Walla Walla, Washington

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Walla Walla, Washington
City of Walla Walla
Second and Main in Walla Walla.jpg
Reynolds–Day Building, Sterling Bank, and Baker Boyer Bank buildings in downtown Walla Walla
Walla Walla County Washington Incorporated and Unincorporated areas Walla Walla Highlighted.svg
Location of Walla Walla, Washington
Coordinates: 46°3′54″N118°19′49″W / 46.06500°N 118.33028°W / 46.06500; -118.33028 Coordinates: 46°3′54″N118°19′49″W / 46.06500°N 118.33028°W / 46.06500; -118.33028
CountryUnited States
State Washington
County Walla Walla
Government
  Type Council–manager
  Body City council
   Mayor Tom Scribner
   City manager Nabiel Shawa
Area
[1]
   City 13.88 sq mi (35.95 km2)
  Land13.85 sq mi (35.86 km2)
  Water0.03 sq mi (0.08 km2)
Elevation
942 ft (287 m)
Population
 (2010) [2]
   City 31,731
  Estimate 
(2019) [3]
32,900
  Density2,376.14/sq mi (917.42/km2)
   Urban
55,805 (US: 464th)
   Metro
64,981 (US: 380th)
Time zone UTC−8 (PST)
  Summer (DST) UTC−7 (PDT)
ZIP Code
99362
Area code 509
FIPS code 53-75775
GNIS feature ID1512769 [4]
Website City of Walla Walla

Walla Walla is the largest city and county seat of Walla Walla County, Washington, United States. [5] It had a population of 31,731 at the 2010 census, estimated to have increased to 32,900 as of 2019. The population of the city and its two suburbs, the town of College Place and unincorporated East Walla Walla, is about 45,000. [6]

Contents

Walla Walla is in the southeastern region of Washington, approximately four hours away from Portland, Oregon, and four and half hours from Seattle. It is located only 6 mi (10 km) north of the Oregon border.

History

Recorded history in this state begins with the establishment of Fort Nez Perce in 1818 by the North West Company to trade with the Walla Walla people and other local Native American groups. At the time, the term "Nez Perce" was used more broadly than today, and included the Walla Walla in its scope in English usage. [7] Fort Nez Perce had its name shift to Fort Walla Walla. It was located significantly west of the present city.

On September 1, 1836, Marcus Whitman arrived with his wife Narcissa Whitman. [8] Here they established the Whitman Mission in an unsuccessful attempt to convert the local Walla Walla tribe to Christianity. Following a disease epidemic, both were killed in 1847 by the Cayuse who thought that the missionaries were poisoning the native peoples. Whitman College was established in their honor.

On July 24, 1846, Pope Pius IX established the Diocese of Walla Walla and appointed Augustin-Magloire Blanchet to become the first Bishop of Walla Walla. The diocese was short-lived as Bishop Blanchet fled to St. Paul, Oregon, after the Whitman Massacre. In 1850, the Diocese of Nesqually was established in Vancouver and in 1853 the Diocese of Walla Walla was suppressed and absorbed into the Diocese of Nesqually. Today, the Diocese of Walla Walla is a titular see currently held by Witold Mroziewski, an auxiliary bishop of Brooklyn, New York. [9]

The original North West Company and later Hudson's Bay Company Fort Nez Percés fur trading outpost, became a major stopping point for migrants moving west to Oregon Country. The fort has been restored with many of the original buildings preserved. The current Fort Walla Walla contains these buildings, albeit in a different location from the original, as well as a museum about the early settlers' lives.

The origins of Walla Walla at its present site begin with the establishment of Fort Walla Walla by the United States Army here in 1856. [10] The Walla Walla River, where it adjoins the Columbia River, was the starting point for the Mullan Road, constructed between 1859 and 1860 by US Army Lieut. John Mullan, connecting the head of navigation on the Columbia at Walla Walla (i.e., the west coast of the United States) with the head of navigation on the Missouri-Mississippi (that is, the east and gulf coasts of the U.S.) at Fort Benton, Montana.

