At a Glance
A town rich with farms, history and diversity. Here you can see fields of potatoes, grapes, feed corn, wheat, peas, alfalfa, seed crops and beans. Agriculture is the driving force behind this small community located in the heart of the Central Washington.
The Central Basin plateau was settled in the late 1800's by immigrants of Russian-German ancestry who homesteaded in the area and farmed dryland wheat. The Milwaukee Railroad arrived in the early 1900's and attracted additional settlers, including Doc Harris who established a drug and sundries store with physician services in Warden about 1905. The town was named after his son Ward. The Town of Warden was officially incorporated June 28, 1910. By 1917 the population of Warden reached 300. Electricity arrived in 1939, but the town's population declined through WWII.
In 1945 the beginning of the Columbia Basin Project would bring irrigation water from Grand Coulee Dam to irrigate over 530,000 acres of arid but fertile soil. In 1948 the federal government started selling government-owned farm units on the Columbia Basin Project to qualified applicants with preference to veterans. By 1954 the East Low Canal was finished. As a result of the project, the population of Warden grew from 322 in 1950 to 949 in 1960 to 1,639 in 1990 and has continued to grow to roughly 2,700 as of 2010 census data, estimated to be ~2,800 as of 2018.
Warden has a semi-arid climate.
Half a mile north of town is the Lind Coulee archeological site, dating to about 9000 years ago.
Warden is located at 46°57'59"N, 119°2'35"W; in Grant County between Moses Lake and Othello along Highway 17, just off Highway 170. The elevation of Warden is 1,305'.