Tukwila, Washington

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Tukwila (pronounced /tʌkˈwɪlə/, US dict: tŭk·wĭl′·ə)[4] is a city in King County, Washington, United States, about 6 miles south of Seattle. The population was 17,181 at the 2000 census.



The earliest people in Tukwila were the Duwamish who made their homes along the Black and Duwamish Rivers. They named Tukwila for the lush forests of hazelnut trees which grew around them. The Duwamish lived in cedar longhouses, hunted and fished, picked wild berries and used the river for trade with neighboring peoples.

In 1853, the area was settled by Joseph Foster, a Canadian pioneer who had traveled to the northwest from Wisconsin. Foster would become known as the "Father of Tukwila" and serve King County, Washington Territory in the legislature for 22 years. Today, Foster's legendary home on the banks of the Duwamish River is preserved as Fort Dent Park, as it also served as a military base during 1850s Indian Wars. Foster's name is also memorialized in the Foster neighborhood of Tukwila where Foster High School is located.

In the early years of Foster, Washington, the small village would grow into an agricultural center and a vital trading point in the upper-Duwamish River Valley. Population began to grow as well, and expanded industry would soon follow. Although with the largely farm-oriented commerce in Tukwila, other businesses found fertile land in which to grow from.

Early electric rail trains traveled along Interurban Avenue in Tukwila, connecting to Renton and a line to Tacoma. The Interurban Railroad operated a commuter line from 1902 to 1928, making it possible to travel from Seattle to Tacoma in less than an hour. The first macadam paved road in Washington State was in Tukwila and bears the name of this new method of street paving. One of the earliest paved military roads is located in the city.

Tukwila was incorporated as a city in 1908.


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