Auburn, Washington

Auburn, Washington
Flag of {{{official_name}}}
Nickname(s): A-town
Motto(s): "More Than You Imagined"
Location of Auburn in King County.
Location of Auburn in King County.
Auburn, Washington is located in the US
Auburn, Washington
Location in the United States
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 Nancy Backus
 • Total 29.89 sq mi (77.41 km2)
 • Land 29.62 sq mi (76.72 km2)
 • Water 0.27 sq mi (0.70 km2)
Elevation 82.62 ft (25 m)
Population (2010)[2]
 • Total 70,180
 • Estimate (2015)[3] 77,006
 • Rank US: 441st
 • Density 2,369.3/sq mi (914.8/km2)
Time zone PST (UTC−8)
 • Summer (DST) PDT (UTC−7)
ZIP codes 98001, 98002, 98092, 98071
Area code(s) 253
FIPS code 53-03180
GNIS feature ID 1511974[5]

Auburn is a city in King County, with a small portion in Pierce County, Washington, United States. The population was 70,180 at the 2010 United States Census.[6] Auburn is a suburb in the Seattle metropolitan area, currently ranked the fourteenth largest city in the state of Washington.[7]

Auburn is bordered by the cities of Federal Way, Pacific, and Algona to the west, Sumner to the south, Kent to the north, and unincorporated King County to the east. The Muckleshoot Indian Reservation is in or near the southern city limits.[8]


Auburn was originally incorporated as Slaughter, Washington, after Lt. William Slaughter, who died in a skirmish fighting Native Americans which are now a part of the modern day Muckleshoot tribe in 1855.[9] 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."[10] 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 "Auburn Riverside High School," whose mascots are the Ravens.[citation needed]

There are several locations in and around Auburn on the National and State Registers of Historic Places including the Neely Mansion.

Neely Mansion, Spring of 2006.

The city of Auburn, located 28 miles (45 km)[11] south of 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. In November, a military unit led by Lieutenant William Slaughter camped near what is now Auburn.

A new treaty was written which provided the establishment of the Muckleshoot reservation, one of only two Indian reservations now within the boundaries of King County (the Snoqualmie Tribe being the other). 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 opened 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 and opened up the rich bottom lands for industrial development.

Another impetus to Auburn's growth was the railroad. The Northern Pacific Railway's subsidiary the Northern Pacific and Puget Sound Shore Railroad opened a line from approximately Puyallup, Washington, through to Seattle, Washington, in 1882. The Seattle-Tacoma Interurban line that allowed easy access to both cities starting in 1902. 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.

Through the twentieth century Auburn grew like many American towns. Many young men went off to fight in the First World War, which was followed by the great influenza epidemic. 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-American 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, North Africa, and Europe. Many were wounded and some died in battle.

The post-war 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, bringing in consumers from all over the Puget Sound region.

Much of the city's transition from agricultural small town to industrial and suburban development 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.

In 2008, Auburn nearly doubled its population by annexing the West Hill and Lea Hill neighborhoods of unincorporated King County.


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).[12]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 29.89 square miles (77.41 km2), of which, 29.62 square miles (76.72 km2) is land and 0.27 square miles (0.70 km2) is water.[1]

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.[13] References to the Stuck River still appear in some property legal descriptions and place names, e.g. Stuck River Drive, within Auburn, but today it is essentially indistinguishable from the southern White River.[14]

Geographic location of Auburn[]


Mount Rainier seen from Auburn's Centennial Viewpoint Park on West Hill

Auburn has an extensive system of parks, open space and urban trails consisting of 28 developed parks, over 23 mi (37 km) of trails (including Auburn's 4.5 mi (7.2 km) portion of the Interurban Trail for bikers, walkers, runners and skaters), and almost 247 acres (100 ha) of open space for passive and active recreation.

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
Average precipitation inches (mm) 5.3


Auburn station in 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 State Route 167 (commonly referred as the "Valley Freeway") and State Route 18. Auburn also has its own transit center, Auburn station in downtown, that serves as a major hub for southern King County. Sound Transit buses connect the Auburn Transit Center directly to the Federal Way, Sumner, and Kent, while King County Metro buses connect the Transit Center to Green River Community College, the Super Mall, and Auburn Way.

Sounder commuter trains travel from Auburn to Downtown Seattle in approximately 30 minutes, and to Lakewood station in less than 35 minutes.

Until 1987 Auburn was also the home for a steam locomotive roundhouse and diesel engine house of the Northern Pacific Railway, the BNSF Railway of today. BNSF maintains a rail yard and small car repair facility, along with maintenance-of-way facilities at the former NP yard.[16] In addition, the Auburn Municipal Airport serves the general aviation community.[17]


Historical population
Census Pop.
Est. 201677,472[18]10.4%
U.S. Decennial Census[19]
2015 estimate[3]

2010 census[]

As of the census[2] of 2010, there were 70,180 people, 26,058 households, and 17,114 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,369.3 inhabitants per square mile (914.8/km2). There were 27,834 housing units at an average density of 939.7 per square mile (362.8/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 70.5% White, 4.9% African American, 2.3% Native American, 8.9% Asian, 1.6% Pacific Islander, 6.3% from other races, and 5.4% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 12.9% of the population.

