Skamania County, Washington

Skamania County (/skəˈmniə/) is a county located in the U.S. state of Washington. As of the 2020 census, the population was 12,036.[1] The county seat and largest incorporated city is Stevenson,[2] although the Carson River Valley CDP is more populous. Skamania County is included in the Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Skamania County
Skamania County panorama
Skamania County panorama
Map of Washington highlighting Skamania County
Location within the U.S. state of Washington
Map of the United States highlighting Washington
Washington's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 46°02′N 121°55′W / 46.03°N 121.91°W / 46.03; -121.91
Country United States
State Washington
FoundedMarch 9, 1854
SeatStevenson
Largest cityCarson River Valley
Area
 • Total1,683 sq mi (4,360 km2)
 • Land1,656 sq mi (4,290 km2)
 • Water28 sq mi (70 km2)  1.7%
Population
 (2020)
 • Total12,036
 • Estimate 
(2021)
12,170 Increase
 • Density7.15/sq mi (2.76/km2)
Time zoneUTC−8 (Pacific)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−7 (PDT)
Congressional district3rd
Websitewww.skamaniacounty.org

HistoryEdit

EtymologyEdit

The county was founded in 1854 and derives its name from the Cascades Chinook word sk'mániak, meaning "swift waters".[3]

County beginningsEdit

The area delineated by the future Washington state boundary began to be colonized at the start of the nineteenth century, both by Americans and British subjects. However, the majority of British exploration and interest in the land was due to the fur trade, whereas American settlers were principally seeking land for agriculture and cattle raising. The Treaty of 1818 provided for the region to be an Anglo-American condominium. During this period, the future Washington Territory was divided into two administrative zones: Clark County and Lewis County (made official in 1845).

The condominium was unwieldy and led to continual argument, and occasional conflict. The status of the Washington area was settled in 1846, when the Oregon Treaty ceded the land south of North latitude 49 degrees to American control.

On March 9, 1854, Skamania County was split from the original Clark County. Also in 1854, Walla Walla County was split from the new Skamania County. After that, Skamania County retained its shape, including through the period after Washington became the 42nd state of the Union in 1889.[4] An early county seat was Fort Cascades, built to protect the Columbia River, but the county seat has been in Stevenson since 1893.

20th century to present dayEdit

Skamania County is also known for enacting what has been described as the "Bigfoot Ordinance", passed by the Board of County Commissioners at its meeting of April 1, 1969 and published twice in the Skamania County Pioneer, the newspaper of highest circulation in the county, as required by law. Although its passage coincided with April Fool's Day, Ordinance 69-01 was real, was amended in 1984, and has not been repealed. Its purposes included protection of residents and visitors from in the county from a very real concern, "an influx of scientific investigators as well as casual hunters, many armed with lethal weapons", who had been attracted to the area by reported sightings of a creature.[5][6][7]

Mt. St. Helens, which is located in Skamania County, erupted in 1980.

GeographyEdit

According to the United States Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,684 square miles (4,360 km2), of which 1,656 square miles (4,290 km2) is land and 28 square miles (73 km2) (1.7%) is water.[8] 90% of Skamania is forested and 80% is a part of Gifford Pinchot National Forest.

Geographic featuresEdit

Major highwaysEdit

Adjacent countiesEdit

DemographicsEdit

Historical population
Census Pop.
1860173
1870133−23.1%
1880809508.3%
1890774−4.3%
19001,688118.1%
19102,88771.0%
19202,357−18.4%
19302,89122.7%
19404,63360.3%
19504,7883.3%
19605,2078.8%
19705,84512.3%
19807,91935.5%
19908,2894.7%
20009,87219.1%
201011,06612.1%
202012,0368.8%
2021 (est.)12,170[9]1.1%
U.S. Decennial Census[10]
1790–1960[11] 1900–1990[12]
1990–2000[13] 2010–2020[14]

2000 censusEdit

As of the census[15] of 2000, there were 9,872 people, 3,755 households, and 2,756 families living in the county. The population density was 6 people per square mile (2/km2). There were 4,576 housing units at an average density of 3 per square mile (1/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 92.11% White, 0.30% Black or African American, 2.20% Native American, 0.54% Asian, 0.17% Pacific Islander, 2.43% from other races, and 2.25% from two or more races. 4.03% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 17.7% were of German, 12.5% English, 12.1% Irish, 11.2% United States or American and 5.2% Norwegian ancestry.

There were 3,755 households, out of which 34.00% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.50% were married couples living together, 8.20% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.60% were non-families. 21.10% of all households were made up of individuals, and 6.60% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.61 and the average family size was 3.02.

In the county, the population was spread out, with 26.60% under the age of 18, 6.70% from 18 to 24, 28.60% from 25 to 44, 27.10% from 45 to 64, and 11.00% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 101.30 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 99.40 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $39,317, and the median income for a family was $44,586. Males had a median income of $36,732 versus $25,130 for females. The per capita income for the county was $18,002. About 10.00% of families and 13.10% of the population were below the poverty line, including 18.10% of those under age 18 and 7.90% of those age 65 or over.

