Enumclaw is founded in 1885.

  • By Mildred Andrews
  • Posted 12/04/1998
  • HistoryLink.org Essay 417
The city of Enumclaw, Washington, comes into existence in 1885 when the Northern Pacific Railroad routes its transcontinental line through Frank and Mary Fell Stevenson's homestead. Enumclaw nestles on a high plateau in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains, about midway between Mount Rainier and Seattle.

The Northern Pacific Railroad routed its transcontinental line through Frank and Mary Fell Stevenson's homestead after they offered cleared, level land for a siding. The Stevensons filed plats for a townsite, built a hotel, and gave away neighboring lots for Fell's Saloon and for Blake, Eckhart & Sims general store.

A local settler reportedly coined the city's name, after a railroad official urged the choice of something with an ending other than "-ville." According to legend, Indian warriors had fled from "Enumclaw," their word for the thunderous roar from within a nearby volcanic peak that they honored as sacred ground.

With an estimated 1996 population of 9,500 (U.S. Census Bureau), Enumclaw proclaims itself the "Gateway to Mt. Rainier," which rises majestically about 50 miles to the southeast.

Sources: Nancy Irene Hall, In the Shadow of the Mountain: a Pioneer History of Enumclaw (Enumclaw: Courier-Herald Publishing Company, Inc., 1983); Louise Ross Poppleton, There Is Only One Enumclaw (Enumclaw: Poppleton, [1980] 1995); Women's Progressive Club, Pioneer History of Enumclaw, typescript, 1941, Enumclaw Public Library; U.S. Census Bureau Website (http://www.census.gov/population/estimates/metro-city/scts96/sc96t_WA.txt).

Related Topics:   Cities & Towns

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