Walla Walla was incorporated on January 11, 1862. [11] As a result of a gold rush in Idaho, during this decade the city became the largest community in the territory of Washington, at one point slated to be the new state's capital. Following this period of rapid growth, agriculture became the city's primary industry. Baker Boyer Bank, the oldest bank in the state of Washington, was founded in Walla Walla in 1869.

In 1936, Walla Walla and surrounding areas were struck by the magnitude 6.1 State Line earthquake. Residents reported hearing a moderate rumbling immediately before the shock. There was significant damage in the area, and aftershocks were felt for several months following. [12]

Fort Walla Walla - 1874 Walla walla.jpg
Fort Walla Walla - 1874
Baker Boyer Bank building, built in 1911 8922BankExterior-BBB MainStWll2WACpyrtSm.jpg
Baker Boyer Bank building, built in 1911

In 2001 Walla Walla was a Great American Main Street Award winner for the transformation and preservation of its once dilapidated main street. [13] In July 2011, USA Today selected Walla Walla as the friendliest small city in the United States. [14] Walla Walla was also named Friendliest Small Town in America the same year as part of Rand McNally's annual Best of the Road contest. In 2012 and 2013 Walla Walla was a runner-up in the best food category for the Best of the Road. [15] [16] Downtown Walla Walla was awarded a Great Places in America Great Neighborhood designation in 2012 by the American Planning Association. [17] [18]

Etymology

Tourists to Walla Walla are often told that it is a "town so nice they named it twice". [19] Some locals and Walla Walla natives often refer to the city in text form with "W2." [20] Walla Walla is a Native American name that means "Place of Many Waters" because the original settlement was at the junction of the Snake and Columbia rivers. The original name of the town was Steptoeville, named after Colonel Edward Steptoe. [21] In 1855 the name was changed to Waiilatpu, [22] and then by 1859 had been changed again, this time to the name it holds today. Walla Walla is humorously mentioned in the Three Stooges.

Geography and climate

Walla Walla is located at 46°3′54″N118°19′49″W / 46.06500°N 118.33028°W / 46.06500; -118.33028 (46.065094, −118.330167). [23]

Walla Walla is also located in the Walla Walla Valley, with the rolling Palouse hills and the Blue Mountains to the east of town. Various creeks meander through town before combining to become the Walla Walla River, which drains into the Columbia River about 30 miles (50 km) west of town. The city lies in the rain shadow of the Cascade Mountains, so annual precipitation is fairly low.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 12.84 square miles (33.26 km2), of which 12.81 square miles (33.18 km2) is land and 0.03 square miles (0.08 km2) is water. [24]

Walla Walla has a hot-summer Mediterranean climate according to the Köppen climate classification system (Köppen Csa). It is one of the northernmost locations in North America to qualify as having such a climate. In contrast to most other locations having this climate type in North America, Walla Walla can experience fairly cold winter conditions.

