King County History
King County, Washington, of which Seattle is the county seat, is a geographically diverse county comprised of dense urban areas on the shores of Puget Sound, affluent suburbs east of Lake Washington, rural communities in fertile river valleys to the southeast, and remote towns in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains. Like many metropolitan areas in the United States, Seattle and surrounding communities have experienced tremendous growth in the decades since World War II.
Since its establishment on December 22, 1852, King County's western border has moved from the Pacific Ocean to Puget Sound, but the county remains the state's 11th largest in size and its largest in population, with over 1.7 million residents and 39 cities and towns at the 2000 census.
The growth and development of King County has taken place in the age of photography. The 12,000 photographs selected for this Web presentation represent only a fraction of the holdings of the twelve participating organizations, and the partnership likewise represents a small subset of over 100 such heritage organizations in the county. The unprecedented level of access to this unified collection of images will nonetheless foster new levels of understanding of the region's history, and whet appetites for further primary source research.
This map lists the eight locations which are home to the twelve participating organizations, and shows King County's location within Washington State.
The timeline denotes some of the milestones in the 150-year history of Seattle and surrounding communities, often illustrated by images from the online collections.
Explore the collections to view more images and their associated information. We have prepared a few sample searches to get you started with your exploration.
History is evolving, and new information comes to light at all times. We actively seek additional information about these images. Please contact the organization responsible for the image if you have additions or corrections to the record.