Ellensburg is a city in and the county seat of Kittitas County, Washington, United States. It is located just east of the Cascade Range at the junction of Interstate 90 and Interstate 82. Take a look below for 20 awesome and amazing facts about Ellensburg, Washington, United States.
1. The population was an estimated 21,111 as of 2019.
2. The city is located along the Yakima River in the Kittitas Valley, an agricultural region that extends east towards the Columbia River.
3. The valley is a major producer of timothy hay, which is processed and shipped internationally.
4. Ellensburg is also the home of Central Washington University (CWU).
5. Ellensburg, originally named Ellensburgh for the wife of town founder John Alden Shoudy, was founded in 1871 and grew rapidly in the 1880s following the arrival of the Northern Pacific Railway.
6. The city was once a leading candidate to become the state capital of Washington, but its campaign was scuppered by a major fire in 1889.
7. John Alden Shoudy arrived in the Kittitas Valley in 1871, and purchased a small trading post from Andrew Jackson “A.J.” Splawn, called “Robber’s Roost”.
8. Robber’s Roost was the first business in the valley, aside from the early trading that occurred among Native Americans, cattle drivers, trappers, and miners. It was located on present-day 3rd Avenue, just west of Main Street near the alley.
9. There is a placard on the wall commemorating the location, as well as a small stone monument against the wall on the sidewalk.
10. Shoudy named the new town after his wife, Mary Ellen, thus officially starting the city of Ellensburgh around 1872.
11. Shoudy had not been the first settler nor the first business person in the Kittitas Valley, but he was responsible for platting the city of Ellensburgh in the 1870s and also named the streets in the downtown district.
12. Ellensburgh was officially incorporated on November 26, 1883. In 1894 the final -h was dropped under standardization pressure from the United States Postal Service and Board of Geography Names.
13. Ellensburg was an early center of commerce in Washington and was among the first cities in the state to have electrical service.
14. The city launched a bid to become Washington state’s capital in 1889, preparing a site in the Capital Hill neighborhood for government offices.
15. On July 4 that year, however, a major fire destroyed much of the downtown area and stalled the campaign, which resumed with a series of referendums, in which Washington voters chose Olympia.
16. The state legislature selected Ellensburg as the location for the State Normal School (now Central Washington University).
17. There were several early newspapers in Ellensburg. The Daily Record, which started in 1909, is the publication which serves the city and county today.
18. Concerns over the state of Ellensburg’s historic downtown led to the formation of the Ellensburg Downtown Association to work on revitalizing the area.
19. The City of Ellensburg uses the Manager/Council form of government with a City Manager hired by the City Council. The seven-member City Council is elected at large and serve 4-year terms. The City Council elects a Mayor and Deputy Mayor from the Council to serve 2-year terms. The Council meets the first and third Monday of each month, at 7:00 pm, in the City Council Chambers at City Hall.
20. On the state legislative level, Ellensburg is in the 13th district. As of May, 2018, its state senator is Republican Judy Warnick, and its two state representatives are Republicans Alex Ybarra and Tom Dent. On the congressional level, Ellensburg is located in Washington’s 8th congressional district and is represented by Democrat Kim Schrier.