Climate data for Walla Walla, Washington (Walla Walla Regional Airport), 1981–2010 normals
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Record high °F (°C)70
(21)
75
(24)
79
(26)
96
(36)
100
(38)
113
(45)
114
(46)
114
(46)
104
(40)
89
(32)
80
(27)
68
(20)
114
(46)
Average high °F (°C)40.9
(4.9)
46.0
(7.8)
55.2
(12.9)
62.5
(16.9)
70.4
(21.3)
78.8
(26.0)
89.2
(31.8)
88.1
(31.2)
77.9
(25.5)
63.5
(17.5)
48.5
(9.2)
38.5
(3.6)
63.3
(17.4)
Daily mean °F (°C)35.5
(1.9)
39.1
(3.9)
46.3
(7.9)
52.2
(11.2)
59.4
(15.2)
66.5
(19.2)
75.0
(23.9)
74.2
(23.4)
65.2
(18.4)
53.3
(11.8)
41.8
(5.4)
33.4
(0.8)
53.5
(11.9)
Average low °F (°C)30.1
(−1.1)
32.2
(0.1)
37.4
(3.0)
42.0
(5.6)
48.3
(9.1)
54.2
(12.3)
60.9
(16.1)
60.4
(15.8)
52.6
(11.4)
43.1
(6.2)
35.2
(1.8)
28.4
(−2.0)
43.7
(6.5)
Record low °F (°C)−18
(−28)
−16
(−27)
4
(−16)
20
(−7)
26
(−3)
36
(2)
40
(4)
42
(6)
32
(0)
19
(−7)
−11
(−24)
−24
(−31)
−24
(−31)
Average precipitation inches (mm)2.53
(64)
1.76
(45)
2.30
(58)
1.92
(49)
2.13
(54)
1.28
(33)
0.59
(15)
0.57
(14)
0.75
(19)
1.68
(43)
2.87
(73)
2.47
(63)
20.85
(530)
Average snowfall inches (cm)3.1
(7.9)
3.1
(7.9)
0.9
(2.3)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0.1
(0.25)
1.4
(3.6)
4.7
(12)
13.3
(33.95)
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in)13.010.512.310.29.67.33.22.73.97.813.913.2107.6
Average snowy days (≥ 0.1 in)2.51.70.70000000.11.03.39.3
Mean monthly sunshine hours 50.483.4173.8221.7288.5326.3384.5344.4268.8199.267.840.32,449.2
Percent possible sunshine 18.028.647.054.462.169.180.778.771.659.024.015.050.7
Source 1: NOAA [25] [26]
Source 2: weather.com [27]

Demographics

Historical population
CensusPop.
1870 1,394
1880 3,588157.4%
1890 4,70931.2%
1900 10,049113.4%
1910 19,36492.7%
1920 15,503−19.9%
1930 15,9763.1%
1940 18,10913.4%
1950 24,10233.1%
1960 24,5361.8%
1970 23,619−3.7%
1980 25,6188.5%
1990 26,4783.4%
2000 29,68612.1%
2010 31,7316.9%
2019 (est.)32,900 [3] 3.7%
U.S. Decennial Census [28]

2010 census

As of the census [2] of 2010, there were 31,731 people, 11,537 households, and 6,834 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,477.0 inhabitants per square mile (956.4/km2). There were 12,514 housing units at an average density of 976.9 per square mile (377.2/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 81.6% White, 2.7% African American, 1.3% Native American, 1.4% Asian, 0.3% Pacific Islander, 9.1% from other races, and 3.6% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 22.0% of the population.

There were 11,537 households, of which 30.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.6% were married couples living together, 12.0% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.7% had a male householder with no wife present, and 40.8% were other forms of households. 33.4% of all households were made up of individuals, and 14.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.43 and the average family size was 3.10.

The median age in the city was 34.4 years. 22% of residents were under the age of 18; 14.5% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 26.2% were from 25 to 44; 23.1% were from 45 to 64; and 14% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 51.9% male and 48.1% female.

2000 census

As of the census of 2000, there were 29,686 people, 10,596 households, and 6,527 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,744.9 people per square mile (1,059.3/km2). There were 11,400 housing units at an average density of 1,054.1 per square mile (406.8/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 83.79% White, 2.58% African American, 1.05% Native American, 1.24% Asian, 0.23% Pacific Islander, 8.26% from other races, and 2.85% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 17.42% of the population.

There were 10,596 households, of which 30.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.4% were married couples living together, 11.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 38.4% were other forms of households. 31.9% of all households were made up of individuals, and 15.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.44 and the average family size was 3.08.

