 
ranging from 1,000 to 3,000 feet. 

The fruit lands of the valley extend for a distance of about fifteen 
miles up the river from its mouth, and in many respects conditions 
of soil, climate, etc., are similar to those found in the valley of the 
Wenatchee. On the lower lands, near the river, peaches have been 
found to yield abundantly, while farther up the stream winter apples 
of fine quality and size are raised. At the Portland and St. Louis 

Three- Year-Old AprLB Tees in "Uppeii Columbii Orchabds," Near Marble, 

Chelan County 2S 

expositions apples raised in this district were awarded gold medals 
and other prizes. 

Above the fruit line the cultivated lands are devoted chiefly to 
hay production, timothy being the leading crop. There is a plentiful 
timber supply in this valley, and to its other advantages are added 
remarkable possibilities for power development. 


Adjoining the shores of Lake Chelan, and also occupying favorable 
locations in the nearby draws and gulches, are numerous fruit farms, 
many of which, however, have not as yet been brought under irriga- 
tion. Until within recent years, the theory was held by many that 
fruitgrowing in this district could be developed into a profitable in- 
dustry, independent of any artificial water supply. The presence of 
moisture in greater or less quantities, supplied through sub-irriga- 
tion, was a known factor in the problem, and it was determined with- 
out much difficulty that trees would reach the bearing stage, inde- 
pendent of surface application of water. 

Beyond that stage, however, results were uncertain, and trees after 
reaching an age of ten to twelve years frequently showed a tendency 
to weakness in production and other evidences of exhausted vitality. 
Under these circumstances, the fruitgrowers of the district began 
devising ways and means of irrigating their tracts. In some cases, 
power pumps have been installed, capable of lifting water from the 
lake to a considerable height on the nearby bench lands. Other 
growers have access to gulches or canyons, and by impounding their 
waters when in freshet secure a sufficient supply to insure maturing 
their crops. 

Irrigation Project. 

At the present time an important irrigation project is being 
worked out, covering several thousand acres of land lying along the 
north shore of the lake a short distance west of the town of Chelan. 
The location with respect to the lake and mountains is delightful, 
and all the requisites of soil and climate are present to make fruit- 
growing highly successful. The mild nature of the climate and the 
absence of late frosts have made it possible to grow peaches, apricots, 
English walnuts, etc., with great success. 


The problem of transportation is the most serious one that con- 
fronts the people of this section. The towns of Lakeside and Chelan 
are located side by side at the extreme eastern end of the lake, and 
the fruit lands are near by. The steamer landing on the Columbia 
river is four miles distant, and the wagon road is steep and narrow, in- 
volving a climb in its short length of about 300 feet. The traffic, at 
present, is cared for by stage and freight wagons. That improved 
transportation facilities will come in time is certain, particularly in 

Okanogan County 26 

view of the fact that an immense power development is contemplated 
from Chelan falls. 

Lands Near River Mouth. 

Near the mouth of the Chelan river is a splended body of land well 
adapted to irrigation, but as yet undeveloped. A few miles farther 
south is a tract of several hundred acres now being brought under 
irrigation. Land here is plowed and set out in trees before being sold, 
prices ranging from $350.00 per acre upwards. 

A Summer Resort. 

Lake Chelan has long been famous as a summer resort, and annually 
attracts large numbers of tourists to enjoy its manifold advantages of 
boating, fishing, hunting, etc. 



Sixty miles above the City of Wenatchee and almost at the point 
where the Columbia river makes its "Big Bend" to the eastward the 
waters of that stream are joined by those of the Methow river. Rising 
far up in the Cascade mountains, the Methow pursues a general south- 
easterly course, and towards its lower end runs almost parallel to the 
Okanogan river. 

The Methow is a turbulent stream, averaging a drop of 25 feet to the 
mile and carrying a heavy volume of water throughout the irrigation 
season. The question of water supply will never become of serious 
moment in this valley, owing to the above fact, and there is an abun- 
dant surplusage to cover several other large irrigable sections lying 
along the Columbia and Okanogan rivers. 

The valley attains a total length of about eighty miles, and for a 
distance of more than fifty miles the lands are splendidly adapted to a 
wide variety of agricultural purposes. In general the valley is nar- 
row, seldom attaining a width in excess of two and one-half miles, and 
for much of its length being less than half as wide. In earlier days, 
stockraising was a leading industry, the natural grazing afforded by 
the hillsides being supplemented by remarkable yields of alfalfa on the 
lower lands. In later years corn has been found a profitable crop, 
while all manner of tree and small fruits and garden truck is ex- 
tensively raised. Dairying is finding favor with many of the farmers, 
and several creameries are well supported. 


At the present time the valley is in a transition stage, the larger 
holdings being rapidly brought under irrigation and sold off in small 

Okanogan County 27 

tracts. It is still possible, however, to secure a quarter section in a 
single tract, and an occasional relinquishment of a homesteader's 
right is offered for sale. 

A number of individuals, companies and associations of land owners 
have constructed irrigation ditches to water their lands, and others are 
making similar preparations. Such lands may be purchased under a 
variety of conditions. They may be bought outright for cash, or on 
installments, or by part payment of cash and the balance extending^ 
over a period of years. Some of the companies for an additional fee 
undertake to clear the land, plant it to trees and care for them until 
of bearing age. Where the purchaser does not wish to move im- 
mediately on the land, this plan is very satisfactory and has many 
advantages, provided full assurance of the responsibility of the com- 
pany has been obtained. 

It has been estimated that there are not less than thirty thousand 
acres of irrigable land in the valley, of which probably fifteen thousand 
acres are now being watered. Much of this is good fruit land, and 
thousands of apple trees have been planted during the past season. 
Domestic orchards have been producing in the valley for many years, 
and its fruitgrowing possibilities have been thoroughly established. 
There will always be a diversity of occupations in this valley, how- 
ever, and its prestige as a producer of fat beef, alfalfa, corn and other 
products is not likely to diminish. 

Prices of Lands. 

There is considerable range in the values of lands in this valley. 
Raw tracts without water may be found at $60.00 to $75.00 per acre, but 
generally the prices range higher. For lands under ditch, with a 
water-right, the prices vary from $250.00 to $350.00 per acre. By 
reason of the desire on the part of many of the older settlers to 
realize on their holdings and seek a newer environment, land may be 
purchased at times, under exceptionally favorable conditions. 


The Methow valley has suffered from a lack of transportation fa- 
cilities, and there is as yet no definite information as to when this 
difficulty will be overcome. All traffic at present is by stage and 
freight team from Pateros, which is reached by the Columbia river 
steamers from Wenatchee, and is also the present southern terminus of 
the railway now building from Oroville. A railroad up the valley is 
a crying need and one almost certain to be supplied ere long. One of 
the principal state roads extends up the valley and is the highway over 
which the bulk of the traffic at present is borne. 

Irrigation Projects. 

At the mouth of the river and touching also along the bank of the 
Columbia is a tract of 360 acres irrigated by the Pateros Water Ditch 

Okanogan Cotmty 29 

Company. This land has been under ditch for nearly six years, and 
is almost entirely in fruit. 

The Larrabee ditch supplies about 200 acres of land lying along 
the Methow from four to eight miles above Pateros. Construction 
work on this project is about completed. 

Opposite the Larrabee holdings is the Vroman ditch, watering a 
small tract of land. At Black canyon and Squaw creek tracts of 
about 75 acres each are being irrigated. 

Near the village of Methow is the Bolinger ditch, carrying double 
the amount of water necessary to irrigate the 400 acres it supplies. 
This ditch is built on permanent lines throughout its entire length of 
five miles. The property is being cut up into tracts at prices ranging 
from $250.00 to $300.00 per acre. 

The Methow Canal Company irrigates 4,000 acres of land lying on 
both sides of the river below the town of Twisp. The main canal 
receives its water supply from the Twisp river at a point several miles 
above the town and follows the west side of the Methow. Some dis- 
tance below Twisp a portion of the water is diverted through a pipe 
line and carried across the river to irrigate the lands on the east side. 
Practically all of this company's lands are under ditch and are being 
sold in small orchard tracts. A plan for the development and dis- 
tribution of electric lights and power is under consideration by the 

Adjoining Beaver creek, which enters the Methow from the east 
about twenty-eight miles above its mouth, there are nearly two 
thousand acres of land ^nder irrigation. The lands lie on both sides 
of the creek and the water is supplied from a reservoir and canal 
built at the joint expense of the interested land-owners. Probably not 
to exceed two-thirds of the land irrigated is as yet under cultivation, 
and there is a limited additional acreage not yet watered. 

Along Benson creek, a few miles below Beaver, there are several 
hundred acres of bench land under ditch and generally cultivated. 

A few miles above Twisp is the Barclay project, comprising about 
1,200 acres of land, of which approximately one-half is watered. The 
lands are located on the east side of the river and the point of water 
diversion is about six miles north of Twisp. Along the Twisp river 
there are four hundred acres watered, with an additional six hundred 
acres that will be irrigated later on. 

The Uppek Methow Country. 

Above Twisp, the valley broadens considerably, and, following the 
main stream from Winthrop northwest for a distance of 20 miles, the 
first flat averages a mile in width. 

The Foghorn ditch, constructed some seven years ago, waters about 
600 acres of land, beginning near Winthrop and extending several 
miles down stream. 

Beginning at a point three miles above Winthrop, there are three 
small canals, each with a capacity for watering about 100 acres. 

Okanogan County 31 

From Wolf creek, water has been diverted through several ditches 
for watering a total of 500 acres of private holdings. 

Eight miles above Winthrop is the Rock View ditch, a neighbor- 
liood enterprise which supplies about 300 acres, with a capacity for 
double that amount. In a similar manner, 200 acres are watered some 
four miles nearer Winthrop. 

On the North Fork, about nine miles from Winthrop, is the Sky 
Liine project, designed to water 1,500 acres. When completed it will 
represent an expenditure of $25,000.00. 

• The Fulton ditch, taking water from the North Fork, waters 220 
acres of land, devoted chiefly to alfalfa. 

Land to the extent of 1,300 acres will be watered by the Chiwak 
Canal Company's ditch, which is one of the important newer projects. 
The point of water diversion is eight miles above Winthrop, and the 
main canal attains a length of eleven miles. There are a number 
of additional smaller ditches along the river which increase the total 
irrigated area in this section by several hundred acres. 


Extending north from the town of Brewster a distance of several 
miles, and reaching back from the Columbia and Okanogan rivers 
toward the foothills, lie the Brewster flats. These lands, compris- 
ing about 15,000 acres, present extremely favorable conditions for de- 
velopment under irrigation. With other areas lying contiguous to 
the Okanogan, Columbia and Methow rivers, they combine to make a 
total approximating 35,000 acres, all of which will undoubtedly be 
reclaimed within the next few years. 

The Brewster flats, proper, formerly were a part of the state's 
school land, the bulk of them having passed into private ownership 
within the past two years. They consist of comparatively level 
bunchgrass benches, paralleling the river at elevations varying from 
a few feet to 500 feet above the river level. 

A plan was formulated several years ago for reclaiming this whole 
district, but has not as yet been carried through to completion. It is 
proposed to construct a diversion weir in the Methow near the town of 
Twisp, where a supply of water is available sufficient to reach every 
part of the district with a gravity flow. When a practical plan for 
completing the project has been developed and financed, this section 
will advance very rapidly. At present there are some 2,000 acres 
watered, a large proportion of which is already in orchard. The soil 
is a sandy loam, liberally mixed with the volcanic ash characteristic 
of the region. A strata of gravel generally underlies the top soil at a 
depth ranging from two feet to eight feet, affording excellent drainage. 

Brewster Orchards Company. 

The Brewster Orchards Company is the owner of a tract of 144 
acres, all of which has been planted to standard winter apples. The 
land adjoins the townsite of Brewster, lying between it and the river. 


