Leavenworth is a city in Chelan County, Washington, United States. It is part of the Wenatchee−East Wenatchee Metropolitan Statistical Area. Take a look below for 20 interesting and amazing facts about Leavenworth, Washington, United States.
1. The population was 1,965 at the 2010 census.
2. The entire town center is modeled on a Bavarian village as part of a civic initiative that began in the 1960s.
3. The area is a major, four-season tourist destination with festivals nearly every month and a multitude of events year round.
4. The construction of the Great Northern Railway through Tumwater Canyon in 1892 brought settlers to a townsite that was named “Leavenworth”.
5. Lafayette Lamb arrived in 1903 from Clinton, Iowa, to build the second largest sawmill in Washington state.
6. Leavenworth was officially incorporated on September 5, 1906. A small timber community, it became a regional office of the Great Northern Railway in the early 1900s. The railroad relocated to Wenatchee in 1925, greatly affecting Leavenworth’s economy.
7. The city’s population declined well into the 1950s as the lumber mills closed and stores relocated.
8. The city looked to tourism and recreation as a major economy as early as 1929, when they opened a ski jump.
9. In 1962, the Project LIFE (Leavenworth Improvement For Everyone) Committee was formed in partnership with the University of Washington to investigate strategies to revitalize the struggling logging town.
10. The theme town idea was created by two Seattle businessmen, Ted Price and Bob Rodgers, who had bought a failing cafe on Highway 2 in 1960. Price was chair of the Project LIFE tourism subcommittee, and in 1965 the pair led a trip to a Danish-themed town, Solvang, California, to build support for the idea.
11. The first building to be remodeled in the Bavarian style was the Chikamin Hotel, which owner LaVerne Peterson renamed the Edelweiss after the state flower of Bavaria.
12. Leavenworth is home to the Leavenworth Nutcracker Museum, which opened in 1995 and contains more than 5,000 nutcrackers dating from prehistoric to modern.
13. Leavenworth hosts an annual Oktoberfest celebration.
14. Leavenworth’s transformation into a theme town was inspired, and assisted, by Solvang, California. Later, the Washington town of Winthrop followed Leavenworth’s example and adopted a Western town theme.
15. In November 2007, Good Morning America went to Leavenworth for Holiday Gifts for the Globe where GMA helped light up the town for the Christmas Holiday.
16. Leavenworth was named the Ultimate Holiday Town USA by A&E Network.
17. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.25 square miles (3.24 km2), of which, 1.23 square miles (3.19 km2) is land and 0.02 square miles (0.05 km2) is water.
18. Leavenworth sits on the southeast side of the North Cascades collage, which is a group of terranes that accreted to North America all about the same time. Marine fossils indicate that the terranes were probably a group of islands originating in the South Pacific hundreds of million years ago.
19. The terranes arrived at North America about 90 million years ago in the middle of the Cretaceous period. When they smashed into their new home, they were a puzzle of north–south slices. As accretion continued, they were cut into horizontal (east-west) slices.
20. During the Eocene epoch, about 50 million years ago, the area was once again cut into vertical slices, creating among others, the Leavenworth fault and the Entiat fault. In between these two faults the Chiwaukum graben was created. This graben is about 12 miles wide and trends northwest from Wenatchee for about 50 miles. As the graben dropped, it began to fill with clastic sediment from the surrounding hills, creating the Chumstick formation.