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Enumclaw, Washington facts for kids

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City of Enumclaw, Washington
City Hall and Municipal building
City Hall and Municipal building
Location of Enumclaw within King County, Washington
Location of Enumclaw within King County, Washington
Country United States
State Washington
County King
 • Total 4.27 sq mi (11.06 km2)
 • Land 4.26 sq mi (11.03 km2)
 • Water 0.01 sq mi (0.03 km2)
Elevation 761 ft (232 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 10,669
 • Estimate (2015) 11,609
 • Density 2,504.5/sq mi (967.0/km2)
Time zone Pacific (UTC−8)
 • Summer (DST) Pacific (UTC−7)
ZIP code 98022
Area code(s) 360
FIPS code 53-22045
GNIS feature ID 1519366

Enumclaw (Listeni/ˈnəmklɔː/ EE-nəm-klaw) is a city in King County, Washington, United States. The population was 10,669 at the 2010 census. The 2015 estimate is 11,609

The Enumclaw Plateau, on which the city resides, was formed by a volcanic mudflow (lahar) from Mount Rainier approximately 5,700 years ago.

The name Enumclaw is derived from a Salish Native American term that translates as "place of evil spirits", apparently referring to Enumclaw Mountain, located about 6 miles (9.7 km) to the north, and referring either to some evil incident that occurred there or to the occasional powerful windstorms from the east that affect the region. Native American mythology tells the story of two Pacific Northwest Native American brothers - Enumclaw and Kapoonis - whose father turned them into thunder and lightning respectively. The City of Enumclaw says the name means "thundering noise".


One of the first white settlers in south King County was Allen L. Porter. In 1853, he claimed a 320-acre (1.3 km2) parcel on the White River, about three miles (5 km) west of the site of Enumclaw. He maintained a troubled relationship with the local Smalkamish tribe (some of the ancestors of the Muckleshoot tribe) for some time, and in 1855 his cabin was burned to the ground. Porter, who had been warned in advance by a friend in the tribe, hid in the woods until they had left. After warning the settlers at Fort Steilacoom, he left the area, moving to Roy. He would never return to Enumclaw.

Enumclaw itself was homesteaded in 1879 by Frank and Mary Stevenson. In 1885, the Northern Pacific Railroad routed their transcontinental mainline through the site, accepting their offer of cleared, level land on which to build a siding. Confident that the area would grow, the Stevensons filed a plat with King County that same year. They built a hotel and gave away lots for a saloon and a general store.

At first the people called the town 'Stevensonville' after the founders, but they soon refused the honor. One resident suggested 'Enumclaw,' which was the name of the strange sawed-off promontory north of town. The name's uniqueness gained favor with the locals.

On January 11, 1895 Mount Baldy, a small peak above the town, "erupted" with tremendous fire and smoke, although no losses or damage were reported, and the conflagration was minimized by residents. Throughout the 1880s and 1890s the area was farmed for hops. When the hops crop failed due to pests and economic downturn, the residents turned to dairy farming, which has been a mainstay ever since. The first census listing Enumclaw in 1900 put the population at 483 people.

In the 1890s, the Northern Pacific Railroad re-routed their line through Palmer, a few miles to the east of town. In 1910, the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad routed a branch line through Enumclaw.

The city was incorporated on January 27, 1913. In 1929, a much-anticipated route to Eastern Washington was opened across the Naches Pass Highway. In the 1950s Enumclaw Insurance Group greatly expanded its business and the home office became a major employer in the town. The company is an insurer doing business in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Utah.

Enumclaw OldHighSchoolFront
Old Enumclaw High School, built in 1921


Enumclaw has resisted the temptation of box stores in an effort to maintain its livable bucolic image. Its downtown is filled with small local shops, restaurants and services. At least five major employers have chosen Enumclaw for their headquarters: Helac Corp, Mutual of Enumclaw, Nor-Pac Seating, Nether Industries, and Hill AeroSystems. Enumclaw has no B & O tax and per auto dealers, a low sales tax rate when compared to neighboring cities.


Enumclaw is the northern gateway to Mount Rainier National Park and is the closest city to Washington State's premier ski area, Crystal Mountain. Enumclaw is also the start of the Chinook Scenic Byway. Enumclaw provides Summer and Fall access to Washington's wine country (Yakima) via Chinook Pass. Enumclaw has three state parks (Nolte, Flaming Geyser, Kanaskat Palmer) within 15 minutes and Federation Forest within 15 minutes. The Enumclaw Plateau is home to many horse and cattle farms. Enumclaw has the most dairy farms in production (16 Grade "A") within the King and Pierce County region.


