Ferry County flag (Image courtesy of Washington State Archives)
Washington’s northern reaches contain some of its larger counties, such as Okanogan, Ferry and Stevens. In our 10th snapshot story, we turn the lens toward Ferry County, a sparsely populated but beautiful county in Washington’s northeastern region.
Ferry County was named after Washington’s first governor, a Seattleite named Elisha Ferry, in 1899. Ferry contains 2,197 square miles and has a population of around 7,646, giving it a population density of around 3.4 people per square mile. Ferry is a rural county, and many of its residents are able to experience nature and recreation to the fullest. There are many opportunities for hiking, water sports, fishing and other outdoor activities in Ferry. Its largest city is Republic, which also serves as the county seat.
The economy of Ferry has been reliant on natural resource extraction since the county’s founding. In 1850, during the gold rush, prospectors came to Ferry in droves searching for the precious metal in stream beds and mountainsides. The economy also focuses heavily on logging. Both of these economic staples are clearly represented on the county flag in the form of a lumberjack swinging an ax and a prospector panning a stream.