Waterville, Washington

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Waterville, Washington
Town
Location of Waterville, Washington
Location of Waterville, Washington
Coordinates: 47°38′52″N 120°4′22″W / 47.64778°N 120.07278°W / 47.64778; -120.07278Coordinates: 47°38′52″N 120°4′22″W / 47.64778°N 120.07278°W / 47.64778; -120.07278
Country United States
State Washington
County Douglas
Area[1]
 • Total 0.87 sq mi (2.25 km2)
 • Land 0.87 sq mi (2.25 km2)
 • Water 0 sq mi (0 km2)
Elevation 2,625 ft (800 m)
Population (2010)[2]
 • Total 1,138
 • Estimate (2013[3]) 1,151
 • Density 1,308.0/sq mi (505.0/km2)
Time zone Pacific (PST) (UTC-8)
 • Summer (DST) PDT (UTC-7)
ZIP code 98858
Area code 509
FIPS code 53-76510
GNIS feature ID 1527848[4]
Website www.ci.waterville.wa.us

Waterville is a town in and the county seat of Douglas County,[5] Washington, United States. It is part of the Wenatchee-East Wenatchee metropolitan area. The population was 1,138 at the 2010 census.

History[edit]

Waterville was founded in 1885 and platted in 1886. The town was incorporated under the Territorial Charter in 1889 but after Washington gained statehood the town was officially incorporated on May 12, 1890.

Since its founding in 1889, Waterville, along with the designation of being the seat of Douglas County, boasts a rich history filled with farming, recreation destinations, and diverse economic trends.

In 1883, Stephen Boise placed a squatter's claim on the shrub steppe plateau in Eastern Washington, high above a big bend in the Columbia River. Soon, he built a cabin and dug a well. The well produced water, and lots of it…it was the only available water for miles around. Before long, the site was to become a county seat; the precious liquid would give the Town of Waterville its name.

A.T. Greene bought the Boise land claim in 1885, with visions of building a town. He deeded and platted 40 acres (160,000 m2) for use as the original townsite, which he called Waterville. Waterville boosters wanted the town to be the county seat of newly established Douglas County. The problem was, Douglas County already had a county seat, a small town named Douglas, six miles (10 km) to the northeast. Douglas, however, was dry… despite several attempts, not a single well produced a drop of water. So at a political convention in Douglas, the Waterville contingent produced a barrel of water and insisted on moving the county seat to its source. Bowing to popular demand, the Commissioners did so on May 2, 1887, declaring Waterville to be the new county seat. On March 22, 1889, Waterville became an incorporated town in Washington Territory. That same year, town founder A. T. Greene built the first Douglas County Courthouse in Waterville and sold it to the newly formed county for one dollar.

Washington became the 42nd state in the union shortly thereafter, so the Town of Waterville was re-incorporated under the laws of Washington State on May 3, 1890. By 1892, the town boasted several hundred residents, and a number of merchants to serve them and the surrounding rural population.

Early dreams of cattle farming on the plateau were dashed when the harsh winter of 1889−1890 killed most of the local stock. Thereafter, potatoes and wheat vied for supremacy as the dominant cash crop. Eventually, wheat farming won out and became the mainstay of the local economy. Blessed with fertile soil, plenty of winter snow and spring rain, dry summers, and high market demand, local wheat farmers prospered in the early years, and the Town of Waterville grew and prospered with them.

Fire wiped out many of the early wood frame commercial structures in Waterville. The commercial street was moved one block as new buildings sprang up, this time of fire resistive masonry construction. The buildings in this district became a lively and prosperous economic hub that served the entire region.

Today, the one hundred year old Waterville commercial district is listed on the National Register of Historic places, as are the nearby Waterville Hotel and the Nifty Theatre, other buildings from the same era.

In 1905, a stately brick courthouse, still in use today and listed on the State Historic Register, replaced the original wood frame courthouse built in 1889.

Geography[edit]

Truck in front of a wheat field near Waterville

Waterville is located at 47°38′52″N 120°4′22″W / 47.64778°N 120.07278°W / 47.64778; -120.07278 (47.647889, −120.072779).[6]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 0.87 square miles (2.25 km2), all of it land.[1] x

Waterville experiences a semi-arid climate (Köppen BSk) with cold, moist winters and hot, dry summers.

