Tieton was once a bustling city. With four blocks of storefronts surrounding the picturesque town square, locals could go to a movie, go bowling, play pool, shop at the five-and-dime or get a haircut. Tieton had two taverns, garages, a bank and a variety of churches. Busy cold storage fruit warehouses were only a few blocks away from the city's center. That all changed in the 1980s, with big box stores moving into nearby Yakima at the same time that agribusinesses were suffering. Residents moved away and businesses closed. The town square, once bustling with activity, felt empty.
The past decade has shown a very promising future for Tieton. The town square feels inhabited again. The apple industry is booming, new housing developments are going in and new businesses are opening. There is a medical clinic in the Upper Valley for the first time in over twenty years. Tieton's population is set to almost double in the next ten years. Thanks to local organizations like Catholic Community Housing, Community Health of Central Washington, the City of Tieton, the Tieton Economic Development Committee, Friends in Tieton, the Highland Food Bank and the Tieton Lions Cub, Tieton is seeing rapid growth and positive changes.