Mukilteo, Washington

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City of Mukilteo
Mukilteo Lighthouse
Mukilteo Lighthouse
Location of Mukilteo, Washington
Location of Mukilteo, Washington
Coordinates: 47°54′58″N 122°18′11″W / 47.91611°N 122.30306°W / 47.91611; -122.30306Coordinates: 47°54′58″N 122°18′11″W / 47.91611°N 122.30306°W / 47.91611; -122.30306
Country United States
State Washington
County Snohomish
Incorporated May 8, 1947
 • Type Mayor-council
 • Mayor Jennifer Gregerson
 • Total 9.50 sq mi (24.60 km2)
 • Land 6.40 sq mi (16.58 km2)
 • Water 3.10 sq mi (8.03 km2)
Elevation 0−596 ft (0−182 m)
Population (2010)[2]
 • Total 20,254
 • Estimate (2015)[3] 21,226
 • Density 3,164.7/sq mi (1,221.9/km2)
Time zone PST (UTC−8)
 • Summer (DST) PDT (UTC−7)
ZIP Code 98275
Area code 425
FIPS code 53-47735
GNIS feature ID 1512491[4]
The Whidbey Island Ferry terminal in Mukilteo, Washington

Mukilteo (/ˌmʌkəlˈt/ MUK-əl-TEE-oh), which means "good camping ground," is a waterfront city in Snohomish County, Washington, United States. The population was 20,254 at the 2010 census. It is on the shore of the Puget Sound, and is the site of a Washington State Ferries terminal linking it to Clinton, on Whidbey Island.

Mukilteo is one of the most affluent suburbs of Seattle. In 2007, the city had a median income of $83,569. Additionally, like the rest of the Seattle area, house prices have risen rapidly; the median value in 2007 was $567,000. Based on per capita income, Mukilteo ranks 29th of 522 areas in the state of Washington. In 2009, Mukilteo was ranked as number 10 of Money magazine's top 100 small towns of America to live in.[5] In 2011, Mukilteo rose one rank to number 9.[6]


Though the word Mukilteo is widely believed to mean "good camping site,"[7] the site notes that in the Snohomish dialect Muk-wil-teo means "narrow passage," a reference to the sand spit that formed the original Mukilteo landing.[8] Mukilteo was officially incorporated on May 8, 1947, but the city has a historic role in the development of the Puget Sound. It was at Mukilteo that the Point Elliott Treaty was signed between Governor Isaac Stevens and the chiefs of 22 Puget Sound tribes on January 22, 1855.

The treaty ceded land to the United States from Point Pully (now called Three Tree Point south of Seattle) to the British (Canada) border in exchange for a variety of benefits, including land, education, health care and hunting and fishing rights. The treaty was signed before more than 2,500 Native Americans.

According to the Mukilteo Historical Society, the town became the first settled by Europeans in 1858 and was the temporary county seat of Snohomish County for several months in 1861 after Snohomish County was created from Island County. The city of Snohomish was designated as county seat in July 1861. Initially the settlement was called Point Elliott, the name given the location by the Wilkes Expedition in 1841.

In its early years, Mukilteo was a fishing village, trading post, and a port-of-entry. Surrounding wooded hills filled with Douglas fir, cedar and hemlock supported a lumber mill and the town also had a cannery, a brewery, and a gunpowder plant. Traces of the powder mill remain in the name of Powder Mill Gulch, a ravine that is located about one mile (1.6 km) into the city limits of Everett. Japanese Gulch provides rail access from the Mukilteo waterfront to the Boeing's Boeing Everett Factory at Paine Field.

In 1900, the population was only 350. The next year, the federal Lighthouse Board decided to put a light and fog signal at the point in Mukilteo. The lighthouse, which still stands today, was completed in 1906.

Even at incorporation in 1947, almost a century after the Point Elliott Treaty, Mukilteo's population stood at only 775. But by 1947, there was ferry service to Whidbey Island, a fuel storage facility for the Air Force on the waterfront, and a major rail line for the Great Northern Railway along the city's entire waterfront.

The first growth spurt for the city came with the 1980 annexation of an additional 1.2 square miles (3.1 km2) to the south along the Mukilteo Speedway or SR 525, which increased the population to 4,130 people. In 1991, the Harbour Pointe area was annexed, doubling the size of the city to 6.25 square miles (16.19 km2). The annexation increased the city's population to just over 10,000 and also presaged a shift from the Old Town commercial center near the ferry to new shopping and banking facilities at Harbour Pointe. With development since the Harbour Pointe annexation, the city's population has reached 19,360 (2005). The city has agreed to an urban growth area that includes approximately 15,000 additional potential residents.

The major parkland in the city is the former state park and lighthouse, next to the ferry docks. In 1954, the state acquired 17 acres (69,000 m2) of land around the lighthouse and made it into a state park, including a popular boat ramp. In 2003, the state faced a budgetary crisis and offered to cede the park to the city, which the city accepted. The city renamed the park Mukilteo Lighthouse Park and has plans for redevelopment that may ultimately spend $6 million for new facilities.

