News

American Legion honors Public Safety Employees

Congratulations to our fantastic Public Safety Officers!

Surplus Sale

Items put up for sale from the City of Wapato Surplus

Recent News

Upcoming Events

Strengthening Families
April 13-May 25
Wapato Middle School
Download the flyer

Military Veterans Will Clinic - May 20 - Davis High School, Yakima Details

Wapato Community Days May 27-29
Details

June Events:
Celebrate Wapato

Annual Fire Department Pancake Feed - June 3

Bike Rodeo - June 10
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Wapato is a unique thriving community with a diverse culture and heritage. Our mission is to maintain and improve the quality of life and to provide superior services and public facilities for the residents and businesses in the city. Our vision is to strive to grow Wapato into the best town it can possibly be for all who currently live and work here but also for future generations to come.

History of Wapato

The name Wapato is of Yakama origin, “Wa pa too”, which is an edible root of great value to native Yakamas and settlers alike. Settlers have been in the area since as early as 1885. In 1903, the Postal Service changed the name of the town from Simcoe to Wapato, because Simcoe was too much like Fort Simcoe. It was August 1908 before the town’s people voted to incorporate their reservation community with JF Douglas as the first Mayor. This fourth class town was landlocked by Yakama Nation property but was progressive enough to have a newspaper, Wapato Independent, and postal and telephone service.

Soon after incorporation, JF Barnes was appointed as the first Town Marshall. Initial accomplishments were a city park and work beginning on streets and irrigation ditches. The early revenue came from the licensing of saloons and the first lending library was started in 1908 by the Wapato Ladies Club. City Hall, police station, jail, and fire protection were 1909 projects. Power came to Wapato in 1910. The 1911 project was a water system.

The first Buddhist temple in Washington was built in Wapato and is still open. The primary industries of Wapato is farming and ranching. These drew many different groups of settlers that have made the town’s population diverse: Japanese, Filipino, Hispanic, and white. Diversity has given Wapato its unique nature, which is celebrated throughout the year at different events. The City is still renowned for its metal sculptures, fresh fruit and vegetable stands, and nearby wineries.