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Reardan

This town came into existence after enterprising settlers dug a well here, proving to railroad engineers that water was available. It once was called Capp’s Place, but the name was changed to honor civil engineer C. F. Reardon, who was in charge of construction on the Central Washington Railway after the line was extended through the site in 1889. Mule shows, at which especially fine animals of the Northwest were exhibited, date back to 1904 and as tractors superseded draft animals, eventually evolved into Reardan Mule Days, an annual community carnival and fair held the first weekend in June. Reardan was mostly dependent upon the farmers of the surrounding territory. The town’s landscape is still dominated by the large steel-and-concrete grain elevators of the Reardan Grain Growers Association, formerly the Washington Grain and Milling Company, and the two-story brick Stevenson Building (1905), which stands on the southeast corner of Broadway (US 2) and Lake Avenue and used to house the Reardan branch of the Old National Bank of Spokane. West of Reardan the highway, paralleling the railroad, cuts through rolling, treeless lands and a few isolated farms. Occasionally a band of sheep may be glimpsed, browsing on the yellow grass or around stacks of straw. Snow fences made of wired wooden pickets lie rolled up along the highway, awaiting winter use.