Substantial development is expected along the waterfront in the next five to ten years, with the state planning to build a new ferry terminal east of the current location. The Mukilteo-Clinton ferry provides service for 3 million passengers per year with two ferries currently serving the run.

In 1992, the government of Mukilteo opposed plans to expand Paine Field; Mayor Brian Sullivan said that the city disagrees "with the idea of a Sea-Tac north" and supports upholding a 1978 agreement between residents around Paine Field and Snohomish County.[9]

The transportation hub will use some of the land being turned over by the federal government on the site of the old fuel docks. Included is an $18 million upgrade to the commuter rail station and a rebuilt ferry terminal.

On July 30, 2016, a mass shooting occurred at a house party in Mukilteo, around midnight.[10]

Harbour Pointe[edit]

Harbour Pointe is a mixed-use neighborhood at the south end of Mukilteo on land originally owned by Port Gamble Lumber Co. Harbour Pointe is the location of Kamiak High School, Harbour Pointe Middle School, and Columbia Elementary School. After cutting timber from the area, Port Gamble sold it to Standard Oil of California (now Chevron) in the 1930s with the petroleum company planning to put a refinery on the property.

When the Alaskan oil fields were developed in the 1960s, Standard Oil decided that there was adequate capacity for refining at Anacortes and set aside plans to build a refinery on the property. In a locally published book, "Picnic Point Pathways," author Sandy Sandborg says that the decision was probably influenced by the environmental battle that Richfield Oil Company had with its planned refinery development at Kayak Point, north of Everett, during the 1960s.

A parcel of 460 acres (1.9 km2) that would become Picnic Point Park, just south of the city's border, was leased to Snohomish County in 1970. Then, in 1977, Standard Oil donated it to the county. Another 2,350 acres (10 km2) were purchased by Harbour Pointe Limited Partnership in the 1980s from Standard Oil. It would become the mixed-used development anchored by Harbour Pointe Golf Club, opened in September, 1989.


The Mukilteo School District includes all of the city, but also a portion of south Everett and unincorporated areas to the south of the city. The district serves a population of 68,000, or more than 3 times that of the city alone. The district had more than 14,163 students in 2004-2005 and a budget of $104.7 million. There are three high schools (one alternative), four middle schools, and eleven elementary schools in addition to other education programs such as the Sno-Isle TECH Skills Center. Nine of these schools are award-winning, with seven receiving Washington Achievement Awards between 2009 and 2011. These schools currently serve around 14,000 students.


Mukilteo is located at 47°54′58″N 122°18′11″W / 47.916148°N 122.302939°W / 47.916148; -122.302939 (47.916148, -122.302939).[11]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 9.50 square miles (24.60 km2), of which, 6.40 square miles (16.58 km2) is land and 3.10 square miles (8.03 km2) is water.[1]

The city is traversed by the Southern Whidbey Island fault zone, discovered in 1996.

Much of the area surrounding Mukilteo to the east is unincorporated Snohomish county. To the west and north is Puget Sound. Everett, Puget Sound and unincorporated Snohomish county make up the majority of the border.


Climate data for Mukilteo, Washington
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °F (°C) 46
Average low °F (°C) 34
Average precipitation inches (mm) 4.37
Source: The Weather Channel[12]


Historical population
Census Pop.
1950 826
1960 1,128 36.6%
1970 1,369 21.4%
1980 1,426 4.2%
1990 7,007 391.4%
2000 18,019 157.2%
2010 20,254 12.4%
Est. 2016 21,462 [13] 6.0%
U.S. Decennial Census[14]
2015 Estimate[3]

The median income for a household in the city was $107,323, and the median income for a family was $117,487 (these figures had risen to $108,043 and $119,735 respectively as of a 2007 estimate). Males had a median income of $83,880 versus $57,835 for females. The per capita income for the city was $59,134. About 1.8% of families and 2.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 2.0% of those under age 18 and 2.0% of those age 65 or over.

2010 census[edit]

As of the census[2] of 2010, there were 20,254 people, 8,057 households, and 5,660 families residing in the city. The population density was 3,164.7 inhabitants per square mile (1,221.9/km2). There were 8,547 housing units at an average density of 1,335.5 per square mile (515.6/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 74.9% White, 1.7% African American, 0.6% Native American, 17.1% Asian, 0.2% Pacific Islander, 1.1% from other races, and 4.5% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.4% of the population.

There were 8,057 households of which 34.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.9% were married couples living together, 8.9% had a female householder with no husband present, 3.5% had a male householder with no wife present, and 29.8% were non-families. 23.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 5.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.51 and the average family size was 3.00.

The median age in the city was 41.8 years. 23.2% of residents were under the age of 18; 7.9% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 23.9% were from 25 to 44; 34.5% were from 45 to 64; and 10.6% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 50.2% male and 49.8% female.

