College Place was nothing more than sagebrush until Walla Walla College was established in 1892. The land was donated for the university by Dr. Nelson G. Blalock.
College Place was given its name in 1891, after Seventh-Day Adventists in Washington and Oregon decided to establish a college in the area adjacent to Walla Walla's southwest border. Even before the first stones were laid for the college's first buildings, the land around the site was platted and Adventist families began buying lots.
Edward Sutherland (1865-1955), the school's first administrator, traveled around the Northwest recruiting students. Walla Walla College was open to all students, writes Aamodt, "as long as they agreed to observe the sacredness of the seventh day Sabbath on the campus and to avoid disseminating infidel views at the school." Students were allowed to live with their families or in the school dormitories. In 1892, the school was a single brick building.
The early years of the century were a slow period of growth for the college and College Place. College Avenue, the main street of the town, was graded in 1905, but didn't get gravel until 1917. It wasn't until 1924 that at least the main part of College Avenue was paved with concrete, and even then the residential streets received only a thin layer of gravel.
Due to various issues with fire and water, the citizenry began to push for incorporation. It was believed to be the largest village in the state that wasn't incorporated during the 1920s and 30s. Incorporation failed to pass until after World War II. College Place was officially incorporated on January 19, 1946. The incorporation measure passed 193-145.
The 1960s saw major growth for the college as several new buildings were constructed.
Walla Walla College changed their name to Walla Walla University in 2007.
College Place is located at 46°2′42″N 118°22′57″W (46.045127, -118.382425).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.66 square miles (6.89 km2), all of it land. The city is 790 feet above sea level.
Stateline and the Oregon border are south of College Place. Walla Walla is to the east and north, and Garrett to the west and north. Kennewick is 40 miles away, and Portland, Oregon nearly 210 miles away.
According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, College Place has a warm-summer Mediterranean climate, abbreviated "Csa" on climate maps.
Culture & Education Edit
College Place is the home of Walla Walla University (formerly Walla Walla College, thus the city's name), a Seventh-day Adventist operated liberal arts University. Because of the primary Adventist population, most downtown College Place businesses close on Saturday, reopening in most cases on Sunday. College Avenue is the main street running North to South from Highway 12 to the Milton-Freewater Highway.
Martin Field, to the west of town, was an air training base during World War II. It is now a private airfield with one runway.