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Cle Elum

Trip Planner USA  /  Washington State  /  Cle Elum
(4.3/5 based on 100+ reviews for 1 attraction)
Things to do: wineries
Cle Elum is a city in Kittitas County, Washington, United States. The population was 1,872 at the 2010 census. Only an hour and a half by car from Seattle, Cle Elum is a popular area for camping and outdoor activities.HistoryEarly years and industriesSome assert that the selection of the Stampede Pass was determined by the coal discovery. In the Spring of 1886 the railroad engineers under Mr. Bogue and Mr. Huson were making their survey through the region with the intent of establishing a station. At the site of the future city, a Northern Pacific Railway station was named Clealum after the Kittitas name Tle-el-Lum (tlielləm), meaning "swift water", referring to the Cle Elum River. In 1908, Clealum was altered to Cle Elum. The name was given to the river, the city, and Cle Elum Lake. Walter Reed entered into a partnership with Thomas Johnson of Ellensburg and laid out sixty-five acres as a site. This was legally dedicated on July 26. of 1886. Mr. Johnson had owned a sawmill on Wilson Creek, in Grant County and he moved the mill to the new location in the vicinity of the new town. The partners, Reed and Johnson, established what was undoubtedly the largest mill up to that time in central or Eastern Washington, cutting 40,000 feet of board lumber per day. At the same time, Frederick Leonhard, who with his brother-in-law, Gerrit d'Ablaing, had been carrying on a mill on Cooke Creek and later on the Naneum, moved to the vicinity of Cle Elum. They cut a large part of the lumber for the Stampede Tunnel.
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