Okanogan County 33 

The trees on one-half of the tract are three years' old, and the balance 
were planted last spring. The varieties planted are Spitzqnberg, Wine- 
sap and Newtown Pippins. Mr. A. L. Smith, part owner and superintend- 
ent of the orchard for the company, states that the above named are 
the proven varieties for this section. Winesaps are known to give a 
yield as prolific as the Ben Davis. Mr. Smith plants his trees at 
intervals of 30 feet in rows 26 feet apart, using Anjou pears as fillers. 
His trees have attained a remarkable growth for their age and give 
every promise of developing into strong and vigorous bearers. Domes- 
tic orchards in the neighborhood have been producing without failure 
for upwards of a score of years. 

Prices of Lands. 

Raw lands without water-right may be purchased in the Brewster 
district at prices ranging about $100.00 per acre, and, on account of 
the uncertainty as to when the lands will be watered, favorable in- 
vestment and speculative opportunities are presented. For land under 
ditch or which can be watered from the existing canal, the price varies 
from $250 to $350 per acre, depending on location, freedom from sur- 
face rocks and general topography. 


The above project comprises 10,000 acres of land lying along the 
west bank of the Okanogan river. The tract consists of a series of 
terraces or benches of what formerly were bunchgrass lands. The 
lower lands are only slightly above the river level, while the higher 
points reached by the supply ditch attain an elevation of 300 feet to 
400 feet above the river. The lands irrigated extend up and down the 
river a distance of ten miles, reaching on the north the little town of 
Riverside, on the south the town of Okanogan and at a central loca- 
tion on the bank of the river is the rapidly-growing community of 

This is the first project completed by the government in the state, 
and is regarded by experts as a model in stability of construction and 
in respect tp economy of operation. The water for the lands is ob- 
tained from the Salmon river, which empties into the Okanogan near 
the south end of the project. To insure a plentiful supply, the flood 
waters of the stream are impounded in two reservoirs of earth-filled 
construction and located near the town of Conconully. 

During the season of 1910, water was available for distribution 
upon 8,900 acres of land, about one-half of which is under cultivation. 
It is estimated that more than 4,000 acres have already been planted to 
apple trees, the chief varieties being Winesaps, Jonathans, Spitzenbergs, 
Rome Beauties and Newtown Pippins. The first two mentioned comprise 
about 75 per cent, of the total acreage planted. 

As is customary in government irrigation enterprises, the federal 


Okanogan County 35 

authorities deal with the landowners through a Water Users* Asso- 
ciation. No individual can hold more than 40 acres of land, and a con- 
dition of residence is provided whereby the owner must live upon or 
within 50 miles of the project. The government's charge for a water- 
right is $65.00 per acre, payable in ten annual installments, without 
interest. Land values under the project range from $250.00 to $500.00 
per acre, the latter price being asked for choice tracts, cleared and 
planted to orchard. 

This project is unusually favored in respect to air drainage, ele- 
vation and other conditions which give assurance of immunity from 
late frosts. The famous Pogue orchard is located here, upon which 
peaches and apples have been raised for years without failure. The 
additional advantage of an incontestable water-right, obtained direct 
from the federal government, has appealed strongly to many home- 

The new branch line of the Great Northern railway, now building 
from Oroville to Pateros, passes down the river opposite the project, 
and will afford a rail outlet to Spokane and eastern points. Another 
extension of the same system is building which ultimately will give 
access to coast ports in British Columbia. River steamers are in 
operation between Wenatchee and Brewester, and in the summer season 
run up as far as Riverside on the Okanogan. 

The anticipated opening of the Colville Indian reservation will 
undoubtedly stimulate other transportation interests to build in this 
direction. There are several hundred acres of excellent land ad- 
joining the limits of the project, which will be watered whenever land 
values advance suflftciently to warrant the additional expense involved. 


In addition to the projects and districts described somewhat in 
detail in the foregoing pages, there are numerous smaller irrigation 
enterprises in various stages of development, located up and down the 
entire length of the Okanogan valley. 

The lowlands adjoining the river are receiving first attention, and 
reclamation of such tracts is proceeding very rapidly. The Okanogan 
river is a sluggish stream, having very little fall, and hence unsuited 
to the development of gravity systems of water distribution. 

Some of the ranches along the river are irrigated from small creeks 
or from reservoirs built in neighboring canyons. Others, and the 
number of these is constantly growing, have installed pumps operated 
by gasoline, finding this a cheap and satisfactory method of watering 
their lands. 

From Ophir to Malott there is a large acreage of irrigable lands, 
and near the latter point some 350 acres are under cultivation. West 
of Malott on the higher levels 500 acres have been irrigated by means 
of ditches supplied from storage reservoirs. 

Further up on the Okanogan river, in fact along much of its course 

Stevens County 37 

from Brewster to Oroville, many of the old alfalfa and stock ranches 
are now being divided up and sold off in small tracts. North of River- 
side the valley widens out and an occasional clump of pine trees adds 
variation to the scenery. 


The town of Oroville is located a few miles south of the inter- 
national boundary line. It is on the line of the Great Northern branch 
which reaches Spokane on the east and will ultimately find outlets at 
Wenatchee and at Pacific Coast points in British Columbia. 

Oroville at present is a railroad point of importance, in the center of 
expanding mining developments, and possesses all the characteristics 
of a busy western community. The population is about 500. On the 
east side of the river, directly opposite the town, and lying also along 
the shore of Lake Osoyoos, is a tract of 1,000 acres of land well suited 
to irrigation. A company has been organized for the purpose and will 
install a 100-horse-power pump, taking water direct from the lake. The 
company has begun active preparations looking toward the development 
of this property, and it is announced that their plans will be carried 
through to early completion. There are several other tracts of good 
lands in the vicinity of Oroville which in time will become productive 
under the stimulus of a plentiful water supply. 


Stevens county is located in the extreme northeastern section of 
the state, its chief physical features being the valleys of the Columbia 
and Colville rivers. The irrigated lands of the county are found chiefly 
along the borders of the first-named stream. 


South of Kettle Falls, where the country is generally open, irriga- 
tion has been in progress for a number of years. Some timber appears 
at intervals and the hills back from the river are well wooded, afford- 
ing a plentiful timber supply. 

The irrigated lands comprise a narrow strip along the river, where 
the soil is of a sandy loam, carrying a mixture of fine gravel. 

The Fruitland Irrigation Company has completed a 7,000-acre pro- 
ject in this locality, taking their water from the Colville river, the 
length of ditch being 25 miles. 

All grains, grasses, vegetables and many varieties of fruit produce 
abundantly in this section, small farms, irrigated from nearby creeks, 
having demonstrated its capabilities for all of the above products. 

Stevens County 39 

The timbered hills protect the valley from unpleasant winds, and the 
climate on this account is more enjoyable than elsewhere. 

Several other projects are being developed, and bench lands, as well 
as the bottoms, are being placed under irrigation. Farther down, and 
continuing in fact to the southern boundary of the county, irrigated 
tracts will be found, as advantages of soil and location have warranted. 


A second important irrigation district in Stevens county is lo- 
cated on both sides of the Columbia river, well up toward the inter- 
national boundary line. 

The lands lie in a series of benches which originally were covered 
with a growth of pine and tamarack timber. Several tracts, totaling 
15,000 acres of irrigable land, are being opened here by the Upper 
Columbia Company. The first unit of 1,500 acres is now nearing 
completion. The lands extend from a point several miles north 
of the town of Northport in a general southwesterly direction to and 
some distance below the village of Marble. The method of irrigation 
is by gravity flow, the water being secured from Deep creek. Crown 
creek. Sheep creek. Onion creek, and other tributaries of the Columbia 
river. The elevation varies from 1250 feet to 1750 feet. 

Apples have been raised in this section for years without irrigation, 
although the rainfall is not sufficient for maturing the fruit in perfect 

Soil and Climate. 

The soil is gravelly, with a liberal percentage of loam and vol- 
canic ash, and fruit trees and all manner of vegetation grow very 

The annual rainfall averages about 20 inches, and the company 
contracts call for the delivery of one acre foot of water per season. The 
rains occur chiefly during the spring months. Snow falls freely in 
winter, and there is usually 60 days of good sleighing. The scenery 
is relieved by wooded hills and mountains in the far background, and 
fish and game are abundant. 


Raw lands in Stevens county, with water-right, are held at prices 
ranging from $250.00 to $325.00 per acre, and where the operating com- 
pany improves the lands with orchard trees and cares for same until 
the bearing period is reached, an additional charge of $150.00 is made. 
Usually the lands may be purchased on terms, the payments extending 
over a period of several years. 


Rail transportation reaches Meyers Falls, providing for the district 
adjacent thereto, and in the Upper Columbia section the irrigated dis- 
tricts lie directly along the railroad, and shipping facilities in three 
directions are available. 

Spokane County 41 


Spokane county is located in the extreme eastern section of the 
state, bordering on the Idaho line. 

The northern portion of the county is somewhat mountainous, and 
is covered with a fine growth of pine and tamarack timber. Much of 
this section is suitable for agriculture, while all is adapted to grazing. 
The central part of the county is rolling and is traversed by the Spo- 
kane river. West of the city of Spokane there is much fine agricul- 
tural land, while to the east is the Spokane valley, which is rapidly 
being brought into a high state of cultivation by means of irrigation. 
There are about 40,000 acres in this valley capable of irrigation, of 
which a considerable portion has been reclaimed and is now under 
cultivation. The southern portion of the county is rolling, and com- 
prises some of the finest agricultural land in the state. Large areas of 
this section are utilized for wheat-growing. 


The city of Spokane, the metropolis of the "Inland Empire" coun- 
try, is the county seat and is located on the Spokane river. The falls 
in the stream at this point have a drop cf 132 feet, making possible 
the development of 33,000 minimum horse power. Spokane is the 
distributing center of a vast agricultural, mining and fruitgrowing 
district, and is one of the few large cities of the Pacific Northwest. 
Its manufacturing interests are expanding rapidly, their products in- 
cluding lumber, flour, machinery, agricultural implements, brick, pot- 
tery, iron products, cereal foods, furniture, etc. Transportation fa- 
cilities are the best, including the Northern Pacific, Great Northern, 
Spokane Falls & Northern, O. R. & N., North Bank, and Milwaukee sys- 
tems, in addition to a network of electric lines radiating from the city 
to different points in the tributary country. Spokane is the seat of the 
annual National Apple Show. 


The irrigated lands of the county, as already noted, are located 
chiefly in the valley of the Spokane river. They extend in a general 
easterly direction from the city of Spokane to the Idaho boundary 
line. North of Spokane well up towards the Stevens county line are 
other districts which are likewise being brought under irrigation. 

Spokane Valley Land & Water Company's Project. 

The above company is developing 10,000 acres cf land located in 
the valley of the Spokane river in Washington, and in Kootenai 
county, Idaho. The water for these lands is secured partly from the 
Spokane river and partly from Fish lake, Idaho. The Fish lake por- 

Spokane County 43 

tion of the system is completed, as is also the main part of the ditch, 
which is supplied with water from the Spokane river. The total main 
canal length is 22 miles. 

These are prairie lands, most of which had been devoted to grain 
production prior to their development under irrigation. The soil is a 
black gravelly loam, producing fine crops of fruit, vegetables and al- 
falfa. The elevation ranges from 2,000 to 3,000 feet. The annual pre- 
cipitation is greater than in most of the irrigated sections, and the 
amount of water supplied by artificial means is correspondingly less. 
The lands are located at distances ranging from five miles to twenty- 
five miles east from Spokane. Prices vary from $150.00 to $400.00 per 

Spokane Canal Company's Project. 

