Collier's New Encyclopedia (1921)/Washington (State)
WASHINGTON, a State in the Western Division of the North American Union; bounded by British Columbia, Idaho, Oregon, Puget Sound, and the Pacific Ocean; admitted to the Union, Nov. 11, 1889; capital, Olympia; number of counties, 38; area, 69,127 square miles; pop. (1890) 349,390; (1900) 518,103; (1910) 1,141,990; (1920) 1,356,621.
Topography.—The surface of the State is exceedingly rugged, being traversed from N. to S. by the great range of the Cascade Mountains about 100 miles from the coast. The highest peaks, all extinct volcanoes, are Mount Rainier, 14,444 feet; Mount Baker, 10,827 feet; Mount St. Helena, 9,750 feet; and Mount Adams, 9,000 feet. Eastern Washington, lying between the Cascades and the Columbia river, includes the Yakima and Kittitas valleys, and is watered by the Columbia river and its tributaries; the Yakima, Snake, Spokane, Methow, and Okanogan rivers. Lake Chelan, in the center of the State, is 70 miles in length, and 3 miles wide. Western Washington has an abrupt slope to tide water, and contains a few fertile prairies and much broken mountain land. It contains Puget Sound Basin, Shoolwater Bay, and the Lower Columbia valley. Puget Sound extends inland about 80 miles and contains many excellent harbors. The Pacific coast has numerous prominent headlands, including Capes Disappointment and Flattery. The Principal rivers of western Washington are Des Chutes, Puyallup, Duwamish, White, Black, Cedar, Lummi, Skagit, Swinamish, Skokomish, and Snohomish.
Geology.—The Cambrian, Silurian, Eozoic, Tertiary, and Cretaceous periods are all represented in the mountains of the W. portion of the State. The N. part, the Blue Mountains and the Coast are of the Eozoic period, and the central portion is a volcanic formation.
Mineralogy.—Washington is called the Pennsylvania of the Pacific on account of its mineral wealth, especially in coal, in the Puget Sound basin. Gold is found in the Yakima valley, and silver near Spokane. The chief mineral products are gold, silver, lead, copper and zinc. The production of coal in 1919 was 3,100,000 tons, which was 982,000 tons less than the production of the previous year. The production of copper was 2,210,350 pounds. The production of gold in 1919 was about 13,000 fine ounces, valued at $285,000. The production of silver was 316,028 fine ounces, valued at $354,220. Other important mineral products are granite, sandstone, marble and limestone, clay products, cement, antimony and tungsten. The total value of the mineral production is over $15,000,000 annually.
Agriculture.—The river valleys and plains of eastern Washington have under scientific irrigation become exceedingly fertile and productive. Stock raising and dairy farming are becoming important industries. The acreage, value and production of the principal crops, were as follows: corn, 45,000 acres, production 1,620,000 bushels, value $2,997,000; oats, 320,000 acres, production 12,800,000 bushels, value $11,904,000; barley, 138,000 acres, production 4,140,000 bushels, value $5,589,000; wheat, 2,440,000 acres, production 40,100,000 bushels, value $85,814,000; hay, 794,000 acres, production 1,906,000 tons, value $43,838,000; potatoes, 58,000 acres, production 7,250,000 bushels, value $10,512,000.
Manufactures.—There were in 1914, 3,829 manufacturing establishments in the State, employing 67,205 wage earners. The capital invested was $277,715,000; the wages paid $51,703,000; the value of the materials used $136,609,000; and the value of the finished products $245,326,000.
Banking.—On Oct. 31, 1919, there were reported 84 National banks in operation, having $13,010,000 in capital, $6,886,000 in outstanding circulation, and $42,687,000 in United States bonds. There were also 274 State banks, with $13,395,000 capital and $3,691,000 surplus. The exchange at the United States clearing house at Seattle, for the year ending Sept. 30, 1919, aggregated $2,013,736,000; an increase over those of the preceding year of $352,932,000.
Education.—There were in 1919: 3,439 schools, with 8,158 teachers. The attendance in the elementary schools was 235,008, and in the high schools, 37,317. There are three normal schools, with about 5,000 students. The total expenditure for the year for educational purposes was $16,587,356. The universities for higher education are the University of Washington at Seattle, University of Puget Sound at Tacoma, State College at Pullman, Gonzaga College at Spokane, and Whitman College at Walla Walla.
Finances.—The receipts for the year 1917-1918 amounted to $15,643,321, and the disbursements to $14,878,937. There was a balance on hand at the end of the year of $5,372,820. The assessed valuation of real estate in 1919 was $722,761,254, and of personal property $179,764,087. The state has no outstanding bonded debt.
Charities and Corrections.—The institutions under control of the State include school for the deaf, school for the blind at Vancouver, training school at Chehalis, school for girls at Grand Mound, Soldiers' Home at Orting, Veterans' Home at Port Orchard, three insane asylums, a penitentiary at Walla Walla, institution for feeble-minded at Medical Lake, and a reformatory at Monroe.
Churches.—The strongest denominations in the State are the Roman Catholic; Methodist Episcopal; Disciples of Christ; Regular Baptist; Presbyterian; Congregational; Protestant Episcopal; Lutheran; Independent Synods; and United Brethren.
Railways.—The railway mileage in the State in 1919, was 6,292.09. The roads having the longest mileage are the Northern Pacific, the Great Northern, and the Oregon and Washington.
State Government.—The governor is elected for a term of four years. Legislative sessions are held biennially and are limited in length to 60 days each. The Legislature has 41 members in the Senate and 97 in the House. There are five Representatives in Congress.
History.—For the early history of this region, see Oregon. Washington was a part of Oregon Territory till the admission of Oregon, in 1853, when this section was separately organized as Washington Territory. There was subsequently considerable trouble with the Indians. Immigration having set actively in that direction, it was admitted into the Union as a State, Nov. 11, 1889.