Originally known as Stevensonville, Enumclaw is the gateway to such places as Mt. Rainier, Crystal Mountain, the King County Fairgrounds and much more.
Enumclaw /ˈiːnəmklɔː/ (US dict: ē′·nəm·klŏ) is a city in King County, Washington, United States. The population was 10,669 at the 2010 census.
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 frequent powerful windstorms 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”.
Founders Mary and Frank Stevenson arrived in the plateau area in 1879, homesteading the land in a little-known and remote area. In 1885, six years after the Stevenson arrived, the Northern Pacific Railroad routed a line through the Stevenson’s land, bringing with it, logging, a booming economy, and a place in Washington State History.
The Stevensons took advantage of the railroad shift and filed a plat with King County to begin developing the town. On their new land, the homesteaders built a hotel and eventually gave away lots of land for a saloon and general store. The city boomed, bringing in new settlers and new industries. The most profitable industry was hop farming, producing a large revenue for Enumclaw farmers.
The city grew, and the people named it Stevensonville, after the original founders. The Stevensons refused the honor, and outside urging from a railroad official, convinced the settlement it needed a new name. Not far from the city stood the infamous Mount Enumclaw, named by the Indians to mean “place of the evil spirits.” A settler recommended the name, and it stuck. When Enumclaw, finally became a city on January 27th, 1913, the name Enumclaw was official. For the past 100 years, the residents have come to know and love the “place of evil spirits.”
Between the 1880s and the 1890s, farmers used the fertile land of the plateau for hops farming. For Ezra Meeker of Puyallup, this proved to be a fruitful enterprise, but after a short ten years, the crops failed due to pests, and the downturn of the economy. Farmers quickly switched to dairy farming-a staple Enumclaw has been known for ever since.
In the 1890s, the Northern Pacific Railroad re-routed its line through Palmer, Washington, opening up the area for the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad to run its trains through Enumclaw. While the tracks are no longer here today, Railroad St. stands a memorial of the rails that brought prosperity and a name to Enumclaw.
Thirteen years previous to the incorporation of Enumclaw as a city, the 1900 census put the population at 483 people. Today, Enumclaw has a population of 11,086.
Today, most residence of Enumclaw work outside the city, but in 1950, Mutual of Enumclaw opened its doors creating an in-town employment opportunity. They have a fantastic history dating back to the late 1800s.
In 1898, a group of Enumclaw Washington residents got together to create the Farmers’ Mutual Insurance Company. The articles of incorporation stated that the purpose of the organization was “to insure farm and village buildings and personal property against loss by fire and lightning.” Funding was provided by assessment of the members to restore property after catastrophic loss.
During the next 45 years, the company slowly expanded its insurance writings. In 1943, extended coverage perils were added to the fire and lightning coverage previously provided. In 1947, the company began to write non-farm properties. A year later, casualty insurance was added to the portfolio of offerings putting Farmers’ Mutual Insurance Company on an equal footing with other companies for the first time.
In 1952, the states of Oregon and Idaho were added to the service area. At this point, the company was writing approximately $2 million in premiums. Ten years later Farmers’ Mutual merged with the Butteville Insurance Company of Woodburn, Oregon, which brought total writings to $5 million. The company also began writing commercial insurance in 1963.
On May 1, 1966, the name of the company was changed to Mutual of Enumclaw Insurance Company. Growth continued through the years and in the summer of 2002, the company expanded to Utah.
Enumclaw Property and Casualty Insurance Company was launched in Washington in December 2002 as a wholly owned subsidiary of Mutual of Enumclaw Insurance Company. The new company was established to facilitate new marketing opportunities in both personal and commercial lines of insurance.
As of December 31, 2009, Enumclaw Property and Casualty had more than $20 million in written premiums while Mutual of Enumclaw Insurance Company’s written premiums totaled more than $315 million.
Enumclaw’s rich history has built the foundation of success we see in modern times.
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/km). There were 4,456 housing units at an average density of 1,139.6 per square mile (440.0/km). 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 according to the 2000 census.
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 $43,820, and the median income for a family was $56,270. Males had a median income of $46,060 versus $30,926 for females. 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.
In the year 2000, the center of population of Washington State was located in an unincorporated part of King County, just northeast of town.