This property comprises some 5,000 to 8,000 acres of Spokane valley 
land, water for irrigation being secured by gravity from Newman lake. 
A large portion of this land has been sold out and is in bearing or- 
chards, producing extremely high quality commercial fruit. The 
varieties, generally speaking, are Wagener, Rome Beauty, and Jona- 
than. Land sells from $350.00 to $500.00 per acre, on terms of 25 per 
cent, cash and 25 per cent, each year until paid out. 


The irrigated lands at Opportunity comprise about 3,000 acres, and 
are located east of and not far distant from the city limits of Spo- 
kane. Water for irrigation purposes is obtained from wells, averag- 
ing about 100 feet in depth. Electric power is used in hoisting the 
water. A complete system for domestic water supply is also in 
operation, and electricity for lighting purposes is furnished the resi- 
dents on the project. Some of the lands first sold in this district are 
now in bearing orchards, the chief varieties being Jonathan, Grimes 
Golden, Wagener, and Rome Beauty. Prices of land range from 
$450.00 to $550.00 per acre, while the annual maintenance fee is ap- 
proximately $5.00 per acre. 

Vera Project. 

Some 5,000 acres of land are included within the above project, 
which lies directly east of Opportunity. For the most part, the same 
conditions apply to both districts. Water is supplied by pumping, and 
the soil is adapted to the same purposes as at Opportunity. Trans- 
portation is excellent, two steam, as also two electric lines, reaching 
the district. 

Hazelwood Irrigated Farms. 

The above property lies westward from Spokane, and comprises 
about 2,500 acres of land lying at an elevation of about 2,200 feet. 
Water is supplied from Silver lake, and is raised to the required ele- 
vation by a huge pumping plant, capable of lifting 21,000 gallons per 
minute. A wooden stave pipe is utilized to convey the water to a basin, 

Grant County 45 

whence it is carried to the project through an open canal. An under- 
ground pipe system supplies the water direct to the individual tracts. 
The soil here is a sandy loam, and prior to their development under 
irrigation the lands had for years produced good crops of different 
cereals. Apple and cherry orchards are being extensively developed. 

Orchard Ave:^ue Project. 

The above project is located just eastward from the city of Spo- 
kane, bordering in fact upon the city limits. It has been platted into 
blocks or home-sites and is being developed as suburban property 
rather than as commercial orchard lands. The water is obtained from 
wells sunk to a depth of about 80 feet. Domestic water and electric 
lighting systems have been established, and the district is being 
improved with graded streets and cement sidewalks. This district may 
be reached in twenty minutes by electric car service from the center of 
the city. 

Arcadia Lands. 

The lands of the Arcadia Orchards Company are located about 22 
miles north of Spokane. This district was originally covered with a 
timber growth, and the logged-off lands are being cleared and developed 
as garden and orchard tracts. The sources of water supply are Dra- 
goon creek and Loon and Deer lakes. One thousand acres have been 
planted to trees and large additional tracts are in preparation for 


Grant county, in point of years, is the youngest county in the 
state, having been created by act of the last legislature from the limits 
of Douglas county. It is about equally youthful in respect to the 
development of its natural resources, which are, however, of much im- 
portance, and withal enjoying great possibilities for the future. 

In contour, the county is a rolling, treeless plain, broken in places 
by depressions called coulees and by rather infrequent watercourses. 
It is essentially a district in the upbuilding of which irrigation is 
destined to play an extremely important part. In the southwestern 
portion of the county is a vast district, containing approximately 1,000 
square miles of territory, wanting only the application of water to make 
it one of the most productive sections of the state. 


The Great Northern railway skirts the northern edge of this dis- 
trict. Paralleling the Great Northern, and 25 miles to the southward is 
the main line of the Milwaukee system. On the west is the Columbia 
river and to the eastward lies Moses lake, a splendid body of water 
which is quite likely to be utilized in watering a large tract in the 
near vicinity. 

Grant County 47 


At present a few settlers have installed pumping plants en Moses 
lake, and are meeting with success in thus watering their lands. The 
Moses Garrison ranch is an example of the possibilities in this par- 
ticular. Mr. Garrison is irrigating 110 acres of orchard and 20 acres of 
wheat, using a 12-horse-power Fairbanks-Morse engine and a centri- 
fugal pump. His pump and engine installed cost about $1,000.00. His 
well, which is 50 feet in depth, cost |4.00 per foot to dig, or $200.00 in 
all. His entire expense for securing water is less than $10.00 per acre, 
and his annual expense for fuel does not exceed $3.00 per acre. 

The results to be obtained from irrigation have been well demon- 
strated in several other sections of the county. Near Ephrata, the 
-county seat, are several tracts which have brought splendid results to 
their owners. Part of the lands are watered from nearby springs, 
while ether tracts are dependent upon wells. This latter method is 
gaining in favor, inasmuch as there are indications of an underlying 
sheet of water through this section giving promise of an inexhaustible 
supply. It is of record that powerful pumps working day and night 
liave been unable to lower the stand of water in wells sunk in this 
district. Several orchards in the vicinity of Ephrata have established 
the adaptability of the country to fruitgrowing. 


Lying south of Soap lake and extending from the village of Adrian 
along the line of the Great Northern railway toward Ephrata are the 
"holdings of the Stratford Irrigation Company. This company is irri- 
gating several thousand acres of land, taking water from Brook lake, 
-at Stratford, into and through which Crab creek flows. A large por- 
tion of their lands have been sold, and the tracts are now being de- 
veloped by individual owners. Approximately 200 acres were set out in 
trees last year. Alfalfa is perhaps the leading crop at present. 

A few miles east of the above section, in the vicinity of Wilson 
Creek and Krupp, there are a number of irrigated tracts planted 
to young orchards and alfalfa. Land values range from $100 to $300 
per acre for irrigated tracts. 

This entire district has the advantage of ready access to the main 
line of a transcontinental railway, although up to the present time 
there has been a local market for all the products raised. 

In its virginal aspect the country is bleak and forbidding, impres- 
sing the observer as a desert waste. Moreover, being an open coun- 
try, severe windstorms, with accompanying clouds of dust, are common 
in the summer. These are conditions, however, which have been met 
-and overcome in nearly all irrigated districts. The pioneers who 
face the temporary discomforts and privations will see this district 
within a few years take on an entirely different appearance. 

Douglas County 49 


Douglas county lies eastward of the Columbia river, comprising a 
portion of what is known as the "Big Bend" country. It is reached by 
the Great Northern railway main line, as also by a branch of the same 
system, extending from a junction near the Columbia river, into the 
wheat fields of the northern part. 

The irrigable lands of the county lie chiefly along the Columbia 
river, where a considerable section of the country is rapidly settling 
up. Also in the Moses Coulee section much development has taken 
place and additional lands are rapidly being brought under ditch. 


The lands lying along the Columbia river are mostly tributary to 
the city of Wenatchee, and the high line canal which supplies much 
of the Wenatchee valley serves also the Douglas county lands in this 
section. The waters from the ditch are carried across the Columbia 
river in two large iron-bound wooden conduits, strung along the bridge 
which spans the river at Wenatchee. The water is carried at heavy 
pressure to a ditch constructed along the base of the nearby hills. This 
ditch, which is in efCect a continuation of the Wenatchee high line sys- 
tem, extends up and down the river approximately twenty miles in 
Douglas county. Tributary to the water supply thus provided there 
are about 9,000 acres of irrigable lands, much of which is already 
improved and taking water from the ditch. 

The land is sandy for the most part, with a clayish tendency shown 
at intervals. A strata of gravel is usually found several feet below 
the surface, affording splendid drainage. Surface rocks are scattered 
about on much of the raw lands, but they are easily removed, the 
custom being to pile them along the fences. Ultimately these stores 
of basaltic and granite rocks will be crushed and used in the construc- 
tion of a modern highway along the river, to take the place of what 
is now an indifferent county road. 

There are considerable tracts of unimproved lands lying adjacent to 
the ditch, but as yet not watered by it. Such land is held at prices 
averaging about $400.00 per acre. 

Pumping Plants. 

Beyond the reach of the ditch there are several improved ranches, 
occupying the open spots along the river, where the steep bluffs recede 
somewhat from the bank. Some of the ranchers in this section are 
watering their lands by means of pumps, operated by gasoline. Others 
have access to live springs in the hills or have built small reservoirs 
in the gulches for storing the flood waters of spring. Still others resort 
to current wheels, by means of which a limited amount of water may be 
lifted and distributed to their lands. 


Douglas County 61 

Private pumping plants seem to be gaining in favor, and conditions 
for their successful operation appear to be peculiarly suitable in this 
section. One such plant, now in use for watering 100 acres of land, 
cost for installation $2,500.00, and the expense of operation, outside of 
the personal care required, is $1.50 per day. In addition to watering 
their own lands, the owners supply several neighbors, and the revenue 
thus derived materially reduces the expense burden. The chief ad- 
vantage of such a plant lies in the fact that the rancher exercises a 
direct control over his water supply and has no fear of loss entailed 
by breaks in supply canals, washouts of reservoirs, etc. 

This district is rapidly settling up, and thrifty young orchards are 
met with on every hand where water is available. The accessibility of 
Wenatchee as a shipping point and source of supplies is an important 


The Moses Coulee district is located about in the center of the 
county, along the line of the Great Northern branch road which has its 
terminus at Mansfield. 

The lands irrigated constitute the floor of a vast depression or 
hollow, characteristic of the region, and known as Moses Coulee. Pre- 
cipitous walls are on either side to a height of several hundred feet, 
sloping thence upward more gradually until they merge into the rolling 
lands of the surrounding wheat belt. The soil is a sedimetary de- 
posit mixed with the prevailing volcanic ash and decayed vegetation. 
It is of great depth and fertility and is said to be free from alkaline 

The Moses Coulee Fruit Land Company has developed 1,200 acres of 
land here, and contemplates by the construction of reservoirs the 
reclamation of an additional 2,000 acres. The company follows the plan 
of planting its tracts to trees, and contracts with purchasers to care 
for them until the bearing period is reached. 

Peaches and apples are both leading products, the extreme warmth 
of the summer insuring early fruition to the former and high coloring 
to both. The natural heat is intensified by the huge cliffs or palisades 
which, as already noted, tower on both sides of the coulee. 

The lands available for irrigation purposes here are limited in 
■extent, owing to the peculiar configuration of the country, and will 
probably all be occupied within a few years. 

Yakima Valley 53 


Three counties — Kittitas, Yakima and Benton — are included within 
the confines of the Yakima valley, and by reason of close geographical 
relationship and inter-dependence from an irrigation standpoint, the 
three counties will be considered together under the above heading. 

It was in this valley that the possibilities of transforming the arid 
sections of the state into gardens and orchards of unsurpassed pro- 
ductiveness was early demonstrated. First by individual farmers, then 
by groups of neighbors, next by strong financiers, and lastly by the 
federal government with a programme of reclamation work coextensive 
almost with the remaining irrigable area of the valley, the great work 
has gone forward without cessation until, in the most literal inter- 
pretation of the expression, the desert has been made to "blossom as 
the rose." 

Government Reclamation Work. 

The plans of the government reclamation service cover five dis- 
tinct projects in this valley. The total irrigable area involved is 
approximately 400,000 acres, and the estimated expense of completing 
the work is placed at $25,000,000.00. Inasmuch as the total minimum 
flow of the Yakima river has already been appropriated for existing 
irrigation canals, the government is depending upon the construction 
of huge storage reservoirs, adequate to the requirements of its various 
projects. A number of lakes, includings Lake Kachess, Lake Keechee- 
lus. Bumping lake, Lake Cle Elum, and McAllister Meadows, all lo- 
cated at the headwaters of the Yakima river and its tributaries, will 
be utilized for this purpose, their present storage capacity being en- 
larged through the construction of immense retaining dams. These 
dams, on which construction work has already been begun, will range 
in height from 40 feet to 160 feet. 

