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City of Maple Valley, Washington
—  City  —

Location of Maple Valley within King County, Washington, and King County within Washington.
Coordinates: 47°21′58″N 122°2′41″W / 47.36611°N 122.04472°W / 47.36611; -122.04472Coordinates: 47°21′58″N 122°2′41″W / 47.36611°N 122.04472°W / 47.36611; -122.04472
Country United States
State Washington
County King
Incorporated 1997
 - Type Mayoral
 - Total 5.6 sq mi (14.5 km2)
 - Land 5.4 sq mi (14.1 km2)
 - Water 0.2 sq mi (0.4 km2)
Elevation 343 ft (104.5 m)
Population (2009)
 - Total 20,840
 - Density 3,722.3/sq mi (1,437.2/km2)
Time zone Pacific (UTC-8)
 - Summer (DST) Pacific (UTC-7)
ZIP code 98038
Area code(s) 425
FIPS code 53-43150[1]
GNIS feature ID 1506457[2]

Maple Valley is a city in King County, Washington, United States. The population was 14,209 at the 2000 census.



The area was first settled in 1879 by 3 men who were improving a trail and brought their families in. When a name for a future community was proposed, the names Vine Maple Valley and Maple ridge were suggested. A vote was taken by writing the names on slips of paper and placing them in a hat. Vine Maple Valley won by 2/3, but the word "Vine" was later cut by the post office because it made the name too long.

The towns early history mainly had to do with coal, lumber milling to build homes, and a railroad which ran through town. Coal was brought in from Black Diamond to the south, but the town itself also mined coal from Cedar Mountain. The mine was used as late as 1947. Rail workers for lines like the Northern Pacific Railroad and the Cedar River Watershed, closed off by the City of Seattle, meant more workers for those things. More residents meant more lumber milling. More lumber milling meant more workers.

The town grew inward. Blacksmith shops, hotels, saloons and stores took up the town in the 1910's and '20s. Schools went up as well. Early schools were shacks at best. A two-room school went up in 1910, but a larger school was quickly needed. Tahoma High School, a three-story brick building, went up in 1920. Students made up the name by combining the first two letters in the town names Taylor, Hobart and Maple Valley. The school still serves the Tahoma School District as a middle school.

More residents meant farming and fishing became staples in the area, with milk, poultry and berry farming becoming the main grown food staples in the area. Fishing out of the Cedar River also became popular.

Maple Valley also saw resorts beginning in the '20s. Lake Wilderness, once the site of a county lumber mill, quickly became a resort lake with the opening of Gaffney's Grove, which opened with a ballroom, restaurant and roller rink. Later, the resort grew to include an airstrip, lodge, rental cabins, a nine hole golf course and a bowling alley. It remained in operation until 1964.

Increasing automobile use in the area gave rise to new roads being built. In the early 1960's, a highway being constructed between Auburn and North Bend ran by the city, requiring many landmarks to be either demolished or moved.


Maple Valley Today

The city was officially incorporated on August 31st, 1997. Today, the mostly residential city has shopping centers, gas stations, and housing. The Maple Valley Historical Society keeps records on the city's past, with 2 historical museums holding artifacts such as the city's first fire engine and photographs of old places in and around the city like Gaffney's Grove. The old Gaffney's Grove site is now a city park, and the Green to Cedar river trail runs through the city. The park includes a swimming beach, an arboretum and sprawling grass fields and sees the annual Maple Valley Days Parade each year in June.


Maple Valley contracts with the King County Sheriff's Office for police services. Deputies assigned to Maple Valley wear city uniforms and drive patrol cars marked with the city logo. There are currently 8 patrol officers, one community/storefront officer, and one chief assigned full time to the city.


Maple Valley is located at 47°21′58″N 122°2′41″W / 47.36611°N 122.04472°W / 47.36611; -122.04472 (47.366160, -122.044692)[3].

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 5.6 square miles (14.5 km²), of which, 5.4 square miles (14.1 km²) of it is land and 0.2 square miles (0.4 km²) of it (3.04%) is water.

The main bodies of water in the city limits are Lake Wilderness, Lake Lucerne, Rock Creek, and part of Pipe Lake. The Cedar River passes through unincorporated King County very near the northeastern border of the city.


Historical populations
Census Pop.  %±
1900 112
1910 112 0%
1920 225 100.9%
1930 250 11.1%
1940 122 −51.2%
1950 800 555.7%
1960 800 0%
1970 350 −56.3%
1980 900 157.1%
1990 1,211 34.6%
2000 14,209 1,073.3%
Est. 2008 19,929 40.3%

As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 14,209 people, 4,809 households, and 3,952 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,010.3/km² (2,617.9/mi²). There were 4,922 housing units at an average density of 350.0 units/km² (906.8 units/mi²). The racial makeup of the city was 90.62% white, 1.11% African American, 0.66% Native American, 2.46% Asian, 0.15% Pacific Islander, 1.36% from other races, and 3.64% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.56% of the population.

There were 4,809 households out of which 51.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 69.9% were married couples living together, 8.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 17.8% were non-families. 13.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 3.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.95 and the average family size was 3.26.

In the city the population was spread out with 33.8% under the age of 18, 5.4% between 19 and 24, 38.5% between 25 and 44, 17.8% between 45 and 64, and 4.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females there were 99.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.5 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $67,159, and the median income for a family was $70,008. Males had a median income of $50,623 versus $34,097 for females. The per capita income for the city was $24,859. About 2.1% of families and 2.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 2.4% of those under age 18 and 3.7% of those age 65 and over. Based on per capita income, one of the more reliable measures of affluence, Maple Valley ranks 93rd of 522 areas in the state of Washington to be ranked.

Notable people

Popular singer Brandi Carlile hails from the area.

Omare Lowe, who played football at the University of Washington and was drafted by the Miami Dolphins. He has had brief stints with Titans, Jets, Vikings, Redskins, and Patriots. In April 2008, he signed a 1 year contract with the Seahawks.

Jens Pulver, the first ever Ultimate Fighting Championship Lightweight Champion and a coach on the The Ultimate Fighter 5 reality show, attended and wrestled for Tahoma Senior High School in Maple Valley.

Washington State Representative Dylan Hageman hails from this area.

Points of interest

Surrounding Cities


  1. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.  
  2. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.  
  3. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2000 and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2005-05-03. Retrieved 2008-01-31.  
  4. ^ Moffatt, Riley. Population History of Western U.S. Cities & Towns, 1850-1990. Lanham: Scarecrow, 1996, 326.
  5. ^ "Subcounty population estimates: Washington 2000-2007" (CSV). United States Census Bureau, Population Division. 2009-03-18. Retrieved 2009-05-10.  

External links


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