There are more Seventh-day Adventists in Skamania County than members of any other religious group. Skamania County is the only county in the United States for which this is true.[16]

2010 censusEdit

As of the 2010 census, there were 11,066 people, 4,522 households, and 3,072 families living in the county.[17] The population density was 6.7 inhabitants per square mile (2.6/km2). There were 5,628 housing units at an average density of 3.4 per square mile (1.3/km2).[18] The racial makeup of the county was 92.8% white, 1.6% American Indian, 0.9% Asian, 0.4% black or African American, 0.1% Pacific islander, 1.3% from other races, and 3.0% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 5.0% of the population.[17] In terms of ancestry, 20.6% were German, 15.7% were Irish, 11.0% were English, 6.3% were Norwegian, and 5.0% were American.[19]

Of the 4,522 households, 28.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.3% were married couples living together, 8.9% had a female householder with no husband present, 32.1% were non-families, and 25.6% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.44 and the average family size was 2.92. The median age was 44.0 years.[17]

RecreationEdit

Parks and other protected areasEdit

County parksEdit

  • Prindle Park is a county-maintained park with picnic facilities and a playground.
  • Big Cedars Campground is a county-maintained campground with primitive campsites.
  • Home Valley Campground is another county-maintained camping area.

State parksEdit

Sites maintained by the US Forest ServiceEdit

  • Sams Walker Day Use Site offers an interpretive trail, access to the Columbia River, and opportunities to view wildlife. Portions of it are typically wheelchair-accessible. However, vegetation growth sometimes prevents people in wheelchairs from using the trails.
  • St. Cloud Day Use Site features a short, easy trail through a meadow, picnic area, access to the Columbia River and wildlife viewing opportunities.

National protected areasEdit

CommunitiesEdit

CitiesEdit

Census-designated placeEdit

Unincorporated communitiesEdit

PoliticsEdit

Skamania County is a fairly competitive county in presidential elections. The Republicans and Democrats won the county four times each between 1988 and 2020.

United States presidential election results for Skamania County, Washington[20][21]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 3,885 53.13% 3,192 43.65% 235 3.21%
2016 2,928 50.23% 2,232 38.29% 669 11.48%
2012 2,687 48.57% 2,628 47.51% 217 3.92%
2008 2,524 45.97% 2,817 51.31% 149 2.71%
2004 2,695 52.24% 2,374 46.02% 90 1.74%
2000 2,151 50.62% 1,753 41.26% 345 8.12%
1996 1,387 36.61% 1,724 45.50% 678 17.89%
1992 1,102 29.95% 1,474 40.05% 1,104 30.00%
1988 1,356 42.88% 1,748 55.28% 58 1.83%
1984 1,736 51.99% 1,552 46.48% 51 1.53%
1980 1,416 45.75% 1,373 44.36% 306 9.89%
1976 1,102 41.55% 1,436 54.15% 114 4.30%
1972 1,288 48.70% 1,153 43.59% 204 7.71%
1968 968 40.67% 1,221 51.30% 191 8.03%
1964 653 27.05% 1,758 72.83% 3 0.12%
1960 1,032 44.75% 1,269 55.03% 5 0.22%
1956 1,014 45.90% 1,193 54.01% 2 0.09%
1952 1,072 52.29% 978 47.71% 0 0.00%
1948 707 38.38% 1,067 57.93% 68 3.69%
1944 668 40.56% 968 58.77% 11 0.67%
1940 765 36.80% 1,292 62.15% 22 1.06%
1936 406 17.58% 1,863 80.65% 41 1.77%
1932 444 30.37% 934 63.89% 84 5.75%
1928 631 55.99% 473 41.97% 23 2.04%
1924 533 52.15% 207 20.25% 282 27.59%
1920 409 52.71% 247 31.83% 120 15.46%
1916 489 49.95% 451 46.07% 39 3.98%
1912 251 30.24% 262 31.57% 317 38.19%
1908 310 60.08% 143 27.71% 63 12.21%
1904 297 68.43% 61 14.06% 76 17.51%
1900 175 45.10% 203 52.32% 10 2.58%
1896 122 32.28% 252 66.67% 4 1.06%
1892 91 39.74% 99 43.23% 39 17.03%

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved April 8, 2022.
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  3. ^ Bright, William (2004). Native American placenames of the United States. University of Oklahoma Press. p. 450. ISBN 978-0-8061-3598-4. Retrieved April 10, 2011.
  4. ^ "Milestones for Washington State History — Part 2: 1851 to 1900". HistoryLink.org. March 6, 2003.
  5. ^ "Skamania County, Washington State Bigfoot Ordinance, No. 69-01
  6. ^ Joe Gisondi, Monster Trek: The Obsessive Search for Bigfoot (University of Nebraska Press, 2016)
  7. ^ Courthouse Library of British Columbia
  8. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved July 16, 2015.
  9. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Counties: April 1, 2020 to July 1, 2021". Retrieved April 8, 2022.
  10. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 7, 2014.
  11. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved January 7, 2014.
  12. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 7, 2014.
  13. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original (PDF) on February 26, 2015. Retrieved January 7, 2014.
  14. ^ "U.S. Census Bureau QuickFacts: Skamania County, Washington". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved September 27, 2021.
  15. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 14, 2011.
  16. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on February 18, 2011. Retrieved February 5, 2011.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  17. ^ a b c "Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved March 6, 2016.
  18. ^ "Population, Housing Units, Area, and Density: 2010 - County". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved March 6, 2016.
  19. ^ "Selected Social Characteristics in the United States – 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved March 6, 2016.
  20. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved April 10, 2018.
  21. ^ The leading "other" candidate, Progressive Theodore Roosevelt, received 218 votes, while Socialist candidate Eugene Debs received 86 votes, Prohibition candidate Eugene Chafin received 10 votes, and Socialist Labor candidate Arthur Reimer received 3 votes.

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 46°02′N 121°55′W / 46.03°N 121.91°W / 46.03; -121.91