Teanaway is a small settlement in Kittitas County, Washington. It is located at the junction of State Route 10 and State Route 970. It is located east of Cle Elum and west of Ellensburg. The surrounding area is known as the Teanaway River Valley.
The first newspaper established in Cle Elum was the Teanaway Bugle, organized by Fred Seaton in 1884. This paper began printing in a shack on the west bank of the Teanaway River, printing nine inch by twelve inch sheets with two columns on it. Interestingly enough, the Teanaway Bugle used its free press and free expression policy to talk about the Teanaway Valley, its weather, natural resources and the events of Cle Elum. Another interesting aspect of this newspaper was how it tackled social issues such as the spike of eligible bachelors coming to Cle Elum in search of mining jobs. Many people were lonely, and called on single women to fix the issue. This was just one example of the liberties that the Teanaway Bugle took during its initial run.
The land of Teanaway City was founded in 1885 by a group of settlers. In this group was N. Plaisted, who was considered the leader of this group. It had a track for the state capital to connect to the Northern Pacific railroad machine shops in Cascade division. This provided the city of Teanaway a stable way to develop into a larger community. Soon after, a number of buildings and businesses appeared within this first year. A few examples include a two-story hotel, a restaurant, two general stores, drug stores, a blacksmith, and even a saloon. During this time, a bridge was built over the Teanaway river. Another development was the irrigation of crops. One of the most noteworthy examples is Mr. McGinnis planted three acres of potatoes, resulting in them giving them no other care during the entire season. The result was 1600 bushels of three pound potatoes.
One of the most noteworthy additions to Teanaway City was a post office located at the crossroads of the Teanaway and Yakima rivers. This was built for the Northern Pacific railway roads, about four miles southeast of Cle Elum. At this time, Teanaway City had a considerable amount of success as a business center, which would later be platted for township on July 30, 1885 by Henry F. Ortley, with the help of his attorney George N. Bowen. Ortley secured enough land for sixteen blocks, giving way for railroad construction to create a temporary village of 30 buildings, including a store established by Theron Stafford. The fall of 1886 saw Stafford relocate his store to Cle Elum, and the town of Teanaway began to decline in business and population as a result. The post office was also discontinued this same year, and the town had reached a population of about 50.
Jess Peterson and Joe Schober Sr. attended lodge meetings and functions together often, and they became close friends and eventually this led to a romance between Jesse and Frank to begin. These two were married on June 26, 1920, eventually having two kids named Jess and Keith, becoming associated with the cattle and farming enterprises in the Teanaway valley. The old Peterson brick home was built in 1911 from double-walled brick, standing at the corner of the Teanaway road on the old Ellensburg highway. Standing at three stories tall with six rooms on the ground floor and hot water, the house guards the road to Ballard Hill where an old testing ground for new cars once stood. It isn't used anymore, but it serves as a reminder and landmark of the car industry.
Keith and his family would go to a cabin twelve miles up the Teanaway valley. This dates back to the early 1900s, where Jess Peterson would direct the operations of his large cattle empire. Originally only providing black angus cattle, the operations eventually introduced cross-breeds that were sold at auctions and events. One of their most successful outings was when they worked with the Boise Cascade on the north fork, along with the middle and west ends of the Teanaway.
When early Italian families moved to the Cle Elum area, they brought their baking skills along with them in the form of cheese making. Three of these families were the Perettis, the Bussolis and the Dematteis. These families had the only ranches on the narrow valley of the Teanaway. Four other ranches were located on the middle fork of the area, these belonging to Jim Sandretto, Pete Garneros, the Pacific Favors and the Pete Banchis. All of these ranches shared the Teanaway cheese as their main revenue source.
The first Teanaway cheese maker was Bob Costa and his wife according to Mario Favro son of fellow cheese makers Mr. and Mrs. Pacific Favro. Bob Costa sold his 320 acre ranch to the Pacific Favros, under the condition that he would be allowed to teach the art of cheese making to the family as part of their contract. Originally only having ten cows, the Favros, specifically Mrs. Favros, became masters of their craft and continued to make cheese for twenty-five years. Business was great for them as they were able to ship over 100 pounds of product to Oakland, California every other week. Another location they would regularly ship cheese to was Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. After Mr. Favro's death, Mrs. Favro left the farm.
In terms of how the cheese was made, one-hundred percent cow's milk was the main ingredient. The milk would be boiled in large vats at a certain temperature, then adding rennet, the curd would be packed in cheese cloth nets to be pressed for a day. After sprinkling the cheese with coarse salt, the cheese is left to age for about a month or two, benign rotated every so often. All of the cheesemakers used this technique to create their products.
