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Wahkiakum County was founded in 1854 from Lewis County. Its name is an Indian word meaning "tall timber". The county is located in the southwest portion of the state and borders the Columbia River on the south. The county was first settled in 1846, and from that time on settlers have found transportation to populated centers one of their foremost problems. Steamboat service on the Columbia River was always irregular so residents of the county volunteered their services over the years to build roads. In the 1930's, ferry services at Puget Island at last permitted county resident easy access to Portland. The county has depended on forest products and dairying as its primary pursuits.

Bounded by: Pacific and Lewis counties (N), Cowlitz County (E), Oregon (S), and Pacific County (W).

County Seat: Cathlamet

Chamber(s) of Commerce:

The Lower Columbia Economic Development Council, 957 Steamboat Slough, Box 98, Skamokawa, WA 98647. Phone 206-795-3996.

Courthouse: 64 Main St, Cathlamet, WA 98612. Courthouse hours Monday through Friday, 8am to 4pm.

Assessor: PO Box 145. Phone 360-795-3791. Fax 360-795-0824. Small office with limited time to assisted researchers. Will point you in the right direction.

Auditor: PO Box 543. Phone 360-795-3219. Fax 360-795-0824.

Clerk: PO Box 116. Phone 360-795-3558. Fax 360-795-8813. Mornings are best times to access records, except on court days, usually Monday. Copies are $2.00 for the 1st page, and $1.00 for each additional page.

Treasurer: PO Box 86. Phone 360-795-8005. Fax 360-795-0824.

Genealogical Society:

Lower Columbia Genealogical Society, PO Box 472, Longview, WA 98632-7306. Membership available. The society is working on collecting and publishing local records and purchases materials, which are housed in the Genealogical Collection in the Longview Public Library.

Health Department / District:

Wahkiakum County Health Department, 64 Main St, Cathlamet, WA 98612. Phone 360-795-6207. Fax 360-795-6143.

Historical Society:

Libraries - Academic:

Libraries - Public:

Cathlamet City Library, Cathlamet City Hall, 100 Main St, PO Box 335, Cathlamet, WA 98612. Phone 360-795-3254. Small local history collection. Genealogy collection donated to the Skamokawa Library.

Longview Public Library, 1600 Louisiana St, Longview, WA (Cowlitz County) 98632. Phone 360-577-3380. House materials donated by Lower Columbia Genealogical Society.

Skamokawa Library, 11 Schoolhouse Rd, PO Box 83, Skamokawa, WA 98647. Collection includes clipping files of obituaries, published and unpublished materials regarding county biography and history, oral histories and cemetery records. Will do genealogical searches.

Libraries - Special:

Longview (Cowlitz County) Family History Center, 1721 30th Ave, Longview, WA 98632. Phone 360-425-8409.

Wahkiakum County Law Library, County Courthouse, 64 Main St, PO Box 397, Cathlamet, WA 98612. Phone 360-795-3652. Fax 360-795-3145.

Museums and Historical Sites:

Redman Hall. 1304 SR 4 West, P.O. Box 67 Skamokawa, WA 98647. Phone 360-795-3007 Built as a school in 1894.

Wahkiakum County Historical Museum, 65 River St & Division, Cathlamet, WA 98612. Has a photography collection and exhibits of early day logging, fishing and pioneer life.

State Archive Branch:

Southwest Region (Clark, Cowlitz, Grays Harbor, Lewis, Mason, Pacific, Skamania, Thurston and Wahkiakum counties). 1120 Washington St. SE, PO Box 40238, Olympia, WA 98504-0238. Phone 360-753-1684. Fax 360-664-8814. Research Hours: 8:30 a.m. - 12:00 noon and 1:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.


SELECTIVE BIBLIOGRAPHY

ATLASES, GAZETTEERS, MAPS - Personal, governmental, or organizational records

ATLASES, GAZETTEERS, MAPS - Published sources

Kroll Map Company, Inc. Thurston-Cowlitz-Wahkiakum County atlas. n.p., 1920.

Metsker Maps. Metsker's atlas of Wahkiakum County, State of Wash. Metsker Maps, 1969.

BIBLES - Personal, governmental, or organizational records

BIBLES - Published sources

BIBLIOGRAPHIES - Personal, governmental, or organizational records

BIBLIOGRAPHIES - Published sources

Martin, Irene. A newspaper index and guide to genealogy in Wahkiakum County and Naselle area of Pacific County. I. Martin, 1996.

BIOGRAPHIES / DIARIES - Personal, governmental, or organizational records

Washington State University, Holland Library, Manuscripts, Archives & Special Collections
Kennedy, Carroll. Papers, 1939-1952.

