Two dominant individuals made the early settlement of Zillah possible. Thomas F. Oakes, president of the Northern Pacific Railroad, entrusted a man named Walter N. Granger to fulfill his vision for him of transforming the arid, desert land of the lower valley into a lush green valley of agricultural productivity by means of irrigation from the nearby Yakima River. After studying the matter for a few days Granger decided to assume the challenge before him. During the 1890’s, the Sunnyside canal project was begun. With construction out of the way, the promoter and sole superintendent of the canal, Granger selected a town site in 1892. The question of name the town arose from the site itself. During the visit, the decision was made to name the town Zillah, in honor of Miss Zillah Oakes, daughter of the railroad company president.

Development of the town site occurred quickly. Shortly after, a hotel was built. Soon a general store, drug store and a blacksmith shop were added. During 1894, School District #32 was organized and a schoolhouse was built. By the time the branch rail line came through Zillah, the area had two stage lines and two telephone lines. The growing settlement was incorporated in 1911, and by 1920 had a population of 647. The economic growth of Zillah settlement was made possible through the delivery of irrigation water to its arid desert land. Since 1970, Zillah has been growing at the fastest rate in history. Today it continues to grow but those who live here continue to enjoy life.



Public Release 

Date:               March 23, 2020

To:                  General Public

From:              Scott Carmack, Mayor

The City of Zillah will continue to provide essential services to citizens that include water, sewer and garbage.  Police and Fire services remain available.  Effective immediately, City Hall, Police Department, Fire Department, Public Works Department building and offices will be closed to the public but staff will continue to report to work to perform their duties. 

 The City will continue to maintain our essential operations as follows:

 Utility Payments

Utility payments will be received as follows:

  • Mail: PO Box 475, Zillah, WA 98953
  • City of Zillah online and auto-pay found at www.cityofzillah.us or call City Hall for assistance at 509-829-5151.   
  • Dropbox located on the East side of the city hall building
  • The drive-through window located on East side of city hall building during business hours (M-F 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.)

Special Events applications, Yard Sales and Banquet permits will not be issued at this time. For more information, please call (509) 829-5151.

 Police Department

The Police Department will generally be operating as normal.  Some minor changes will include:

  • Public fingerprinting, notary service or new CDL licenses are suspended until further notice
  • When responding to a residence, officers will request outside contact.
  • Zillah Police Department will attempt to educate when possible to encourage compliance with any state or county public health orders.

In the event of an emergency, please call 911.  For general information and questions, please call 509-829-6100

 Fire Department

 In the event of an emergency, please call 911.  For general information and questions, please call 509-829-3760

 Public Works

Water meter reading will continue, however, the crewmembers will minimize tasks that involve close contact with the public. 


Development applications and building permit applications can be mailed to PO Box 475, Zillah, WA 98953.  Applications will be reviewed in a timely manner.  Payment information will be provided for you to send in a check or money order or you can pay at the drive-through window at city hall.  Plans and applications can be left in the dropbox or taken to the drive-through window at city hall.  Building inspections will continue, however, we will request to have limited face-to-face interactions.  For more information or to schedule an inspection, please call 509-829-5151 and ask for Ardele Steele or Mike Farmer.

Parks & Recreation

The city Parks & Recreation Program has been suspended.  All public restrooms and playground equipment throughout the city have been closed.  No special events will be allowed in city parks or facilities during the duration of this emergency.


Dear Resident,

We understand you may have concerns regarding COVID-19 (also known as the Coronavirus). As a valued City of Zillah customer, your health and safety are important to us. The virus primarily spreads from person to person (according to the CDC) and may be transmitted through hard surfaces, frequently touched objects, or even currency. Because of this, we encourage limiting face-to-face contact and communication through electronic and digital systems.

To reduce social interactions, we are asking residents to conduct business with us through electronically means whenever possible. Some of the easiest tasks to perform electronically are managing your accounts online and paying bills. To minimize potential spread, we are asking those who typically pay with a check, cash, or come into the office to make a payment, to consider paying for your utilities online as outlined below. If you'd prefer to continue using cash, check, or in-off payments, you can use our drive-through window. To set up an online bill payment account, visit www.cityofzillah.us. If you have any questions, please contact us at 509-829-5151.

Thank you and be well, City of Zillah


PO BOX 475, ZILLAH, WA 98953 - 509-829-5151 FAX 509-829-5457

  © 2008 MidValley Television and The City of Zillah.

Zillah has been highlighted for being one of the best small  towns in America with CarRentals.com, an Expedia Company. Click on link to read the article.

Current Population for the City of Zillah: 3,165