Richland is located in the southern-central part of the state of Washington and a city in Benton County and is in the junction of the Yakima and Columbia rivers. In 1905, the area was named after a local landowner and state legislator named Nelson Rich. The area where the present-day Watsonville stands remained as a farming village until 1942 when the atomic bomb was developed and the site became a part of the Hanford Engineer Works. The area was developed by the federal government and was being administered by the United States Army Corps of Engineers. In 1947, the Atomic Energy Commission and the General Electric Company assumed control of the area. They were then reincorporated as a city in 1958, and the property was transferred to private ownership.
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