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Mukilteo ( , ), which means 'good camping ground', is a city in Snohomish Countymarker, Washingtonmarker, United Statesmarker. The population was 18,019 at the 2000 census. It is on the shore of Puget Soundmarker, and is the site of a Washington State Ferries terminal linking it to Clintonmarker, on Whidbey Islandmarker.

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 also ranked as number 10 of Money Magazine's top 100 small towns of America to live in.


Though Mukilteo was officially incorporated on May 8, 1947, 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 (Canadian) 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 county seat of Snohomish County from 1861 to 1867, when the city of Snohomish became the county seat. 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 wide-body plant at Paine Fieldmarker.

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 lighthousemarker, 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 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 . 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 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 Fieldmarker; Mayor Brian Sullivan said that the city disagrees "with the idea of a Sea-Tacmarker north" and supports upholding a 1978 agreement between residents around Paine Field and Snohomish County.

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 terminal for Sounder commuter rail service, scheduled to open in June, 2008 on the Everett-Seattle line. In addition, the city and Port of Everett are working to redevelop the remaining land on the tank farm property for private and public use.

Harbour Pointe

Harbour Pointe is a mixed-use neighborhood at the south end of Mukilteo on land originally owned by Port Gamblemarker Lumber Co. Harbour Pointe has a local middle school and a high school by the name of Harbour Pointe Middle School and Kamiak, respectively. 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 fieldsmarker were developed in the 1960s, Standard Oil decided that there was adequate capacity for refining at Anacortesmarker 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 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 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.


Mukilteo is located at (47.916148, -122.302939).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 9.4 square miles (24.4 km2), of which, 6.3 square miles (16.4 km2) of it is land and 3.1 square miles (8.0 km2) of it (32.84%) is water.

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 countymarker. To the west and north is Puget Soundmarker. Everett, Puget Sound and unincorporated Snohomish county make up the majority of the border.


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/sq mi (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 population was spread out with 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.

The median income for a household in the city was $67,323, and the median income for a family was $79,487 (these figures had risen to $86,043 and $103,735 respectively as of a 2007 estimate). Males had a median income of $53,880 versus $37,835 for females. The per capita income for the city was $29,134. About 2.8% of families and 3.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 4.0% of those under age 18 and 5.0% of those age 65 or over.

Government and politics

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: Joe Marine (2006-present, next election: 2009)
  • Councilmember, position 1: Kevin Stoltz (2006-present, next election: 2009)
  • Councilmember, position 2: Richard Emery (2008-present, next election: 2009). Formerly: Marko Liias (2006-2007, next election: 2009)
  • Councilmember, position 3: Randy Lord (2006-present, next election: 2009)
  • Councilmember, position 4: Howard "Tony" Tinsley (2004-present, next election: 2011)
  • Councilmember, position 5: Emily Vanderwielen (2007-present, next election: 2011)
  • Councilmember, position 6: Linda Grafer (2008-present, next election: 2011)
  • Councilmember, position 7: Jennifer Gregerson (2004-present, next election: 2011)

Past mayors

  • 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)

Next to the Sea

Mukilteo is located adjacent to Puget Sound, a large inlet of the Pacific Ocean separating Washington State's Olympic Peninsula from the main portion of the state of Washington. Most of the community is on a hillside that faces north or west towards Whidbey Island. "Mukilteo By the Bay" and "Mukilteo By the Sea" are variations of a slogan frequently seen on license plate frames in and around Mukilteo.

Though boating and fishing are popular in the area, there is only one boat launch with two seasonal docks and no marina in the city. At one point there were two boathouses on the waterfront, Mukilteo Boat House and McConnell's Boathouse, but both have been demolished and replaced with a condominium apartment building and a hotel respectively. The Lighthouse Park area and pilings near the ferry dock and hotel are popular places for local divers, due to the diversity of sea life and presence of squid. There are two public fishing piers, one on each side of the Ivar's restaurant.


Mukilteo has a car ferry terminal that connects to Clintonmarker, on Whidbey Islandmarker.

The Sounder Train service to Seattle also stops in Mukilteo as of June, 2008. There are three morning and evening commuter trains running Monday through Friday.
  1. Monday morning service: Southbound train leaves Mukilteo at 6:23, 6:53 and 7:23 a.m. Evening service: Stops in Mukilteo at 5:15, 5:47 and 6:17 p.m. Check Sounder schedule.
  2. Saturday service to Mariners games: Leaves from Everett, Mukilteo and Edmonds. Check Sounder schedule.

Two state highways passing through Mukilteo are SR 525 and SR 526. Within the city, SR 525 Spur connects SR 525 to SR 526 to shunt Boeing traffic out of the downtown residential area of Mukilteo, and attempts to prevent the traffic from interfering with island bound traffic.

Local Community Transit bus routes 113 and 190 run through the city of Mukilteo.

Notable Natives

  • Sylvia Jean (Tudy) and Bruce Richter: Sylvia and Bruce raised their two children, as well as five grand children, many of whom still live in Mukilteo today. Bruce served as a "cornerstone" member of the Mukilteo city council for 18 years (1989-2007). Sylvia's mother Peggy Zahler was one of the first teachers at the Rosehill school during the early 1920s.

  • The Fall of Troy[20627]: Progressive rock band


  1. 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.

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