Sure, the Tri-Cities has a lot going for it, but should south Kennewick residents be called “Heavenites?” I thought that was reserved for angels! It’s also what people called wheat farmers in the Horse Heaven Hills in the 1880s.

The economy of the Tri-Cities began to morph when the railroad connected Ainsworth (now Pasco) to Spokane. The area saw an influx and outflux of certain types of laborers. For example, Chinese immigrants came in to pan for gold in the Columbia River after professional miners found the rare mineral too scarce.

The Horse Heaven Hills were becoming the hottest area for wheat farmers. Men drove teams of 60-80 horses up and down the hills pulling amazingly-heavy and awkward combines.

Wheat farms were often privately owned, but during harvest it took the entire community to bring in the crop.

This information is courtesy of the Columbia River Exhibition of History, Science, and Technology.

For more information, visit 95 Lee Boulevard in Richland or call 943-9000.