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Cathlamet
Cathlamet, Washington
Julia Butler Hansen Bridge connecting Cathlamet to Puget Island (foreground)
Julia Butler Hansen Bridge connecting Cathlamet to Puget Island (foreground)
Location of Cathlamet, Washington
Location of Cathlamet, Washington
Country United States
State Washington
County Wahkiakum
Area
 • Total 0.51 sq mi (1.32 km2)
 • Land 0.51 sq mi (1.31 km2)
 • Water 0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)  1.46%
Elevation
79 ft (24 m)
Population
 (2010)
 • Total 532
 • Estimate 
(2019)
572
 • Density 1,130.43/sq mi (436.46/km2)
Time zone UTC-8 (Pacific (PST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-7 (PDT)
ZIP code
98612
Area code 360
FIPS code 53-10635
GNIS feature ID 1503862
Website Town of Cathlamet

Cathlamet is a town located along the Ocean Beach Highway in Wahkiakum County, Washington, United States, where it is the county seat. The population was 532 at the 2010 census, though it has an additional rural population outside of the town limits.

History

THE RIVERSIDE TOWN OF CATHLAMET BOASTS A POPULATION OF 656 - NARA - 548040
Cathlamet in 1973 (Columbia Street)

From time immemorial, Cathlamet was the largest, or one of the largest, villages of Columbia River Indians west of the Cascade Mountains, and the home of the Kathlamet people. "Cathlamet was sighted in 1792 by Lt. W.R. Broughton, while verifying Capt. Robert Gray’s reported discovery of the Columbia River." This village of cedar houses included 300-400 inhabitants when visited by Lewis and Clark.

In 1846, James Birnie became the first permanent white settler at Cathlamet, moving there after a career with the Hudson's Bay Company. He set up a trading post, remnants of which were reported still standing in 1906. "Birnie named the area Birnie’s Retreat. The name was later changed to Cathlamet in 1851."

Cathlamet was officially incorporated on February 18, 1907. In 1938, the Julia Butler Hansen Bridge was built to carry what is now State Route 409 across the Columbia River's Cathlamet Channel to Puget Island.

Geography

Cathlamet is located at 46°12′14″N 123°23′2″W / 46.20389°N 123.38389°W / 46.20389; -123.38389 (46.203767, -123.383838).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 0.50 square miles (1.29 km2), of which, 0.49 square miles (1.27 km2) is land and 0.01 square miles (0.03 km2) is water.

Cathlamet is connected across the Columbia River to Westport, Oregon via SR 409 and the county-operated Wahkiakum County Ferry.

Climate

Climate data for Cathlamet, Washington
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °F (°C) 45
(7.2)
50
(10)
54
(12.2)
59
(15)
64
(17.8)
68
(20)
74
(23.3)
75
(23.9)
71
(21.7)
62
(16.7)
50
(10)
45
(7.2)
59.8
(15.42)
Average low °F (°C) 31
(-0.6)
33
(0.6)
35
(1.7)
38
(3.3)
43
(6.1)
47
(8.3)
51
(10.6)
51
(10.6)
46
(7.8)
39
(3.9)
35
(1.7)
32
(0)
40.1
(4.49)
Precipitation inches (mm) 8.28
(210.3)
6.75
(171.5)
5.94
(150.9)
4.08
(103.6)
2.69
(68.3)
1.83
(46.5)
0.84
(21.3)
0.96
(24.4)
2.22
(56.4)
4.08
(103.6)
8.84
(224.5)
8.98
(228.1)
55.49
(1,409.4)
Source: The Weather Channel

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1880 133
1910 362
1920 422 16.6%
1930 537 27.3%
1940 621 15.6%
1950 501 −19.3%
1960 615 22.8%
1970 647 5.2%
1980 635 −1.9%
1990 508 −20.0%
2000 565 11.2%
2010 532 −5.8%
2019 (est.) 572 7.5%
U.S. Decennial Census

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 532 people, 258 households, and 136 families residing in the town. The population density was 1,085.7 inhabitants per square mile (419.2/km2). There were 296 housing units at an average density of 604.1 per square mile (233.2/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 94.7% White, 0.2% African American, 0.9% Native American, 1.1% Asian, 0.8% from other races, and 2.3% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.4% of the population.

There were 258 households, of which 19.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 41.5% were married couples living together, 8.9% had a female householder with no husband present, 2.3% had a male householder with no wife present, and 47.3% were non-families. 40.7% of all households were made up of individuals, and 21.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 1.90 and the average family size was 2.52.

The median age in the town was 52.9 years. 15% of residents were under the age of 18; 4.2% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 19.6% were from 25 to 44; 30.2% were from 45 to 64; and 31% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the town was 45.3% male and 54.7% female.

Community

Cathlamet is home to all schools, K-12, of the Wahkiakum School District. The district of about 430 students pulls students from Cathlamet, Upper Elochoman, Lower Elochoman, East Cathlamet, Puget Island, and Skamokawa Valley.

Every third Saturday in July, Cathlamet celebrates Bald Eagle Day. This is an all day event that closes down Main Street for a parade and street fair.

Cathlamet in popular culture

Films shot in Cathlamet include Come See the Paradise (1990), Snow Falling on Cedars (1999) and Men of Honor (2000).

Notable residents

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