History of Japanese Gulch

Mukilteo’s history of a passage port to the Snohomish River dramatically influenced the character of the settlement. The Mukilteo Lumber Company was established in 1903 and was later purchased by Crown Lumber in 1906. The lumber industry grew Mukilteo’s Japanese population to approximately 150 Japanese compared to approximately 200 Caucasian. The lumber industry provided the Japanese workers housing in what is now the ‘lower’ Japanese Gulch. Following the closure of Crown Lumber Company in 1930, the vast majority of the Japanese community moved away.

Following the incorporation of the City of Mukilteo in 1947, a portion of Japanese Gulch was incorporated within the city limits with a large portion within the City of Everett. Pieces of Japanese Gulch had been purchase by the City of Mukilteo for the use of a park over the last 19 years, but the last 98 acres of Japanese Gulch Park was purchased with the Snohomish County Conservations Futures Grant in February, 2014.  It has been a grassroots effort, in large part headed by the Japanese Gulch Group that led to the purchase of the different parcels making up Japanese Gulch Park.

The City of Mukilteo is currently working on developing a Master Plan for the Japanese Gulch Park that will function as a visioning document assessing the critical areas, uses, connectivity, historic significance, and design for generations to come.

Sources: City of Mukilteo GIS Data, 2014, & Historylink.org Essay 8422 written by Marget Riddle December 29, 2007, revised January 10, 2011.