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Yakima Business Signs
The city of Yakima, located within the Cascadian state of Washington, was named after the people of the Yakama Nation. Indeed, the Yakama Nation were the first inhabitants of the Yakima Valley. There is quite a lot of disagreement among scholars when it comes to deciphering exactly what ‘Yakama’ means. Different linguists have translated it to “a growing family”, “pregnant ones”, “black bear”, “runaway”, “people of the narrow river”, and “people of the gap” at different times. The Yakama people, however, refer to themselves as the Mamachatpam.
The first people from the United States to visit the Yakima Valley were the Lewis and Clark Expedition in 1805. Yakima County, however, wouldn’t be created until 1865. Interestingly, when the Northern Pacific Railroad bypassed this settlement in December of 1884, more than 100 buildings were moved to the nearby site of the depot. The original site of Yakima County was renamed Union Gap, and the new city was officially incorporated as North Yakima on January 27th, 1886. The name was changed to Yakima in 1918.
Today, Yakima serves as the county seat of Yakima County. According to a 2014 US census estimate, Yakima has a total population of 93,357 people. This makes Yakima Washington’s ninth most populous city and the 329th most populous city in the country. Yakima’s metropolitan area, as reported by that same estimate, has a population of 247,687 people. This makes it the 187th most populous metropolitan area in the country.
The Yakima Valley is known worldwide as an extraordinarily rich agricultural region, noted for its apple, wine, and hop production. In fact, as of 2011, according to the Hops Economic Working Group, “the Yakima Valley produces 77% of all hops grown in the United States.” On top of this, the Yakima Valley is now home to over fifty wineries covering more than 11,000 acres (45 kilometers squared). Yakima’s largest employer, however, is the Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital, responsible for 2,200 jobs.
Yakima is also known for its summer tourism. The Yakima Valley Trolleys organization, which began in 2001, operates trolleys and a museum. These historic trolleys “operate along five miles (8 km) of track of the former Yakima Valley Transportation Company through the Yakima Gap connecting Yakima and Selah.” The Yakima Valley Transportation Company operated from 1907 to 1985. It is listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places and is considered a U.S. Historic district.
The Yakima Training Center (YTC) is a United States Army facility, primarily used for maneuver training, land warrior system testing, and live-fire practice. Other attractions around the city include the Yakima Valley Museum, which was established in 1952. This 65,000 square-foot facility focuses on the local history of the Yakima Valley.
As for professional sports, Yakima is home to the Yakima Mavericks, who are a minor league football team in the Pacific Football League. The Mavericks play their home games at Marquette Stadium. The American Legion Baseball Yakima Beetles are three time world champions.
Do you own a small business in the Yakima Valley? Thinking about starting up one? These resources may prove useful to you:
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