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Renton, Washington

Essentially a sub-urb of southern Seattle, Renton is determined though as its own city in the heart of King County, Washington. Renton has an estimated population of 101,200 (2016 census). It is located approximately 11 miles southeast of Seattle’s city center. Renton is geographically located along the southeastern shore of Lake Washington hosting the connection of the lake with the Cedar River.

Originally the area where Renton now embraces was once a popular fishing area for Native American peoples. The first Euro-American settlers came to the area in the 1860’s. The infamous settlers Henry and Diana Tobin were one of the first Euro-American settlers in the area. The Seattle and Walla Walla Railroad was one of the first cities to be accessed enrout to Seattle carrying coal for entrepreneurs such as Erasmus M. Smithers who became the founder of the town in 1875. It was named after Captain William Renton, the local lumber and shipping merchant by Smithers although Smithers discovered coal there. The early Euro-American settlers started industries of timber, coal, and clay production in the area. The city was incorporated in 1901. The town became flooded on several instances by the Black and Cedar Rivers. The 1916 lowering of the Lake Washington Ship Canal reduced the surface of Lake Washington several feet eliminating lake drainage through the Black River. The Cedar river was used to divert waters into Lake Washington instead of the Black River. The population increased substantially during World War II with the Boeing production of the B-29 Superfortress. Interstates I-5, I-405, and SR 167 created a confluence in Renton bringing more traffic and tourism to the area creating a hub for shopping, entertainment, and dining specifically the Southcenter Mall in Tukwila and the Landing by Boeing. Today it is the final assembly point for Boeing 737 airplanes as well as for technology companies, healthcare, and manufacturing such as with Paccar, Boeing, Kaiser Permanente, IKEA, Providence Health, and Wizards of the Coast. The Seattle Seahawks have a training center here. The public library was built over the Cedar River in 1966 stretching 80 feet across the river connecting to Liberty Park and offering a unique spot to watch salmon in the river.

Renton is bordered to the North by Newcastle and Lake Washington, Cougar mountain to the east and May Valley, City of Kent to the South, and Tukwila to the West. It boasts a warm-summer Mediterranean climate with warm and dry summers mixed with cloudy wet and cool winters. It is within a partial rain shadow shielding it from coastal summers.

Renton has been home and birthplace to many notable people such as Jimi Hendrix (who lived here and is buried in the Greenwood Memorial Park), Brandon Roy, Jamal Crawford, Clint Eastwood (was a lifeguard at Renton’s Kennydale Beach), Joshua Farris, Sam Longoria, Avery Garrett, Sean Kinney (Alice in Chains), Emily Rose, Zach LaVine, and others.

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Schools:


  • Albert Talley Senior High School
  • Apollo Elementary School
  • Benson Hill Elementary School
  • Briarwood Elementary School
  • Bryn Mawr Elementary School
  • Campbell Hill Elementary School
  • Carriage Crest Elementary School
  • Cascade Elementary School
  • Dimmitt Middle School
  • Fairwood Elementary School
  • Glenridge Elementary School
  • Hazelwood Elementary School
  • Hazen High School
  • Highlands Elementary School
  • Honeydew Elementary School
  • Kennydale Elementary School
  • Lakeridge Elementary School
  • Liberty High School
  • Lindbergh High School
  • Maplewood Heights Elementary School
  • Maywood Middle School
  • McKnight Middle School
  • Meeker Middle School
  • Nelson Middle School
  • Northwood Middle School
  • Renton High School
  • Renton Park Elementary
  • Ridgewood Elementary School
  • Risdon Middle School
  • Sartori Elementary School
  • Sierra Heights Elementary School
  • Talbot Hill Elementary School
  • Tiffany Park Elementary School

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