If you’ve ever considered buying property in Washington State, here are Five Fun Facts that might entice you into buying land in the mighty Pacific Northwest.
It originally was called Columbia.
Washington is the only state to be named after a U.S. President. Before it became a state, the territory was called Columbia (named after the Columbia River). When it was granted statehood, the name was changed to Washington, supposedly so people wouldn’t confuse it with the District of Columbia.
Washington is the third-largest fruit-growing state in the U.S., behind California and Florida.
Every state grows apples, but Washington State grows the most. In 2012, Washington grew 70 percent of the nation’s apples. It also leads the nation in the production of hops, sweet cherries, pears and red raspberries, and it is the second-largest grower of grapes after California.
The biggest bang.
In 1980, the northeast face of Mount Saint Helens exploded outward, destroying a large part of the volcano’s top. It sent about one cubic mile of dust, ash and debris into the air. The ash spread out to parts of Oregon, Idaho and Montana. The longest distance of recorded ash fallout was nearly 2,000 miles away in Oklahoma. Remnants of the ash circled the Earth within 15 days of the eruption. The blast leveled four billion feet of usable timber and caused about $1 billion in damages.
The renaming of King County to King County.
King County is Washington’s largest county. Established in 1852, it was originally named after William R. King, who served as a U.S. Senator for 34 years, and was an ambassador to France in 1844. He also was a key advocate of the Compromise of 1850, which was a series of slavery laws between slave states and free states in the new states and territories. In 1852, he became Vice President under Franklin Pierce, but he died in 1853, without ever carrying out any of his duties. In 1986, uncomfortable with the fact that King County had been named after a slave owner, the King County Council voted to re-name the county after civil rights leader, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The name change became official in 2005.
Save our Bigfoot.
Skamania County, Washington, passed the “Undiscovered Species Protection Act” in 1969. The law states that “any premeditated, willful and wanton slaying, harassing or any malicious activities” toward “a primate mammal variously described as Bigfoot, Sasquatch, an ape-like creature or a subspecies of Homo Sapiens” would be considered a felony, and punishable by a fine not to exceed $100,000 and/or imprisonment not to exceed 10 years. In 1991, Washington’s Whatcom County passed a resolution declaring the county a Sasquatch Protection and Refuge Area.
Are you intrigued? Visit our Washington State page and become a part of the Evergreen State.