The five projects are described as follows: Kittitas project, lo- 
cated in Kittitas county, irrigable area 60,700 acres; Sunnyside pro- 
ject, located in Yakima and Benton counties, irrigable area 90,000 
acres; Tieton project, located in Yakima county, irrigable area 35,000 
acres; Wapato project, located in Yakima county, irrigable area 120,- 
000 acres; Benton project, located in Benton and Yakima counties, irri- 
gable area 180,000 acres. At the beginning of the present year, ap- 
proximately 40 per cent, of the Sunnyside project had been completed. 
The first unit of the Tieton project, comprising about 11,000 acres, was 
opened in June, 1910, and it is estimated that 75 per cent, of the work 
has now been completed. Actual work on the remaining projects has 
not as yet been undertaken. 

High Line Benton Project. 

This proposed project is a continuation of the Kittitas unit of the 
Yakima project. The survey has been made by an engineer recom- 

Yakima Valley 55 

mended by the United States reclamation service. The engineer reports 
a project that will cover 200,000 acres by gravity flow and 100,000 acres 
by pumping from the Columbia river. Power is to be developed by 
dropping water from the higher to lower levels. The high line Benton 
project will include the Benton unit of the Yakima project. The survey 
of the high line has been passed upon by a board of United States 
reclamation service engineers and pronounced feasible. 

The federal government is willing to store and appropriate the 
necessary water as soon as Congress passes a law making it legally 
possible for the reclamation service to sell water to a private cor- 
poration. The Warren act, which has already passed the senate, makes 
provision for such disposal. The estimated cost of the project is 
126,000,000, and the funds are now practically assured. The lands 
covered are the higher bench lands, and are especially adapted to fruit- 

Government Regulations. 

In view of the fact that the future history of irrigation in the 
Yakima valley will be closely identified with the operations of the 
government reclamation service, it is important that some insight 
should be given into the regulations under which the service is work- 

The reclamation fund is created from the sale and disposal of 
public lands in certain states having large arid tracts within their 
borders. The money thus derived goes into a special fund, to be used 
exclusively in the development of irrigation projects. The work is 
carried on under the federal department of the interior. 

Public lands, open to homestead location, as also lands held in pri- 
vate ownership, may be included under a given project. Occupation 
and settlement of the first named class of lands is accomplished under 
the provisions of the homestead act. The size of individual claims, 
however, is usually limited to 40 acres or 80 acres, and the settler is re- 
quired to return to the government the actual cost per acre involved in 
the construction of the project under which he has located. Such 
payments are distributed over a period of ten years, without interest. 
Owners of private lands are required to reduce their individual hold- 
ings to the maximum limit of area fixed by the government. In general 
the regulations fixed by the government are strictly enforced, it being 
the policy of the federal authorities to insist upon the lands being 
occupied by actual owners. In order to qualify for a water-right, the 
applicant must either actually be upon the land or make his residence 
in the vicinity. 

Climate and Altitude. 

The general characteristics of the districts included within the 
Yakima valley are largely similar. There is, however, a wide varia- 
tion in altitude, and the resultant differences in climatic conditions 
affect the growing period in the several locations. On the Benton 
project the altitude is about 500 feet. At North Yakima it is 1,067 feet. 


Kittitas County 67 

and from there a gradual rise ensues until a maximum altitude is 
reached at about 2,100 feet above sea level. The lower lands are gen- 
-erally considered as being better adapted to hay, grain and vegetables, 
while the best fruit districts are on the bench lands in the different 
parts of the valley. The season is noticeably early in the vicinity of 
the Columbia river, strawberries ripening here several weeks in ad- 
vance of other sections. 


Prior to the entry of the federal reclamation service into the 
Yakima valley, private interests, as is noted above, had already under- 
taken more or less extensive irrigation enterprises. This condition 
was common to the several counties in the valley, particularly as re- 
gards Kittitas and Yakima counties. 

In Kittitas county there are at the present time under irrigation 
between 50,000 and 75,000 acres of land in private ownership. The 
bulk of these lands is contained within the Kittitas valley, the first 
large area of arable land lying east of the Cascade mountains. The 
location of this valley with reference to the Yakima river and its 
tributaries is such that practically the entire acreage, double that now 
under ditch, is readily susceptible of irrigation. 

The valley is treeless, except for small growths along the streams, 
and the soil, largely of sedimentary origin and rich in the elements 
that make for prolific plant growth, responds splendidly to the appli- 
cation of moisture. The annual precipitation averages about 11 inches, 
and the mean temperature at Ellensburg, the county seat, is 48 degrees 


For many years hay has been a leading crop of the county, and the 
Kittitas product is held as a standard throughout the northwest. Oats 
hold an important place in the production of cereals. Potatoes yield 
from 200 to 400 bushels per acre, and other vegetables are equally pro- 
ductive. The adaptability of the soil to the grasses has created a great 
dairying industry, and herds of sleek cattle attest their nutritive value. 
While well suited to raising many classes of fruit, the county has de- 
veloped only slowly along this line, owing largely to the fact that land 
holdings are usually large and have been devoted mainly to the in- 
dustries noted above. The tendency now is toward a division of such 
lands into orchard tracts, and fruitraising is receiving constantly grow- 
ing attention. The development of the government irrigation project 
^ill stimulate the production of fruit, as much of the acreage to be 
thus reclaimed is counted as first-class fruit lands. The final surveys 
for this project have been completed and accepted and the date of the 
beginning of actual construction may be announced at any time. 


There are certain special advantages appertaining to Kittitas county 
"which should be noted. By virtue of its location in the first tier of 

Yakima Cownty 59 

counties east of the Cascade mountains, it enjoys easy access to the 
growing markets on Puget Sound. This is an asset of first importance 
and one which will increase in value with the demand for agricultural 
products in the coast cities. Moreover, the Kittitas valley is traversed 
by the main line of two great railway systems, the Northern Pacific, 
and Chicago, Milwaukee & Puget Sound adding to the above the factor 
of competitive rail transportation. The Northern Pacific Railway Com- 
pany is now constructing a cutoff line from Ritzville to Ellensburg, 
which will materially reduce the overland running time of that road. 

Land in the Kittitas valley is comparatively cheap, notwithstanding 
the important advantages mentioned above. Opportunities are pre- 
sented here for newcomers to engage in a wide variety of profitable oc- 
cupations both of an agricultural and commercial nature. 

Ellensburg, the chief town of the valley and county seat of Kittitas 
county, has a population approaching 6,000 people. It has excellent 
possibilities for growth with the rapid settlement of the districts of 
which it is the distributing center. 


In Yakima county there are under irrigation at the present time 
approximately 150,000 acres of land, including Indian reservation lands. 
This is equal to about one-third of the total irrigated area of the 
state, and easily places the county in a pre-eminent position from an 
irrigation standpoint. 

SuNNYsiDE Canal. 

The original entry of the government reclamation service into the 
state occurred in 1906, when the Sunnyside canal, in Yakima county, 
was taken over and the development and extension of that system 

The main canal is sixty miles in length, and extends from the in- 
take about eight miles below North Yakima down through the valley 
and well into Benton county. When completed in accordance with 
government plans, this canal will water 90,000 acres of land, practically 
the whole of which is held in private ownership. When the govern- 
ment secured the canal, the lands irrigated amounted to about 40,000 
acres. During the four years that have elapsed since then the acreage 
has been greatly increased. A single extension of the Sunnyside canal 
conveys water to 10,000 acres of land in the vicinity of Mabton, the 
water being carried to the lands through a syphon constructed undjer 
the Yakima river. Other large areas will be reclaimed under this system 
and the canal will be increased in water-carrying capacity accordingly. 

The Tieton Project. 

The lands to be watered under this important government project 
comprise a district of 35,000 acres lying a few miles westward from the 
city of North Yakima. Construction work was begun on the main canal 

Yakima Coimty 61 

in 1907, and the first unit of the project, 11,000 acres, was opened in 
June, 1910. 

The diversion weir and headgate are located in the upper Tieton 
canyon, twenty miles above the town of Naches. The main canal itself 
is twelve miles in length, and is lined with concrete, originally cast in 
forms eight feet in diameter and four inches in thickness. These forms 
closely joined constitute in their entirety a continuous and watertight 
conduit. More than two miles of tunnels were involved in the con- 
struction, and the work of driving them was one of the most difficult 
features of the whole undertaking. The tunnels, of which there are 
six, vary in length from 100 feet to 3,800 feet. The distribution of the 
water to the project is accomplished through a network of main and 
sub-lateral ditches totaling 78 miles in length. 

Work on the second unit is in progress and will be completed in 
part during the present year. The lands under the Tieton project are, 
in the main, held in private ownership, and ordinarily may be pur- 
chased on terms covering a period of several years. 

Private Projects. 

In addition to the government projects above mentioned, there are 
numerous private companies supplying water to lands in Yakima 
county. The splendid fruit district centering about the city of North 
Yakima has been developed under private ditches, and, in addition to 
the waters of the Yakima river proper, many small creeks have been 
utilized for irrigation purposes. Artesian water has also been found 
in the Moxee valley, and is successfully used in supplying an extensive 

Products and Lands. 

A summary of the products of the Yakima county irrigated lands 
includes a wide range, extending from such tender fruits as peaches, 
apricots and grapes to winter apples of unsurpassed color and flavor. 
With these are to be included potatoes and all other classes of vege- 
tables, grains, hops, beef-cattle, mutton, wool, dairy and poultry pro- 
ducts, honey, and the output of the several fruit and vegetable can- 
neries. An unofficial estimate places the value of the above products in 
the county at $8,000 000 annually. 

Yakima county, with its immense acreage of lands under ditch and 
its still larger area of lands that are susceptible of irrigation, offers, 
the widest possible scope for choice to the landseeker. He may make 
his selection from river bottom, valley or bench land, according to the 
particular line of farming activity in which he wishes to engage, and 
he enjoys a further advantage of being able to establish a home at 
almost any altitude he may elect. 

Prices of lands, as elsewhere, hinge upon location, soil, surface 
contour, condition of water-rights, and more particularly upon the 
stage of improvement and development. 


Benton County 63 


The main line of the Northern Pacific railway passes through the 
■county and the North Coast system is now building. A branch of the 
first named road reaches into the Sunnyside district, having its ter- 
minal at Grandview. A network of electric lines centering about North 
Yakima will ultimately bring all the neighboring valleys within the 
reach of the city. In fact, the transportation problem of the entire 
county is being worked out on a basis that will bring shipping facilities 
to every one of its various farming and fruitgrowing districts. 

Urban Growth. 

Coincident with the development of its irrigated lands, a remarkable 
growth has been enjoyed by the cities and towns located in the county. 
North Yakima, the seat of government and metropolis of the county, 
is a thriving, enterprising community of 14,082 people, enjoying all 
modern advantages and conveniences. It commands a splendid and 
growing trade with the surrounding sections, and its business district 
has been built up on a basis commensurate with its prosperity. Paved 
streets, a fine court house, substantial school and church edifices, and 
many handsome residences reflect the spirit of progress everywhere ap- 
parent in the city. 

Other growing communities in the county are Ahtanum, Cowichee, 
Naches, Selah, Yakima City, Moxee, Wapato, Toppenish, Parker, Zillah, 
Granger, Outlook, Sunnyside, Grandview, and Mabton. These towns are 
trading and distributing centers for the districts immediately sur- 
rounding them, and several of them are rapidly developing into sub- 
stantial communities. 


Benton county constitutes the lower portion of the Yakima valley, 
and is bounded on three sides by the Columbia river, into which the 
Yakima river flows, the point of confluence being near the center of 
the eastern border of the county. 

