San Francisco, CaliforniaThe Washington Territory had many forests with big, tall trees. Workers cut down trees near the water. They floated the logs downstream, then tied them together. Ships pulled the piles of logs to San Francisco. Logging was big business in Washington. Logging put people to work in the forests, the shipyards, the mills and the surrounding cities.
GROWTH OF AGRICULTURE
The fishing industry quickly changed when Robert Hume built a plant that used cans and high heat to preserve fish. 30 canneries sold salmon to faraway places in South America, Britain, Australia and Chin. As the fishing industry grew, salmon became a popular symbol of the Pacific Northwest region. The fish had been the basic food source for most of the region’s Native tribes. Then fish became not only a food source but also a way to make money. Fisherman sold canned, fresh and dried fish to other states and countries.
In the Puget Sound Lowlands and the Cascade Mountains, miners discovered coal. Coal was burned to heat homes and provide the power that ran machines in factories. Some of the early miners were Chinese, from England and Wales, also a large group of African-Americans came to dig coal. Factory owners even hired children to sort the pieces of coal. Discovery of high-quality coal in 1886 in Kittitas County led to the rapid development of the Roslyn Coal Field. Two towns, Roslyn and Cle Elum, sprang up overnight. Coal mining was important to Washington’s economy well into the 1900’s.
In the Walla Walla Valley farmers grew hops and wheat. Native Americans and white men worked in the fields together. This opened the door for Chinese and Hispanic males to also join this work force. Washington apples had also become an important crop by the 1900's. Irrigation projects made it possible to run successful orchards in Yakima, Wenatchee and Okanogan Valleys. Due to loss of land and water rights, cattlemen had to move to the cascade foothills. The growth of cattle caused conflicts later with Native Americans when the ranchers crossed into Native American lands.