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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.

Points of Interest Points of Interest icon

Site of Old Fort Malone

On East Meridian, across the Puyallup River Bridge, a cobblestone monument with four marble plaques marks the Site of Old Fort Malone. Here in 1856 soldiers erected a fort to protect the John Carson ferry from Native American attackers.

Western Washington Fair Grounds

The Western Washington Fair Grounds, spread over 35 acres, with exhibition and amusement buildings covering 8 acres. When “Dad” Chamberlin started a livestock show in the nineties with a bull and a goose, the town laughed. Now, annually, the third week in September a fair is held for western Washington, something of an apology to Chamberlin. A nonprofit affair sponsored by a private corporation on land owned by the State, it draws an unusually large attendance. Horse racing, rodeo, and carnival features vie with agricultural, cattle, and poultry exhibits.

Western Washington Experiment Station

The Western Washington Experiment Station, under the supervision of the State College at Pullman makes a study of crop production, farm management, marketing, soil analysis, diseases, and other problems associated with the agriculture of the region. The station has helped to develop new varieties of berries adapted to local soil conditions. Poultry research has included studies of improved rations and diets and in the prevention and cure of poultry diseases. Dairying methods have also been studied; better hay, grazing grasses, and feeds have been developed. Exploration of frozenpack methods and search for plants best suited to this treatment have been undertaken with considerable success.

Ezra Meeker Mansion

This elegant wood frame home with ornate trim, 15 rooms, six fireplaces, frescoed ceilings and leaded windows was the home of one of Washington’s storied pioneers. Meeker arrived in Portland via the Oregon Trail about 1852 and eventually made his way north purchasing a farm in the Puyallup area in 1862. By the 1880’s he was known as the “Hops King of the World”. He moved to this unfinished mansion in 1887. In addition to founding Puyallup, he served as president of the Pioneer Association of Washington (1887), mayor of Puyallup (1890), and president of the Washington State Historical Society (1903). He was a prolific author on local history. He abandoned the home to his daughter in 1909 after the death of his wife, Eliza. Ezra died in 1928 in Seattle. The mansion is owned and operated as a museum and event facility by the Puyallup Historical Society, which has worked tirelessly for its restoration.

Stewart-Brew House

A handsome large Queen Anne style home was built by William A. and Elizabeth “Laddie” Stewart in 1889. William was the son of a prominent early Puyallup pioneer and served several terms as County Auditor. The home was purchased in 1906 by Thomas and Sarah Brew. He founded Brew Manufacturing, which made bee hives and berry crates. It is reported that two chestnut trees on the property were gifts to the Stewarts by Ezra Meeker.