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Wenatchee was platted in September 1888 and officially incorporated as a city on January 7, 1893. By the early 20th century, the Wenatchee Commercial Club, now the Wenatchee Valley Chamber of Commerce, was advertising the region as the "Home of the World's Best Apples." The tree fruit industry provided the economic backbone for the region for a century and still is an important source of revenue.
On , the Wenatchee free speech fight occurred when members of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) were arrested for speaking in the street in front of the local hall of the Socialist Party of America.
Clovis points are on display at the Wenatchee Valley Museum & Cultural Center As early as 1811, fur traders from the Northwest Fur Company entered the Wenatchee valley to trap and trade with the Indians.
In 1863, Father Respari, a Catholic priest, began his missionary work with the Indians.
The city is also sometimes referred to as the "Buckle of the Power Belt of the Great Northwest".
The "Power Belt of the Great Northwest" is a metaphor for the series of hydroelectric dams on the Columbia River.
Irrigation from the Columbia River and her tributaries allows for the large amount of agriculture in Wenatchee and the surrounding areas.
The plant announced in November 2015 that it would be shutting down operations on January 5, 2016.
The reservoirs thus generated also made it possible to irrigate hundreds of thousands of acres of farmland in the Columbia Basin.
In 1975, Stemilt Growers moved its headquarters from nearby Stemilt Hill to Olds Station, Wenatchee.
Archeological digs in nearby East Wenatchee have uncovered Clovis stone and bone tools dating back more than 11,000 years, indicating that people migrating during the last Ice Age spent time in the Wenatchee area.
The Columbia River and nearby mountains and sagebrush steppes provided an ample supply of food.