The Manhattan Project built its plutonium production facility, Hanford, in a place that others called home. The roughly 600 square miles (1554 square kilometers) of land covered by the Hanford Site was home to area tribes since time immemorial. Fur trappers followed the Lewis and Clark Expedition in the early 1800s. Farmers arrived in the late 1800s and early 1900s. In 1943, everything changed for those who had used this land for decades, centuries, and millennia with the arrival of the Manhattan Project. The federal government claimed roughly 600 square miles (1554 square kilometers) along the Columbia River through eminent domain, giving some residents as little as 30 days to leave.
Visit local historic sites and educational centers that explore the stories of life before the Manhattan Project. Some historic sites are on the Hanford Site and can only be accessed through tours offered by the US Department of Energy.
Last updated: January 13, 2023