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Auburn, Washington
—  City  —

Nickname(s): A-town
Motto: "More Than You Imagined"
Location of Auburn in King County, and Pierce County.
Coordinates: 47°18′8″N 122°12′53″W / 47.30222°N 122.21472°W / 47.30222; -122.21472Coordinates: 47°18′8″N 122°12′53″W / 47.30222°N 122.21472°W / 47.30222; -122.21472
Country United States
State Washington
Counties King, Pierce
Founded June 13, 1891
 - Type Mayor-Council
 - Mayor Pete Lewis
 - Total 29.827 sq mi (55.1 km2)
 - Land 21.3 sq mi (55.1 km2)
 - Water 0.0 sq mi (0.05 km2)
Elevation 82 ft (25 m)
Population (2008)
 - Total 67,485
 Density 2,295.1/sq mi (887.2/km2)
Time zone PST (UTC-8)
 - Summer (DST) PDT (UTC-7)
ZIP codes 98000-98099
Area code(s) 253
FIPS code 53-03180[2]
GNIS feature ID 1511974[3]

Auburn is a city in King and Pierce counties (primarily in King) in the U.S. state of Washington. The population was 40,314 at the 2000 census; the State of Washington Office of Financial Management[4] estimates the City of Auburn's population to be 67,485 as of April 1, 2008[5]. The population increased dramatically resulting from the recent annexations[5] of the West Hill, and Lea Hill, Washington communities directly east and west of the city.[6]

The town was named Auburn on February 21, 1893, before either Seattle or Tacoma had suburbs, Auburn is now generally considered a suburb in the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue metropolitan area. Auburn is currently ranked the 13th largest city in the state of Washington.[7]

Auburn is roughly bordered by the cities of Federal Way, Pacific, and Algona to the west, Sumner to the south, unincorporated King County to the east, and Kent to the north. The Muckleshoot Indian Reservation is located within city limits.



Auburn is located at 47°18′8″N 122°12′53″W / 47.30222°N 122.21472°W / 47.30222; -122.21472 (47.302322, -122.214779).[8]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 21.3 mi² (55.1 km²). 21.3 mi² (55.1 km²) of it is land and 0.05% is water.

Two rivers, the White River and, to a greater extent, the Green River flow through Auburn.

Historically, the Stuck River ran through the settlement of Stuck, which is now a small pocket of unincorporated King County within southern Auburn. In 1906, the flow of the White River was diverted into the Stuck's channel near today's Game Farm Park. [3] References to the Stuck River still appear in some property legal descriptions [4] and place names, e.g. Stuck River Drive, within Auburn, but today it is essentially indistinguishable from the southern White River.

Geographic Location of Auburn


Auburn has an extensive system of parks, open space and urban trails comprising 29 developed parks, 5 undeveloped sites under planning, 2 skates parks,2 water roatary parks, and over 23 miles (37 km) of trails (including Auburn's 4.5-mile (7.2 km) portion of the Inter-urban Trail for bikers, walkers, runners and skaters), and almost 247 acres (1.00 km2) of open space for passive and active recreation.

Environmental Park

The Auburn Environmental Park (AEP) Project is an innovative project that seeks to create open space in an urbanized area while offering opportunities for economic development, water quality improvement, stormwater detention and flood control, fish and wildlife enhancement, public education, and recreation, including hiking trails and bird viewing amenities. Located near West main, and the Interurban Trail, the city is beginning construction on one birdwatching tower, with 4 planned, and an extensive trail system also under way.

Auburn's Records and Averages

Climate data for Auburn, Washington
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 64
Average high °F (°C) 47
Average low °F (°C) 35
Record low °F (°C) -10
Precipitation inches (mm) 5.3
Source: [9] (May 16, 2008)


Auburn (Sounder station) located downtown is a major hub for the Green River Valley, also home to the Auburn International Farmers Market which is held on Sundays.

Auburn has many large roads nearby and within city limits, including SR 167 commonly referred as the "Valley Freeway", and SR 18. Auburn also has its own Transit Center, Auburn (Sounder station) in downtown, making it a central gateway key to access with Sound Transit to the entire Puget Sound area, and was up until the mid 60’s home to Northern Pacific's, (now Burlington Northern Santa Fe) central roundhouse[10]. In addition, the Auburn Municipal Airport [11] serves the general aviation community.