2000 census[edit]

As of the census of 2000, there were 18,019 people, 6,759 households, and 4,981 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,842.5 people per square mile (1,097.3/km2). There were 7,146 housing units at an average density of 1,127.3 per square mile (435.2/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 82.06% White, 1.48% African American, 0.79% Native American, 10.97% Asian, 0.25% Pacific Islander, 1.13% from other races, and 3.31% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.90% of the population.

There were 6,759 households out of which 40.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 61.8% were married couples living together, 8.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.3% were non-families. 19.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 3.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.66 and the average family size was 3.10.

In the city, the age distribution of the population shows 28.2% under the age of 18, 7.6% from 18 to 24, 31.4% from 25 to 44, 26.2% from 45 to 64, and 6.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females, there were 98.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.5 males.

Government and politics[edit]

The City of Mukilteo incorporated in May 1947 and operates as a non-charter code city with a Mayor-Council form of government. The Mayor and seven City Councilmembers are part-time non-partisan elected officials who serve four-year terms. Municipal elections are held in November of odd-numbered years and terms are staggered so that no more than four positions are up for election every two years.

  • Mayor: Jennifer Gregerson (2014–present, next election: 2017)
  • Councilmember, position 1: Ted Wheeler (2014–present, next election: 2017)
  • Councilmember, position 2: Bob Champion (2014–present, next election: 2017). Formerly: Marko Liias (2006–2007, next election: 2013)
  • Councilmember, position 3: Randy Lord (2006–present, next election: 2017)
  • Councilmember, position 4: Steve Schmalz (2012–present, next election: 2015)
  • Councilmember, position 5: Emily Vanderwielen (2007–present, next election: 2015)
  • Councilmember, position 6: Linda Grafer (2008–present, next election: 2015)
  • Councilmember, position 7: Christine Cook (2014–present, next election: 2015). Formerly: Jennifer Gregerson (2004-2013)

Past mayors[edit]

  • Joe Marine (2006-2013)
  • Donald Doran (1998–2005)
  • Brian Sullivan (1990–1997)
  • Emory Cole (1986–1989)
  • John Corbett (1982–1985)
  • John Sweat (1978–1981)
  • James Huetson (1974–1977)
  • Jeremiah F. Lavell (1972–1973)
  • J. O. Simpson (1970–1971)
  • Ronald Kane (1964–1969)
  • Dick Taylor (1956–1964)
  • Alfred Tunem (1947–1956)


Snohomish County Airport is located to the southeast of Mukilteo and home to Boeing's Everett factory.

Mukilteo has a car ferry terminal that connects to Clinton, on Whidbey Island. The city is served by SR 525, which travels between the Mukilteo ferry terminal and Lynnwood on the Mukilteo Speedway, and SR 526, which serves the Boeing Everett Factory.

Train service is provided by Sound Transit through its Sounder commuter rail route to Seattle, stopping at Mukilteo Station east of the ferry terminal.[15] Community Transit operates local bus service on the Mukilteo Speedway toward a park and ride in Lynnwood, as well as commuter routes to Downtown Seattle and the University of Washington.[16]


The Rane Corporation, a pro audio equipment manufacturer, is headquartered in Mukilteo.[17] Boeing has a factory in Everett, WA where the 747, 767 and 777[18] are built that is directly adjacent to Mukilteo, WA and employs many residents and visitors of Mukilteo. The tours of this factory leave from the Future of Flight Aviation Center in Mukilteo, WA.

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2012-01-24. 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 22, 2016. 
  4. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  5. ^ Best Places to Live 2009 - Money Magazine
  6. ^ Best Places to Live 2011 - Money Magazine
  7. ^ Majors, Harry M. (1975). Exploring Washington. Van Winkle Publishing Co. p. 80. ISBN 978-0-918664-00-6. 
  8. ^ Riddle, Margaret (2007-12-29). "Mukilteo -- Thumbnail History". 
  9. ^ Bergsman, Jerry and Bob Ortega. "Around The Sound -- Areas North Don't Want A Sea-Tac -- Idea To Expand Paine Field Still Airborne." The Seattle Times. Friday January 31, 1992. Retrieved on January 25, 2009.
  10. ^ "3 dead, 1 wounded as gunman opens fire at Mukilteo house party; suspect arrested". KOMO News. 30 July 2016. 
  11. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  12. ^ "Monthly Averages for Mukilteo, Washington". 2010. Retrieved 2010-03-26. 
  13. ^ "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved June 9, 2017. 
  14. ^ United States Census Bureau. "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved July 26, 2013. 
  15. ^ "Mukilteo Station". Sound Transit. Retrieved September 11, 2014. 
  16. ^ "Public Transportation Serves Mukilteo". Community Transit. Retrieved September 11, 2014. 
  17. ^ "About Us". 
  18. ^ "Boeing: Tours of Boeing Facilities". 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]