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Wenatchee is a city located in Central Washington, situated in a fertile valley at the confluence of the Wenatchee and Columbia Rivers. Wenatchee is the second most populous city in the central part of Washington state and serves as the Chelan County seat. Although located as a midpoint between Spokane and Seattle, the Wenatchee Valley was largely inaccessible because it is surrounded by mountains. To the south and west, mountains provide a dramatic backdrop for the city.

Currently, Wenatchee is the second largest city in Central Washington, drawing people from all over the region. The city experienced its largest population increase between 1990 and 2000, growing by more than 6,000 to a population of 27,856. Agriculture continues to play an important role in the economy and still provides a solid base.[1]

Apple Capital of the World

By the late 1890s, Wenatchee staged an economic and population boom. The Wenatchee Valley’s arid climate, rich volcanic soil, and proximity to the Columbia and Wenatchee Rivers proved to be an excellent combination for agricultural success. Within a few years, the Valley was covered with row upon row of young fruit trees. Apples were shipped to all parts of the world, and more and more people, learning of "the valley of the apples," came to Wenatchee stay. Within 25 years, Wenatchee became the center of the greatest apple-producing region in the world.[2]


  1. Downtown Wenatchee Cultural Resources Survey Report, Eugenia Woo, Artifacts Consulting, 2007 for City of Wenatchee Historic Preservation Office.
  2. Chris Rader. Wenatchee is the Apple Capital of the World, Wenatchee Valley Museum and Cultural Center “Confluence”, Spring 2007.