About This Place
West Richland is a 22-square-mile (57 km2) city in Benton County, Washington, United States, served by three elementary schools (Tapteal, William Wiley and White Bluffs ) and a middle school (Enterprise), with an annual budget of about 30 million dollars. The population was 11,811 at the 2010 census. The city is generally included in the Tri-Cities (for purposes of counting population, etc.), even though that technically makes four cities (along with Kennewick, Richland, and Pasco).
The original people of the region were the Chemnapum Indians (closely related to the Wanapum tribe), living near the mouth of the Yakima River. Lewis and Clark passed through the area in 1805, and an expedition of the Army Corps of Topographical Engineers headed by Robert E Johnson mapped the Yakima Valley in 1841.
In 1853, a road was authorized by Congress to pass through the Yakima valley, and passed through present-day West Richland - but settlement did not really begin until the late 1870s. The first schoolhouse was built in 1896 on the Van Horn Property just south of what is now Van Giesen Street. Benton County was created in 1905, Richland was incorporated in 1906, and the West Richland area was known as 'Lower Yakima'.