By reason of its location with reference to these rivers and other 
available sources of water supply, nearly the whole of Benton county, 
with the exception of certain of the more rugged sections, is classified 
as irrigable land. 

The districts which already have been brought under irrigation in- 
clude, in addition to the lands tributary to the government Sunnyside 
canal, a number of large private projects taking water for their lands 
either from the Yakima or Columbia rivers. 

Lands Around Prosser. 

Prosser, the county seat, is located in the western section of the 
county, in the center of an important irrigation district, watered by 
the government Sunnyside canal. All the facts brought out with refer- 
ence to the Sunnyside lands in Yakima county have equal application 

Benton County 65 

in respect to this district. The products extend all the way from early- 
maturing berries to winter apples, which have proven exceptionally 

Splendid opportunities are offered here, both on account of the 
adaptability of the soil and climate to maximum crop production, and 
by reason of the added fact that lands may still be purchased at ex- 
ceptionally reasonable prices. A new syphon is now under construction 
at Prosser, designed to water lands on the south side of the river, which 
at present are supplied by a large pumping plant. One of the important 
enterprises undertaken in this district is a 340-acre orchard located 
near Prosser, owned and in process of development by the oflacials of 
the Northern Pacific railway. 

A six-acre orchard tract originally developed by E. L. Stewart, of 
Prosser, is a striking example of the possibilities offered for fruit cul- 
ture. During 11 years of production, Mr. Stewart received $25,364.00 
from the fruit grown on this tract. This tract was subsequently sold 
for a consideration of $10,000.00. The present owners estimate the 
gross receipts for the current year from the six acres at $7,000.00. 

On the lower lands alfalfa is grown, and runs from six to eight tons 
to the acre, three cuttings usually being made. Potatoes are a staple 
crop, producing from 300 to 500 bushels per acre. Corn of excellent 
quality and heavy yield is raised, but not extensively, owing to the fact 
that other crops are more profitable. 

Hanfobd Project. 

The lands watered under the above project are located in the north- 
eastern portion of the county, and comprise a total of 16,000 acres. 
The immediate plans of the company contemplate the irrigation of an 
additional area of equal size to the above, while vastly larger tracts in 
the same locality remain to be reclaimed in future years. 

The water is pumped from the Columbia river, power for this pur- 
pose being developed at Priest Rapids. The pumping plant has a ca- 
pacity of 83,000,000 gallons per day. The main canal which delivers 
the water to the lands is eight feet wide on the bottom, twenty-four 
feet wide at the top, and attains a total length of nineteen miles. 

The soil is a sandy loam with an under strata of gravel, and pro- 
duces abundant crops of fruits, vegetables and alfalfa. Prices of lands 
range from $150.00 to $300.00 per acre, terms covering a period of five 
years being given if desired. 

Kennewick Distbict. 

One of the leading irrigated districts in Benton county is that which 
centers about the growing little city of Kennewick. The lands here are 
watered under the project developed by the Northern Pacific Irrigation 
Company. The Yakima river is the source of water supply, and forty 
miles of canals have been constructed, capable of irrigating 20,000 acres 
of land. 


Walla Walla County 67 

This district, including lands lying farther south along the Columbia 
river and a number of islands in that stream, has long been famous for 
its early-ripening strawberries, which are marketed as early as April. 
Peaches, apricots, grapes and melons are extensively produced, and, in 
fact, for the growth of the more tender fruits this section is unexcelled. 

The canal of the Northern Pacific Irrigation Company also irrigates 
a portion of the Yakima valley surrounding the town of Kiona, situated 
seventeen miles east of Prosser, on the Northern Pacific railroad. A 
private project in this section will also irrigate land tributary to Benton 
City, a new town recently started about a mile west of Kiona. The 
Richland District, above Kennewick, is also partly irrigated by the 
Northern Pacific Irrigation Company, as well as by a private project. 

Benton county as a whole is well provided with transportation 
facilities, and is rapidly developing under the stimulus of the irrigation 
enterprises above described, and others which are reclaiming lands in 
different portions of the county. 


Walla Walla county is located in the southeastern section of the 
state, its southern border forming a portion of the boundary line be- 
tween Washington and Oregon. Walla Walla city, with a population 
of 20,000 people, one of the wealthiest and most enterprising of the 
smaller cities of the state, is the county seat and the commercial and 
distributing center for a large district. 

Including a number of large irrigation projects and the smaller 
holdings of a great number of individual owners who water their lands 
from sources immediately available, it is estimated that there are more 
than 50,000 acres of land now irrigated or in process of being reclaimed 
in the county. 

Blalock Orchard Tracts. 

One of the most interesting irrigation enterprises in the state is 
the project known as the Blalock Orchard Tracts, comprising 1,500 
acres of land adjoining the city of Walla Walla. The water is supplied 
from artesian wells, of which there are twelve on the tract. One of 
these wells, eight inches in diameter, is 585 feet in depth and has a 
pressure of 62 pounds to the square inch. When the opening of the 
well is reduced to one and one-half inches, the water is thrown to a 
lieight 112 feet above the surface. The flow from this well is 2,224 
gallons per minute. The average flow from each of the 12 wells, when 
all are in operation, is about 1,200 gallons per minute. 

By reason of close proximity to the city of Walla Walla, these lands 
are being laid out in suburban orchard and garden tracts, ranging in 
size from two to ten acres. Each well is designed to provide water for 


Walla Walla County 69 

125 acres of land, and purchasers, in addition to their land deed, are 
given a pro rata right in the artesian well and pipe line system. Streets 
are being graded through these tracts and a system of domestic water 
supply installed. An electric railway provides transportation to the city. 
During the season of 1910, 60,000 apple trees were planted on these 
tracts, comprising the following varieties: Rome Beauty, Winesaps, 
Jonathans, Yellow Newtown Pippins, and Delicious. Prices of land in 
this district range from $500.00 to $800.00 per acre, depending upon the 
location and state of improvement. 

BuRBAXK Project. 

Near the point of confluence of the Columbia and Snake rivers, in 
the extreme western section of the county, lands to the extent of 
13,500 acres are being developed by the Burbank Power & Water Com- 
pany. The tract is made up of sagebrush bench lands, lying at an ele- 
vation of 75 feet above the rivers. The soil is of good depth and of 
the character common to the Columbia river basin. 

The water is obtained from the Snake river, a water power being 
developed for this purpose. At this point a fall in the river of eleven 
feet in one mile has been utilized for power purposes, including power 
canal one and one-half miles long, 50 feet in width on the bottom and 
about 30 feet deep. The machinery consists of two units, each com- 
posed of one twin horizontal turbine, direct-connected to one cyclodial 
rotary pump, operating under two lifts of 55 and 85 feet respectively. 
The capacity of the pumping plant is 113 cubic feet per second. 

Transportation facilities are furnished by the Northern Pacific and 
O. R. & N. systems, which pass through the project, while no portion of 
the lands is more than two miles from a railroad station. In addition, 
steamboat navigation on the Columbia and Snake rivers is successful 
during the greater portion of the year. About 500 acres of this land 
is now under cultivation. 

Water rights provide for 32 inches of water during the season, 
beginning April 1st and terminating November 1st. Land values range 
from $200.00 to $300.00 per acre, with an annual maintenance fee of 
$3.50 per acre. 


Fifteen miles southwest of the city of Walla Walla, a tract of 7,000 
acres, known as the Gardena Contoured Tracts, is being developed by 
the Walla Walla Irrigation Company. The land lies 150 feet above the 
valley of the Walla Walla river, from which stream the water for irri- 
gation purposes is obtained. An open ditch twenty miles in length 
carries the water to the tract, while an additional supply, sufficient to 
irrigate 2,000 acres, is obtained from the surplusage of the water system 
which serves the city of Walla Walla. A concrete conduit delivers this 
latter supply to the main irrigation canal. 

The size of the different sub-divisions in the tract is governed by 
the contour lines, on the theory that irrigation is thus facilitated and 

Asotm County 71 

the amount of unutilized land reduced to a minimum, streets and sub- 
ditches for carrying off the surplus water being placed on the lower 

Three thousand acres of land are now under cultivation, most of 
which is planted to Winesap apples. Alfalfa is a staple crop here, four 
cuttings frequently being made annually. During the season of 1909, 
products to the amount of 600 carloads were shipped from this dis- 
trict over the O. R & N. Company's lines. The North Coast system will 
reach Gardena, and surveys for an electric line to Walla Walla have 
been made. 

In addition to the foregoing, several other important projects are 
being developed in the county, notably near Attalia, where several 
thousand acres have already been reclaimed. 


Asotin county occupies the extreme southeastern corner of the state, 
its eastern and southern borders coinciding with the Idaho and Oregon 
boundary lines respectively. 


There are some ten thousand acres of irrigated lands in this 
county, of which eight thousand acres, comprising what is known as 
the Clarkston irrigation project, lie adjacent to the towns of Clarkston 
and Asotin, the latter being the county seat. 

The irrigation system for supplying the land is constructed on the 
most substantial and approved lines. The headworks and dams on 
Asotin creek, from which the water is derived, are of concrete, and the 
water is delivered to the project through a steel-bound stave conduit 
forty-eight inches in diameter. Thence it is distributed to the individual 
tracts through pipes of smaller dimension. 

Soil and Climate. 

The soil here is a fine loam of good depth, with some sand and gravel 
in places. Regarding the climate. Prof. O. L. Waller reports as follows: 

"The mean annual temperature is 53.2° F.; the average for January 
35.9°; the average for July 73.6°; the average latest killing frost in 
spring is April 9; the average date of earliest killing frost in fall is 
November 4. Any damage by late spring frosts is minimized by 
smudging. The average annual rainfall for the past seven years has 
been 13.83 inches, most of which came from November to April." 

Cherries and peaches were leading products until within the last 
few years, during which time apple orchards have been extensively 
planted, the chief varieties being the Spitzenberg, Newtown Pippin, 
Winesap, and Jonathan. Grapes also are grown quite extensively. 

i Smkahe Counti. 

Other Eastern Washington Lands 76 


About 12 miles west from the town of Asotin is the district known as 
doverland. Irrigation was first undertaken here some eight years ago, 
when a portion of the waters of George creek, a stream having its 
source in the Blue mountains, was diverted and brought to Cloverland 
by means of flumes, trestles and ditches, totaling some eight miles in 

The lands are located on a plateau about 2,500 feet above sea level, 
having a general slope toward Snake river and Asotin creek. The 
«oil is of a loam character, having a high percentage of mineral ele- 
ments. Much of the land is planted to orchards, including cherries, 
plums, prunes and pears. 


Transportation for Asotin county is provided by the Northern Pacific 
and O. R. & N. railway companies, and also by navigation on the Snake 
and Columbia rivers. With the completion of the Dalles-Celilo canal 
within two or three years by the U. S. government, the county will 
have through navigation to the Pacific ocean for steamboats of three 
liundred to four hundred tons. 



In the vicinity of Pasco, the county seat of Franklin county, the 
Pasco Reclamation Company is developing a project comprising a total 
of 10,000 acres. The water is taken from the Snake river by electric- 
ally operated turbine pumps and is delivered to the project through a 
pipe line twenty inches in length and from thirty-two to thirty-six 
inches in diameter. Only two miles of open ditch are used in the 

During the season of 1910, water sufficient to cover 5,000 acres was 
•delivered to the project. 

The soil here is a sandy loam, and is highly praised by government 
experts for its depth and high plant food content. 

The lands are of a gently rolling character, sloping toward the 
Columbia river. The climate gives a growing period of unusual length, 
strawberries and vegetables maturing several weeks in advance of other 

Land values range from $200.00 to $350.00 per acre, payments being 
arranged to extend over a period of several years. Transportation fa- 
■cilities are excellent, the district being reached by the main line of the 
Northern Pacific and the Spokane, Portland & Seattle railways. A 
branch of the first named system extends into Walla Walla county. 