Mary Chiado is considered to be the last of the great Teanaway cheesemakers. She was born in the Alpine country of Italy where she moved from to live in Cle Elum. In 1910, her husband Joe Chiado brought them to Cle Elum and had their son Barney in 1913. Joe Chiado would work in the coal mines and the money went towards purchasing nine cows to create cheese. Mrs. Chiado's cheese knowledge came from her family business where she would work during the summer under her father's guidance. She took these skills to sell her cheese from far and wide in Kittitas County. After Joe Chiado died in 1960, Mary Chiado called it quits.
In 1903, Yakima businessmen decided to form the Cascade Lumber Company northeast of the city, on the banks of the Yakima River. Several mills that cut lumber were operating in the communities of Wenas, Cowiche, and at the mouth of the Tieton River, until the pine forests surrounding these places were logged off. This proved that transporting logs in wagons in route to mills was an uneconomical practice. To fulfill the need for logs and mills, Yakima city loggers began floating logs down both the Yakima and Teanaway rivers during the spring when high water was common. The first time this was done was in 1909, and the practice ended in 1912 as it was too dangerous for those involved. In 1914, the Cascade Lumber Company had built a narrow-gauge railroad on the Teanaway River, giving the mill transportation issue a better solution. It had also given the ability for the community of Casland to gain traction in 1917. Cascade had made a name for itself as the largest mill in Yakima.
In 1957, Cascade had joined forces with Boise Payette Lumber Company to merge into the Boise Cascade company. This company expanded its scope of operations to include plywood manufacturing. 1984 saw the company filled with 450 people, processing 200 million board feet of mill. The amount of employees dropped to 225 in the 1980s when the company automated the mill.
Boise Cascade had become simply Boise, shifting the focus of the company to office supplies and their retail operation Office Max. In January 2004, Melvin L. & Norman N. McDougal bought out the mill for $3.25 million, leasing it to Frontier Resources Eugene, Oregon, the company that had operated as Yakima Resources. Frontier Resources originally wanted to close the mill in 2005, but this plan was delayed in response to a fire damaging another mill. In June 2006, the remaining employees of the company were given a 60-day notice that the Frontier job at the mill would be shut down on August 5 of that year.
In 1914, the company town Casland was founded on the banks of the Teanaway River, where the middle and west forks of the river come together, creating a "V" shape. The town was made prominent and noteworthy due to the rise of the 1914 railroad and the Cascade Lumber Company that built it. The name "Casland" comes from both of these entities as this was considered a "Cascade Land", later renamed Casland. Trains from the railroad used Casland as a two station town for supplies. In this town were a general store, blacksmith, tack shop, bank, hospital, a school, a community hall, a locomotive machine shop, roundhouse, and a switching yard. Casland would thrive from this business well into the early 1930s until the year 1934 when the town would fade into obscurity.
In 1972, the town had been reinvented into a historical camping site. The repurposed town has 50-acres of historical buildings alongside new additions like new picnic tables and a dirt road. There is a small probability of finding old pieces of machinery in the area, surrounded by shady conifer trees. Today, the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) work together with Casland to record the land for archaeological and historical study.
In 1950, gold miner Archie Redding, the man who built a cabin Mineral Springs, constructed a cabin in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest. In 1978, Redding passed away, leaving this cabin in the hands of the Forest Service. Under this new ownership, the Forest Service moved the cabin to Cle Elum, using it as a fire guard station until it became a recreational landmark in 2004. Through May to December, the cabin can be rented and be accessed by car in the spring and summer months. For the winter months, it would be wise to get there by snowmobile.
Currently, the Teanaway is an abundant outdoor dream for adventurers and home to numerous wildlife and Kittitas County residents. The forest and its inhabitants are thriving; a perfect representation of what partnership and proper conservation and forestry efforts can do. Nearly ten years ago, the state purchased nearly 50,000 acres of land to create the first Washington state community forest. Passionate locals and advocates of the region created the Teanaway Community Forest Committee and recently implemented a recreation plan that, for the next fifteen years, will protect the land, improve habitats, and work to keep, even expand, all of the recreational opportunities the Teanaway has to offer.
Teanaway History – Friends of the Teanaway
First Newspaper – Cle Elum, WA (discovercleelum.com)
Illustrated history book
Teanaway Guard Station, Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest – Recreation.gov
HISTORY – Kittitas Reclamation District
Old Cascade Lumber Company mill in Yakima closes after 103 years on August 5, 2006. – HistoryLink.org
Camp among Teanaway ghosts in Casland – EAR TO THE GROUND WITH DNR & COMMISSIONER FRANZ (wordpress.com)