2013 marks the 100 anniversary of Enumclaw. The past 100 years have been good for Enumclaw and have opened up numerous opportunities for residence and visitors to enjoy the small-town atmosphere and the great outdoors. Residence and visitors alike can find food, fund, and entertainment all on the downtown stretch.
Below is a list of places to explore, shop, and enjoy:
Parks and Recreation
Ascending to 14,410 feet above sea level, Mount Rainier stands as an icon in the Washington landscape. An active volcano, Mount Rainier is the most glaciated peak in the contiguous U.S.A., spawning six major rivers. Subalpine wildflower meadows ring the icy volcano while ancient forest cloaks Mount Rainier’s lower slopes. Wildlife abounds in the park’s ecosystems. A lifetime of discovery awaits.
Crystal is the largest ski resort in the state and is readily accessible from the Seattle-Tacoma metropolitan area through Enumclaw via Highway 410. It is primarily a day-use area, with eleven chairlifts, various dining locations, and multiple hotels. Crystal is home to the Mt. Rainier Gondola, which provides year-round access to the resort’s summit and is the state’s only gondola. Crystal Mountain is owned and operated by Boyne Resorts, a private Michigan-based resort company.
Offering fresh air, a chance for solitude and a big dose of the great outdoors, the recreational area at Mud Mountain Dam is a great place to spend time out in nature. An area with an interesting history as well, it’s run by the Army Corps of Engineers who regulate the flow of the White River.
Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, is one of the most visited forests in the country. It’s located on the western slopes of the Cascade mountain range and extends over 140 miles between Seattle, Washington and Vancouver, British Columbia. Here you will find glacier-covered peaks, spectacular mountain meadows and old-growth forests.
Nolte State Park is a 117-acre day-use park with 7,174 feet of freshwater shoreline on Deep Lake in the Green River Gorge. Covered with forests and blessed with water, the land was a resort for many years before it was donated to State Parks.
Federation Forest State Park is a day-use natural area with 619 acres of old-growth evergreens. Located along the White River, the park provides visitors with 12 miles of hiking trail, three interpretive trails, an interpretive center with a gift shop and four picnic areas.
Shopping and Food
Allen’s Furniture of Enumclaw opened its doors in 1993. It was one of three Allen’s Furniture stores that served western Washington for many years. Built on the philosophy PUT THE CUSTOMER FIRST Allen’s furniture is committed to offering you the very best in Fashion Quality and Price. With over 20,000 square feet of showroom space, the selection and service are outstanding.
Mike has just about every type of tack you could possibly need or want from saddles and blankets to buckets and hoof picks. If he doesn’t have it in stock, you can bet he will order it for you. Mike has both new and used saddles and tack that appeal to anyone’s budget.
Each of our products is specially selected to match a variety of interests. Whether it’s a good book, perfect gift, the latest worship music, or Bible translation of your choice, our friendly staff will help you find what you’re looking for. Discover our unique children’s department featuring a custom Noah’s Ark reading and play area. Our beautifully decorated showrooms allow you to shop in an easy and comfortable environment. From video rentals to home school and church supplies, The Salt Shaker has what you need when you need it. Relax in our inviting Reader’s Cafe and enjoy a cup of fine gourmet coffee or tasty treat.
Enumclaw Sears provide all of your appliance and lawn care needs. Situated two blocks from the downtown, shoppers won’t be disappointed at the selections of washers and dryers, lawn mowers and even home entertainment systems.
Enumclaw School District covers pre-school through high-school, with community college opportunities in town.
- Enumclaw High School
- Enumclaw Middle School
- Thunder Mountain Middle School
- Black Diamond Elementary School
- Byron Kibler Elementary School
- Southwood Elementary School
- Sunrise Elementary School
- Westwood Elementary School
- Green River Community College
Interesting Facts About Enumclaw
The Indian Myth of Enumclaw, the god.
Trouble-making Thunder God.
The son of KANATI the Hunter and SELU the Corn Goddess, ENUMCLAW and his brother KAPOONIS were known as the THUNDER-TWINS.
Having consulted with spirits, ENUMCLAW discovered the secret of making fire spears, while his brother KAPOONIS mastered the somewhat easier art of hurling very large boulders.
Together they caused all manner of mayhem on Earth. Not very amused, Father Sky grabbed both of them up into his domain and put them to use.
Now ENUMCLAW makes lightning by casting his fire spears down to Earth, while his brother hurls thunderous boulders across the sky.