There were 26,058 households of which 36.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.7% were married couples living together, 13.0% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.9% had a male householder with no wife present, and 34.3% were non-families. 25.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.67 and the average family size was 3.22.

The median age in the city was 34.4 years. 25.9% of residents were under the age of 18; 10.5% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 27.9% were from 25 to 44; 25.5% were from 45 to 64; and 10.2% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 49.4% male and 50.6% female.

2000 census[]

As of the census 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 per square mile (732.1/km²). There were 16,767 housing units at an average density of 788.5 per square mile (304.5/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 82.80 percent White, 2.42 percent African American, 2.54 percent Native American, 3.50 percent Asian, 0.51 percent Pacific Islander, 3.66 percent from other races, and 4.56 percent from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 7.49 percent of the population.

There were 16,108 households out of which 32.8 percent had children under the age of eighteen living with them, 43.7 percent were married couples living together, 13.4 percent had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.6 percent were non-families. 29.1 percent of all households were made up of individuals and 9.1 percent 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 percent under the age of eighteen, 9.5 percent from eighteen to 24, 31.6 percent from 25 to 44, 20.7 percent from 45 to 64, and 11.6 percent 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 percent of families and 12.8 percent of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.3 percent of those under age 18 and 8.8 percent of those age 65 or over.


Neighborhood Map.png


The city of Auburn is a mayor-council form of government meaning the mayor is a full-time, separately elected position. The current Mayor is Nancy Backus, who was first elected to the post in 2013 and re-elected in 2017. She is the first female to serve in the office since Auburn was incorporated in 1891.

Auburn City Hall, 2007.

Auburn Council members[]


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

Auburn, Washington is designated by the Veterans Day National Committee and the US Department of Veterans Affairs as a Regional Site for celebration of Veterans Day.

Auburn Police Department[]

See Auburn Police Department (Washington)


Welcome sign on West Hill

Using King County's Annexation Initiative, Auburn annexed Lea Hill and West Hill in 2008. With the annexation, the city grew in population from 40,314 to 68,000 and increased its land area from 21.26 square miles (55.06 km²) to 29.89 square miles (77.41 km²).[21][22]


The Auburn Boeing Plant, opened in 1966, is the largest airplane parts plant in the world, with 2,100,000 square feet (200,000 m2) and 1,265,000 parts being manufactured each year.[23] With over 5,000 employees, the Boeing plant is the third major employer in Auburn.


According to the Uniform Crime Report statistics compiled by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in 2012, there were 248 violent crimes and 3,985 property crimes per 100,000 residents. Of these, the violent crimes consisted of six murders, 23 forcible rapes, 110 robberies and 109 aggravated assaults, while 984 burglaries, 2,415 larceny-thefts, 586 motor vehicle thefts and 18 arson defined the property offenses.[24]


Top employers[]

According to Auburn's 2011 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report,[25] the top employers in the city are:

# Employer # of Employees
1 Boeing 5,993
2 The Outlet Collection Seattle 3,208
3 Auburn School District 2,410
4 Muckleshoot Tribal Enterprises 1,650
5 Auburn Medical Center 1,580
6 Green River Community College 1,315
7 Emerald Downs 1,162
8 Safeway 870
9 Social Security Administration 660
10 Zones, Inc. 644
10 Certainteed Corporation --
10 City of Auburn --

Recreation and entertainment[]

The Outlet Collection Seattle[]

The Outlet Collection Seattle, formerly SuperMall of the Great Northwest, is an outlet mall which opened in 1995.

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.[26] The racetrack is professionally operated on land purchased by the Muckleshoot in 2002.

White River Valley Museum[]

The White River Valley Museum’s exhibits feature 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 can visit a recreation of a pioneer cabin, climb aboard a Northern Pacific Railway caboose, and investigate a recreation of the shops in 1924 downtown Auburn.[27]

White River Amphitheater[]

The White River Amphitheater is a 20,000-seat venue, located about 3 miles (4.8 kilometers) east of the city limits

Auburn Parks, Arts & Recreation[]

Auburn has an extensive system of parks, open space and urban trails: 28 developed parks, over 23 mi (37 km) of trails (including Auburn's 4.5 mi (7.2 km) portion of the Inter-urban Trail for bikers, walkers, runners and skaters), and almost 247 acres (100 ha) of open space for passive and active recreation.

