UNITED STATES: WASHINGTON STATE. Washington is a state in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States located north of Oregon, west of Idaho and south of the Canadian province of British Columbia, on the coast of the Pacific Ocean.                                           The Counties of Washington Many Native Americans lived in the Washington region when European explorers first visited the area.  Some of these groups lived west of the Cascades.  The Chinook, Nisqually, Quinault, and Puyallup hunted deer and fished for salmon and clams.  Others, the Cayuse, Colville, Spokane, and Nez Percé, lived east of the Cascades on the plains and valleys. George Vancouver explored much of the Washington coast and Puget Sound between 1792 and 1794, claiming the land for England.  Other British explorers visited the area in the early 1800s from Canada.  The United States also claimed rights to the area in 1792.  Robert Gray explored the Columbian River and claimed all land surrounding the area.  In 1805, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark also explored the area and gave the U.S. a second claim to the Northwest. Both American and British fur trading companies came to Washington in the early 1800s.  In 1810, a trading post was built near Spokane.  In 1811, John Jacob Astor established Fort Okanogan, the first permanent American settlement within what is now the state of Washington.  In 1818, the U.S. and England agreed that settlers from both countries could move into Washington, which was then part of the Oregon Country.  In 1825, John McLoughlin of the British Hudson’s Bay Company established Fort Vancouver. Washington State Many Americans wanted all of the Oregon Country to belong to the United States.  In 1846, a treaty was signed with Great Britain creating the 49th parallel as the border between Washington and Canada.  By 1850, more than 1,000 people lived in Washington.  This led to the creation of the Washington Territory in 1853. Government leaders desiring to open more land for white settlement, wanted the Native Americans to sign treaties in 1855.  This action led to a war that lasted until 1858, when the Indians surrendered at Four Lakes and moved onto reservations.  During the 1860s, thousands of settlers moved to Washington as gold was discovered in Idaho, Oregon, and British Columbia.  When large amounts of gold were not found in Washington, many settlers stayed to become farmers and loggers. In 1883, railroad connection with the East brought many new settlers to Washington.  Washington became the 42nd state on Nov. 11, 1889, with Olympia as the state capital.  In 1890, Washington’s population reached more than 350,000. Due to irrigation projects during the 1890s, farmers moved to Washington to plant fruit orchards and wheat fields.  Fishing, lumbering, and mining industries continued to increase as well.  Railroad expansion allowed coastal cities to become great port centers, the largest among them being Seattle.  During the Alaska gold rush (1897-1898), this great city grew immensely as it became the chief supply center for the prospectors. The date of statehood of Washington is November 8, 1889. In those years, my great-uncle Bernardus Wilhelmus Alma emigrates to the US. More about that on another page. Washington was named after George Washington, the first President of the United States, and is the only U.S. state named after a president. Washington is commonly called Washington State or occasionally the State of Washington to distinguish it from the U.S. capital. Ironically the area was originally called "Columbia" after the Columbia River. However, it was thought this would cause confusion with the District of Columbia, so the area was renamed Washington.
Wash. State