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Kalama is a city in Cowlitz County, Washington, United States. It is part of the 'Longview, Washington Metropolitan Statistical Area'. The population was 2,500, according to the Washington State Office of Financial Management.EtymologyThe story endorsed by the city Kalama is that the city was named after the nearby Kalama River which took its name from a Native Hawaiian named John Kalama. An alternate story, from James W. Phillips' Washington State Place Names states, "General J.W. Sprague of the Northern Pacific Railroad named the town in 1871 for the Indian word calama, meaning "pretty maiden." There is an additional story. Gabriel Franchere in 1811 wrote of the Indian village at the mouth of the Kalama River, and he said it was called Thlakalamah (this story predates all of the others)HistoryKalama was first settled by Native Americans, particularly members of the Cowlitz Indian Tribes. The first white settler recorded was in 1853. That first settler was Ezra Meeker and his family. Only one year later, Meeker moved to north Puyallup, Washington, but he sold his Donation Land Claim to a Mr. Davenport, who, with a few others, permanently settled in the Kalama area. In early 1870, Northern Pacific Railway scouts came to Cowlitz County to find an ideal terminus along the Columbia River. After a failed negotiation for a Donation Land Claim in Martin’s Bluff, four miles south of Kalama, Northern Pacific officials purchased 700 acres in Kalama for the terminus of the new railroad as well as a new headquarters. The population swelled with employees of the Northern Pacific Railway.Take a look at our United States trip itinerary planner to refine the details of your trip to Kalama.
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