Historical populations
Census Pop.  %±
1900 489
1910 957 95.7%
1920 3,163 230.5%
1930 3,906 23.5%
1940 4,211 7.8%
1950 6,497 54.3%
1960 11,933 83.7%
1970 21,817 82.8%
1980 26,417 21.1%
1990 33,650 27.4%
2000 40,314 19.8%
Est. 2008 55,426 37.5%

As of the census[2] of 2000, there were 40,314 people, 16,108 households, and 10,051 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,895.9/mi² (732.1/km²). There were 16,767 housing units at an average density of 788.5/mi² (304.5/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 82.80% White, 2.42% African American, 2.54% Native American, 3.50% Asian, 0.51% Pacific Islander, 3.66% from other races, and 4.56% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 7.49% of the population.

There were 16,108 households out of which 32.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.7% were married couples living together, 13.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.6% were non-families. 29.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.47 and the average family size was 3.05.

In the city the population was spread out with 26.6% under the age of 18, 9.5% from 18 to 24, 31.6% from 25 to 44, 20.7% from 45 to 64, and 11.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 98.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.5 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $39,208, and the median income for a family was $45,426. Males had a median income of $36,977 versus $27,476 for females. The per capita income for the city was $19,630. About 10.2% of families and 12.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.3% of those under age 18 and 8.8% of those age 65 or over.


Neighborhood Map.png
  • Downtown - Historic buildings with a Main Street 'USA' appearance, also many Craftsman style houses from the 1920s.
  • North Auburn - A mix of commercial and single family housing separated by Auburn Way North.
  • River's Bend - Residential neighborhood adjacent to the Green River, located at the bottom of Lea Hill in North Auburn.
  • Christopher/Thomas - An area in North Auburn Roughly Bordered by the Valley Drive Inn, and 227th. Both former farming towns eventually annexed into the city in the 1960s.
  • Lea Hill, Washington - A mainly residential neighborhood east of the valley, annexed into the city in 2007. Green River Community College is located here.
  • Hazelwood - the general area on Lea Hill between Green River Community College, and Auburn Mountainview High School. Once a town in the late 1800s.
  • West Valley - A commercial and industrial area on the west side of SR 167, located on the bottom of West Hill.
  • West Hill - An affluent neighborhood located on the West Hill, bordered by the city of Federal Way to the west.
  • South Auburn - A general area located south of Downtown, once a low-income area but quickly becoming a commercial zone.
  • Terminal Park - An 'up-and-coming' area of middle class housing near the end of the train yard named for the railroad workers who lived there.
  • Forest Villa - Mainly residential area located in the Game Farm Park area, an affluent neighborhood from the 1970s - Present.
  • Lakeland Hills - A master-planned affluent community sprawling on a large hillside at the southern end of the city on both sides of King and Pierce Counties.
  • Hidden Valley - A planned development located East of Lakeland Hills overlooking North Lake Tapps.
  • Muckleshoot Area - The general area of the Muckleshoot Indian Reservation .


The city of Auburn is a government mayor-council form, the current Mayor is Pete Lewis, who is in his second term in office. Currently, he is the current Chair of Valley Communications Center (Valley Com) and serves as a Board Member for the Suburban Cities Association (SCA), Past Chair of the Public Issues Committee of SCA, Member of the Mental Illness and Drug Dependency (MIDD), Past Chair and member of the Green River Valley Flood Control District, Past Chair and member of the South County Area Transportation Board, Caucus Chair of the King County Regional Policy Committee, Past Chair and member of the South King County Human Services Forum, Pierce County Cities and Towns Forum, member of the Valley Cities Association and Vice Chair of the Puget Sound Regional Council Economic Development District Board. In addition he is also a member of the Mayors Against Illegal Guns Coalition[12], a bi-partisan group with a stated goal of "making the public safer by getting illegal guns off the streets." The Coalition is co-chaired by Boston Mayor Thomas Menino and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Auburn City Hall, 2007.

Auburn Council Members

  • Nancy Backus
  • John Partridge
  • Virginia Haugen
  • Lynn Norman
  • Bill Peloza
  • Sue Singer
  • Rich Wagner

Auburn is the site for the Northwest headquarters of United States General Services Administration.

Auburn Police Department

See Auburn Police Department (Washington)


With some of the most available and affordable land in the lower Puget Sound area[5], local business of notice include; Northwest Territorial Mint [13] ZONES[14], Toysmith[15] Timberland Homes[16], POE construction[17], Armstrong Construction[18], Miles Sand and Gravel[19], Oak Harbor Freight Lines[20], All of which headquarters are based in Auburn, with the exception of Boeing. Many of the city's once fertile farm ground has now became industrial and business parks, the majority of which located on the lower west valley floor.