Irrigation in Western Washmgtan 75 


In the valley of the Touchet river, in Ck>lumhia county, lands origi- 
nally embraced in wheat farms are now being brought under irrigation 
and planted to orchards, or utilized for various branches of intensive 

The possibilities of this section were first demonstrated by Mr. 
J. L. Dumas, who developed a tract of 100 acres located four miles be- 
low the town of Dayton. The net profits from the operation of this 
tract during a period of three years amounted to $56,000.00. There is an 
abundance of water in this valley for irrigation purposes, and addi- 
tional lands are rapidly being placed under ditch. The total irrigated 
area of the county at present is placed at 1,000 acres. 


In the northern part of Lincoln county, occupying advantageous loca- 
tions bordering on the Columbia river, irrigated farms are found at 
frequent intervals. Near the little village of Peach, several hundred 
acres of land have been reclaimed and plans for enlarging the area 
irrigated are maturing. When this section is supplied with adequate 
transportation facilities, it will develop rapidly. 


Along the Snake river, bordering on Whitman county, are numerous 
^tracts of sandy bottom lands which are irrigated largely by means of 
pumping plants. These tracts are usually the holdings of individual 
farmers, and produce fine yields of early vegetables and fruits. 


Climatic conditions in western Washington are such that as yet 
very little attention has been paid to the possibility or desirability of 
farming under irrigation. In nearly all parts of this section of the 
state there is a heavy rain precipitation, sufficient for the maturing of 
all crops. There are some portions of western Washington, however, 
which by reason of advantageous location and a somewhat slight rain- 
fall are well suited to development under systems of artificial water 

In a section of Clallam county, which county faces the Pacific ocean 
on the west and the Straits of Juan de Fuca on the north, conditions 
have been found particularly favorable, and a total of five thousand 
acres has been brought under irrigation ditches. The lands thus 
watered are located on and near the Dungeness river and are within 
four or five miles of salt water. The village of Sequim is the trading 
point of the district, which is commonly spoken of as Sequim prairie. 


Irrigation in Western Washington 77 

The town of Dungeness and the boat landing at Port Williams are only 
a few miles away. 

These prairie lands, set down in the midst of a great timbered sec- 
tion, were for many years undeveloped, owing to the light rainfall, 
which averages about twenty inches annually. This condition is ex- 
plained by the proximity of the Olympic mountains, which range at- 
tracts and holds in the form of snow the bulk of the moisture carried 
by the winds from the Pacific ocean. 


The soil is made up of silt deposits, with some gravel, is of good 
depth, and improves rapidly under tilling. The irrigated lands produce 
splendid crops of clover and timothy, while alfalfa to a limited extent 
has been successfully raised. Records of seven tons of timothy hay to 
the acre have been reported. Wheat, oats, potatoes and onions are 
also leading crops. Yields of potatoes reaching 400 bushels to the acre 
are common, while oats run often as high as 110 bushels or more. 
Small fruits are raised in abundance, including strawberries, rasp- 
berries, blackberries, loganberries, gooseberries, currants, etc., while 
several bearing orchards attest the adaptability of the district to the 
production of tree fruits. 

At present the chief industry is dairying, and the lands are given 
over principally to hay and grain or are used for pastures. Poultry- 
raising as an adjunct to dairying is also commanding increasing atten- 
tion. A ready market is available for both dairy and poultry products, 
local creameries and produce dealers absorbing the total output. 


There are three irrigation projects in operation, known as the Se- 
quim, Eureka and Independent ditches. All three were constructed 
through cooperative efforts on the part of the landowners interested. 
No difficult engineer problems were encountered, andj as the lands are 
comparatively close to the source of water supply, the cost of construc- 
tion per acre was exceptionally light. The annual maintenance fee 
rarely exceeds fifty cents per acre. A water-right has been taken out 
for a fourth project, upon which it is stated construction work will soon 
be under way. Practically all the prairie lands have already been 
brought under irrigation, but there still remains a considerable area of 
logged-off timber lands which, when cleared, are equally good for 
agricultural purposes. These lands will be developed as conditions 


This section has no rail transportation, but steamers calling regu- 
larly at Port Wiliams and Dungeness furnish ready means of communi- 
cation with Seattle and other Puget Sound ports. An excellent system 
of roads enables the farmers to reach the various shipping points of the 
county with ease and comfort. 

Irrigation in Western Washington 79 


South of the city of Tacoma, in Pierce county, there is an exten- 
^sive prairie section similar in some respects to the Clallam county 
lands ahove described. There are thousands of acres of these lands 
-entirely open in places, and elsewhere covered with a scant growth of 
scrub oak and other small timber. 

Until very recently this section has been considered practically 
valueless for agricultural purposes. The soil is gravelly and of a 
•depth' ranging from 10 inches to two feet. In summer time the country 
presents a parched, arid appearance. Within the last two years, how- 
-ever, it has been shown that under irrigation and proper cultivation 
profitable crops of many kinds can be produced. Thus far no project 
has been carried out for irrigating these lands on an extensive scale, 
although a plan for developing a gravity system from the Nisqually 
river is being considered. A few individual owners are watering 
their holdings from wells, and it is through their efforts chiefly that the 
possibilities of the section have been demonstrated. 

A short distance from Cosgrove station, on the Northern Pacific 
Railroad, an irrigation farmer of long experience in the Yakima valley, 
Mr. C. L. Fisher, is developing a tract of twenty acres. Water is ob- 
tained from a well 39 feet in depth and is raised to the surface by a 
six-horse-power gasoline engine and pump. The cost of fuel for 
operating the pump is 6 cents per hour. The water is conveyed to the 
lands in wooden flumes, from which it is distributed through furrows 
averaging about 300 feet in length. 

Two irrigations to the season are considered suflacient for potatoes, 
and the pump running steadily for three days lifts sufficient water to 
irrigate four acres of land. Fruit trees are irrigated three times during 
the season. 

The principal crops raised by Mr. Fisher for 1910 include potatoes, 
of which 12 acres were planted; sugar beets, one-half acre; small fruits, 
one and one-half acres, and garden truck of different varieties grown on 
a considerable area. There are four hundred fruit trees on the tract. 

The potatoes yielded between five and six tons to the acre, and 
other vegetables gave equally satisfactory results. Blackberry vines set 
out in April, 1910, exhibited a growth of ten feet when examined in 

The fruit trees are thrifty, showing a new growth during the season 
of three feet. From the results already obtained it is anticipated that 
fruit-growing as a commercial enterprise will soon be developed in this 
<iistrict, cherries and pears appearing the best adapted to meet all the 

The proximity of these lands to the city of Tacoma as a marketing 
oenter and the added fact that transportation both by steam and 
olectric railway is already established are considerations of first im- 
portance in estimating the advantages offered. 

In Thurston county there are several thousand acres of similar lands 
which present equally attractive opportunities for irrigation. 



The problem suggested in the above title gives the average home- 
seeker in the irrigated districts much concern, and more especially if 
the bulk of his funds has been expended in the purchase of his land. 
If he settles on an undeveloped tract with the intention of planting an 
orchard, a period of several years must elapse before his trees will 
bring him a revenue, and in the meantime he must make a living 
as best he may. How this difficulty has been met and overcome by a 
great many individuals is set forth in the following reports of their 
respective experiences: 

Jor>. W. LiPE, Clarkstcn: My place (one acre) was planted when I 
purchased it. I made a good living by raising garden truck between 
the trees until they came into bearing, and continue to do so, as I 
had to replace many of the trees on account of inferiority of the fruit. 
Part of the acre is in chicken yards, and gives profitable returns. Every 
incn is in use, and I want to say that it takes time, work and patience 
to make it a success. I am perfectly happy and would not live any- 
where but on my "one-acre farm.'* 

H. C. Larson, Clarkston: A man can make a living before trees 
come iLto bearing if he takes hold of it in the right way. Part of his 
tract should be planted in early garden, and between the trees he can 
raise dewberries and strawberries. This year's strawberries (one acre) 
netted me $157.00. Last year's dewberries (one acre) netted $111.00. 
Besides the above, we raise beans, peas and tomatoes, which bring a 
good price. The main thing is to get the right varieties of trees and 
small fruit. A man who is willing to work can make a good living, and 
a little beside, in this section while his trees are coming into bearing. 

Peter Spohn, Clarkston: I would advise to plant vegetables, if not 
too large a tract; also melons, if not too far from railroad to ship. If 
too far to ship, would plant clover, alfalfa, corn and peas, and raise 
hogs. Would leave space of four feet between rows of trees and crops 
to give room for good clean cultivation, and as trees get older and 
require more room would plow under clover and other crops as fertilizer 
for the orchard. 

H. W. Desgranges, Kennewick: Where settlers go upon the land, 
a splendid living may be made out of chickens the first year, and by 
planting strawberries between the tree rows, enough can be realized 
from them to pay for the land by the time the orchard comes into bear- 
ing. Land is sold on easy payments, but the beginner must have suffi- 
cient means to bear the expense of improving the land and planting it 
to trees and berries. This requires a capital of from $50 to $75 per 
acre, and this should serve as a scale to measure the number of acres 
one is to handle. The above amount he should have in his pocket after 
he has made the first payment on the land. It does not require a 
fortune to start in on irrigated land, as some seem to think, but it does 
require some money, and with a little capital success is certain. 


r CLABK3T0II, A at 

Individual Experiences 83 

G. L. FiNLEY, Kiona: The newcomer must either have funds suffi- 
cient to meet his living expenses for two years or he will have to work 
for wages, which can always be obtained at $2.50 and upwards per day. 
The third year he should have sufficient income from his berries and 
garden truck to keep him going until his trees come into bearing. Straw- 
berry growing is one of the best paying industries. On the right kind 
of soil $400.00 is about the average return. Potatoes are also a profit- 
able crop, as we have an excellent home market and the price is never 
less than $15.00 per ton. Two years ago I got $40.00 per ton for mine 
that I held over until spring. The most essential thing for success here 
is "sand." 

Omab W. Rich, Kennewick: Strawberries, asparagus, alfalfa and 
garden truck are grown between the trees to help pay the living ex- 
penses. A few cows, chickens and bees are good if intelligently man- 
aged. The cows are the surest paying of anything, as we grow ten tons 
of alfalfa to the acre, have mild winters, and milk and butter are always 
in great demand at good prices. The alfalfa is also a great benefit to 
the land as a fertilizer. My crop this year is as follows: 

Strawberries. Clark Seedlings, 100 crates sold for $250 00 

Bins: and Royal Anne cherries, 100 crates sold for 200 00 

Elberta peaches, estimated 500 boxes 250 00 

Bartlett pears, estimated 200 boxes 300 00 

Tokay grapes, estimated 600 boxes 300 00 

Apricots, apples, prunes, other berries, estimated 100 00 

Potatoes, garden, alfalfa, estimated 100 00 

Total $1,500 00 

Size of tract, five acres. 

W. M. Scott, Kiona: If the soil is suitable for potatoes, few better 
crops can be grown between the young trees. Not all the soil here, 
however, is adapted to potatoes or will produce them successfully. In 
such cases, strawberries are as good as anything, and are nearly always 
quite profitable. It is, however, considered by many experienced horti- 
culturists that an orchard is better off if nothing is grown in it but 
the trees, unless it is some legume crop that can be plowed under at 
least part of the time to enrich the soil. In following out this plan, it 
would be a good plan to keep a few good dairy cows. They will bring 
in ready money all the time and will greatly aid in building up and 
maintaining the fertility of the soil. In my own case, I engaged in 
dairying for some years and found it both profitable and congenial until 
failing health compelled me to give it up. 

