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History & Culture

central,washington,color,home,page | Things to Do | History & Culture ... Cle Elum
Carpenter Museum
Cle Elum Rail Yard
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Telephone Museum Operator
Ellensburg Farmers Bank
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  Find History & Culture
Experience our past while informing your future!
Central Washington is jam-packed with coal mining, railroad, timber, agriculture, education and many more intriguing topics. Visit a wide variety of museums and historical sites that have emerged to pay tribute to these topics. Countless captivating stories, rich cultural backgrounds and intriguing historic sites can be found in Central Washington. Discover Central Washington's history today!

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South Cle Elum Rail Yard National Historic District (#1192)
801 Milwaulkee Road
South Cle Elum, WA 98943
The Milwaukee Road's mid-west train line embarked on a bold Pacific Coast expansion from 1906-1909, turning the railroad into a transcontinental giant with over 1,300 miles of new track.

Milwaukee Road Depot (#1226)
In 2006 the 1908 Milwaukee Road Depot in South Cle Elum was successfully restored by the partnership of the Northern Kittitas County Historical Society and the Cascade Rail Foundation. The depot is situated in Iron Horse State Park along the Palouse to Cascades State Park Trail and is at the hub for recreation and historic research. It also includes the Depot Cafe.

The Salmon La Sac Guard Station (#1191)
15311 Salmon La Sac Road
Ronald, WA 98940
They house the history of the Cle Elum Mining District.
Miners formed in the Salmon La Sac area in 1883 where they found rich deposits of cinnabar, silver, lead, copper, iron, nickel and gold.

The Cle Elum Telephone Museum (#778)
221 E. 1st St.
Cle Elum, WA 98922
The Cle Elum Telephone Museum is an amazing piece of northwest history. WHY? Because Cle Elum was one of the last cities in the country to still use manual telephone switchboards. These days, most people have never even heard of such a thing! Established in 1966 by the Cle Elum historical society, the museum depicts the history of telephones and how technology has improved after the years that followed the manual-operated switchboards to dial phones. The Cle Elum switchboard played a vital role in the Northwest linking Seattle with the East Coast.

The museum is the oldest complete telephone museum west of the Mississippi and shows 135 years of telephone history.

Hours: Friday- Sunday 12:00 PM -- 4:00 PM

The Carpenter House (#779)
302 West 3rd St.
Cle Elum, WA 98922
One of the most famous landmarks in Cle Elum is the Carpenter House. Built in 1914, the house was owned by Frank Carpenter and his family. Carpenter was the first successful banker in the area and later became mayor of the city. This mansion boasts spacious rooms, intriguing alcoves and a home that is most unusual for that era. The family donated the home in 1989 with most of its original furnishings. Since then, several other local families have donated additional furnishings, costumes and relics from the past. Carpenter House is now very much a trip back in time!

More recently a cooperative effort between the North Kittitas County Historical Society, the museum and High Country Artists has added a gallery space, and a working studio, the High County Artists provide tours and caretaking service to help with preservation and operation of this historical treasure.

Hours: Friday- Sunday 12:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Cle Elum Fish Hatchery (#1228)
Begun in 1997 and sponsored by the Yakama Tribe the goal of the Cle Elum Supplementation and Research Facility is to boost the production of wild fish through supplementation techniques and to evaluate the program's long-term success; and to educate people. At the facility guests learn about the work being done and how they can contribute to the success of the salmon runs in the Northwest. Visitors may walk through the facility on a self-guided tour or arrange to participate in an educational tour with the summer's hatchery hosts. 

From Ellensburg head west on I-90 and take Exit 84 (Cle Elum).  Turn left on 1st Ave in Cle Elum. Next turn left on So. Cle Elum Rd and then right on Charter Rd (before the bridge).  In less then a mile turn left on Spring Chinook Way.  The main office to the Cle Elum Fish Hatchery will be at the end of the road. 

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Live Life in Color
This is Kittitas County, and this is an outdoorsman's paradise. For those wishing to hike, bike, golf, hunt, or fish, our scenic little part of Washington is beyond compare. Ranging from the Cascades to the Columbia, there are over 2,300 square miles to explore.
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A Land of Contrasts
From the mighty Columbia River to the snow-capped Cascade Mountains, Kittitas County is a premier destination for outdoor adventure, sunshine and unique cultural offerings.

Find out more at one of our Visitors Centers:

Ellensburg, WA
609 N. Main St, Ellensburg

Cle Elum, WA
312 W 1st Street, Cle Elum
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