The Lake Wenatchee area has been home to several Indian tribes. They hunted, fished, and picked berries throughout the area, often making camp along the rivers where the salmon ran. Today little remains of these camps along the banks.
Fur traders first visited Chelan County in 1811. In the late 1800s, Pioneers began to established themselves in Beaver Valley (now commonly know as Plain) and throughout the area. Farming and logging were the main industries supporting the Pioneers. Back then the valley was thickly covered with old growth forest. Trees had to be cut and stumps removed to make the land suitable for agriculture.
The development of the area in the nineteenth century was closely linked to the construction of the Northern Pacific and Great Northern railroads. Leavenworth became a booming railroad town. As Plain’s logging grew, the small Peavine Rail was built along the Chumstick Highway into Plain to transport the harvested trees to the mill. The Wenatchee River was also used to float the logs down to Leavenworth in the spring. As the need for irrigation water grew, a canal was built into Sugartflats and beyond to supply irrigation water to the area.
A group called The Brethern moved in and brought religion to the area, resulting in the establishment of the Plain Community Church, which is still around today. For a short period, a post office was located in Plain, as was the Cougar Inn on the north end of Lake Wenatchee.
Education was important to the Pioneers. Scholars first attended a make-shift school in a chicken coop and then built a one room school house in Plain. As needs grew, Winton (located off of Coles Corner), also built a school house. The Winton one room school house was in use until 2000 when the Beaver Valley School was built in Plain. The building was moved to the new school grounds and is now a museum.
Since the late 1800s time has moved forward, and with it modern progression. Many have have come and gone, leaving with a unique impression of our area. Others have chosen to stay and build roots in our little valley. Chances are, when you visit you might run across some the original descendants of Beaver Valley and spin a yarn of the good old days.
From the Great Northern Railroad to the Wenatchee Indians, our area is rich in historical facts. To learn more about the natural features and attractions of each area, follow the links to the right. For a history of the area from other sources, follow the links below.
Lake Wenatchee Forest History

Leavenworth & Lk. Wenatchee History
PNW Railroad History