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tcgs:introductory_material_in_the_1964_polk_directory [2006/06/06 02:27] (current)
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 +====== Glimpse into the History of Richland and the Tri-Cities Area ======
  
 +The introductory material found in the 1964 Polk Directory for the Tri-Cities provides the following quote about Richland:
 +
 +"In 1910 the small farming community of Richland was first incorporated and by the beginning of World War II boasted a population of about 250 people.  Shortly after December 1, 1942, the town was taken over by the Federal Government by condemnation proceedings as a part of the 600 square mile reservation for the Hanford Engineering Works. Richland ceased to exist as a corporate municipality and became the property of the United States Government.
 +
 +When construction began on the $350,000,000 project in 1943, Hanford, twenty-five miles to the north, was a small village of some 200 people, but by mid-1944 its population jumped to 51,000. Upon completion of the plant in March, 1945, the Hanford Construction Company was closed down and the town later dismantled. Those who remained to operate the plant moved to Richland, a city built simultaneously with the plant to house personnel and administrative offices.
 +
 +Under wartime emergency conditions, housing, utilities, roads and streets, playfields, hospital, shopping facilities, all were laid out and constructed by the federal government to accommodate workers to operate the far-flung plutonium manufacturing plants.  The government's plant operating contractor also operated the community. The contractor became landlord, hospital administrator, municipal utilities operator, commercial leasing agent, police and fire department, and city government - all rolled into one.
 +
 +The Hanford plant was not publicized until after its first product, the atomic bomb, dropped on Hiroshima, Japan. The Hanford region was selected for atomic development because it was sparsely settled, there was plenty of cold Columbia River water to cool the atomic reactors, and an adequate supply of electrical power was available. The General Electric Company became the prime contractor of the U. S. Atomic Energy Commission and began the peacetime operation of manufacturing plutonium in 1947. During the next decade, expansion programs raised the value of the plant beyond the one billion mark.
 +
 +In 1948, a few people in Richland began to express the feeling that it would be better for them to manage their own affairs rather than to continue leaving matters up to someone else. Finally, after years of work and effort came the climax in December, 1958, when, by a 6 to 1 majority, the City Charter for a Council-Manager form of government was approved." 
tcgs/introductory_material_in_the_1964_polk_directory.txt · Last modified: 2006/06/06 02:27 (external edit)
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