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Wishram, WA

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The town of Wishram will mark its 100th birthday this month with a celebration that the townsfolk would like to share with everyone....

The Klickitat County town is so tiny and off the beaten path that even those who have driven Highway 14 may have missed it. It sits on a lonely and winding stretch of road between the Maryhill Museum and the Dalles Dam more than 100 miles west of the Tri-Cities.

What makes the town interesting, said Jeanine Stevens of Pasco, is Wishram's rich history. She spent part of her childhood there when her dad worked for the Spokane, Portland & Seattle Railway, which later became Burlington Northern....

Wishram is an unincorporated town that was originally a Native American fishing village that grew into a railroad town in 1908, said Dee Dee Gabbert Orthmann who grew up there.

Explorers Capts. Meriwether Lewis and William Clark mention the site in their journals during their expedition. Lewis & Clark traveled from St. Louis to the Pacific Ocean and back from 1804-06 to find a land route from the Atlantic to Pacific oceans.

"In 1911, George Bunn opened the first store, and later a tavern called the Pastime (which is still there) and a restaurant called the Caboose," Orthmann said. "In 1914, Mr. Bunn went to Goldendale and had the town officially recorded."

The centennial bash is planned for 1 p.m. Sept. 20 at the town's Railroad Park. Organizers invite everyone to join in the fun, and they encourage former residents to bring old photos and stories to share along with a picnic lunch.




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