Cle Elum History | CEDA
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Historic Cle Elum

Cle Elum has a rich history that began with Native American settlement of the Yakama Tribe. Non-native settlers came to the area in the 1880s as coal was found nearby and the Northern Pacific Railroad passed through. The town experienced a boom period in the 1890s as the coal industry expanded. Mining and railroad operations were the primary focus of the economy until the 1920s and 1930s when tourism expanded through the growing outdoor recreation industry which remains part of the tourism economy today. The tourism industry continued to thrive as logging and mining waned in the 1960s and Cle Elum remains a key community along the busy Interstate 90 corridor. In recent years, development in and around the community have increased the overall population of second home owners, retirees, and even commuters/telecommuters seeking a place further away from the metropolitan Seattle region.

Want to learn more about the history of Cle Elum? Click here.


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