Introduction to Pullman, Washington
The city of Pullman is located in Whitman County in the southeastern part of the state of Washington. Situated only six miles west of the Idaho border, Pullman is part of the wheat-producing agricultural area known as the Palouse region. Historically a pea and lentil farming area, the city is also a bustling college town owing to the presence and strong local prominence of Washington State University (WSU).
Situated at the junction of Washington State Highway 270 and U.S. Route 195, Pullman is serviced by a local airport, the Pullman-Moscow Regional Airport, which also serves the neighboring city of Moscow, Idaho (6 miles to the east). Other communities close to Pullman include Colfax (to the north), and Lewiston, Idaho (to the south). The city of Spokane is located 76 miles to the north.
Incorporated in 1886, Pullman was originally named Three Forks, in reference to the convergence of three small nearby rivers (Dry Fork, Missouri Flat Creek, and the South Fork of the Palouse River). The city later changed its name to honor noted industrialist George Pullman, inventor of the Pullman railroad car. According to some accounts, the name change was inspired by a large endowment from Mr. Pullman. In 1892, the state opened its new Agricultural College and School of Science in the city. The school expanded to become Washington State College in 1905 and in 1959 became Washington State University. Still heavily influenced by the University, Pullman today boasts a mix of prominent industries: education, high technology, and of course, agriculture.
Things to do in Pullman
Pullman offers numerous cultural, artistic, and recreational activities to its visitors and residents. On the Washington State University campus are three notable museums: the Worthman Veterinary Anatomy Teaching Museum, which features hundreds of dried and skeletal preparations of large and small domestic animals as well as specimens of birds and wild species; Conner Museum, which contains the largest public collection of birds and mammals in the Pacific Northwest; and the WSU Museum of Anthropology, which chronicles cultural similarities and differences in people. The WSU Museum of Art, the largest fine arts facility in the Inland Northwest, operates a rotating program of exhibits throughout the year. The Pullman Civic Theatre, founded in 1946, performs five plays yearly and sponsors the Eclipse Theatre Program for teens. The Beasley Performing Arts Coliseum is one of the largest performing arts centers in the region, offering top-name comedians, musical acts, symphonies, and ballet and operatic touring companies.
Pullman hosts several community events throughout the year. The most famous of these is the annual National Lentil Festival. Held in August, the event celebrates the prominence of the small legume in the city's agricultural history. The weekend event commences with an evening of activities in downtown Pullman and continues with a series of activities in the city's Reaney Park and in various locations throughout the city. Pullman is also part of a Fourth of July circuit of events celebrated around the communities of the Palouse region. The communities have coordinated their events, making it possible for visitors to "town-hop" from one community to another and not miss any of the activities. Pullman's contribution to the extravaganza includes a brilliant late-evening fireworks display.
Area sports fans can enjoy the best of NCAA Division I collegiate action right in town. The Washington State Cougars, WSU's noted athletic teams, participate in the Pacific Ten (Pac-10) Conference. The University's athletic program includes men's baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, and track and field; as well as women's basketball, cross country, golf, rowing, soccer, swimming, softball, volleyball, tennis, and track and field. Professional sports can be found less than an hour away in the city of Spokane, home of Minor League Baseball's Spokane Indians. The Indians are the class single-A affiliate of the Texas Rangers, and they play in the Northwest League.