History of Covington

HistoricArtOn August 31, 1997, the City of Covington became an official municipality in the State of Washington. The area known as Covington extends back over 100 years and was originally called Jenkins Prairie. The name Jenkins continues with Jenkins Creek, and there is even a Jenkins Creek Elementary School.

In the 1880's, the Northern Pacific Railroad commissioned a surveyor by the name of Richard Covington to develop a railroad line between Auburn and Kanasket. Along the way, a stop was named for him and the Covington community was born.

In 1890, the Covington Lumber Company was formed at the junction of Soos Creek and the Northern Pacific railway, just southwest of the Covington depot. A dam 30 feet high was built to create a log pond. Even back then, the Game Department required that they put a fish ladder in for the salmon. The company and mill town of Covington was located about four miles southwest of what is now the Big Lots/Big 5 shopping center.

An abundance of timber and water in the area lured other lumbermen to build in Covington. Charlie LumberCompanyMeredith built a mill on Jenkins Creek and the Aware Lumber Company was located just east of Auburn. One of the best-known mills in the area was the Covington Creek Mill.

Services were soon to follow and, by the 1900's, the area had a school, store, post office, loan office, feed mill and fire station. The cooperative store, Granger's Co-Op, was formed because of the high prices and a feud with nearby Kent merchants. A cemetery, Meridian Cemetery, was started around the same time and the land was purchased for $5 per acre. Phone service was introduced to Covington by this time, as well. The cost was $12 per year for the "Farmers Party Line," and a Covington telephone directory was printed as early as 1911.

After the trees were logged off, the "Soos Creek stump ranchers" arrived to work the land. They cleared the stumps and brush, turning the area into valuable dairy pastures.

In 1937, Covington had its own school district-Number 138. It was housed in a building on the Kent-Black Diamond Road. On school days, you could hear the school bell ring for miles. When the building burned down, the bell was refurbished and donated to Covington Elementary School on Wax Road. It is still there today.

The first City Council, consisting of five men and two women, was sworn in on May 1, 1997, in the Covington MultiCare Clinic Atrium. The City held its Incorporation Celebration on September 13, 1997. The celebration was arranged by the area service groups and citizens.

Covington, which covers 6.5 square miles, has a unique population of caring, hardworking residents with a lot of community pride. In 1997, the population was listed at 12,500. In 2001, the last census showed that the population had risen to 13,783. The population of Covington in 2008 is 17,190. Covington's population at that time, compared to the rest of King County, had a significantly higher percentage of youth (35% vs. 22%), and 85% of all Covington households are families. The area has continued to grow with neighborhoods of single housing units, giving it a unique family atmosphere.

The population of Covington in 2016 was 18,750.