Mountlake Terrace is a suburban city in Snohomish County, Washington, United States. It lies on the southern border of the county, adjacent to Shoreline and Lynnwood, and is 13 miles (21 km) north of Seattle. Take a look below for 25 interesting and fun facts about Mountlake Terrace, Washington, United States.
1. The city had a population of 19,909 people counted in the 2010 census.
2. Mountlake Terrace was founded in 1949 by real estate developers on the site of a disused airfield, intending to provide low-cost housing for veterans.
3. Within five years, the community had grown to over 5,000 people and was incorporated as a city in 1954 to provide municipal services.
4. An industrial park was developed at the northwest corner of the city, which was connected by Interstate 5 after it opened in 1965.
5. Mountlake Terrace originally had several small shopping centers that declined due to the local economy and a pair of arsons in 1990.
6. The city government began developing a downtown revitalization plan with mixed-use buildings in the 2000s, with hopes of growing beyond a bedroom community for Seattle commuters.
7. The Mountlake Terrace Transit Center, a major bus hub, opened in 2009 and is planned to have Link light rail service in 2024.
8. The city has several parks, including access to Lake Ballinger, and hosts an annual summer festival that is part of Seafair.
9. The southwestern region of Snohomish County was originally inhabited by the Snohomish people, who primarily settled along the Puget Sound and used inland areas for seasonal hunting and foraging. In 1862, Puget Mill Company acquired 17,000 acres (6,900 ha) in the newly-formed county, including the thickly-forested plateau where modern-day Mountlake Terrace sits and the adjacent Lake McAleer.
10. The land was logged by 1900 and was later subdivided into 10-acre (4.0 ha) chicken ranches, which were sold to farmers.
11. Judge Richard A. Ballinger purchased Lake McAleer in 1901 and renamed it to Lake Ballinger for his father, later leaving the area to become Seattle mayor.
12. The Nile Shrine of Seattle purchased 135 acres (55 ha) on the east side of the lake in 1927, building a clubhouse and later a private golf course.
13. An interurban railway between Everett and Seattle opened in 1910, improving access from the farms to various markets. Many of these small farms failed during the Great Depression and were affected by the closure of the interurban in 1939, following the completion of Highway 99.
14. The area remained home to chicken and mink farms well into the 1950s, while areas to the south underwent suburban development.
15. A landing field was built on the north side of the King–Snohomish county line by the federal government for use during World War II. It was abandoned after the war, despite plans to expand it for civilian aviation, and acquired by real estate developers Albert LaPierre and Jack Peterson in 1949.
16. LaPierre and Peterson named the property “Mountlake Terrace” for its plateau-like setting with views of Lake Washington and Mount Rainier, and sought to develop a low-income bedroom community for returning veterans.
17. Construction on the first 250 homes began in June 1949, using a simple 20-by-30-foot (6.1 by 9.1 m) floorplan with two bedrooms and basic amenities. The cinderblock homes were built in an assembly line, taking several weeks to complete and leaving landscaping and interior painting to the owners.
18. The homes were initially priced at a minimum of $4,999 (equivalent to $43,000 in 2019 dollars) and sold quickly, requiring expansion beyond the initial subdivision.
19. Mountlake Terrace was one of the first large-scale suburban developments in the Pacific Northwest, becoming the second-largest residential area in Snohomish County with 5,000 people by 1954.
20. LaPierre and Peterson developed additional areas to the north and east of their initial subdivision, later adding larger homes that remained in an affordable price range for young families.
21. A small shopping center opened on the south side of the county line, followed by a second in the modern-day Town Center in June 1954 with the area’s first supermarket.
22. Mountlake Terrace remained an unincorporated area that was reliant on the county government for services, which were unable to cope with the rising population of the area. The telephone system used a party line shared between 10 homes, the water mains and septic tanks were prone to failure, and the community lacked protection due to their distance from the nearest sheriff’s precinct.
23. LaPierre and Peterson funded construction of a local fire station and provided a police radio to link community volunteers with the county sheriff in Everett, but response times for emergencies remained long.
24. Patrick McMahan, a local firefighter, began organizing an incorporation campaign in 1953 after waiting a day for the sheriff to respond to an attempted burglary at his home. He first proposed an annexation into Edmonds at a city council meeting in June 1953, where he was rejected by the mayor but approached by a city councilmember who suggested incorporating as a separate city.
25. An incorporation committee was formed by McMahan and other residents, including two attorneys, and collected 650 signatures for their petition to the county government.