History of Twisp, Washington
The Methow Valley literally has its roots in Twisp, whose origins stretch back to two short-lived gold booms in 1858 and 1880. But it wasn't until August 5, 1897, that Henry C. Glover established Gloversville (now Twisp) as the first recorded town plat in the Methow.
Five months later, on January 22, 1898, Twisp was officially a name on the map, just nine years after Washington Territory became the 42nd state.
The word Twisp is a modification of the native-American word, "T-wapsp", which means "yellow Jacket", and "Twistsp", which means "sound of the buzzing wasp". The sunflower capital of the state and the eastern gateway to the North Cascades National Park, Twisp was largely dependent upon logging until the mid-1980s. In 1941, Otto Wagner established the Twisp-Wagner Lumber Company in Twisp, which eventually employed 400 people. Today, the principal industries include lumber, cattle ranching, agriculture, and tourism.
One of the most influential natural events to occur in Twisp was the flood of 1948, which caused more than $4 million in damages and completely destroyed three state highway bridges as well as extensively damaging six others. Another significant natural event which forever changed the Methow Valley was the great freeze of 1968, when temperatures were recorded at 50¼F below 0. That freeze killed many of the Valley's orchards, most of which were never re-planted.
Other significant dates in the history of Twisp are:
1903 - Joshua Risley opens the Twisp Opera House.
1911 - The eight-room Twisp High School, now the Community Center, is built with bricks made locally from red clay found on the hillside near the Loup Highway Junction of Hwy. 20 and 153.
1911 - The Methow Valley attempts to form its own county with Twisp as the county seat, but the legislative bill never makes it out of committee.
1941 - An addition is made to the Twisp High School.
1972 - The North Cascades Highway (Highway 20) is completed, connecting the Methow Valley to the west side of the state. Tourism becomes a major industry for Twisp and the neighboring towns in the Methow.
July 4, 1997 - Twisp celebrated its centennial birthday.