In the city, the population was spread out, with 21.8% under the age of 18, 14.2% from 18 to 24, 26.5% from 25 to 44, 17.5% from 45 to 64, and 20.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females, there were 108.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 109.1 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $31,855, and the median income for a family was $40,856. Men had a median income of $31,753 versus $23,889 for women. The per capita income for the city was $15,792. About 13.1% of families and 18.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 22.8% of those under the age of 18 and 10.5% of those aged 65 and older.

Economy and infrastructure

Agriculture

Though wheat is still a big crop, vineyards and wineries have become economically important over the last three decades. [29] In summer 2020, there were over 120 wineries in the greater Walla Walla area. Following the wine boom, the town has developed several fine dining establishments and luxury hotels. The Marcus Whitman Hotel, originally opened in 1928, was renovated with original fixtures and furnitures. It is the tallest building in the city, at 13 stories.

Walla Walla Farmers Market Walla walla farmers market.jpg
Walla Walla Farmers Market

The Walla Walla Sweet Onion is another crop with a rich tradition. Over a century ago on the Island of Corsica, off the west coast of Italy, a French soldier named Peter Pieri found an Italian sweet onion seed and brought it to the Walla Walla Valley. Impressed by the new onion's winter hardiness, Pieri, and the Italian immigrant farmers who comprised much of Walla Walla's gardening industry, harvested the seed. The sweet onion developed over several generations through the process of selecting onions from each year's crop, targeting sweetness, size and round shape. The Walla Walla Sweet Onion is designated under federal law as a protected agricultural crop. In 2007 the Walla Walla Sweet Onion became Washington's official state vegetable. [30] There is also a Walla Walla Sweet Onion Festival, held annually in July. Walla Walla Sweet Onions have low sulfur content (about half that of an ordinary yellow onion) and are 90 percent water.

Walla Walla currently has two farmers markets, both held from May until October. The first is located on the corner of 4th and Main, and is coordinated by the Downtown Walla Walla Foundation. The other is at the Walla Walla County Fairgrounds on S. Ninth Ave, run by the WW Valley Farmer's Market. [31]

Wine industry

Walla Walla has experienced a decades-long explosion in its wine industry, culminating in being named "Best Wine Region (2020)" in USA Today's Reader Choice Awards. [32] Several of the wineries have received top scores from wine publications such as Wine Spectator , The Wine Advocate and Wine and Spirits. L'Ecole 41, Woodward Canyon, Waterbrook Winery and Leonetti Cellar were the pioneers starting in the 1970s and 1980s. Although most of the early recognition went to the wines made from Merlot and Cabernet, Syrah is fast becoming a star varietal in this appellation. [33] Today there are over 120 wineries in the Walla Walla Valley and a host of shops catering to the wine industry.

Walla Walla Community College offers an associate degree (AAAS) in winemaking and grape growing through its 10-year-old Center for Enology and Viticulture, which operates its own commercial winery, College Cellars. [34]

One challenge to growing grapes in Walla Walla Valley is the risk of a killing freeze during the winter. They average one every six or seven years and the penultimate one, in 2004, destroyed about 75% of the wine grape crop in the valley. The valley was again hit with a killing frost in November 2010, leading to a 28% decline in Cabernet Sauvignon production, a 20% decline in red grape production, and an overall decline in production of 11% (red and white varietals). [35]

The wineries generate over $100 million (US) to the valley annually. There are more than 120 wineries in the Walla Walla area. [36] [37]

Corrections industry

The second-largest prison in Washington, after nearby Coyote Ridge Corrections Center in Connell, is the Washington State Penitentiary (WSP) located in Walla Walla, at 1313 North 13th. Originally opened in 1886, it now houses about 2,000 offenders. [38] In addition, there are about 1000 staff members. In 2005, the financial benefit to the local economy was estimated to be about $55 million through salaries, medical services, utilities, and local purchases. The penitentiary is undergoing an extensive expansion project that will increase the prison capacity to 2,500 violent offenders and double the staff size. [39]

Until October 11, 2018, Washington was a death penalty state, and occasional executions took place at the state penitentiary; the last execution took place on September 10, 2010. [40] [41] Washington was also one of the last two states to allow hanging as a choice when sentenced to death [42] (the other being New Hampshire); there has not been a hanging since May 1994 (the default method of execution was changed to lethal injection in 1996). Washington was the last state with an active gallows. [43]

Healthcare

Walla Walla is served by two health care institutions: St. Mary Medical Center (part of the Catholic Providence Health System) and the Jonathan M. Wainwright Veteran's Affairs Medical Center on the grounds of the old Fort Walla Walla and WWII training facility.

