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Manson Backus, the father of Leroy M. Backus president of the Lake Chelan Land Company.

Where did Manson get its name?

In 1911, A. Bergman supervised the grading of 100 acres for the new town site of Manson. Manson was named for Manson Backus, the father of Leroy M. Backus, president of the Lake Chelan Land Company.  At the time the company owned 6500 acres and had planned to irrigate and subdivide the land into parcels suitable for agricultural operations. 

Peter Wapato and Ben Martin had each planted apple orchards before 1890. School was closed for two weeks in the fall so that the older children could help with the harvest.

The Coleman and Despain Mill at Bear Wallow near Antilon Lake was a major supplier of lumber for the irrigation work around Manson. 

Displays of Lake Chelan fruit and vegetables at expositions around the United States inspired many families to move to the Lake Chelan Valley. 

The Manson Fruit Growers packing shed was in place by 1925.  It was locally known as the “Unit” packing shed. 

The Manson business district was expanding by 1925 with 2 stores, a post office, a garage, school and public library.  By 1925 a hardware store, barber shop, beauty shop and drugstore had been added to downtown. 

1n 1931 the Chelan Box and Manufacturing Company and sawmill on Mill Bay was a major employer with 2 shifts of 80 workers each.  The manufacturing company operated until 1967. The sawmill closed in 1969 when a fire destroyed the mill. 

For more information about Manson, WA you will find the spiral bound book “Glimpses of Manson History”, by Wayne Stanford available at The Chelan Museum 204 E Woodin Ave Chelan, WA 98831 Phone # 509-682-5644


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