BIOGRAPHIES / DIARIES - Published sources

Appelo, Carlton E. Deep River: the C. Arthur Appelo story: Wahkiakum County, Washington. Carlton E. Appelo, 1978.

McLean, Mildred Evans. Recollections of Deep River. McLean, 1979.

BIRTHS - Personal, governmental, or organizational records

Wahkiakum County Auditor's office
Birth records, 1891-1984 (indexed in Huerd's work listed below)

Wahkiakum County Clerk's office
Birth records (some), 1876-1894

BIRTHS - Published sources

Huerd, Evelyn Morris. Wahkiakum County, Washington clerk & auditor records index, 1868-1980. Lower Columbia Genealogical Society, 1990.

BUSINESSES & COMMUNITY ORGANIZATIONS - Personal, governmental, or organizational records

BUSINESSES & COMMUNITY ORGANIZATIONS - Published sources

Huerd, Evelyn Morris. Wahkiakum commissioners minutes, 1854-1893. Lower Columbia Genealogical Society, 1994.

CEMETERIES - Personal, governmental, or organizational records

CEMETERIES - Published sources

Martin, Irene. Burials in Fernhill Cemetery, Skamokawa, Washington. Irene Martin, 1995.

Naselle to Grays River and Knappton to Nemah, Washington: cemetery records and genealogical notes. Yancy, 1978.

CENSUS - Personal, governmental, or organizational records

Huerd, Evelyn Morris. Wahkiakum County, census, 1854, 1857, 1860, 1870, 1880, 1885, 1887, 1892. Lower Columbia Genealogical Society, 1994.

United States. Census Office. 8th census, 1860. Washington territory. Bureau of Census, n.d.

CENSUS - Published sources

Pompey, Sherman Lee. The 1860 census of Sawamish county, Washington territory. Historical and Genealogical Publishing Co., n.d.

CHURCHES - Personal, governmental, or organizational records

CHURCHES - Published sources

CITY / COUNTY DIRECTORIES

Kelso-Longview, Cowlitz and Wahkiakum counties, Washington: January 1926. Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1994.

CITY / COUNTY HISTORIES - Personal, governmental, or organizational records

Washington State University, Holland Library, Manuscripts, Archives & Special Collections
Souvenir program, Cathlamet, Washington centennial celebration, August 23-25, 1946. 1946.

CITY / COUNTY HISTORIES - Published sources

Appelo, Carlton E. A chronicle of the early days of Knappton (Pacific County) Washington. Appelo, 1964.

_______. A pioneer scrapbook of the Columbia River North-Shore communities: Wahkiakum and Pacific Counties, Washington, 1900-1985. C.E. Appelo, 1986.

_______. Altoona, Wahkiakum County, Washington. n.p., 1972.

_______. Brookfield, the Joe Megler story : (Wahkiakum County) Washington . Appelo, 1966.

_______. Cottardi Station, Wahkiakum County, Washington. C.E. Appelo, 1980.

_______. Pillar Rock, Wahkiakum County, Washington. C. Appelo, 1969.

Butler, Maude Kimball. Cathlamet pioneer; the paintings of Maude Kimball Butler. Washington State Historical Society, 1973.

Cannery working in Pacific & Wahkiakum Counties. [sound recording]. Metro Center/YMCA, 1979.

Holway, Susan Pakenen. Naselle voices : Finnish immigrants and their descendants of Pacific and Wahkiakum counties, Washington. S. Holway, 1992.

Martin, Irene. Beach of heaven: a history of Wahkiakum County. Washington State University Press, 1997.

_______. Legacy and testament; the story of Columbia River gillnetters. Washington State University Press, 1994.

_______. Skamokawa, sad years, glad years. I. Martin, 1985.

Moore, Carlton. Cathlamet reaches century mark: fur trader family established home in river in 1846. Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1976.

Ramsey, Guy Reed. Postmarked Washington : Pacific and Wahkiakum counties. Depot, 1987.

Strong, Thomas Nelson. Cathlamet on the Columbia : recollections of the Indian people and short stories of early pioneer days in the valley of the lower Columbia River. Binfords & Mort, 1906. **other editions available

Work is our joy: the story of the Columbia River gillnetter. [videorecording]. Oregon State University, 1989.

