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Leavenworth is a city-state, located in former Chelan County, Washington. It incorporates the fertile valley of the Wenatchee River anchored by the town of Leavenworth and its largest city Cashmere. In between is the town of Dryden. With its government in Leavenworth and its militia in Cashmere, the tiny republic of around 4,000 inhabitants has maintained its approximately 36 sq mi as a haven for rugged individualists who have returned to "basics," content to live a simple lifestyle in a world of chaos.
The first route across Stevens Pass was built by the Great Northern Railway in 1892. The townsite was across the Wenatchee River from Icicle and was named Leavenworth the same year the rail construction began. Captain Charles Leavenworth, president of the Okanogan Investment Company, purchased the land in the present-day downtown and laid the streets parallel to the new railroad tracks. The railroad construction was completed during the winter of 1893. Lafayette Lamb and his brother, Chauncery Lamb arrived in 1903 from Iowa to build the second largest sawmill in Washington state. Leavenworth was officially incorporated on September 5, 1906. A small timber community, it became the headquarters of the Great North Railroad in the early 1900s. The railroad relocated to Wenatchee in the 1920s, greatly affecting Leavenworth's economy. The city struggled until 1962, when the Project LIFE (Leavenworth Improvement For Everyone) Committee was formed to transform the city into a mock Bavarian village to revitalize its economy. Owen and Pauline Watson, owners of a business on Front Street, formed the committee after visiting Solvang, California in 1958 and thought it was an excellent idea for Leavenworth.
Between the destruction of Fairchild Air Force Base outside of Seattle and the multiple strikes in Seattle, Chelan county fared extremely well. With the mountains as shields, in fact, small towns like Leavenworth did even better than cities like the county seat of Wenatchee when the EMPs took out most of the power and practically all the communications. During the course of the fall of 1983, as the feared "nuclear winter" set in, the leadership in towns along the Wenatchee did a reasonable job of keeping alive. However, as refugees from Wenatchee came up river to find resources, the residents of Cashmere set up barricades to protect the valley's limited produce and livestock. Discouraged refugees mostly retreated, eventually ending up in the nearby Pasco Free State which incorporated Wenatchee as an outpost.
Dissatisfaction with the preparations, though, led to a special election in the spring of 1984. As a result John Forrest became the new mayor. By the end of 1984, in order to preserve the resources of the valley, the governments of the three towns coalesced into a single city-state, choosing to become the "Republic of Leavenworth" with the assumption that no state or federal governments remained on the continent.
History of the Leavenworth Republic (1984-present)
Though the town of Leavenworth was smaller than its sister to the south, its location nestled in the mountains upstream on the Icicle Creek made it an ideal location to locate a governing body for the new city-state. With a little over 3600 survivors, the pocket of civilization felt a need to preserve itself from what wondering refugees were describing as 'hell on earth.' There was word that there were raiders from the Spokane area were seeking to make the states of Washington and Idaho into a 'white man's paradise,' a prospect that no one in the valley relished. Every able-bodied adult, therefore, was required to own and be able to operate firearms (both handguns and rifles). When met by resistance, therefore, raiding parties from Omak in Okangan County learned the hard way to seek weaker targets. Finally, after the Spokane War concluded, scouts were sent out from the valley to discover if peaceful nation-states actually existed.
In 2004 after over twenty years of isolation, official contact was made with Pasco. Surprisingly, this larger government accepted the tiny republic as a sovereign entity, establishing diplomatic relations. As nation-states have finally begun expanding their horizons, the city of Leavenworth has able to re-establish its popular identity as a tourist village for those of means to travel into the mountains to enjoy their beauty in a hospitable host village. This also provided a small industry in exporting surplus produce along with fish harvested from the rivers of the valley.
With a large German-American population, the persona of a Bavarian town came easy for Leavenworth. As tourism returned as part of its economy this minority became a prime mover in the culture. As the popularity of the distinctively European flavor caught on, the typically Pacific Northwest culture of the larger city of Cashmere also began to develop a German theme of its own. However, in their hearts, citizens of the republic remained about as "American" as a people could be.
From its inception, the valley had to be self-sufficient, leading to increased fishing and farming among all the inhabitants. Due to years of cultivation, though, the valley had proven sufficient to keep the small population self-sustaining with very little discomfort in the transition. In addition to this, arts and crafts traditionally just hobbies became 'cottage industries.' The forests in the county beyond the borders claimed by the republic provided game and recreation as the years went by.
Upon contact with 'the outside world' through their much larger neighbors, the produce, fish, and hand-fashioned crafts became a means to support an expanded lifestyle with "luxuries" that had become just memories over the years. With renewed contact, tourism became a reality once again, with goodwill ambassadors traveling when possible to new-found nation-states throughout the northwest - and beyond.
With good relations with Victoria and Pasco, the Leavenworth militia still remains active, and can be summoned at times of both war and natural disaster. Comprised of every able-bodied male (and a few female volunteers) over the age of 18, the militia proudly upholds the service to protect the republic from harm.
Having found that a president, as representative of the republic to the world, need not be beholden to the people he represents, the constitution of the republic states that the president shall be appointed by the legislature, called the Senate. However, at the same time the Senate appoints a president, the electorate elects a vice-president to serve as the leader of the Senate. In this way, the laws are not executed without the signature of the Vice President, while foreign policy is not enacted without the consent and signature of the president.