🇺🇸 Cathlamet is a town located along the Ocean Beach Highway in Wahkiakum County, Washington, United States, where it is the county seat. The town has an additional rural population outside of the town limits.
Cathlamet was the largest, or one of the largest, villages of Columbia River Indians west of the Cascade Mountains, and the home of the Kathlamet people. "Cathlamet was sighted in 1792 by Lt. W.R. Broughton, while verifying Capt. Robert Gray's reported exploration of the Columbia River". This village of cedar houses included 300-400 inhabitants when visited by Lewis and Clark.
In 1846, James Birnie became the first permanent white settler at Cathlamet, moving there after a career with the Hudson's Bay Company. He set up a trading post, remnants of which were reported still standing in 1906. "Birnie named the area Birnie's Retreat. The name was later changed to Cathlamet in 1851".
Cathlamet was officially incorporated on February 18, 1907. In 1938, the Julia Butler Hansen Bridge was built to carry what is now State Route 409 across the Columbia River's Cathlamet Channel to Puget Island.
Cathlamet has a population of over 572 people. Cathlamet also forms part of the wider Wahkiakum County which has a population of over 4,582 people. It is also a part of the larger Washington state.