COURT DOCUMENTS - Personal, governmental, or organizational records

Wahkiakum County Clerk's office
Civil and criminal court records, 1890-present

COURT DOCUMENTS - Published Sources

DEATHS - Personal, governmental, or organizational records

Wahkiakum County Auditor's office
Death records, 1891-1984 (indexed in Huerd's work listed below)

Wahkiakum County Clerk's office
Death records (some), 1876-1984

DEATHS - Published sources

Huerd, Evelyn Morris. Wahkiakum County, Washington clerk & auditor records index, 1868-1980. Lower Columbia Genealogical Society, 1990.

EARLY DESCRIPTIVE OR PROMOTIONAL MATERIAL

EDUCATION - Personal, governmental, or organizational records

Wahkiakum County Auditor's office
School records, dates unknown

EDUCATION - Published sources

ELECTION / VOTER RECORDS

Wahkiakum County Auditor's office
General election records, 1910

GENEALOGICAL / HISTORICAL PERIODICALS

LAND / PROPERTY - Personal, governmental, or organizational records

Wahkiakum County Assessor's office
Tax rolls, 1986-present

Wahkiakum County Auditor's office
Government field notes (survey notes), dates unknown
Homestead certificates, dates unknown
Homestead records, 1871-1911 (indexed in Huerd's work listed below)
Land deeds, 1858-1911 (indexed in Huerd's work listed below)
Quartz Mining Claims, 1878
Some land transactions in Commissioner's Journals (see Huerd's Wahkiakum Commissioner's minutes listed above under Businesses & Community Organizations)

Wahkiakum County Treasurer's Office
Tax rolls, current 7 years

LAND / PROPERTY - Published sources

Huerd, Evelyn Morris. Wahkiakum County Washington Auditor homestead records and land deeds (direct index), 1858-1911. Lower Columbia Genealogical Society, n.d.

LICENSURE AND PROFESSIONAL RECORDS

MARRIAGE - Personal, governmental, or organizational records

Wahkiakum County Auditor's office
Marriage records, 1868-1980 (indexed in Huerd's work listed below)
Marriage records, 1980-present

Wahkiakum County Clerk's office
Divorce records: included in Civil cases until 1987, thereafter in Domestic case file

MARRIAGE - Published sources

Huerd, Evelyn Morris. Wahkiakum County, Washington clerk & auditor records index, 1868-1980. Lower Columbia Genealogical Society, 1990.

MILITARY - Personal, governmental, or organizational records

Wahkiakum County Auditor's office
Record of military discharges, 1943-present

MILITARY - Published sources

NATURALIZATION - Personal, governmental, or organizational records

Southwest Branch Archives
Certificates of naturalization, 1891-1925
Declarations of intention, 1885-1951
Miscellaneous naturalization papers, 1923-1974
Petitions for naturalization, 1914-1961

Wahkiakum County Clerk's office
Naturalization records, dates unknown (indexed in Huerd's work listed below)

NATURALIZATION - Published sources

Huerd, Evelyn Morris. Wahkiakum County, Washington clerk & auditor records index, 1868-1980. Lower Columbia Genealogical Society, 1990.

NEWSPAPER INDEXES / SPECIAL EDITIONS

Eagle (Cathlamet). Cathlamet centennial, August 23, 24, 25. n.p., 1946.

Index to the Frankfort chronicle (1892), Columbia River sun (1905-1938). Skamokawa Community Library, 1984.

Index to the Grays river builder (1936-1944), Skamokawa eagle (1899-1934). Skamokawa Community Library, 1983.

Martin, Irene. A newspaper index and guide to genealogy in Wahkiakum County and Naselle area of Pacific County. I. Martin, 1996.

Wahkiakum County Eagle. Special annual historical supplements, 1973-1980.

OTHER - Personal, governmental, or organizational records

Wahkiakum County Auditor's office
Fair book, 1912
Marks & brands, 1891 - unknown
Wild animal bounty book, 1908 - unknown

Wahkiakum County Clerk's office
Official bonds, 1894-present

OTHER - Published sources

PROBATE - Personal, governmental, or organizational records

Wahkiakum County Clerk's office
Probate records, 1852-1975 (indexed in Huerd's work listed below)
Probate records, 1975-present

PROBATE - Published sources

Huerd, Evelyn Morris. Wahkiakum County, Washington clerk & auditor records index, 1868-1980. Lower Columbia Genealogical Society, 1990.

TAXES - Personal, governmental, or organizational records

Central Branch Archives
Territorial Assessment Rolls, 1857-1862 (microfilm): Territorial counties in existence prior to 1862 - Chehalis, Clallam, Clark, Island, King-Kitsap, Jefferson, Lewis, Pierce, Sawamish, Skamania, Thurston, and Wahkiakum.

TAXES - Published sources