The Washington State Legislature officially created Grant County February 24, 1909, and named after President Ulysses S. Grant. The county seat was located in Ephrata. The population in the county at the time was only about 8700 people. The Columbia Basin Reclamation Project, which began as a group of businessmen from Ephrata began looking for ways to make the area more viable. One idea was to dam the Columbia River at Grand Coulee. Although the idea of the Grand Coulee Dam would not be approved until 1933 and still not implemented until 1939, the project would fundamentally change the region forever.