Transportation

Transportation to Walla Walla includes service by air through Walla Walla Regional Airport, several railroads, and highway access primarily from U.S. Route 12. The Washington State Department of Transportation is engaged in a long-term process of widening this road into a four-lane divided highway between Pasco and Walla Walla, with major portions scheduled to be complete in 2022. [44] The highway also acts as the main gateway to Interstates 82 and 84, which run to the west and south, respectively. [45] State Route 125 runs through the city, north to State Route 124 in Prescott and south to Milton-Freewater, Oregon, becoming Oregon Highway 11 at the state line.[ citation needed ]

There are four major bus services in the area connecting the region's cities. Walla Walla and nearby College Place are served by Valley Transit, a typical multi-route city bus service. The city of Milton-Freewater, OR has a single-line bus service with several stops in town with two stops in College Place and five in Walla Walla. Travel Washington's Grape Line is a 104-mile (167 km) intercity service between Walla Walla and Pasco that runs three times a day. Finally, Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation operates a Kayak bus to Pendleton, with four trips each weekday and two trips each Saturday via its Walla Walla Whistler route. [46]

Whitman Hotel at Rose and Second in the "Great Neighborhood" Whitman hotel downtown ww.jpg
Whitman Hotel at Rose and Second in the "Great Neighborhood"
Sterling Bank in one of the renovated buildings in the "Great Neighborhood" Sterling Bank Downtown WW.jpg
Sterling Bank in one of the renovated buildings in the "Great Neighborhood"

Sports

Walla Walla is home of the Walla Walla Sweets, a summer collegiate baseball team that plays in the West Coast League. The league comprises college players and prospects working towards a professional baseball career. Teams are located in British Columbia, Oregon and Washington. Sweets home games have been played at Borleske Stadium in Walla Walla, since their first season in 2010. In only their second season the Sweets played in the WCL Championship game, ultimately losing to the Corvallis Knights. In 2013, the Sweets won their first North Division title with the second best win-loss record in the WCL. The Sweets lost their North Division playoff series to the Wenatchee Applesox that year.

There also is a women's flat track roller derby league called the Walla Walla Sweets Rollergirls, their practices and games are played at the Walla Walla YMCA.

Walla Walla is the location of Tour of Walla Walla, a four-stage road cycling race held annually in April. The races are held in Walla Walla and in the Palouse hills of nearby Waitsburg. The stages include two road races, a time trial, and a criterium race. [47]

The annual Walla Walla Marathon takes place in October and includes a full marathon, half-marathon, and 10k race. The full marathon is a Boston Marathon Qualifier. [48] The race route winds through the streets of the city of Walla Walla and the country roads outside of town, often running past several of the region's many estate vineyards.

Fine and performing arts

The Walla Walla Valley boasts a number of fine and performing arts organizations and venues.

In addition, the area's three colleges—Whitman College, Walla Walla University and Walla Walla Community College as well as its largest public high school—Walla Walla High School—stage theater and music performances.

