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Located at the junction of the north and south forks of the Stillaguamish River. In 1864 the first pioneer, Captain Daniel Marvin, anchored a scow on the north fork of the river to serve as his temporary home. Although it once ranked among the region’s largest shingle manufacturing centers, by the 1940s Arlington had only one mill and, like many other western Washington towns, had turned to dairying, poultry-raising, truck-gardening, and fruit growing.

Today Arlington has a few industrial and manufacturing businesses as well as the Arlington Municipal Airport, which is owned by the city and is home to Paul Allen‘s Flying Heritage Collection and the annual Northwest EAA Fly-In. The city is also home to the Stillaguamish Valley Pioneer Museum.

When the town site was platted in March of 1889 by Morris G. Haller the name chosen was Haller for Col. Granville O. Haller, father of the founder. It was shown on some older maps as Haller City. An adjoining town site, purchased by J. W. McLeod, a railroad contractor, was named Arlington for the Virginia home of Robert E. Lee which became Arlington National Cemetery. In a June 1903 election, the two town sites were joined under the name of Arlington.