Washington: King County

King County (pop. 1,931,249) is Washington’s most-populous county and the 14th-most-populous county in the U.S.

The only other King County is in Texas. With a population of 286, it is the second-smallest county in Texas and the third-smallest in the U.S.

King County, Washington, was originally named for Vice President William R. King (1786-1853). In 2005, the county was officially renamed for the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968).

Old logo and new logo

The county seat of King County is Seattle (pop. 608,660), largest city in Washington and 21st-largest city in the U.S.

The Seattle Great Wheel opened in 2012.

The 38-story Smith Tower in Pioneer Square was the tallest building on the West Coast from 1914 until the Space Needle opened in 1962.

It has a public observation deck.

Nearby, in Pioneer Square, is a visitors’ center for the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park. The other units of the park are in Skagway, Alaska; they join with parks in Canada to form the Klondike Gold Rush International Historical Park.

The Coliseum Theater (1916) was Seattle’s first theater built specifically for movies, and one of America’s first movie palaces. It was renovated as a Banana Republic clothing store in 1995.

It showed movies until 1990.

The Olympic Sculpture Park (2007), an outdoor sculpture museum, is well-known for its giant typewriter eraser.

19 feet tall

Rock musician Jimi Hendrix (1942-1970) grew up in Seattle. A bronze statue is in the Capitol Hill area.

Unveiled in 1997

King Street Station (1906), just south of downtown, serves Amtrak’s “Coast Starlight,” “Empire Builder,” and “Cascades” trains, as well as Sounder commuter trains north to Everett and south to Tacoma.

Originally the terminal of the Great Northern and Northern Pacific

The 11-story Seattle Central Library opened in 2004.

Architectural tours are available.

Seattle has an accordian museum, inside the Petosa Accordians shop.

About 100 on display

The Gum Wall is under the popular Pike Place Market. People have been sticking their used chewing gum there for more than 20 years.

50 feet long

In Kenmore (pop. 20,460), just north of Seattle, the Saint Edward Seminary operated from 1931 to 1976. The seminary is now part of Saint Edward State Park.

The building is mostly inaccessible to the public.

The city of Snoqualmie (pop. 10,670) is the home of the Northwest Railway Museum and its five-mile heritage railroad.

The depot

NEXT: KITSAP COUNTY

wash working map copy

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2 comments on “Washington: King County

  1. Mary Schlick says:

    What a treat to learn all about Seattle, a city I’ve known and loved since I was 5 when we visited Aunt Alice Rayner. This put an even greater glow on a special place!

  2. John Dodds says:

    I guess I will have to visit again to see the accordion museum.

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