Moses Lake is a city in Grant County, Washington, United States. The population was 14,953 as of the 2000 census. According to the Washington State Office of Financial Management's April 1, 2008 estimate, the city has a population of 18,310. Major attractions include the Sand Dunes ORV Park.
Chief Moses' people lived in the Moses Lake area until he was arrested and tried for murder. In 1878, a white couple was murdered near Rattlesnake Springs by Indians controlled by Chief Joseph. The military, however, blamed the incident on Chief Moses. He was captured near present day O'Sullivan Dam and stood trial in Yakima, where he was found not guilty. Chief Moses then went to Washington, D.C., and met with President Rutherford B. Hayes. He ceded control of the Columbia Basin to the U. S. government, which then opened the area for homesteading.
Named "Neppel" in 1910, later residents voted in 1938 to rename their city to honor Native American Chief Moses, and the city became Moses Lake. The chief’s name had already been given to the lake next to Neppel, Moses Lake, and to a coulee running between Wenatchee and Ephrata. The city served the trading needs of a small group of pioneering farmers who settled on the shores of the lake.
The Secretary of Defense announced on November 19, 1965 that Larson was to be closed by June 1966. Larson Air Force Base, since renamed Grant County International Airport, is now a world-class heavy jet training and testing facility used by the Boeing Company, Japan Airlines, the U.S. Military and many other air carriers from around the world.
With 4,700 acres (19 km²) and a main runway 13,500 feet (4,100 m) long, it is one of the largest airports in the United States.
There were 5,642 households out of which 35.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.3% were married couples living together, 11.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.7% were non-families. 27.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.60 and the average family size was 3.20.
In the city the population was spread out with 28.8% under the age of 18, 10.6% from 18 to 24, 28.0% from 25 to 44, 19.0% from 45 to 64, and 13.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females there were 96.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.1 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $36,467, and the median income for a family was $42,096. Males had a median income of $34,945 versus $25,193 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,644. About 11.0% of families and 15.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 18.7% of those under age 18 and 10.5% of those age 65 or over.
In downtown Moses Lake is the Surf 'n Slide Waterpark, featuring two 200 ft water slides, an olympic-sized swimming pool, diving boards, a drop slide, zero-depth entrance, full service concessions, a 300 ft lazy river, and Washington state's only FlowRider surfing simulator.
Every late May during Memorial Day weekend the Spring Festival is celebrated.
A new event intended to be an annual event is scheduled for June, 2008. The Moses Lake Water Sports Festival is to coincide with the declaration that Moses Lake is the water sports capital of the Northwest.
Lion's Field, located Downtown near Frontier Middle School, is undergoing remodel after a voter-approved levy. As of April 2, 2008 the FieldTurf portion of the field was completed and the first game held on the new turf was a soccer game between the Moses Lake Chiefs and the Wenatchee Panthers. Unfortunately the game resulted in a loss. However, the Football team opens the completed stadium on September 12th.
Moses Lake has one sister city, according to the Washington State Lt. Governor's list of Washington Sister Cities:
The following people were born in Moses Lake or lived there.