Sequim, Washington

Sequim, Washington
Nickname(s): Sunny Sequim

Sequim, Washington
Coordinates: 48°4′41″N 123°6′5″W / 48.07806°N 123.10139°W / 48.07806; -123.10139Coordinates: 48°4′41″N 123°6′5″W / 48.07806°N 123.10139°W / 48.07806; -123.10139
Country United States
State Washington
County Clallam
  City 6.37 sq mi (16.50 km2)
  Land 6.31 sq mi (16.34 km2)
  Water 0.06 sq mi (0.16 km2)
Elevation 184 ft (56 m)
Population (2010)[2]
  City 6,606
  Estimate (2015)[3] 6,826
  Density 1,046.9/sq mi (404.2/km2)
  Metro 28,000 +/-
Time zone Pacific (PST) (UTC-8)
  Summer (DST) PDT (UTC-7)
ZIP code 98382
Area code 360
FIPS code 53-63385
GNIS feature ID 1531505[4]
Website City of Sequim
The Sequim School District is home of Sequim High School, Sequim Middle School, Sequim Community School, Olympic Peninsula Academy, Helen Haller Elementary, and Greywolf Elementary.

Sequim i/ˈskwɪm/ is a city in Clallam County, Washington, United States. As of the 2010 census counted a population of 6,606. [Sequim School District population served is a little over 29,000. Sequim and the area around Sequim has a population of about 28,000] Sequim is located along the Dungeness River near the base of the Olympic Mountains. The city has been increasing in population dramatically in recent years due to the influx of retirees from the Puget Sound region and California.

Sequim lies within the rain shadow of the Olympic Mountains and receives on average less than 16 inches (410 mm) of rain per year—about the same as Los Angeles, California—and has given itself the nickname of Sunny Sequim. Yet the city is fairly close to some of the wettest temperate rainforests of the contiguous United States. This climate anomaly is sometimes called the blue hole of Sequim.[5] Fogs and cool breezes from the Juan de Fuca Strait make Sequim's environment more humid than would be expected from the low average annual precipitation. Some places have surprisingly luxuriant forests dominated by Douglas-fir and western red cedar. Black cottonwood, red alder, bigleaf maple, Pacific madrone, lodgepole pine, and Garry oak can also be large. Historically, much of the area was an open oak-studded prairie supported by somewhat excessively drained gravelly sandy loam soil, though agriculture and development of the Dungeness valley have changed this ecosystem. Most soils under Sequim have been placed in a series which is named after the city.[6] This "Sequim series" is one of the few Mollisols in western Washington and its high base saturation, a characteristic of the Mollisol order, is attributed to the minimal leaching of bases caused by low annual rainfall.[7]

The city and the surrounding area are particularly known for the commercial cultivation of lavender, supported by the unique climate: it makes Sequim the "Lavender Capital of North America", rivaled only in France. The area is also known for its Dungeness crab.

Sequim is pronounced as one syllable, with the e elided: "skwim". The name evolved from the Klallam language.


The local news publications consist of the community news paper Sequim Gazette,[8] and the Peninsula Daily News.[9] Also, the Sequim Radio station, KSQM 91.5!

Sister city

Sequim's sister city is Shiso, Hyōgo, Japan. Sequim and Shiso have an exchange student program set up through Sequim High School and Sequim Middle School.[10][11]


A lavender farm in Sequim, Washington

Aboriginal inhabitants

Fossils discovered in the late 1970s at a dig known as the Manis Mastodon Site, near Sequim, by Carl Gustafson, an archaeologist at Washington State University included a mastodon bone with an embedded bone point, evidencing the presence of hunters in the area about 14,000 years ago. According to Michael R. Waters, an archaeologist at Texas A&M University, this discovery is the first hunting weapon found that dates to the pre-Clovis period.

The S'Klallam tribe had inhabited the region prior to the arrival of the first Europeans. S'Klallam means "the strong people". The band of S'Klallam Indians disbanded into their own individual federally recognized tribes in the early 1900s. The local Tribe is the Jamestown S'Klallam Tribe named after one of their early leaders, Lord James Balch. According to other tales the town Sequim in S'Klallam means "a place for going to shoot" which represents the abundance of game and wildlife of the area.[12] [13] Both Manuel Quimper and George Vancouver explored the region's coast in the 1790s.

First European settlers

The first European settlers arrived in the Dungeness Valley in the 1850s, settling nearby Dungeness, Washington. While the lands along the river became fertile farmlands, the remainder of the area remained arid prairie, known as "the desert".[5] Irrigation canals first brought water to the prairie in the 1890s, allowing the expansion of farmlands.


Sequim was officially incorporated on October 31, 1913. For many decades small farms, mostly dairy farms, dotted the area around the small town. Near the end of World War I, Sequim became a stop for a railway which passed through from Port Angeles to Port Townsend, built primarily to carry wood products from the forests of the western Olympic Peninsula.


Sequim has held its Irrigation Festival every May since 1895. As of 2016, it is the longest continuously running festival in the state and is in its 121st year.[14]

Tourist attractions

Drawing of a mastodon skeleton by Rembrandt Peale

Sequim is home to a herd of Roosevelt elk, one attraction to the area. The herd occasionally crosses US 101 just to the southeast of the town. Radio collars on some members of the herd trigger warning lights for motorists.[15]

Over the past two decades, Sequim has become famous for growing lavender and holds the Sequim Lavender Weekend (always the third weekend in July).[16]

The Museum and Arts Center features both natural and cultural exhibits including a mastodon mural mounted with the remaining mastodons bones, artifacts, and a video on the excavation.

The Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge is located just north of the city, near the mouth of the Dungeness River. It includes Dungeness Spit and a five-mile hike to the New Dungeness Lighthouse[17] at the end of the spit.

To the east along Highway 101 is Sequim Bay, a 4-mile long inlet from the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Along the western stretch is the Sequim Bay State Park. The inlet is a popular bird watching area.[18]

To the west off Highway 101 along the Strait of Juan de Fuca is a west coast replica of George Washington's home, the George Washington Inn.


Sequim is located at 48°4′41″N 123°6′5″W / 48.07806°N 123.10139°W / 48.07806; -123.10139 (48.078002, -123.101427).[19]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 6.37 square miles (16.50 km2), of which, 6.31 square miles (16.34 km2) is land and 0.06 square miles (0.16 km2) is water.[1]


Sequim experiences a mediterranean climate (Köppen climate classification Csb), sometimes classified as an oceanic climate owing to the relatively cool temperatures. Despite its low rainfall, extreme summer temperatures are marginally more moderate than nearby extremely wet towns like Forks, owing to the coastal fog. Winters are mostly mild with very little snowfall. Many years there is no snow at all. The highest temperature recorded in Sequim was 99 °F (37.2 °C) on 16 July 1941, and the lowest −3 °F (−19.4 °C) on 19 January 1935.[20]

Climate data for Sequim
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 62
Average high °F (°C) 46.6
Average low °F (°C) 31.2
Record low °F (°C) −3
Average precipitation inches (mm) 2.09
Average snowfall inches (cm) 2.31
Average precipitation days 15 11 11 9 8 7 4 5 7 10 14 16 118
Source: [21]


Historical population
Census Pop.
Est. 20156,826[22]3.3%
U.S. Decennial Census[23]
2015 Estimate[3]

2010 census

As of the census[2] of 2010, there were 6,606 people, 3,340 households, and 1,626 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,046.9 inhabitants per square mile (404.2/km2). There were 3,767 housing units at an average density of 597.0 per square mile (230.5/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 91.3% White, 0.4% African American, 1.2% Native American, 1.9% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 1.7% from other races, and 3.2% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.8% of the population.

[Note: The U.S. Postal Service delivers to 28,000+ people within Sequim's zip code, 98382. Most of these postal patrons live outside the Sequim city limits in Clallam County.]

There were 3,340 households of which 17.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 36.5% were married couples living together, 9.4% had a female householder with no husband present, 2.8% had a male householder with no wife present, and 51.3% were non-families. 45.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 29.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 1.87 and the average family size was 2.57.

The median age in the city was 57.9 years. 15.2% of residents were under the age of 18; 6.3% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 15.9% were from 25 to 44; 22.1% were from 45 to 64; and 40.4% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 44.4% male and 55.6% female.

2000 census

More detailed information from the 2000 census indicated that the racial makeup of the city was 93.91% White, 0.30% African American, 1.15% Native American, 1.75% Asian, 0.09% Pacific Islander, 0.92% from other races, and 1.87% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.86% of the population.

There were 2,163 households out of which 15.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 40.1% were married couples living together, 9.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 48.6% were non-families. 44.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 30.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 1.90 and the average family size was 2.55.

In the city the age distribution of the population shows 15.3% under the age of 18, 5.4% from 18 to 24, 15.2% from 25 to 44, 19.5% from 45 to 64, and 44.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 59 years. For every 100 females there were 73.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 68.9 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $27,880, and the median income for a family was $35,652. Males had a median income of $35,160 versus $20,347 for females. The per capita income for the city was $19,253. About 9.8% of families and 13.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 19.9% of those under age 18 and 10.7% of those age 65 or over.

Notable people


  1. 1 2 "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-12-19.
  2. 1 2 "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-12-19.
  3. 1 2 "Population Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 1, 2016.
  4. "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  5. 1 2 Mass, Cliff (2008). The Weather of the Pacific Northwest. University of Washington Press. p. 194. ISBN 978-0-295-98847-4.
  6. Web Soil Survey
  8. "Sequim Online Gazette". Sound Publishing. Retrieved 2009-03-20.
  9. "Peninsula Daily News". Sound Publishing. Retrieved 2009-03-20.
  10. Sequim High School / Homepage
  11. Sequim Middle School / Overview
  12. "'Quiet waters'? Sequim means something else entirely". Seattle Times. Associated Press. August 4, 2010.
  13. Olympic Peninsula Intertribal Cultural Advisory Committee (2003). Jacilee Wray, ed. Native Peoples of the Olympic Peninsula: Who We Are. University of Oklahoma Press. p. 35. ISBN 0-8061-3552-2.
  14. "Irrigation Festival splashes into opening weekend". Sequim Gazette. May 2, 2012. Retrieved June 8, 2012.
  15. Timothy Egan (January 2, 2001), "Sequim journal: elk that call ahead to cross the highway", The New York Times
  16. Sequim Tourism, WA – Official Website – Lavender Weekend
  17. Petrich, Christopher (2005). A Complete Guide To The Lighthouses on Puget Sound Including Admiralty Inlet. p. 72. ISBN 1-4116-4186-8.
  18. McNair-Huff, Natalie (2004). Birding Washington. Globe Pequot. pp. 48−51. ISBN 0-7627-2577-X.
  19. "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  20. Sequim Climate Summary
  21. "Sequim 2 E, Washington". Western Regional Climate Centre. Retrieved 25 May 2010.
  22. "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2015". Retrieved July 2, 2016.
  23. United States Census Bureau. "Census of Population and Housing". Archived from the original on May 11, 2015. Retrieved July 21, 2014.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Sequim, Washington.
This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 10/26/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.