In 1896 a steamboat company bought a landing site at the confluence of the Okanogan and Columbia Rivers from John Bruster, and the resulting town bears his name in spirit, if not spelling. The town was a transfer point for river shipping between the Columbia and Okanogan rivers.
The Colville Indian reservation is just east of town.
Brewster was founded in 1910 and grew as river travel increased. The coming of the railroad in 1914 opened more opportunities, including mining and logging. The economy of Brewster rests with the fruit--producing several million boxes of fruit annually. The Okanogan Interpretive Center near Brewster represents the site of the first inland fur trading post in the state. A short drive away is Grand Coulee Dam. There is also a Brewster, Massachussetts.