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  • Garfield County Geography

    County seat of Garfield County. Joseph M. Pomeroy, born in Ashtabula, Ohio, on March 20, 1830, migrated to Illinois in 1850, to Oregon in 1852, and to Washington in 1863. He had charge of a stage station and ranch at what is now Dayton, and on December 8, 1864, purchased from Walter Sunderland the ranch on which he platted the town of Pomeroy on May 28, 1878. (History of Southeastern Washington, pages 500-1, 533.

    A creek and a town in Garfield County. Originally a town was started under the name of "Alpowa City" where Silcott, Asotin County, is now located. The word Alpowa is from the Nez Perce language and means "a spring forming a creek," although Thomas Beal, an old pioneer, says it came form missionary experience and meant that on Sundays they should go to church. The Nez Perce's formerly had a village at the mouth of the creek where it flows into the Snake River. The name has also been spelled "Alpahwah" and "Elpawawe." (Fred W. Unfried, in Names MSS., Letter 322.

    A projected town in Garfield County. The History of Southeastern Washington, page 549, says: "Berlin was platted January 9, 1883, by Charles Ward and Sarah E. Ward, his wife. Ward's addition was platted June 23, 1884, by the same parties. But this town existed only on paper. At one period it was rumored that Berlin would become a candidate for the county-seat as a compromise between Pomeroy and Pataha City, but nothing eventuated."

    Central Ferry
    Changed its name in 1881 to Reform while H. M. Jenkins was postmaster. It ceased to exist under either name. (History of Southeastern Washington, page 549.

    Columbia Center
    A town was platted under this name in Garfield County by T.G. Bean and Andrew Blackman on December 26, 1877. (History of Southeastern Washington, page 548.

    Gould City
    It was platted on February 17, 1891, by George R. McPherson and T. E. Griffith. (History of Southeastern Washington, page 547. The city does not appear in recent issues of the United States Postal Guide.

    A post office in the northeastern part of Garfield county. It was named in 1880 by Henry Victor. The first postmistress was Mrs. W. L. Cox. In 1885, the post office was moved to the residence of L.H. Bradshaw but the name wa not changed. (Chester Victor, in Names MSS, Letter 588, and History of Southeastern Washington, page 548.

    A village near Pomeroy in Garfield County, on a creek bearing the same name which is a tributary of the Tucannon. The word is Nez Perce and means "brush." There was a dense fringe of brush along the creek. The site was first settled in 1861 by James Bowers, who sold it to his brother-in-law, J. Benjamin Norton, who in turn sold it in 1867 to A.J. Favor. He platted the town on August 21, 1882. (Illustrated History of Southeastern Washington, page 545.) The town was formerly known as "Favorsburg" and "Watertown," but the Indian name finally prevailed.

    New York Bar
    The earliest port in Garfield County, located at the mouth of New York Gulch, on the Snake River, on the western edge of the county. It had a hotel and grain storage warehouses.

    A port on the Snake River, at the mouth of Casey Creek.

    is located southwest of Mayview, on the rim above the Snake River.

    A community near the mountains on the eastern edge of Garfield County, partly in Asotin County near the mountains. It included a Catholic Church.

    Dutch Flat
    A plateau to the west of Pataha Flat.

    Dodge Junction
    is located on the Pataha Creek, as are the towns of Pomeroy and the unincorporated town of Pataha. A cafe and grain elevator were here.

    Source: Meany, Edmond S. Origin of Washington Geographic Names. Seattle, WA: University of Washington Press, 1923. (Republished: Detroit: Gale, 1968) Meany collected these descriptions from many sources including letters collected in Names MSS or Names Manuscripts. These letters were written in response to Meany's request for information. 608 responses useful replies were numbered and used in his book. Publication was begun as a series of articles in the Washington Historical Quarterly starting in October 1917. Meany's sources are in parens.

    Additional Source: Barbara Bartels historian, living in Pomeroy Wa. who is also a volunteer for Garfield Co. WaGenWeb.

    Page Created on 9\26\97
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