Notable people[]


Auburn Senior High, opened 1950.
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 fourteen elementary schools, four middle schools and three high schools, making twenty-two schools in all.[31] 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[]

ASD has 3 primary High Schools[32]

School Location Mascot Colors Approx.
Auburn High School Auburn Trojans Green/Gold 1,476
Auburn Riverside High School Auburn Ravens Navy/Teal/Silver 1,579
Auburn Mountainview High School Auburn Lions Blue/Orange 1,472

Private and alternative high schools[]

School Location Mascot Colors Approx.
West Auburn Secondary High School Auburn Wolves Silver/Black 275
Auburn Adventist Academy Auburn Falcons Blue/Gold 310
Rainier Christian High School Auburn Mustangs Blue/Silver 130

Middle schools 6-8[]

Elementary schools K-5[]

City landmarks[]

The City of Auburn has designated the following landmarks:

Landmark Built Listed Address Photo
Auburn Masonic Temple,[34] 1923-24 2002 302-310 E. Main Street Auburn, WA - Masonic Temple 01.jpg
Auburn Post Office[34] 1937 2000 20 Auburn Avenue NE Auburn, WA - former post office 01A.jpg
Auburn Public Library[34] 1914 1995 306 Auburn Avenue NE Auburn, WA - Auburn Dance Center 02.jpg
Olson Farm[34] 1897–1902 1995, 2000 28728 Green River Road S

Image gallery[]

Sister cities[]

Auburn has five sister cities -- Kent, Washington, neighboring them to the north, and Tamba, a city in the Hyōgo prefecture of Japan. The three cities participate in an annual student exchange program, as well as a summer Youth Ambassador program, and "official governmental, people-to-people, recreational, cultural, and business exchanges." The Other cities are Pyeongchang, Korea, which Auburn has a friendship exchange agreement with, and Guanghan, China, Sichuan Province in which Auburn also has a friendship exchange. In 2012 the city of Auburn established a formal sister cities agreement with Mola di Bari, Italy[35]


  1. ^ a b "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on January 24, 2012. Retrieved 2012-12-19. 
  2. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-12-19. 
  3. ^ a b "Population Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on October 19, 2016. Retrieved June 15, 2016. 
  4. ^ "2010 Census Redistricting Data (Public Law 94-171) Summary File". American FactFinder. United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on July 21, 2011. Retrieved 2013-02-24. 
  5. ^ "Auburn". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. 
  6. ^ "ANNEXATION". Archived from the original on 2008-10-09. Retrieved 2013-02-24. 
  7. ^ "Office of Financial Management" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 30 April 2010. Retrieved 2010-05-02. 
  8. ^ "Muckleshoot Area Vicinity Map". muckleshoot.nsn. Muckleshoot Tribe. Retrieved 6 January 2015. 
  9. ^ Wilma, David (1999-10-17). "the Free Online Encyclopedia of Washington State History". Retrieved 2013-02-24. 
  10. ^ "Auburn Real Estate". Archived from the original on 2008-05-16. Retrieved 2013-02-24. 
  11. ^ "Google Maps". 
  12. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  13. ^ "White River Valley Museum". Retrieved 2010-05-02. 
  14. ^[permanent dead link]
  15. ^ "Monthly Averages for Seattle, WA". The Weather Channel. Archived from the original on 6 November 2007. Retrieved 2007-09-28. 
  16. ^ "Northern Santa Fe central roundhouse". Archived from the original on 2012-07-08. Retrieved 2010-05-02. 
  17. ^ "Welcome to S50 Auburn Municipal Airport near Seattle and Tacoma Washington (WA)". Retrieved 2010-05-02. 
  18. ^ "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved June 9, 2017. 
  19. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". Archived from the original on May 12, 2015. Retrieved May 24, 2014. 
  20. ^ "City Councilmembers". City of Auburn. Retrieved 14 January 2018. 
  21. ^ "King County Annexation Initiative Auburn Lea Hill and Auburn West Hill". Retrieved 2013-02-24. 
  22. ^ "Community Profile". Archived from the original on 2012-07-11. Retrieved 2013-02-24. 
  23. ^ "Boeing Frontiers Online Source". Retrieved 2013-02-24. 
  24. ^ "Washington – Offenses Known to Law Enforcement by State by City, 2012". Federal Bureau of Investigation. 2012. Retrieved May 24, 2014. 
  25. ^ "2015 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report". 
  26. ^ "Emerald Downs". Retrieved 2013-02-24. 
  27. ^ "White River Valley Museum website". Retrieved 2010-05-02. 
  28. ^ Feather, Leonard (April 27, 1986). "Diane Schuur Riding a Sure Thing". The Los Angeles Times. p. 64. 
  29. ^ Carlton Smith and Thomas Guillen, The Search For The Green River Killer (New York: Onyx, 1991), 7-12
  30. ^ Carlton Smith and Thomas Guillen, The Search For The Green River Killer (New York: Onyx, 1991), xiii
  31. ^ "About Us / Overview". Retrieved 2017-05-20. 
  32. ^ "About Us". Auburn School District. Retrieved 4 January 2015. 
  33. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2018-02-17. Retrieved 2018-02-16. 
  34. ^ a b c d "King County and Local Landmarks List". 2015-12-29. Archived from the original on 2016-04-09. 
  35. ^ "Sister City Program". City of Auburn. Retrieved 28 July 2015. 

External links[]