Reps. Terry Nealey and Maureen Walsh celebrate Waitsburg’s 150th anniversary

Rep. Terry Nealey, R-Dayton, and Rep. Maureen Walsh, R-Walla Walla, co-sponsored a House resolution honoring the city of Waitsburg’s 150th anniversary. The resolution was adopted by the full House April 6.

“Waitsburg is one of the gems of the Sixteenth District. From its people, to its businesses, to its rich history, Waitsburg is a quintessential rural community in our part of the state,” said Nealey. “I am proud to sponsor this resolution and offer Waitsburg the recognition it deserves.”

Waitsburg is the last Washington city to operate under a territorial charter, and has a current population of 1,215.

“To those unfamiliar with Waitsburg, it may seem like just another small town,” said Walsh. “But to those of us from the Sixteenth District, Waitsburg is a vibrant, American community that has much to offer to residents and tourists. I hope neighboring communities will join Waitsburg as it celebrates its sesquicentennial anniversary.”

Here is the text to the resolution:

WHEREAS, The city of Waitsburg is celebrating its 150th 2 anniversary this year; and
WHEREAS, Explorers Lewis and Clark passed through the area in 1806; and
WHEREAS, The city’s founding father, Sylvester Wait, built a gristmill in 1865; and
WHEREAS, The original name of the little village which grew up around Wait’s Mill was Delta, until it was decided by popular vote to rename the post office to Waitsburg in 1868; and
WHEREAS, By 1869, Waitsburg was a firmly established little town with a population of 109, some 35 dwellings, a school, the mill, and businesses and houses lining Main Street; and
WHEREAS, The community blossomed due to being on the Walla Walla to Lewiston stage coach route; and
WHEREAS, A horrible fire broke out in September of 1880 and destroyed 37 buildings — nearly all of Waitsburg’s business structures — but the town rebuilt using fireproof brick masonry from local brickyards, of which about a half dozen of the rebuilt commercial buildings still stand today; and
WHEREAS, Washington’s territorial legislature issued a regular charter to the city of Waitsburg on November 25, 1881, incorporating the city with the usual powers for the creation of a police force, fire department, and water works; and
WHEREAS, Waitsburg remains the last city in the state of Washington to operate under a territorial charter, as revised in 1886; and
WHEREAS, The Waitsburg mill became the oldest continuously operated mill in the state of Washington, closing its doors in 1957 after 92 years of operation; and
WHEREAS, Today, Waitsburg’s population is 1,215; and
WHEREAS, Waitsburg is in a particularly scenic portion of the state, located in the Touchet River Valley, fronted by rolling hills of wheat and barley, bordering the beautiful Blue Mountains to the southeast, and joined between Coppei Creek and the trout abundant Touchet River; and
WHEREAS, Within the city of Waitsburg itself, there are colorful flower gardens, shaded avenues of trees, beautiful white mansions, and a business district that straddles old and modern times; and
WHEREAS, Waitsburg is a destination town for tourists who wish to enjoy wine tasting, fine restaurants, and local gift shops, while local farmers and old-timers still gather inside the hardware store to talk about wheat prices while sipping coffee; and
WHEREAS, Waitsburg is a true historical American city, built from the profits of wheat, but sustained by its friendly small-town atmosphere;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, That the Washington State House of Representatives celebrate the city of Waitsburg’s 150th anniversary and encourage all to join in the Waitsburg Celebration Days, May 15, 2015, through May 17, 2015.

I hereby certify this to be a true and correct copy of
Resolution 4634 adopted by the House of Representatives April 6, 2015

Barbara Baker, Chief Clerk

Waitsburg Celebration Days are scheduled for May 15 through May 17.

For more information about Rep. Nealey, visit:

For more information about Rep. Walsh, visit:

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Rep. Nealey’s media:
official portrait  silent b-roll  photos on Flickr  YouTube videos  podcast

Rep. Walsh’s media:
official portrait  silent b-roll  photos on Flickr  YouTube videos  podcast
Washington State House Republican Communications
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