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Othello
T-33 jet in Pioneer Park
T-33 jet in Pioneer Park
Official seal of Othello
Seal
Location of Othello, Washington
Location of Othello, Washington
Country United States
State Washington
County Adams
Area
 • Total 3.98 sq mi (10.31 km2)
 • Land 3.98 sq mi (10.31 km2)
 • Water 0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
Elevation
1,060 ft (323 m)
Population
 (2010)
 • Total 7,364
 • Estimate 
(2019)
8,386
 • Density 2,107.56/sq mi (813.75/km2)
Time zone UTC-8 (Pacific (PST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-7 (PDT)
ZIP codes
99327, 99332, 99344
Area code 509
FIPS code 53-52215
GNIS feature ID 1507216
Website www.othellowa.gov

Othello is a city in Adams County, Washington, United States. The population was 5,847 at the 2000 census and grew 25.9% over the next decade to 7,364 at the 2010 census. In the 2018 census, it was 8,099. Othello refers to the city as being in the heart of the Columbia Basin Project. It is located approximately 100 miles (160 km) southwest of Spokane, 180 miles (290 km) east of Seattle, and about 25 miles (40 km) south of Interstate 90, at the intersection of SR 17 and SR 26.

History

The first white settlers in the area were two brothers, Ben and Sam Hutchinson, who built a cabin along the Crab Creek in 1884. An influx of homesteaders began after the start of the 20th century, and a post office was established in 1904. The post office was named Othello after a post office also called Othello in Roane County, Tennessee.

The Chicago, Milwaukee, & St. Paul Railroad ran a track through Adams County in 1907. The railroad officially platted the town as a stop, with water to feed the boilers of steam trains. They kept the name Othello, and built a railyard and wooden roundhouse there. Although the roundhouse burned in 1919, it was replaced with a brick structure which lasted many years. Businesses and settlers continued to follow, and the town was incorporated May 31, 1910. At the time the railroad was the eastern terminus of the second electrified district of the Milwaukee Road's "Pacific Extension" route, which extended up to Tacoma, Washington.

The Bureau of Reclamation located offices in Othello in 1947, which prevented the decline of this town with the decline of rail shipping after World War II. In the early 1950s, the Columbia Basin Project brought irrigation to the Othello area, increasing both agriculture and commerce. Prior to this, water came only from Crab Creek and from local wells. The water arrived via the Potholes East Canal between Billy Clapp Lake and Scootenay Reservoir in Franklin County. Once there was irrigation available, a land drawing was held in Othello. On May 31, 1952 42 names were drawn (of more than 7000 submitted) for the privilege of purchasing this newly-desirable acreage.

From 1951 to 1973 the 637th Radar Squadron operated the Othello Radar Station near the town. In 1958, an ice plant was opened in town to service railroad cars moving produce. Frozen food packaging came to town in the early 1960s, and has since become the main industry.

Since 1998, Othello has also been home to the Sandhill Crane Festival, celebrating the annual arrival of sandhill cranes to the nearby Columbia National Wildlife Refuge.

Geography

Othello is located at 46°49′25″N 119°10′2″W / 46.82361°N 119.16722°W / 46.82361; -119.16722 (46.823679, -119.167319).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 3.81 square miles (9.87 km2), all of it land.

Climate

According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Othello has a semi-arid climate, abbreviated "BSk" on climate maps.

Climate data for Othello, Washington
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 64
(17.8)
67
(19.4)
79
(26.1)
91
(32.8)
99
(37.2)
106
(41.1)
111
(43.9)
114
(45.6)
102
(38.9)
91
(32.8)
73
(22.8)
63
(17.2)
114
(-17.8)
Average high °F (°C) 35
(1.7)
43
(6.1)
53
(11.7)
61
(16.1)
69
(20.6)
76
(24.4)
83
(28.3)
83
(28.3)
74
(23.3)
61
(16.1)
45
(7.2)
35
(1.7)
59.8
(15.46)
Average low °F (°C) 23
(-5)
28
(-2.2)
31
(-0.6)
36
(2.2)
43
(6.1)
49
(9.4)
54
(12.2)
54
(12.2)
47
(8.3)
37
(2.8)
31
(-0.6)
24
(-4.4)
38.1
(3.38)
Record low °F (°C) -26
(-32.2)
-26
(-32.2)
6
(-14.4)
16
(-8.9)
23
(-5)
31
(-0.6)
34
(1.1)
36
(2.2)
26
(-3.3)
14
(-10)
-14
(-25.6)
-15
(-26.1)
-26
(-17.8)
Precipitation inches (mm) 0.93
(23.6)
0.85
(21.6)
0.86
(21.8)
0.62
(15.7)
0.73
(18.5)
0.52
(13.2)
0.39
(9.9)
0.33
(8.4)
0.40
(10.2)
0.57
(14.5)
1.04
(26.4)
1.21
(30.7)
8.45
(214.6)

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1920 649
1930 397 −38.8%
1940 332 −16.4%
1950 526 58.4%
1960 2,669 407.4%
1970 4,122 54.4%
1980 4,454 8.1%
1990 4,638 4.1%
2000 5,847 26.1%
2010 7,364 25.9%
2019 (est.) 8,386 13.9%
U.S. Decennial Census
2015 Estimate

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 7,364 people, 2,108 households, and 1,669 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,932.8 inhabitants per square mile (746.3/km2). There were 2,185 housing units at an average density of 573.5 per square mile (221.4/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 53.4% White, 0.5% African American, 2.2% Native American, 1.2% Asian, 39.6% from other races, and 3.2% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 74.7% of the population.

There were 2,108 households, of which 57.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.5% were married couples living together, 15.8% had a female householder with no husband present, 6.8% had a male householder with no wife present, and 20.8% were non-families. 17.1% of all households were made up of individuals, and 7.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.46 and the average family size was 3.91.

The median age in the city was 25.6 years. 37.9% of residents were under the age of 18; 11.1% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 27.2% were from 25 to 44; 15.6% were from 45 to 64; and 8.1% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 50.4% male and 49.6% female.

Sister city

Othello has the following sister city relationship:

  • Ghana Wulensi, Nanumba South District, Ghana.

Notable people

  • Pee Wee (born Irvin Salinas), singer
  • Bill Crow, jazz musician/author
  • Stephen Beus, pianist
  • Jim Sandusky, football player
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