City of Seattle annexes Columbia City on May 3, 1907.

  • By Cassandra Tate
  • Posted 5/30/2001
  • HistoryLink.org Essay 3321
In 1907, just two years after voting to incorporate as an independent, third class city, Columbia City residents agree to be annexed to Seattle, giving up a measure of independence in return for improved municipal services.

Columbia City, founded as a mill town in 1892, qualified for "city" status in 1905, when its population reached the required 1,500. Rejecting a move for annexation at that time, the residents voted instead to advance, under the laws of Washington, from a "Town of the Fourth Class" to a "City of the Third Class."

Opponents of annexation argued that as an independent entity, Columbia City could enjoy lower taxes and more local control, particularly on the issue of saloons. The town prided itself on never having had a saloon within its corporate limits, and many citizens feared that annexation would open up an alcoholic floodgate.

By 1907, however, the mood had changed. On March 5, the voters approved annexation, with 109 in favor and only three opposed. Columbia City officially became part of Seattle when the election results were filed with the secretary of state, on May 3.


Sources: "Centennial History: Columbia City, Rainier Valley, 1853-1991," dated 1992, comp. by Carey Summers for Pioneers of Columbia City, Rainier Valley Historical Society, Seattle, Washington; Records of the City of Columbia, City of Seattle, Municipal Archives, Seattle, Washington.

Related Topics:   Seattle Neighborhoods

Licensing: This essay is licensed under a Creative Commons license that encourages reproduction with attribution. Credit should be given to both HistoryLink.org and to the author, and sources must be included with any reproduction. Click the icon for more info. Please note that this Creative Commons license applies to text only, and not to images. For more information regarding individual photos or images, please contact the source noted in the image credit.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License
Major Support for HistoryLink.org Provided By: The State of Washington | Patsy Bullitt Collins | Paul G. Allen Family Foundation | Museum Of History & Industry | 4Culture (King County Lodging Tax Revenue) | City of Seattle | City of Bellevue | City of Tacoma | King County | The Peach Foundation | Microsoft Corporation, Other Public and Private Sponsors and Visitors Like You