A small agricultural town with about 7,600 inhabitants located in eastern Washington. It was first incorporated on June 21, 1909. There was no known settlement here until 1886, settled by the horse rancher Frank Beezley near the natural springs they called “Beezley Springs”. It wasn’t a very promising area for agriculture nor settlement and is probably a reason why this area has always been sparsely populated. The only activity that brought people to the area was the Northern Pacific Land Grant Act, the Homestead Act, the Desert Claims Act, and the nearby healing waters of Soap Lake. The city is believed to have been named by a railway worker “Ephrata” after the biblical description of an orchard in the middle of a desert, or as the ancient name of the town of Bethlehem. Area was popular for the numerous herds of wild horses in the area, which added to trade routes and horse round-ups. The last great round-up was here in 1906. From that point it moved to herding and raising sheep and cattle. Then came the Columbia Basin Reclaimation Project which brought in workers, technology, and industry. 1939 saw Washington’s longest runways being built here for the U.S. Army Air Corps until 1945, then turned into a commercial airport. Steven Spielberg filmed the Audrey Hepburn movie “Always” here in 1989. Ephrata was also filmed in the 60 Minutes II episode on the murder of Craig Sorger by Evan Savoie and Jake Eakin.