Education

Whitman College Administration Building in fall 2010 Whitman college admin building.jpg
Whitman College Administration Building in fall 2010

Walla Walla is primarily served by Walla Walla Public Schools, which includes seven elementary schools (one is in Dixie, six of them are K-5 with one of these being PreK-5), two middle schools, one traditional high school (colloquially Wa-Hi), and two alternative high schools (Lincoln and Opportunity). There is also Homelink, an alternative K-8 education program which is a hybrid of homeschooling and public school programs. [53]

There are several private Christian schools in the area. These include:

In addition to these, there are three colleges in the area:

Sister cities

In 1972, Walla Walla established a sister city relationship with Sasayama (now named Tamba-Sasayama), Japan. The two cities have since named roads after their counterpart sister city. Walla Walla has also hosted exchange students from Tamba-Sasayama since 1994 for a two-week home-stay experience. Yearlong high school student exchanges between the cities have occurred several times in the past. Cultural/art exchanges involving music, dance, and various art mediums have also occurred. The Walla Walla Sister City Committee has been the recipient of the Washington State Sister City Association Peace Prize in 2011 and 2014 for their involvement in promoting peace, cultural understanding and friendship. [55] [56] [57]

Notable people

See also

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Walla Walla can refer to:

Cayuse people

The Cayuse are a Native American tribe in what is now the state of Oregon in the United States. The Cayuse tribe shares a reservation and government in northeastern Oregon with the Umatilla and the Walla Walla tribes as part of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation. The reservation is located near Pendleton, Oregon, at the base of the Blue Mountains.

The Oregon missionaries were pioneers who settled in the Oregon Country of North America starting in the 1830s dedicated to bringing Christianity to local Native Americans. There had been missionary efforts prior to this, such as those sponsored by the Northwest Company with missionaries from the Church of England starting in 1819. The Foreign Mission movement was already 15 years underway by 1820, but it was difficult to find missionaries willing to go to Oregon, as many wanted to go to the east, to India or China. It was not until the 1830s, when a schoolmaster from Connecticut, Hall Jackson Kelley, created his "American Society for the Settlement of the Oregon Country," that more interest and support for Oregon missionaries grew. Around the same time, four Nez Perce arrived in St. Louis in the fall of 1831, with accounts differencing as to if these travelers were asking for “the book of life,” an idea used by Protestant missionaries, or if they asked for “Blackrobes,” meaning Jesuits, thus Catholic missionaries. Either way this inspired Christian missionaries to travel to the Oregon Territory. Oregon missionaries played a political role, as well as a religious one, as their missions established US political power in an area in which the Hudson’s Bay Company, operating under the British government, maintained a political interest in the Oregon country. Such missionaries had an influential impact on the early settlement of the region, establishing institutions that became the foundation of United States settlement of the Pacific Northwest.

Walla Walla River

The Walla Walla River is a tributary of the Columbia River, joining the Columbia just above Wallula Gap in southeastern Washington in the United States. The river flows through Umatilla County, Oregon, and Walla Walla County, Washington. Its drainage basin is 1,758 square miles (4,550 km2) in area.

Marcus Whitman

Marcus Whitman was an American physician and missionary.

Wallowa Mountains

The Wallowa Mountains are a mountain range located in the Columbia Plateau of northeastern Oregon in the United States. The range runs approximately 40 miles (64 km) northwest to southeast in southwestern Wallowa County and eastern Union County between the Blue Mountains to the west and the Snake River to the east. The range is sometimes considered to be an eastern spur of the Blue Mountains, and it is known as the "Alps of Oregon". Much of the range is designated as the Eagle Cap Wilderness, part of the Wallowa–Whitman National Forest.

Whitman massacre

The Whitman massacre was the murder of Washington missionaries Marcus Whitman and his wife Narcissa, along with eleven others, on November 29, 1847. They were killed by members of the Cayuse tribe who accused him of having poisoned 200 Cayuse in his medical care. The incident began the Cayuse War. It took place in southeastern Washington state near the town of Walla Walla, Washington and was one of the most notorious episodes in the U.S. settlement of the Pacific Northwest. Whitman had helped lead the first wagon train to cross Oregon's Blue Mountains and reach the Columbia River via the Oregon Trail, and this incident was the climax of several years of complex interaction between him and the local Native Americans. The story of the massacre shocked the United States Congress into action concerning the future territorial status of the Oregon Country, and the Oregon Territory was established on August 14, 1848.