The Auburn Boeing Plant, opened in 1966, is the largest airplane parts plant in the world[21] with 2,100,000 square feet (195,000 m2) and 265,000 parts being manufactured each year. With 11,000 employees, the Boeing plant is the 3rd major employer in Auburn.


Auburn was originally incorporated as Slaughter, Washington after Lt. William Slaughter, who died in an Indian skirmish in 1855.[6] At the time, the main hotel in town was called the "Slaughter House." In 1893, a large group of settlers from Auburn, New York moved to Slaughter, and renamed the town to "Auburn." [7] Due to this history, when Auburn was building its second high school in the mid-1990s, there was a grass-roots effort to name the high school "Slaughter High School," but it was eventually decided that the name would be too politically incorrect, and the High School was named "Auburn Riverside High School," whose mascot is the Ravens. There are several locations in Auburn on the National and State Registers of Historic Places, such as the Neely Mansion.

Neely Mansion, Spring of 2006

The city of Auburn, located 20 miles (32 km) south of [Seattle|Seattle, Washington], was home to some of the earliest settlers in King County. Nestled in a fertile river valley, Auburn has been both a farm community and a center of business and industry for more than 150 years. Auburn is located near the original confluence of the Green and White rivers, both of which contain runoff water from the Cascade Mountain range. The valley was originally the home of the Skopamish, Smalhkamish, and Stkamish Indian tribes. The first white men in the region were explorers and traders who arrived in the 1830s.

Settlers first came to the valley in the 1850s. On October 27, 1855, an Indian ambush killed nine people, including women and children. In November, a military unit led by Lieutenant William Slaughter camped near what is now present-day Auburn. On December 4, 1855, a group of Indians attacked, killing Lt. Slaughter and two other men.

A new treaty was written which provided the establishment of the Muckleshoot reservation, which is the only Indian reservation now within the boundaries of King County. The White River tribes collectively became known as the Muckleshoot tribe.

White settlers, the Neely and Ballard families began returning to the area. In 1891, the town of Slaughter incorporated. Although many older citizens considered the town's name as a memorial, many newer residents understandably felt uncomfortable with it. Within two years, the town was renamed Auburn, taken from the first line of Oliver Goldsmith's poem, The Deserted Village: "Sweet Auburn! Loveliest village of the plain."

Auburn had been a bustling center for hop farming until 1890 when the crops were destroyed by aphids. After that, the farms were mostly dairy farms and berry farms. Nevertheless, flooding was still a problem for Auburn farmers up until the Howard A. Hanson Dam was built in 1962. This dam on the Green River, along with the Mud Mountain Dam on the White River, provided controlled river management, which left the valley nearly flood-free.

Another impetus to Auburn's growth was the railroad. The Northern Pacific Railroad put a rail line through town in 1883, but it was the Seattle-Tacoma Interurban line that allowed easy access to both cities starting in 1902. The Interurban allowed farmers to get their product to the markets within hours after harvest. The railroad, along with better roads, caused many new companies to set up business in Auburn, among them the Borden Condensery (which made Borden's Condensed Milk) and the Northern Clay Company.

Auburn grew through the twentieth century like many American towns. The 1920s were prosperous for citizens, but the Great Depression of the 1930s left many in need. World War II brought great hardship to many local Japanese farmers when they were moved to internment camps and their land taken from them. At the same time, local boys were sent to fight in the Pacific, and some died in battle.

The postwar era was prosperous to Auburn, bringing more businesses and a community college to the city. In 1963, The Boeing Company built a large facility to mill sheet metal skin for jet airliners. As time went on, many farms disappeared as the land was converted to industrial use. In 1995, The Supermall of the Great Northwest was built in the valley, enticing consumers from all over the Puget Sound region.

Auburn has made the transition from small farms to large industries, but much of the city's history remains. A monument in the memory of Lieutenant Slaughter, erected in 1918, still stands in a local park. The Neely Mansion, built by the son of a pioneer in 1891, has been refurbished and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Auburn's downtown still maintains a "Main Street U.S.A" appearance.

Downtown Redevelopment

Looking down towards Auburn Way from West Main street.

