NAME: Chesaw
COUNTY: Okanogan
CLIMATE: Snow in winter
BEST TIME TO VISIT: Spring/Fall best times. Road open in winter
COMMENTS: About 10 current residents as of 1970. Go east out of Oroville, WA for about 25 miles. Follow signs or ask for directions.
REMAINS: A few scattered cabins, rodeo grounds, store and a tavern. Also, many remains of homesteads and mine buildings in the area.
Chesaw was named after "Chee-saw" an early Chinese settler who took an Indian wife and settled near a commonly traveled ford on Meyers Creek. In the 1800's visitors to Chee-Saw's Ford spotted some traces of gold in the creek. Word of the gold spread, but since the area was in the Colville Indian Reservation, no prospecting was allowed. In 1896, with morals adjusted to fit the pocketbook, the white man opened half of the reservation to mineral claims. Promptly, most of the good pastures and fields were taken by whites as placer claims. The townsite of Chesaw was laid out on land obtained by filing a half-dozen false claims side by side. Iron and copper were the first ores taken in hard-rock operations. Some gold was found in hard rock claims near town. By 1900 Chesaw was a sizeable log community of two hundred people. It grew rapidly into a full-blown town with two three-story frame hotels, and a population that neared the one-thousand mark on Saturday night. In the twenties, the automoabile led people to the bigger towns, and Chesaw declined at an increasing rate. Many buildings were scavenged. Fire racked the town in 1950 and again in 1959. Submitted by: Ed Page