T. B. Kendall, Kiona: We have eight acres under ditch, all in 
alfalfa and fruit. One year, from three-fourths of an acre of straw- 
berries planted between peach trees we picked 175 crates of berries, 
which sold in Seattle at $4.50 and $5.00 per crate. The following year 
the frost injured the berries, and we got only 75 crates. Then I set 
out another three-quarter acre tract in berries, and this year got 243 
crates. I also raise garden truck to sell, and the garden pays all my 
store bills. I manage to lay by more or less money each year. 

S. E. Marical, Entiat: In regard to making a living on land until 
trees bear, will say that we grow all kinds of truck between the trees, 
such as melons, corn, tomatoes — in fact all kinds of vegetables, which 
^nd a good and ready market. 

Geo. B. Spencer, Farris: I have lived in this part of the country 
for sixteen years and have done fairly well. If a man has any get-up 
to him, he can make a good living by raising strawberries or garden 
truck until his trees come to bearing. Fruit trees come on quickly 
liere. My trees that were five years' old last year averaged eight or 
nine boxes to the tree. I took second prize on Winter Bananas at the 

Individual Experiences 85 

Spokane apple show last year, and that would indicate this to be a 
good place in which to raise fruit. 

J. L. Dumas, Touchet Valley (near Dayton): My land (100 acres) 
was settled in 1856, and was farmed in wheat and other crops con- 
tinuously until planted in orchard. My chief crop between the trees 
was potatoes. In the five years that I raised potatoes (1898-1903) prices 
averaged nearly one dollar per sack, and the yield was from 60 to 100 
sacks per acre. Other paying crops were onions, corn and nursery 
stock, but at least 90 per cent, of the cost of maintaining the orchard 
came from the potatoes. 

S. W. Usher, P. O., Wenatchee: I make my living by improving land 
for others. Some of my friends grow vegetables, melons or cantaloupes 
between tree rows. This being a newly developed section, not many 
have an opportunity to do this, as the first consideration is the trees. 

J. W. Broyles, Pomeroy: In 1909, we had oft of about GV2 acres in 
berries, potatoes and onions a little over $2,000.00. There was 1^/4 acres 
of strawberries, from which we got 213 crates, and sold at an average 
of $2.59 per crate. From about three-fourths of an acre in blackberries 
and red raspberries we got 140 crates, which brought an average of 
$2.25 per crate. Our whole berry crop brought over $850.00. I would 
suggest that a man starting in on a new place should plant his orchard 
tract to potatoes and onions, as there is money in both crops, and the 
land cannot be put in too good shape for trees. 

J. D. Reard, Ephrata: I am growing vegetables, such as potatoes, 
sweet corn, beans, carrots, watermelons, garden peas and other garden 
truck, at a good profit above all expenses of the orchard. I am irri- 
gating from a well, and pump all the water at an expense of $4.00 per 
acre each year. I consider this better than gravity water. 

J. P. Flynn, Ellensburg: A living may be made by raising straw- 
berries, potatoes, onions, etc., between the rows. Potatoes give from 
200 to 400 bushels to the acre. A small piece of ground, about 25 feet by 
35 feet, produced this season $36.80 worth of strawberries, besides suffi- 
cient to supply a family of five persons. Pears, apples, prunes and black- 
berries are all fine producers. 

Frank Garber, Okanogan City: In the irrigated districts which 
have transportation facilities a living may be made upon land planted 
to fruit trees before they come into bearing, by growing between the 
rows of trees such crops as potatoes, cantaloupes, watermelons, toma- 
toes, corn, etc. Where such crops thrive as they do in the Okanogan 
section, this can be done without injury to the growing trees. Markets 
have been rather uncertain here, owing to the lack of transportation, 
but the railroad now building will solve this problem. Some who plant 
only small orchards and do not care to crop between trees work for 
others the greater part of the time and make their living in this way. 
As the land here when growing young trees and properly tilled requires 
but two irrigations in a season, all of one's time is not required in 
caring for a small tract. 

B. E. Hendrick, Omak: A living may be made from land planted 
in trees, by raising potatoes, onions, beans and all kinds of garden 
truck. Also strawberries can be grown at a great profit, as they yield 
very heavily and ripen about May 15th to 20th. They require only a 
small amount of capital for plants and will bear within one year after 

L. B. McLean, Brewster: A good living may be made by raising 
truck between the tree rows. Almost anything will grow here that is 
cared for. I raised corn, mostly, on my land in 1909; raised plenty on 

Individual Experiences 87 

seven acres for five head of stock, fattened three hogs, and have corn 
enough left to fatten three more. On one-half of an acre I raised 85 
sacks of potatoes, and other vegetables did well. One can raise any 
kind of berries in a young orchard. I received as wages, $1.00 an hour 
for self and four-horse team, and single hands demand $2.00 to $3.00 
per day, without board. There is much work to be done. 

Geo. p. Blood, Spokane Bridge: Have tried crops between trees for 
three seasons. For the first year averaged $50.00 per acre from potatoes. 
The second year was a failure, owing to lack of water supply. Third 
year, beans on three acres brought $30 per acre; one acre of early 
potatoes brought $80 net; one acre of tomatoes brought $175 net profit; 
two acres in blackberries and dewberries, first-year bearing, brought 
$50. This year have taken care of twenty acres besides our own and 
work team outside wherever possible, or put land in shape for trees 
for other parties. It pays better than crops between trees and saves 
fertility of soil. Have averaged over $100 per month, besides caring 
for my own tract. 

M. Hanly, Spokane Bridge: It is not difficult to make a living in 
this district, the Spokane valley. It was impossible to do the labor 
and team work here last season; also the work of taking care of tracts 
for non-residents. All berries do well here, as all vegetables. From 
this season on there will be plenty of work, spring and fall, thinning 
and picking apples. If a man has the price of his tract, he can make 
it; but if he expects to pay for the land from the crops, I would not 
advise him to buy here or in any other section where raw tracts are 

A. W. Turner, Fruitland: In reference to making a living before 
fruit comes into bearing, gardening pays well. Good money is made in 
raising strawberries, tomatoes, etc., and, besides, there is generally 
lots of work in the immediate vicinity, where one can put in an oc- 
casional day for cash. 

John Melzer, Two Rivers: I am engaged in raising poultry and 
gardening, and have made a comfortable living. I had no cash when I 
started and had to work for others, hence could not give all my time to 
my land. I do not believe there is any reason why a man cannot make 
a living on irrigated land. Cultivation is the main thing. My potatoes 
run eight to twenty-seven to the hill without fertilizing. My whole 
crop has been marketed. There is an abundance of land to be had here, 
either with or without water. 

S. A. Ferrel, R. F. D. No. 5, Walla Walla: A living may be made 
from truck gardening while the trees are small. I find that berries are 
pretty hard on the soil with young trees, but the trees will grow some, 
and good money can be made in that way. I find that corn or potatoes 
between the rows are as good for the young trees as clean cultivation. 

Jas. Brake, Wallula: In my particular locality you can raise almost 
everything — potatoes, squash, beans, peas, peanuts, radishes, turnips, 
etc. I get my supply of water from a well with a gasoline engine and 
pump. Turkeys are a good side line here. Out of 72 hatched, I have 
62 living and thrifty. 

Harry K. Spalding, Sunnyside: The best small fruits to grow be- 
tween the young trees are strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, cur- 
rants and gooseberries. I prefer the strawberries, as they are highly 
profitable and easily cared for. The strawberry is very beneficial in 
another way, as it thrives best under good cultivation, which is a 
benefit to the young trees. Such crops as potatoes, onions and musk- 
melons and watermelons are also grown in young orchards to good 

Individual Experiences 89 

advantage. Some growers have made a success of grapes among young 
trees for a few years. 

Wm. H. Abramsky, Selah: Potatoes and truck may be raised on 
fruit land, but I should advise newcomers to come with enough money 
to carry them along. In addition to his land, there is the expense of a 
house, team, barn, cistern, wagon, tools, etc. One should not be carried 
away by glowing reports of rearing an orchard without work, as it is 
work from morning to night. Care should be taken in selecting the 
soil to see that it has depth and good gravel drainage. 

Ernest C. Hill, Selah: I purchased my place (20 acres) in 1908, 
and have had no experience in raising a young orchard. In this sec- 
tion the ranchers raise potatoes, onions, alfalfa and small fruits until 
their trees come in bearing. I paid $650.00 per acre in the month of 
March, 1908, and now bearing orchards around here are selling at 
$1,000.00 per acre. Have only been in this business two years, and 
last year won third on sweepstakes and second on carload lots at the 
Spokane Apple show. 

Geo. M. Chase, Grandview: If a man is a good gardener and in- 
tends to live on his ranch, he can make money farming between the 
rows, but if he hires his place taken care of he should confine himself 
to trees only. I consider alfalfa the surest crop. 

Herbert Powell, Mabton: A living may be made on fruit lands 
before the trees come into bearing by raising berries, potatoes, corn 
or other crops between the tree rows. Alfalfa can also be grown very 
successfully. My way of planting is to grow berries between the trees 
and have a part of the land in alfalfa and keep cows and chickens. In 
this way I build up the land all the time. If the land is managed as it 
should be, there will be a handsome profit after the first year. 

Dr. F. C. Jones, Sunnyside: I think that on the level lands one 
can do as well with root crops or truck as with trees. I would advise 
those coming to this valley to decide first one of three things. Do 
you want to raise alfalfa? Then buy an alfalfa ranch. If you want to 
raise truck, then get level land close to market, and if you wish to raise 
apples, buy good orchard land. It is difficult to make truck gardening 
pay on land planted to trees, but one can start in at once with truck and 
make it pay. from the first. 

Granville Lowther, North Yakima: The best small fruit crop is 
strawberries, that will yield one year from the time of planting and 
will often make $300.00 per acre. The most profitable crop is to- 
matoes, if blight can be prevented, and many claim to have overcome 
this by planting in hills, thus avoiding transplanting, and by watering 
at night, rather than permitting the water to run when the sun shines. 
Onions, asparagus, cabbage, beans, peas, carrots, etc., all do well. A 
good gardener will make a living from five acres. A poor gardener may 
need ten acres. 

Paul Killian, Mabton: A living may be made by growing straw- 
berries or other small fruits between the rows or by raising vegetables. 
Strawberries will yield from 100 to 250 crates per acre, and will sell 
from $1.00 to $3.60 per crate. It will cost about 75 cents per crate 
to have them picked, packed and cost of crate ready to ship. The 
average price is $2.00 per crate. Chickens and other poultry pay well. 
Eggs seldom sell for less than 25 cents per dozen, and up to 50 cents. 
Spring chickens bring from 18 to 35 cents per pound; old chickens 
sell at 12 and 16 cents per pound; turkeys, geese and ducks bring 16 to 
-■20 cents per pound. 

Individual Experiences 91 

M. AsHTON Gore, Selah: From my observation and experience, it is 
impossible for one to make a living on irrigated fruit lands before the 
trees come into bearing. But by having small tract (say ten acres) one 
can cultivate his trees and have a team and do outside work — that is, 
work for others. Wages here are good — $2.00 and $2.25 per day and 
$4.50 and $5.50 for a man with a team. 


While a great many motives may be cited as contributing to induce 
men to seek a change in their home location, undoubtedly the final de- 
cision is influenced in nearly every instance by the possibilities ahead 
for financial betterment. There is small object for any person to 
migrate across a continent unless he may anticipate with reasonable 
certainty an improvement in his material welfare. Such advantages 
as a desirable climate, beautiful scenery, opportunities for hunting 
and fishing, educational and social opportunities, etc., all make their 
appeal, but the question, "Can I better my condition?" must be satis- 
factorily answered in behalf of any section that is seriously desirous of 
adding to its home-making population. 