Beginning in the late 1970s Auburn's downtown began a slow decline in business and travel. A 2001 citizens plan gathered ideals and realizations of the citizens of Auburn and what they wanted in downtown, after several years development has begun. In 2008 construction began of a new 300 hundred stall, 97,000-square-foot (9,000 m2) parking garage and medical building for the Auburn Regional Medical Center, located directly north of city hall. [22]

With the garage now being built, now parking opportunity have allowed city code to continue with the re-development of the downtown core. In 2009 a city annex and a Key Bank Branch anchored to the east will sit on the current site of the abandoned tavern row. [22]

With the main project goal of encompassing a regional entertainment and shopping center, while being an Urban Center. The “Auburn Junction” will complete that goal. Proposed and adopted by the city council Alpert [23] International will begin construction in 2010 with 750,000 square feet (70,000 m2), and a price tag of $240,000,000, the Junction will include retail below and high density apartments/condos above.An AMC theatre, and traditional court yard will be included. It will cover the main block on the former Cavanaugh site.

In addition to the Auburn Junction, the Stratford company will construct a 200-unit mixed use development called Auburn Station I & II, set for construction in late 2009. It will be located in the heart of downtown adjacent to the Auburn Sounder Station[24] With the redevelopment occurring at fast rate, projections are that downtown in the next 15 years will once again become vital and vibrant while enticing all, throughout the lower Puget sound area.

Recreation and Entertainment

The SuperMall of the Great Northwest

The Supermall, which opened in August, 1995, is often considered to be the largest outlet mall in South King county. Located at the Southeast corner of the junction between Highway 167 and Highway 18, the mall is strategically placed, for ease of access. Anchor tenants who occupy lease space in the mall include:

Surrounding the mall is a local Wal-Mart, a Regal Theater with 17 screens, the Boeing plant of Auburn, and various other commercial businesses. The nearby recently-constructed Safeway distribution center was featured in the Modern Marvels episode 'Supermarkets'.

Muckleshoot Casino & Bingo

Muckleshoot Casino[8] & Bingo, commonly known for its slogan, "The Biggest and Best in the Northwest!" is an Indian-run casino, located on the Muckleshoot Reservation. In addition to being one of the largest casinos in the Pacific Northwest, it is one of the few left in the state that allows smoking. All money made in the casino directly benefits the Muckleshoot Tribal Community, providing education and low-cost health care for tribal residents.

Emerald Downs Racetrack

Washington’s only Class One thoroughbred racetrack. A 167-acre (0.68 km2) facility. Emerald Downs' six-level stadium is focused on the finish line. [9]

White River Amphitheater

The White River Amphitheater is a 20,000-seat venue, located on the edge of Auburn city limits. Of the 20,000 capacity, approximately 9,600 seats are under the amphitheater roof. The site also houses the River Lodge (a 6,000-square-foot (560 m2) lounge), the Bear and Wolf Houses (all ages cafes), and four separate restroom buildings.

White River Valley Museum

The White River Valley Museum’s exhibits tell the story of Auburn, from Native American history to the 1920s. They focus on the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe, pioneer life, immigration from Europe and Japan, truck farming, railroading and the building of towns throughout the area. Visitors get to wander into a pioneer cabin, climb aboard a Northern Pacific caboose, and investigate the shops in 1924 downtown Auburn. [25]

Auburn Junior Football

Auburn Junior Football or AJF is a Little league Football team that consists of Pee Wee, Midgets, 89ers, Bantams and Sweet Peas. AJF also has a Cheerleading squad for ages 4–15. Each team has 7 games. The Cheerleading squad also has A cheerleading competition with the Puget Sound Junior Football League. At the competition the Panthers go against various teams in their league.

Famous Past/Present Residents

  • Pam Roach is an American Republican politician and a Washington State Senator representing the 31st district. Roach lives in Auburn.
  • Greg Haugen born and raised in Auburn, he grew up to become a professional boxer. Gained 4 championship belts and holds record for highest number in attendance for a single fight against Julio César Chávez.
  • Commander Dick Scobee, attended school and briefly lived in Auburn, originally attending Washington Elementary, However North Auburn Elementary was the school chosen to be named after him after the Space Shuttle Challenger accident.
  • Jeff Barkshire a professional NASCAR racer, Jeff currently resides in Auburn while not out racing.[26]

Several Rock bands receiving national attention and recognition have sprung from the Auburn area. Bands with members from Auburn include: Champion, Jude Dugan, Unhailoed, Green River, Instant Winner, The Cab, Just Say So, and others.


Auburn Senior High, opened 1950.
Auburn Riverside High School, opened 1995.
Auburn's newest comprehensive High School, Auburn Mountainview. Opened 2006.

In addition to the Auburn School District, Green River Community College also resides in Auburn, atop Lea Hill. Currently the Auburn School District has 14 elementary schools, 4 middle schools and 4 high schools, making 22 schools in all. The district's newest school is Arthur Jacobsen Elementary. The District is larger than the city itself, serving the neighboring towns of Algona and Pacific as well as some unincorporated areas around Auburn, and Kent.

