A Brief History
The City of Mattawa actually came into existence in 1909. It was at this time that Mattawa was first platted. The land was owned by Mr. E. Campbell and Eva L. Campbell, who maintained residence in Spokane. The actual platting was done by C.O. Adams, Civil Engineer. The grid system and streets which were designated have relatively maintained unchanged.
There was apparently no substantial development of the town until 1955. At this time, the Priest Rapid City Development Company, Inc. purchased the site and adjoining lands, and drilled one well approximately 765 feet deep. When the water system was completed, lots were sold and the town as we now know it was established. The town name of "Mattawa" is an Indian word meaning, "Where is it?". Given appropriately because the site of the town is not visible from the highway.
In 1958, the Town of Mattawa was incorporated. Up to the present, many improvements have been made in the facilities of the town. There have been improvements to the streets, street lighting system, water system, and fire protection.
Mattawa's surrounding area has gone through radical change in the past fifteen years. Irrigation projects and the ongoing construction of the regional dams have had a large impact on the development of Mattawa. Because of proposed construction on area projects and the development of area farming, Mattawa should benefit and receive a stimulus to its economy and growth.
Leading the Way
Mattawa is a Grant County farming town of about 4437 people and is predominately Latino, with a very low level of English-speakers in the community. Mattawa has seen significant population growth over the past few years. According to the Washington State Office of Financial Management, Mattawa has realized a growth of more than 28% since the year 2000.
Mattawa officials have signed an agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice outlining the ways the town intends to improve access to people who aren't proficient in English. We believe it's the first of its kind in Washington state.