Fortunately for those who will inquire deeply into this phase of the 
situation, farming by irrigation is not a new or untried industry in 
this state. Back in territorial days, men were acquiring competences 
through the application of water to the arid valley lands of eastern 
Washington, and in the interim that has elapsed since that time 
many of them have attained comfortable fortunes. The experiences 
of those who pioneered the way are available to the newcomer, and in 
the light of such experiences he may determine to some extent, at 
least, the possibilities for success that await his own efforts. 

The essential difference between the early days and the present 
time is found in the fact that reclamation work is now proceeding on 
a vastly larger scale. Land is being brought under ditch and made avail- 
able for cultivation by tens of thousands of acres and is lying now, fat 
and fallow, waiting the coming of the industrious husbandman. In the 
meantime, some idea of what is being accomplished by men who have 
already brought their lands to a producing basis may be gleaned from 
the following reports, supplied on request, by individual irrigation 
farmers and orchardists. 


H. C. Larson, near Vineland, in Asotin county: Size of tract, five 
acres; planted to grapes, strawberries, dewberries and peaches. For the 
season of 1909 the above tract yielded 990 boxes of peaches and 1,000 
crates of grapes; the total expenses for the season amounting to $550.00 
and the net profits were $1,341.00. 

Individual Experiences 93 

J. B. LoBER, owner and Peter Spohn, operator, of seven-acre tract, 
located near Clarkston, Asotin county: The tract is cropped in vege- 
tables, and during the past four years 800 loads of manure have been 
spread over the seven acres. For the season of 1909 the total sales 
from the above tract amounted to $5,340.00; the total expenses, includ- 
ing water, taxes, feed, express, boxes, sacks, labor and commissions 
amounted to |2,125.00, and the net profits were $3,225.00. 

H. W. Desgranges, near Kennewick, Benton county: Size of tract, 
ten acres; planted to alfalfa. For the season of 1910 the above tract 
yielded a net profit of $540 over and above expenses. 

Omar W. Rich, Kennewick, Benton county: Size of tract, five 
acres; planted to cherry, peach and pear trees; the trees, of which there 
are 400 in the tract, are six years' old. For the season of 1910, Mr. 
Rich marketed 1,300 boxes of fruit, at a total expense of $500.00; his 
net profits for the season were $1,000.00. 

G. L. Finley, Kiona, Benton county: Size of tract, three acres; 
planted to apples, peaches and pear trees. There are 325 trees in the 
tract, only a portion of which, however, are bearing, as some of them 
were put in two years ago. For the season of 1908 Mr. Finley sold 400 
boxes of apples from 45 trees, which brought him a net profit of $200.00. 

S. B. MoRicAL, Entiat, Chelan county: Size of tract, two acres; 
planted to a general variety of winter apples. There are 200 ten-year- 
old trees in the tract. For the season of 1908 the yield from the tract 
amounted to 1,800 boxes; the total expenses amounted to $450.00, and 
the net profits were $1,800.00. 

J. H. Blake, Wenatchee, Chelan county: Size of tract, one acre; 
planted to Winesap apples. There are 96 trees in the tract, which was 
planted ten years ago. For the season of 1909 Mr. Blake sold 960 boxes 
of apples from his one acre at an average price of $2.40 per box. He 
estimates his expenses for the season at $600.00 and his net profits 
slightly over $1,700.00. 

Blackman Brothers, near Wenatchee, Chelan county: Size of 
tract, 36 acres; planted to apples. The trees, of which there are 
2,880 in the tract, are eight years' old. For the season of 1909 the 
yield from the above tract amounted to 18,000 boxes; the expenses for 
the season were $6,000.00, and the net profits $21,500. In common with 
other fruitgrowers, Blackman Brothers report 1909 to have been de- 
cidedly an '*ofC" year. 

Geo. Spencer, location on the Entiat river, 7 miles from the Colum- 
bia: Size of tract, twelve acres; planted to apples and peaches; apples 
include Winesaps, Winter Bananas and Spitzenbergs. There are 800 
six-year-old trees in the tract. For the season of 1909, when the trees 
came into bearing, Mr. Spencer marketed 700 boxes of apples at a net 
profit of $650.00. 

John N. Johnson, near Wenatchee, Chelan county: Size of tract, 
seven acres; planted to apple trees not yet bearing. Timothy, clover 
and alfalfa grown between the trees yielded at first cutting for season 
of 1910, 14 tons, which brought $19.00 per ton exclusive of hauling. 
Two additional cuttings were made, but returns not reported. 

J. L. Dumas, Touchet valley, Columbia county: Size of tract, one 
hundred acres; planted to winter apples; number of trees in tract, 
7,500. For the season of 1907, the above tract yielded 24,000 boxes of 
apples, giving net profits of $24,000; for 1908, the yield was 35,000 
boxes, with net returns of $20,000; in 1909 (a poor fruit year), the 
yield amounted to 17,000 boxes, with a net profit of $12,000. Mr. 

'94 Individual Experiences 

Dumas states that his crop for 1910 will far exceed that of any previous 
year. The trees range in age from 10 years to 13 years. 

E. S. Ryerson, Touchet valley, near Dayton, Columbia county: Size 
of tract, nine acres; planted to apple trees. The trees of which there 
are 1,400 in the tract are 14 years' old. For the season of 1909, Mr. 
Ryerson sold 4,200 boxes of first-grade apples in addition to his sec- 
onds. The total expenses for the season amounted to $2,000.00, with 
net profits of $3,000.00. 

Chas. Tichacek, Moses Lake, Grant county: Size of tract, 120 
xicres; planted to fruit trees, strawberries, potatoes, alfalfa, grapes, 
watermelons, muskmelons, vegetables, etc. There are 3,200 fruit trees 
on the tract, including apricots, plums, peaches and apples; of the last 
named, the varieties are Winesap, Spitzenberg and Rome Beauties; the 
trees are from one to five years in age, and this year it is estimated they 
will produce 3,200 boxes of apples, sufficient to meet the expense of 
developing the orchard to date. The returns from the other products 
-of the tract amounted to about $2,500.00, potatoes, alfalfa and grapes 
being the principal crops. 

W. H. ToLLiVER, Ephrata, Grant county: Size of tract, one hundred 
^nd twenty-one acres; planted to alfalfa, watermelons, beets, carrots, 
general garden truck and fruit trees. There are about 565 trees in the 
tract, one-fifth of which are twenty years* old, the balance having been 
planted within the last seven years. For the season of 1910, the ex- 
penses of caring for the above tract amounted to $1,500 and the net 
profits over and above expenses from the orchard alone were $2,000.00. 
No report from the sale of other products was received. 

J. P. Flynn, Ellensburg, Kittitas county: Size of tract, four acres; 
planted to apples, pears, prunes, plums and cherries. There are 284 trees 
in the tract, ranging in age from five to thirteen years. For the season 
of 1908, the yield from the above tract amounted to 1,200 boxes; the 
expenses were $720, and the net profits from the season's operations 
amounted to $1,080.00. 

H. C. Mastekson, Kittitas county: Size of tract, 320 acres; planted 
to timothy and grain. Mr. Masterson reports the net profits from his 
farm for the season of 1909 at $2,500.00. 

S. SORENSON, owner; Thos. Walker, operator, of an 80-acre hay 
farm located near Ellensburg, in Kittitas county. Sixty acres of the 
tract are in mixed hay, 15 acres in oats, and 5 acres in pasture. For 
the season of 1909 the sales from the above tract were as follows: 

First crop of hay, 150 tons, at $16.50 per ton $2,475 

Second crop of hay, 60 tons, at $12.00 per ton 720 

Oats, 15 tons, at $28.00 per ton 420 

Straw 15 

Pasture 100 

Total receipts $3,730 


Water for irrigation $160 

Labor for irrigation 150 

Plowing, harrowing and seeding 40 

Seed 15 

Threshing 30 

Baling 400 

Hauling 215 

Stacking and harvesting 300 

Total expenses $1,310 

Net profits $2,420 

Net to owner, $1,565 ; net to operator, $855. 

Individual Experiences 95 

Mitchell Stevens, near Ellensburg, Kittitas county: Size of tract, 
39 acres; planted to timothy and mixed timothy and alfalfa. For the 
season of 1909, the yield from the above tract amounted to 110 tons of 
hay, selling at $19.00 in the stack, and 16 tons which brought $12.00 
per ton. The total returns amounted to $2,282.00. 

A. C. LiBBY, Methow valley, Okanogan county: Came to the valley 
in the fall of 1888 — myself, wife and three babies. Filed on 160 acres 
of land in the Methow valley where Libby creek joins the Methow river. 
Have cleared up my ranch, and to last spring (before the time of its 
«ale) put 120 acres under irrigation — of this amount about 60 acres into 
alfalfa, about three or four acres into bearing orchard; the balance of 
the ranch given up to growing grain and some corn. Our first apple 
tree was planted twenty-one years ago this fall, and since the year it 
first came into bearing has had a good crop of apples every year. 
There never has been a year when the tree has produced below a 
normal yield from any cause whatever. The greater part of our orchard 
was planted twelve to fifteen years ago. The yield as well as the 
•quality of apples grown compares favorably with anything I have ever 
seen in the Wenatchee country. My experience of twenty-two years in 
the Methow valley leads me to believe it is destined to be one of the 
greatest apple-growing sections in the world. I cut three crops of 
alfalfa hay each year, averaging from five to six tons per acre; corn 
yields from 40 to 60 bushels; oats, about 60 to 75 bushels per acre; 
wheat, from 30 to 40 bushels per acre. Climatic conditions in this part 
-of our state are ideal; practically no winds at any season of the year; 
winters are mild, with plenty of snow to insure a sufficient amount of 
water during the entire irrigation season. Outside of a small strip 
•of land along the valley, the greater portion of this section is included 
in forest reserve. This insures us unlimited fuel, as well as timber for 
posts and building purposes for the next generation. There is plenty of 
room for men who desire to engage in general farming, stockraising or 

S. A. Ferrel, 12 miles east of Walla Walla: Size of tract, 10 acres; 
planted to apple trees; varieties, Newtown Pippins, Ben Davis, Spitzen- 
berg, Rome Beauties, and Jonathans. There are 1,000 trees in the 
tract, averaging twelve years in age. During the past three seasons, 
5,680 boxes of apples were marketed from the tract, the total expenses 
for the period being $1,800 and the net profits $3,400.00. 

C. M. Radeb, Lowden, near Walla Walla: Size of tract, 150 acres; 
principally in alfalfa and pasture. The farm is rented on half shares, 
-and for the season of 1909 the net returns for one-half share, exclusive 
of interest and taxes, amounted to $1,831.50. 

Ernest C. Hill, tract of 20 acres located near Selah: Planted to 
apples, peaches, pears, cherries and prunes; varieties of apples as fol- 
lows: Spitzenberg, 300; Arkansas Blacks, 100; Ben Davis, 100; Graven- 
steins, 100; Kings, 100; also some Newtowns. Age of trees, 14 years. 
For the season of 1909, Mr. Hill sold 2,000 boxes of fruit; his total ex- 
penses amounted to $1,542.33, and his net profits from the season's 
operations were $2,892.20. His carload of Spitzenbergs exhibited at 
the Spokane apple show was awarded second prize. 

E. C. Van Brundt, Fruitvale, two miles west of North Yakima: 
►Size of tract, 40 acres; planted to apples, peaches and grapes; 800 
bearing apple trees and 1,000 bearing peach trees; the apple trees 
^are 10 to 12 years' old and the peaches 4 to 10 years. For the season of 
1908, Mr. Van Brundt marketed 6,300 boxes of apples, 9,400 boxes of 
peaches and 3,000 baskets of grapes. His total expenses for the season 
amounted to $4,800.00, with net profits over and above expenses of 

: ; ••- :•• •:;.' 
•• ••• : : •• 


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