Burien, Washington

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Burien (pronounced /ˈbjʊəriən/ BYUR-ee-ən ) is a city in King County, Washington, United States, located south of Seattle. As of the 2010 US Census, Burien's population is 46,022, which is a 62.9% increase since incorporation.



European settlement in the Burien area dates to 1870, when Mike Kelly walked up a hill from the Seattle area. When he emerged from the trees he said, "This is truly a sunny dale." Today, a few long-time residents still refer to the Burien area as Sunnydale. He claimed a 160-acre (0.6 km2) plot of land and built a house and a farm.

Ten years later, Gottlieb Von Boorian, a German immigrant, arrived in Sunnydale, which was only a community of trails and small houses without roads or commercial buildings. Von Boorian built a cabin on the southeast corner of Lake Burien and reportedly formed the community into a town bearing his name (misspelled over the years). A real estate office was built and soon attracted large numbers of new residents to Burien.

In the early 1900s, visitors from Seattle came by the Mosquito Fleet to Three Tree Point, just west of town to sunbathe and swim.

In 1915, the Lake Burien Railway was completed. It ran on what is today Ambaum Boulevard from Burien to White Center to Seattle. A small passenger train ran the tracks and was affectionately named by the residents, The Toonerville Trolley. However in the summer, squished caterpillars made the track slippery, and in the winter, the tracks iced over. Soon the Toonerville Trolley was removed.

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