Location of Index, Washington
|• Total||0.23 sq mi (0.59 km2)|
|• Land||0.23 sq mi (0.59 km2)|
|• Water||0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)|
|Elevation||577 ft (176 m)|
| • Estimate |
|• Density||908.70/sq mi (351.34/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-8 (Pacific (PST))|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-7 (PDT)|
|GNIS feature ID||1521157|
Prior to settlement by westerners, the Skykomish Indians lived in the area between Sultan and Index. They spoke Lushootseed; fishing the Skykomish River was an important part of their economy. The Skykomish had a village along the north bank of the river named xɬ'xausalt, located at the present site of Index.
Logging and lumber booms in the latter half of the 19th century led to the growth of minor settlements in the eastern part of what became Snohomish County in 1861. A gold strike in 1889 at nearby Monte Cristo fueled another influx of prospectors and settlers. Index was founded in 1889 on the homestead of the Gunn family in 1889, whose home was also a hotel for prospectors and surveyors. The town is named for nearby Mount Index (later renamed Baring Mountain), itself named for its resemblance to an index finger.
Index was officially incorporated on October 11, 1907. Its population peaked during the decade and has declined since.
The Snohomish County Public Utility District had planned to build a hydroelectric power plant at Sunset Falls near Index in the early 2010s, but abandoned the project after it was opposed by environmentalists and local residents.
Index is located in the western foothills of the Cascade Mountains; the summit of Mount Index is located 3 miles (4.8 km) south of the town. The Index Town Walls, granite cliffs up to 500 feet (150 m) high, are located on the northern edge of the town. These walls are popularly used for rock climbing, offering a variety of high-quality cracks for this purpose. According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 0.23 square miles (0.60 km2), all of it land.
Index is located on the North Fork Skykomish River, just above its confluence with the main channel of the Skykomish River. The Skykomish River's Sunset Falls, a nearly 300-foot-long (91 m) granite chute that drops some 100 feet (30 m), is located approximately 1 mile (1.6 km) from the town (on the South Fork Skykomish River). In December 1980, the Skykomish River flooded the town and destroyed eight homes.
The town is located 1 mile (1.6 km) north of US Highway 2, approximately 25 miles (40 km) west of Stevens Pass. The BNSF railroad, formerly the Great Northern Railway, runs through the middle of the town. Index was once an important stop for the mining (particularly Monte Cristo and Galena) and timber activities north of its location.
|U.S. Decennial Census|
As of the census of 2010, there were 178 people, 80 households, and 44 families living in the town. The population density was 773.9 inhabitants per square mile (298.8/km2). There were 116 housing units at an average density of 504.3 per square mile (194.7/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 95.5% White, 1.7% Asian, 0.6% Pacific Islander, 0.6% from other races, and 1.7% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.5% of the population.
There were 80 households of which 26.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 41.3% were married couples living together, 12.5% had a female householder with no husband present, 1.3% had a male householder with no wife present, and 45.0% were non-families. 41.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.23 and the average family size was 3.02.
The median age in the town was 42 years. 22.5% of residents were under the age of 18; 5.6% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 24.1% were from 25 to 44; 35.5% were from 45 to 64; and 12.4% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the town was 47.2% male and 52.8% female.
As of the 2000 census, there were 157 people, 75 households, and 39 families living in the town. The population density was 620.3 people per square mile (242.5/km2). There were 100 housing units at an average density of 395.1 per square mile (154.4/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 95.54% White, 1.27% Native American, 1.27% Asian, and 1.91% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.91% of the population.
As of the 2000 census, there were 75 households, out of which 30.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 34.7% were married couples living together, 10.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 48.0% were non-families. 36.0% of all households were made up of individuals, and 5.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.09, and the average family size was 2.67.
In the town, the population was spread out, with 22.3% under the age of 18, 3.2% from 18 to 24, 29.9% from 25 to 44, 37.6% from 45 to 64, and 7.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 43 years. For every 100 females, there were 103.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 110.3 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $43,125, and the median income for a family was $32,000. Males had a median income of $32,500 versus $13,750 for females. The per capita income for the town was $22,023. About 17.5% of families and 16.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 29.3% of those under the age of 18 and none of those 65 or over.
For many years, the Red Men Hall fraternal lodge, the largest building in town, served as the center for social life. It collapsed in 2009 after a severe snowstorm and was subsequently demolished. Another historic building in Index, the Bush House, was named an endangered landmark by the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation.
Index is located 1 mile (1.6 km) northeast of U.S. Route 2 (US 2), which connects Everett to the Skykomish Valley and Stevens Pass. The town is connected to US 2 by Index–Galena Road, which continues northeast into the Wild Sky Wilderness, although a flood in November 2006 washed out a section and has not been repaired.
The town's road bridge over the Skykomish River North Fork was built in 1922 and rehabilitated in 1981. It was replaced by a new bridge in 1999.
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- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-12-19.
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- "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2012-01-25. Retrieved 2012-12-19.
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- United States Census Bureau. "Census of Population and Housing". Archived from the original on April 26, 2015. Retrieved July 26, 2013.
- "Population Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on October 19, 2016. Retrieved July 10, 2016.
- Lindgren, Louise (2009-09-04). "Index - Thumbnail History". HistoryLink. Retrieved October 29, 2014.
- Smith, Debra (May 31, 2009). "Saving a historic hotel in Index". The Everett Herald. Archived from the original on June 5, 2009. Retrieved July 24, 2019.
- McQuaide, Mike (June 29, 2011). "A mile-by-mile driving, hiking and roadside-wonders guide to scenic Stevens Pass". The Seattle Times. Retrieved March 2, 2019.
- Haglund, Noah (January 15, 2018). "Work on damaged Index-Galena route could begin in 2019". The Everett Herald. Retrieved March 2, 2019.
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