About This Place
Ephrata (ee-FRAY-ta) is a city in Grant County, Washington, United States. The population was 6,808 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Grant County.
Ephrata was officially incorporated on June 21, 1909 and was given the county seat for the newly created Grant County.
Historically, the settlement of Ephrata is quite recent. There was no known settlement until 1886, just three years before Washington attained statehood. The horse rancher Frank Beezley was the first to settle near the natural springs, thus the area was known as Beezley Springs. As the climate and topography were not promising to settlement, the entire region remained sparsely populated until several federal congressional actions, including the Northern Pacific Land Grant Act, the Homestead Act, and Desert Claims Act, encouraged the settlement of this semi-arid desert. Originally, Douglas County spread over the entire territory of the Big Bend of the Columbia River. In 1909, the Washington State legislature divided it, creating Grant County. When the time came to present arguments to the state legislature regarding which town should be the county seat, someone apparently intentionally intoxicated the representative of a rival community, and Ephrata was chosen.