Northwest Agriculture

Title

Northwest Agriculture

Description

The Palouse, also known as the bread basket of the nation, began producing wheat in the nineteenth century. By 1910, the region was producing so much wheat that it had become Washington's most valuable commodity crop, making Whitman County the richest county (per capita) in the United States. Agriculture in the region became a big business, suing the best tools available. Mules or horses pulled reapers and combines and steam-powered threshing machines worked to bring in the crop. The annual harvest was the central event of the year, employing an army of itinerant laborers. By the mid-1930s, mules and horses had become obsolete, replaced by gasoline powered machinery. In addition to wheat farming, fruit orchards have long played a noteworthy role in the region and cattle ranching maintains its iconic status in the West.

Items in the Northwest Agriculture Collection

Spokane Valley -- Apple Orchard (#01)
Orchard of T. F. Raymond, Opportunity, apple picking time.

Northwest -- Cowboys (#04)
"Shortie '07." Cowboy wearing chaps on a horse.

Northwest -- Cowboys (#05)
Two cowboys on horseback, one is holding a bottle.

Washington -- Homesteads (#01)
"Homestead, Palouse County. Taken in '80's"

Spokane Valley -- Apple Orchard -- Raymond (#03)
T.F. Raymond apple orchard, Opportunity.

Washington -- Agriculture (#03)
"Potato harvest in the Inland Empire."

Washington -- Agriculture (#01)
Putting up hay near Newport.

Northwest -- Wheat and Wheat Farming  (#07)
"Horse and mule drawn combine in the Palouse region- 33 horse and mules furnishing traction."

Northwest -- Wheat and Wheat Farming  (#03)
Rear view of the combine operating on the side hill slope of a Palouse wheatfield.

Northwest -- Cattle (#05)
Branding calves near Ft. Benton, Montana. Copy of a photo estimated to have been taken in the 1870s (?)

Northwest -- Sheep (#01)
"Sheep grazing in 5 acre alfalfa field seven miles from Sunnyside. Taken in Kittitas Valley - outside irrigation section on South Central highway."

Northwest -- Wheat Farming -- Churchill collection (#01)
Palouse threshing crew in front of the cook shack.

Northwest -- Wheat and Wheat Farming  (#21)
Two horse-drawn combines.

Northwest -- Wheat and Wheat Farming  (#27)
"Threshing machine on Orrin Torrey's farm, Odessa, Washington."

Northwest -- Wheat and Wheat Farming  (#18)
"At work in Palouse field with Steptoe Butte in the background."

Northwest -- Apple Orchards (#03)
Near Wenatchee, Washington.

Northwest -- Apple Orchards  (#02)
Orchard in bloom, Wenatchee, Washington.

Spokane Valley -- Agriculture (#02)
"Alfalfa harvest near Liberty Lake."

Spokane Valley -- Agriculture (#04)
"G. Dhaenens family." Children helping with apple harvest.

Spokane Valley -- Agriculture (#08)
"Melons, Spokane Valley."

Spokane Valley -- Agriculture (#15)
Apples ready for harvest.

Spokane Valley -- Agriculture (#21)
"A.J. Dhaenens and son irrigating bean patch."

Northwest -- Farms and Farming (#02)
Harvest time with men and equipment in a field.

Northwest -- Wheat and Wheat Farming (#04)
Rear view of the combine operating on the side hill slope of a Palouse wheatfield.

Northwest -- Wheat and Wheat Farming -- Steptoe (Wash.) #01
Men with bags of harvested wheat at warehouse in Steptoe, Wash.

Northwest -- Apple Orchards (#01)
Orchard in bloom, Wenatchee, Washington.