City History

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Renton’s history makes it a unique city for many reasons. Located at the juncture of the Black and Cedar rivers and Lake Washington, the land that had been Duwamish tribal homelands for centuries would become the City of Renton with the influx of coal miners, loggers, and other workers.  By 1901 the area’s coal mining operations had brought enough people, problems, and progress here to allow the city to officially incorporate. Since then, waves of immigrants have made their homes here, first for coal mining, then for jobs at PACCAR and Boeing, and finally for today’s high tech and service occupations.

Whether new immigrants or longtime residents, these Rentonites have left their imprint on the town. Their aspirations and hard work are the basis for today’s laws, clubs, businesses, churches, families, schools, and architecture.

The museum’s permanent exhibits represent a small sampling of Renton’s rich heritage and the temporary exhibits fill in the gaps. Over time, if visitors stick with us, they will feel more closely connected to their community.

For more Renton history check out our Quarterly Newsletter.

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