Othello is a city in Adams County, Washington, United States. The population was 5,847 at the 2000 census and grew 25.9% over the next decade to 7,364 at the 2010 census. Take a look below for 15 interesting and awesome facts about Othello, Washington, United States.
1. In the 2018 census, it was 8,099. Othello refers to the city as being in the heart of the Columbia Basin Project.
2. It is located approximately 100 miles (160 km) southwest of Spokane, 180 miles (290 km) east of Seattle, and about 25 miles (40 km) south of Interstate 90, at the intersection of SR 17 and SR 26.
3. The first white settlers in the area were two brothers, Ben and Sam Hutchinson, who built a cabin along the Crab Creek in 1884.
4. An influx of homesteaders began after the start of the 20th century, and a post office was established in 1904. The post office was named Othello after a post office also called Othello in Roane County, Tennessee.
5. The Chicago, Milwaukee, & St. Paul Railroad ran a track through Adams County in 1907.
6. In 1912, a hotel was built for the railroad workers. That hotel would be later known as the Old Hotel and Art Gallery.
7. The railroad officially platted the town as a stop, with water to feed the boilers of steam trains.
8. They kept the name Othello, and built a railyard and wooden roundhouse there. Although the roundhouse burned in 1919, it was replaced with a brick structure which lasted many years. Businesses and settlers continued to follow, and the town was incorporated May 31, 1910.
9. At the time the railroad was the eastern terminus of the second electrified district of the Milwaukee Road’s “Pacific Extension” route, which extended up to Tacoma, Washington.
10. The Bureau of Reclamation located offices in Othello in 1947, which prevented the decline of this town with the decline of rail shipping after World War II. In the early 1950s, the Columbia Basin Project brought irrigation to the Othello area, increasing both agriculture and commerce. Prior to this, water came only from Crab Creek and from local wells.
11. The water arrived via the Potholes East Canal between Billy Clapp Lake and Scootenay Reservoir in Franklin County. Once there was irrigation available, a land drawing was held in Othello. On May 31, 1952 42 names were drawn (of more than 7000 submitted) for the privilege of purchasing this newly-desirable acreage.
12. From 1951 to 1973, the 637th Radar Squadron operated the Othello Radar Station near the town.
13. In 1958, an ice plant was opened in town to service railroad cars moving produce. Frozen food packaging came to town in the early 1960s, and has since become the main industry.
14. Since 1998, Othello has also been home to the Sandhill Crane Festival, celebrating the annual arrival of sandhill cranes to the nearby Columbia National Wildlife Refuge.
15. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 3.81 square miles (9.87 km2), all of it land.