Twisp, Washington

Twisp is a town in Okanogan County, Washington, United States. The population was 938 at the 2000 census.


Twisp was originally platted in 1897, and officially incorporated on August 13, 1909. The town of Twisp Washington, 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 Valley.

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. Otto's wife, Kathryn (Kay) played a pivotal role remaking the neighboring Town of Winthrop into an old western-themed village. Building facades were rebuilt in a recreated 19th century style.

Today, the principle industries include lumber, cattle ranching, agriculture, the Forest Service Headquarters and tourism. In 1994 Twisp was noted as one of the '100 Best Small Art Towns in America.' by John Villani. It continues to be a magnet for artists and art enthusiasts, and excellent exhibits and performances draw audiences year round.

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 damaged six others. Another significant natural event which forever changed the Methow River 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.


Twisp is located at (48.363971, -120.119620).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 1.2 square miles (3.0 km²), of which, 1.2 square miles (3.0 km²) of it is land and 0.85% is water.

Twisp is located on the Methow River at its confluence with the Twisp River.


As of the census of 2000, there were 938 people, 438 households, and 258 families residing in the town. The population density was 807.9 people per square mile (312.2/km²). There were 505 housing units at an average density of 434.9/sq mi (168.1/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 96.16% White, 0.96% Native American, 0.53% Asian, 0.75% from other races, and 1.60% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.77% of the population.

There were 438 households out of which 29.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 39.5% were married couples living together, 16.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 40.9% were non-families. 34.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.13 and the average family size was 2.70.

In the town the population was spread out with 24.2% under the age of 18, 5.3% from 18 to 24, 26.8% from 25 to 44, 26.7% from 45 to 64, and 17.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42 years. For every 100 females there were 86.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 84.2 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $26,354, and the median income for a family was $31,944. Males had a median income of $26,250 versus $17,857 for females. The per capita income for the town was $16,257. About 14.6% of families and 19.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 27.3% of those under age 18 and 8.2% of those age 65 or over.

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