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Sequim, Washington

Sequim, Washington
Nickname(s): Sunny Sequim
Sequim, Washington
Sequim, Washington
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 (2014)[3] 6,737
 • 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, Helen Haller Elementary and Greywolf Elementary.

Sequim 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.


  • Media 1
  • Sister city 2
  • History 3
    • Aboriginal inhabitants 3.1
    • First European settlers 3.2
    • Incorporation 3.3
    • Commemoration 3.4
  • Tourist attractions 4
  • Geography 5
    • Climate 5.1
  • Demographics 6
    • 2010 census 6.1
    • 2000 census 6.2
  • Notable people 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9


The local news publications consist of the community news paper Sequim Gazette,[8] and the Peninsula Daily News.[9]

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 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.


  • City of Sequim
  • North Olympic Library System
  • Sequim School District

External links

  1. ^ a b "US Gazetteer files 2010".  
  2. ^ a b "American FactFinder".  
  3. ^ a b "Population Estimates".  
  4. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names".  
  5. ^ a b Mass, Cliff (2008). The Weather of the Pacific Northwest. University of Washington Press. p. 194.  
  6. ^ Web Soil Survey
  7. ^
  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"'".  
  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.  
  14. ^ "Irrigation Festival splashes into opening weekend". Sequim Gazette. May 2, 2012. Retrieved June 8, 2012. 
  15. ^ Sequim Tourism, WA – Official Website – Lavender Weekend
  16. ^ Petrich, Christopher (2005). A Complete Guide To The Lighthouses on Puget Sound Including Admiralty Inlet. p. 72.  
  17. ^ McNair-Huff, Natalie (2004). Birding Washington. Globe Pequot. pp. 48−51.  
  18. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990".  
  19. ^ Sequim Climate Summary
  20. ^ "Sequim 2 E, Washington". Western Regional Climate Centre. Retrieved 25 May 2010. 
  21. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  22. ^  


Notable people

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.

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.

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.

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.

2000 census

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.

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.

[Note: The U.S. Postal Service delivers to 28,000+ people within Sequim's zip code, 98382.]

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.

2010 census


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: [20]

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.[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 is located at (48.078002, -123.101427).[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.

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.[17]

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[16] at the end of the spit.

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.

Over the past two decades, Sequim has become famous for growing lavender and holds the Sequim Lavender Weekend (always the third weekend in July).[15]

Sequim is home to a herd of Roosevelt elk, one attraction to the area.

Drawing of a mastodon skeleton by Rembrandt Peale

Tourist attractions

Sequim has held its Irrigation Festival every May since 1895. As of 2012, it is the longest continuously running festival in the state.[14] The Irrigation Festival has become so popular that it has developed into a larger, community-wide event known as the "Sequim Lavender Weekend."


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.


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.

First European settlers
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