Goldendale Wa Maps and Directions
Goldendale Wa is a rural agricultural city and county seat of Klickitat County, Washington, United States, near the Columbia River Gorge. A nationally known point of interest is north of town, Goldendale Observatory State Park. The valley area in which Goldendale is located offers a sweeping and dramatic views of the Cascade Range Mountains 40 mile to the west and the Simcoe Hills to the north.
In 1872 the town was given its name by the early homesteader John Golden. The Golden House is still viewable at Columbus and Collins St. in downtown Goldendale. In 1878 Goldendale became the county seat. Other early towns in the county were White Salmon, Lyle, Bingen, Glenwood, Dallesport and Bickleton, all still in existence. Goldendale was officially incorporated on November 14, 1879.
Goldendale has remained the employment, business, commercial and banking center for the valley and, as the county seat, is the location for Klickitat County’s courts and government offices. In recent years this small community has suffered from severe economic decline. After a local aluminum plant that once employed many residents closed, the small community struggled economically. The loss of tax base has taken its toll on the funds available for maintaining the city’s infrastructure. In recent years there has been an interest in installing wind turbines that would generate power. While it has provided some jobs, this industry has not been the economic solution for which many residents hoped.
On June 9, 1918, William Wallace Campbell, Director of the Lick Observatory in San Jose, CA, and astronomer Heber Curtis journeyed to Goldendale to view a total eclipse. The purpose of the observation was to photograph the sun’s corona and the apparent distorted placement of stars due to the sun’s gravitational pull on those star’s rays while passing by the sun. Lacking proper equipment and instead only using multiple cameras Campbell and Curtis were unable to confirm stars’ deflection. However, by November 1919, their efforts would be vindicated by British astronomers and Einstein’s Theory of Relativity was confirmed.
On October 13, 1973 the Goldendale Observatory, the main attraction of the city, was dedicated. It is one of the larger free, public observatories. Because of a relatively small population, Goldendale offers excellent stargazing as well.
In 2008 Goldendale hosted the International Gravity Sports Association’s ‘Festival of Speed,’ on a segment of the historic Maryhill highway.
The Little Klickitat River flows roughly east-to-west across the northern portion of the city. Bloodgood Creek, an entirely spring-fed year-round water source, runs through the northwest part of town and intersects with the Little Klickitat just west of the city. Both are sources of rainbow trout as well as being home to waterfowl such as the great blue heron and several species of duck. Bloodgood Creek provides a portion of Goldendale’s drinking water and is capped at the source for that purpose.
Goldendale Wa Maps and Directions uses US Highway 97 that runs along the eastern boundary of the city and connects Goldendale with Interstate 84, 21 km (13 mi) south in the state of Oregon and State Route 14, which is 19 km (12 mi) south and runs along the Washington side of the Columbia River. State Route 142 creates a major east-west route through Goldendale, beginning at US 97 on the north end of town.
Goldendale has started to receive much of the wind turbine business, as major companies buy land and build around the town.
A lumber mill and logging used to be major industries in the area but have since ceased to exist.
Timber cutting, ranching, farming, agriculture are still key industries in the area, but have seen some hard times over the years. Many farms are being sold off and developed by local and non-local investors. Once beautiful farmland is now divided up into residential tracts.