Grant County (pop. 89,120) is northwest of Franklin County. It is one of 14 Grant counties (and one Grant parish) in the U.S., most of them named for President Ulysses S. Grant (1822-1885).
The Columbia River makes up part of the southern and western borders of the county; the Grand Coulee Dam (on the Columbia) is in the far northeastern corner of the county.
Construction of the Grand Coulee Dam (1933-1942) eventually led to the Columbia Basin Project – the largest water reclamation project in the U.S. As a result, a huge area of former desert in southern Grant County is now irrigated farmland.
More than 40 different crops are grown in the county, including tree fruit, wheat, corn, and a variety of vegetables.
The county seat of Grant County is the city of Ephrata (pop. 7,664).
The largest city in Grant County is Moses Lake. Its population was 328 in 1940, before the Columbia Basin Project began. By 1960, the population was 11,299, and in 2010 it was 20,366.
The Moses Lake Museum and Art Center has a life-size sculpture of a Columbian mammath, made entirely of farm implements.
The city of Mattawa (pop. 4,437) has a library constructed with 330 bales of straw, plus wire mesh and stucco.
The city of Soap Lake (pop. 1,514) is the home of the 9-hole, par-3 Lava Links Desert Golf, where golfers play through sagebrush, sand, and desert vegetation.
The city of George (Washington) has a population of 501. The “World’s Largest Cherry Pie” is baked there every July 4.
Steamboat Rock State Park and Sun Lakes-Dry Falls State Park are in Grant County.
NEXT: ADAMS COUNTY