Valleyford, Washington

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Valleyford, Washington
Valleyfordchurch.jpg
Valleyford, Washington is located in Washington (state)
Valleyford, Washington
Valleyford, Washington
Coordinates: 47°31′55″N 117°14′21″W / 47.53194°N 117.23917°W / 47.53194; -117.23917Coordinates: 47°31′55″N 117°14′21″W / 47.53194°N 117.23917°W / 47.53194; -117.23917
CountryUnited States
StateWashington
CountySpokane
Elevation
2,487 ft (758 m)
Time zoneUTC-8 (Pacific (PST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-7 (PDT)
ZIP code
99036
Area code(s)509
GNIS feature ID1512756[1]

Valleyford is an unincorporated community in Spokane County, Washington, United States. Valleyford has a post office with ZIP code 99036.[2]

History[edit]

Prior to the arrival of Europeans, the Coeur d'Alene people knew the Valleyford area for its bountiful camas harvests.[3]

European settlement began in the second half of the 1800s when the Mullan Road began bringing settlers into the Inland Northwest. The road split into two branches at Cataldo Mission in present day Idaho, with one branch taking a northern route around Lake Coeur d'Alene and the other taking a southern route. Valleyford was located near where the two branches came back together.[4]

Another transportation breakthrough for the region provided a boon for settlement in Valleyford when the Spokane and Inland Empire Railroad, an electrified, interurban railway, came through the community in 1908.[5] The arrival of the railway connected the community with the region's center of population in Spokane, as well as other small towns around the Palouse. It also brought electricity to the community.

Soon after the arrival of the railroad, Valleyford began to grow and community officials expected that growth to continue. The town was platted for more growth than would end up occurring, however, as the community's fortunes took a big hit during the Great Depression and never recovered.[3]

A post office called Valleyford has been in operation since 1907.[6] The origin of the name Valleyford is obscure.[7]

Geography[edit]

Valleyford is 12.5 miles (20.1 km) southeast of downtown Spokane on the Palouse Highway, a two lane road connecting Spokane with State Route 27 about a mile east of Valleyford. The community is surrounded by farmland and forests on the northern edge of the Palouse, a wheat and legume growing region extending across southeastern Washington. California Creek, a tributary of Latah Creek, cuts a valley along the north and eastern edges of the community.[8]

Spokane County Fire District 8 has a station in Valleyford.[9] There is a county park along California Creek in the lower, valley portion of Valleyford. Other structures include a church, storage facilities, houses and a number of abandoned buildings.[10]

Nearby communities include Mica a few miles to the northeast up California Creek, and Freeman, a few miles to the southeast where a market and the region's schools are located.[8]

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Valleyford, Washington
  2. ^ ZIP Code Lookup
  3. ^ a b Cebula, Larry. "Rise and Fall of Valleyford". Spokane Historical. Retrieved October 22, 2021.
  4. ^ "Mullan Road Center Line". trailresearch.org. Retrieved October 22, 2021.
  5. ^ "Map of Spokane Inland Electric Railroad in Eastern Washington and Northern Idaho, circa 1908". Washington Rural Heritage. Retrieved October 22, 2021.
  6. ^ "Spokane County". Jim Forte Postal History. Retrieved May 2, 2015.
  7. ^ Sullivan, Julie (March 16, 1989). "Architect builds historical interest with trivia". Spokane Chronicle. pp. S9. Retrieved May 2, 2015.
  8. ^ a b "USGS US Topo 7.5-minute map for Freeman, WA 2020" (PDF). United States Geological Survey. Retrieved October 22, 2021.
  9. ^ "Stations of Spokane County Fire District 8". Spokane County Fire District 8. Retrieved October 22, 2021.
  10. ^ "Valleyford Community Park". spokanecounty.org. Spokane County. Retrieved October 22, 2021.