The oldest town in the Puyallup Valley it is located on the rich valley floor along the dyked banks of the Puyallup River, lying 300 feet below the surrounding plateau.
Formerly a dense wooded expanse, now a busy modern city, Puyallup was the center of broad berry fields, orchards, and green pasture lands. Here, as in Sumner, its sister city, berry fields used to encroach as far as the main streets; many of the dwellings, some modern and some dating back to the 1880s, were surrounded by orchards and berry rows. Much of the fields have given way to warehouse and residential development.
During April each year, when the bulb farms are aflame with color, Puyallup and the neighboring communities hold their Daffodil Festival, with thousands of blooms decorating floats and displays.
The immense yields of the district once attracted canneries, preserving plants, sawmills, woodworking plants, and box factories. The largest bee-hive factory west of the Mississippi was in Puyallup. In 1933, the canneries handled nearly 15,000,000 pounds of berries and small fruits. Like Sumner, Puyallup had many associations co-operating in the marketing of lettuce, eggs, poultry, berries, rhubarb, bulbs, and hops.
The city was first known as Meekersville and then changed to Franklin. In February 1877, Ezra Meeker, (1830-1928), platted the first townsite and in 1890 when it incorporated named it Puyallup.
Meeker first crossed the Plains by covered wagon in 1852. Later, in order to mark definitely the old Oregon Trail and to obtain funds from Congress for the survey and location of a national highway over its route, Meeker retraced the route by oxcart and covered wagon in 1906, when more than 70 years old. He later made approximately the same trip by automobile and, in 1924, by airplane at the age of 94.