Cle Elum Media Room: Story Ideas

Cle Elum Firsts

Discover Cle Elum™, Washington in a new way - from its beginnings through this compilation of "firsts" compiled by the Northern Kittitas County Historical Society. An area rich in Washington State history, these historical highlights feature the first time an event or happening occurred in Cle Elum.

Click the options below to learn more about Cle Elum's first newspaper, first gold discovery, first talking movie, and more. Echoes of these stories are visible throughout the area, making our town a place where the past is truly always present.
Cle Elum History

Cle Elum means "swift water" and its origins come from the Kittitas tribe, whose members resided here and relied on the nearby Yakima River. Originally the name of the city was Clealum. In 1908, Clealum was altered to Cle Elum. Population: 1,872.

Cle Elum was officially incorporated on February 12, 1902.

The town was the birthplace of astronaut Dick Scobee, the commander of the Space Shuttle Challenger on the day of its explosion. Headed by John Bresko, Cle Elum was the first to have 'organized' skiing west of Denver, Colorado.
Owens Meats

The oldest continuously operated family business in Kittitas County, Owens Meats has been selling quality meats for over 128 years. So long in fact, that they opened for business in 1887, 2 years before Washington even became a state! Morgan Owens moved to Roslyn for the coal, and stayed to feed the generations of coal miners. One thing the Owens family has proven over the years, is their determination and perseverance - no matter what. When their original store burned down, they reopened in what is now the Roslyn Café. When the coal miners' strike happened, and the Great Depression hit, the family's meat store faced the harsh realities of a burdened economy. Locals who had normally operated on credit for their meat purchases who were unable to pay their debts to the store. Even through WWII, the Owens family endured the hardships of business in an unstable economy and were able to prosper - even building their own packing plant in 1946.

Today, the 5-generation strong family offers not only excellent meats, but a wide-variety of homemade sauces, marinades and glazes, and old-fashioned Mason jar style canned goods for consumer purchase. A spread even some national celebrities have come to take advantage of in recent years!
Suncadia Resort

This family-friendly, year-round destination resort and inn offers more entertainment than you'll ever have time for! In the winter, the 6,000+ acre property boasts a plethora of activities such as: snowmobiling tours, sleigh rides, cross country skiing, snowshoeing, guided winter fly fishing, snow bowling, glow golfing, family trivia, ice skating, and even elf tuck-ins for the little ones! With a full-service spa on-site, fine dining and an amazing wine selection, there's not a wrong time to visit Suncadia Resort. In the summer months, come experience for yourself: bike rentals and tours, scooter rentals, stand-up paddle boarding, rafting and kayaking on the Yakima and Cle Elum rivers, fly-fishing, hiking, outdoor concerts and MORE!


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