Enumclaw is located at 47°12′9″N 121°59′39″W / 47.2025°N 121.99417°W / 47.2025; -121.99417 (47.202401, -121.994044).

The city is located in the midst of flat, level farmlands and dairy farms in the east Puget Sound lowlands. The flat geography in the middle of mountainous territory is due to the ancient Osceola Mudflow from nearby Mount Rainier.

The city is unique in the fact that it is landlocked by farm preservation on three sides and protected forestlands to the east. The city is nestled against the Cascade foothills.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.27 square miles (11.06 km2), of which, 4.26 square miles (11.03 km2) is land and 0.01 square miles (0.03 km2) is water.

While Enumclaw is entirely located in King County, the city owns some park property within the boundaries of Pierce County.


This region experiences very warm (but not hot) and dry summers, with no average monthly temperatures above 71.6 °F (22 C) . According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Enumclaw has a warm-summer Mediterranean climate, abbreviated "Csb" on climate maps. In comparison, Enumclaw is typically warmer than Seattle by about 5 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit during the summer and cooler in the winter by about 5 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit. On average, Enumclaw experiences two to three wind storms per year that last up to 3 days each. These wind storms usually produce a constant wind out of the east at 20 to 30 mph (9 m/s, 32 km/h) and gusts as high as 60 mph (27 m/s, 96.5 km/h). Enumclaw city center is at 750 feet (228 m) above sea level. The higher elevation allows Enumclaw to experience sunshine when most of the Puget Sound region is shrouded in fog and more snow than Seattle.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1900 483
1910 1,129 133.7%
1920 1,378 22.1%
1930 2,084 51.2%
1940 2,627 26.1%
1950 2,789 6.2%
1960 3,269 17.2%
1970 4,703 43.9%
1980 5,427 15.4%
1990 7,227 33.2%
2000 11,116 53.8%
2010 10,669 −4.0%
Est. 2015 11,609 8.8%
U.S. Decennial Census
2015 Estimate

In the year 2000, the center of population of Washington State was located in an unincorporated part of King County, just northeast of town.

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 10,669 people, 4,420 households, and 2,793 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,504.5 inhabitants per square mile (967.0/km2). There were 4,683 housing units at an average density of 1,099.3 per square mile (424.4/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 91.8% White, 0.5% African American, 1.0% Native American, 0.9% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 2.9% from other races, and 2.7% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 6.6% of the population.

There were 4,420 households of which 32.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.9% were married couples living together, 12.4% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.8% had a male householder with no wife present, and 36.8% were non-families. 30.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 14% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.39 and the average family size was 3.00.

The median age in the city was 38.9 years. 24.5% of residents were under the age of 18; 8.8% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 24.8% were from 25 to 44; 26.9% were from 45 to 64; and 14.9% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 47.8% male and 52.2% female.

2000 census

As of the census of 2000, there were 11,116 people, 4,317 households, and 2,840 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,842.8 people per square mile (1,097.7/km²). There were 4,456 housing units at an average density of 1,139.6 per square mile (440.0/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 94.25% White, 0.79% Native American, 0.78% Asian, 0.30% African American, 0.11% Pacific Islander, 1.15% from other races, and 2.62% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.42% of the population. 16.6% were of German, 11.3% Irish, 10.3% English, 9.0% American, 7.6% Norwegian, and 5.9% Italian ancestry.

There were 4,317 households out of which 37.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.0% were married couples living together, 11.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.2% were non-families. 29.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.52 and the average family size was 3.13.

In the city, the population was spread out with 29.2% under the age of 18, 7.6% from 18 to 24, 30.3% from 25 to 44, 18.3% from 45 to 64, and 14.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 91.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.3 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $58,019 in 2013. The average household income in the 98022 Enumclaw retail trade (draw) area was $89,481 in 2013. The per capita income for the city was $20,596. About 4.3% of families and 8.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.3% of those under age 18 and 9.6% of those age 65 or over. Unemployment was at 4.30% in 2016 with 2313 blue collar workers and 4051 white collar workers.

Parks and recreation

The Enumclaw Expo Center annually hosts the King County Fair and the Pacific Northwest Scottish Highland Games, among a number of other exhibitions and festivals. The Olympic Kennel Club has the 5th largest dog show in the nation each year in August. The 72-acre (29 ha) facility has many areas that are available to rent for weddings, trade shows, conventions and other special events.

Popular culture

The 1967 Walt Disney film, Charlie, the Lonesome Cougar, was filmed at the Weyerhauser Mill in Enumclaw and surrounding areas.

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