Fort Walla Walla United States historic place

Fort Walla Walla is a United States Army fort located in Walla Walla, Washington. The first Fort Walla Walla was established July 1856, by Lieutenant Colonel Edward Steptoe, 9th Infantry Regiment. A second Fort Walla Walla was occupied September 23, 1856. The third and permanent military Fort Walla Walla was built in 1858 and adjoined Steptoeville, now Walla Walla, Washington, a community that had grown up around the second fort. An Executive Order on May 7, 1859 declared the fort a military reservation containing 640 acres devoted to military purposes and a further 640 acres each of hay and timber reserves. On September 28, 1910 soldiers from the 1st Cavalry lowered the flag closing the fort. In 1917, the fort briefly reopened to train men of the First Battalion Washington Field Artillery in support of action in World War I. In 1921, the fort and property were turned over to the Veterans Administration where 15 original buildings from the military era remain. Today, the complex contains a park, a museum, and the Jonathan M. Wainright Memorial VA Medical Center.

Henry H. Spalding

Henry Harmon Spalding (1803–1874), and his wife Eliza Hart Spalding (1807–1851) were prominent Presbyterian missionaries and educators working primarily with the Nez Perce in the U.S. Pacific Northwest. The Spaldings and their fellow missionaries were among the earliest Americans to travel across the western plains, through the Rocky Mountains and into the lands of the Pacific Northwest to their religious missions in what would become the states of Idaho and Washington. Their missionary party of five, including Marcus Whitman and his wife Narcissa and William H. Gray, joined with a group of fur traders to create the first wagon train along the Oregon Trail.

Narcissa Whitman

Narcissa Prentiss Whitman was an American missionary in the Oregon Country of what would become the state of Washington. On their way to found the Protestant Whitman Mission in 1836 with her husband, Marcus, near modern-day Walla Walla, Washington, she and Eliza Hart Spalding became the first documented European-American women to cross the Rocky Mountains.

Yellow Bird (Walla Walla leader) 19th century Walla Walla chief from Oregon

Piupiumaksmaks was head chief of the Walla Walla tribe and son to the preceding chief Tumatapum. His name meant Yellow Bird, but it was often mistranslated as Yellow Serpent by Europeans.

Fort Nez Percés

Fort Nez Percés, later known as (Old) Fort Walla Walla, was a fortified fur trading post on the Columbia River on the territory of modern-day Wallula, Washington. Despite being named after the Nez Perce people, the fort was in the traditional lands of the Walla Walla. Founded in 1818 by the North-West Company, after 1821 it was run by the Hudson's Bay Company until its closure in 1857.

Walla Walla Valley AVA

The Walla Walla Valley AVA is an American Viticultural Area located within Washington state and extending partly into the northeastern corner of Oregon. The wine region is entirely included within the larger Columbia Valley AVA. In addition to grapes, the area produces sweet onions, wheat and strawberries. After the Yakima Valley AVA, the Walla Walla AVA has the second highest concentration of vineyards and wineries in Washington State. Walla Walla hosts about 140 wineries.

Touchet River

The Touchet River is a 55-mile (89 km) tributary of the Walla Walla River in southeastern Washington in the United States.

William Craig was an American frontiersman and trapper. He left his Virginia home as a young man and headed west, after allegedly killing a man in self-defense. He trapped with the Sublettes and Jedediah Smith in the Blackfoot country until he joined Joe Walker's California Expedition of 1833–34.

Pierre Chrysologue Pambrun was a French Canadian militia officer and later a fur trader in the service of the Hudson's Bay Company. Pambrun fought against the United States in the War of 1812, in particular the Battle of the Châteauguay. He joined the HBC during a time of turmoil with its competitors, the North West Company. After the Battle of Seven Oaks, he was among those held captive by men employed by the NWC.

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Further reading