High schools

School Location Mascot Colors Approx.
Auburn Senior High School Auburn Trojans Green/Gold 1,874
Auburn Riverside High School Auburn Ravens Navy/Teal/Silver 1,742
Auburn Mountainview High School Auburn Lions Blue/Orange 1,429
West Auburn Secondary High School Auburn Wolves Grey 275
Auburn Adventist Academy Auburn Falcons Blue/Gold 310

Middle schools 6-8

  • Cascade MS
    • Cascade Middle School is located in North Auburn, and has a student population of 791. Cascade employs John Woodens "Pyramid of Success" in daily activities and events to help build a closer community and raise academic awareness. Our mascot is the Spartan.
  • Mt. Baker MS
    • Mt. Baker Middle School is located in the Southwest Region of Auburn. It has about 900 students.
  • Olympic MS
    • Olympic Middle School is located in South Auburn and has about 700 students.
  • Rainier MS
    • Rainier Middle School is situated on Lea Hill.

Elementary schools K-5

  • Alpac ES, Located in Pacific, Washington - Opened in 1973 and named for the cities of Algona and Pacific. Originally an open classroom concept school, but converted to standard classroom ideals in 1983.
  • Chinook ES - Opened in 1963 and named for the nearby White River Fish Hatchery. Located on the Muckleshoot Indian Reservation.
  • Dick Scobee ES - Dick Scobee Elementary opened in 1959 as North Auburn Elementary and was renamed for the famed astronaut and Auburn High School graduate who died as commander of the Space Shuttle Challenger.
  • Evergreen Heights ES - Opened in 1970, located on the West Hill of Auburn.
  • Gildo Rey ES - Opened in 1969, under the name of South Auburn Elementary and was renamed in 1976 in honor of a long time faculty member, Gildo Rey.
  • Hazelwood ES - Opened 1990, on Auburn's Lea Hill.
  • Ilalko ES- Opened 1992. Named after a Native American village, the word "Ilalko" means "Striped Water."
  • Lakeland Hills ES - Auburn's largest Elementary school, opened in the Lakeland Hills community 2006.
  • Lake View ES- Opened in 1980.
  • Lea Hill ES - Opened in 1965 as one of only 11 schools in the United States designated as a National Educational landmark by the National Parks Service.
  • Pioneer ES- Opened in 1950.
  • Terminal Park ES - opened in 1945 and it was named for the terminal end of the railroad and the neighborhood where the rail workers lived, Terminal Park.
  • Washington ES - The oldest Elementary school in Auburn, located next to Auburn High School, originally opened in 1920, was demolished and re-built in 1970.
  • Arthur Jacobsen ES - Opened in 2007, on the former Jacobsen Tree farm and on the lower portion of Auburn Mountainview's campus.


City landmarks

The City of Auburn has designated the following landmarks:

Landmark Built Listed Address Photo
Auburn Masonic Temple[27] 1923-24 2002 302-310 E. Main Street Auburn, WA - Masonic Temple 01.jpg
Auburn Post Office[27] 1937 2000 20 Auburn Avenue NE Auburn, WA - former post office 01A.jpg
Auburn Public Library[27] 1914 1995 306 Auburn Avenue NE Auburn, WA - Auburn Dance Center 02.jpg
Olson Farm[27] 1897–1902 1995, 2000 28728 Green River Road S

Image gallery

Sister city

Auburn has one sister city, according to [10]:


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  3. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ a b [1] Washington Office of Financial Management Population - 2008.
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2000 and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2005-05-03. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  9. ^ "Monthly Averages for Seattle, WA". The Weather Channel. Retrieved 2007-09-28. 
  10. ^ Northern Santa Fe central roundhouse
  11. ^ [2]
  12. ^ "Mayors Against Illegal Guns: Coalition Members". 
  13. ^
  14. ^ "Zones". 
  15. ^ "Toysmith". 
  16. ^ "TimberLand". 
  17. ^ "POE construction". 
  18. ^ "POE construction". 
  19. ^ "Miles Sand and Gravel". 
  20. ^ "Oak Harbor Freight". 
  21. ^ "Boeing Frontiers Online Source". 
  22. ^ a b
  23. ^
  24. ^
  25. ^ White River Valley Museum website
  26. ^
  27. ^ a b c d King County and Local Landmarks List, King County (undated, last modified 2003-02-26). Accessed online 2009-05-08.

External links

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