Climate data for Waterville, Washington
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 55
(13)
66
(19)
74
(23)
88
(31)
96
(36)
100
(38)
105
(41)
104
(40)
98
(37)
88
(31)
66
(19)
59
(15)
105
(41)
Average high °F (°C) 31
(−1)
36
(2)
47
(8)
57
(14)
66
(19)
74
(23)
83
(28)
82
(28)
73
(23)
56
(13)
38
(3)
28
(−2)
55.9
(13.2)
Average low °F (°C) 19
(−7)
21
(−6)
29
(−2)
35
(2)
43
(6)
49
(9)
55
(13)
54
(12)
46
(8)
35
(2)
26
(−3)
17
(−8)
35.8
(2.2)
Record low °F (°C) −24
(−31)
−20
(−29)
−10
(−23)
11
(−12)
16
(−9)
29
(−2)
34
(1)
35
(2)
22
(−6)
4
(−16)
−14
(−26)
−33
(−36)
−33
(−36)
Precipitation inches (mm) 1.48
(37.6)
0.97
(24.6)
0.81
(20.6)
0.63
(16)
1.06
(26.9)
1.03
(26.2)
0.51
(13)
0.37
(9.4)
0.41
(10.4)
0.67
(17)
1.52
(38.6)
1.97
(50)
11.43
(290.3)
Source: [7]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
1890 293
1900 482 64.5%
1910 950 97.1%
1920 1,198 26.1%
1930 858 −28.4%
1940 939 9.4%
1950 1,013 7.9%
1960 1,013 0.0%
1970 919 −9.3%
1980 908 −1.2%
1990 995 9.6%
2000 1,163 16.9%
2010 1,138 −2.1%
Est. 2012 1,153 1.3%
U.S. Decennial Census[8]
2012 Estimate[9]

2010 census[edit]

As of the census[2] of 2010, there were 1,138 people, 449 households, and 316 families residing in the town. The population density was 1,308.0 inhabitants per square mile (505.0 /km2). There were 482 housing units at an average density of 554.0 per square mile (213.9 /km2). The racial makeup of the town was 94.5% White, 1.1% Native American, 0.6% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 2.5% from other races, and 1.1% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 9.8% of the population.

There were 449 households of which 30.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.5% were married couples living together, 9.6% had a female householder with no husband present, 3.3% had a male householder with no wife present, and 29.6% were non-families. 23.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.51 and the average family size was 2.98.

The median age in the town was 43.3 years. 22.8% of residents were under the age of 18; 7.4% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 21.5% were from 25 to 44; 30.5% were from 45 to 64; and 17.9% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the town was 50.4% male and 49.6% female.

2000 census[edit]

As of the census of 2000, there were 1,163 people, 433 households, and 314 families residing in the town. The population density was 1,365.4 people per square mile (528.3/km²). There were 481 housing units at an average density of 564.7 per square mile (218.5/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 90.11% White, 1.03% African American, 1.12% Native American, 0.26% Asian, 6.10% from other races, and 1.38% from two or more races. 8.77% of the population is Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 443 households out of which 33.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 62.6% were married couples living together, 6.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.3% were non-families. 24.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.65 and the average family size was 3.17.

Waterville during a snow storm.

In the town the age distribution of the population shows 28.8% under the age of 18, 5.8% from 18 to 24, 23.4% from 25 to 44, 24.2% from 45 to 64, and 17.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 91.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.5 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $36,458, and the median income for a family was $47,386. Males had a median income of $35,375 versus $23,375 for females. The per capita income for the town was $18,880. About 5.0% of families and 7.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 7.1% of those under age 18 and 2.8% of those age 65 or over.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-12-19. 
  2. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-12-19. 
  3. ^ "Population Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2013-06-01. 
  4. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  5. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  6. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  7. ^ "weather.com". Retrieved November 15, 2011. 
  8. ^ United States Census Bureau. "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved October 5, 2013. 
  9. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2012". Retrieved October 5, 2013. 

External links[edit]