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Set before the towering forests and snowfields of Mt. Rainier is Puyallup (pyoo-al-lup), one of western Washington's oldest towns. Founder Ezra Meeker came west on the Oregon Trail in 1806-07, and he returned East at age 76 in hopes of prodding President Theodore Roosevelt to mark the trail before its route was forgotten. He caused quite a stir when he rode his ox-drawn covered wagon down Broadway in New York City, but he continued on to the White House and received the president's endorsement.
Today the Puyallup Fair attracts all of western Washington to its carnival rides, performers, produce, and animals. The annual event is held at the fairgrounds on the northwest end of town each September. The Spring Fair and Daffodil Festival (known as "The Little Puyallup") is another beloved event that takes place each April.
The downtown area is quickly developing into a satellite attraction to Seattle all its own, with monthly arts events and a collection of boutiques and kitschy shops. The Traces brochure, available at merchants around town, takes you on a walk past all the major historic sites.
Monthly Art Walks, held on first Saturdays, provide a look into all the new local galleries, and the semi-annual Art and Wine Walks bring Puget Sound residents southeast to explore the top creative projects of this offbeat community.
Another early pioneer settlement is Enumclaw (ee-num-claw), 14 mi southeast, which was founded in the 1850s and through stages grew as a railroad, lumber, and dairy town. The name is taken from a nearby peak, which—depending on which legend you believe—means either "Thundering Mountain" or "Abode of Evil Spirits" in the Salish language. The town is the site of the annual King County Fair, which has amusement rides, rodeos, and logging shows.
Puyallup at a Glance
Elsewhere in Seattle Environs
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