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About Sequim

Sequim (pronounced /ˈskwɪm/ ( listen)) is a city in Clallam County, Washington, United States. The population is estimated to be 5,951 as of 2007, not including the approximately 20,000 residents in the Dungeness Valley immediately surrounding the city limits. 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. Recent approximations show a population growth of about 34% since the year 2000.

Sequim lies within the rainshadow of the Olympic Mountains and receives an average of less than 15 inches of rain per year, nearly qualifying it as a desert. 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. 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.

The city and the surrounding area are particularly known for the commercial growth 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"

Media

The local news publications consist of the community news paper Sequim Gazette, the Peninsula Daily News and the weekly Sequim This Week by the Peninsula Daily News.

Sister city

Sequim's sister city is Shiso, Hyogo, Japan. Sequim and Shiso have an exchange student program set up through Sequim High School and Sequim Middle School.

History

Aboriginal inhabitants

The S'Klallam tribe had inhabited the region prior to the arrival of the first Europeans. The tribal name of the village at Washington Harbor, located just to the east of the present day city, later evolved into the name Sequim. 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. Irrigation canals first brought water to the prairie in the 1890s, allowing the expansion of farmlands.

Incorporation

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.

Modern

In recent decades, the family farms that once dotted the valley have been parceled off into home sites as the area's excellent climate has drawn many retired people. Recent years have seen a resurgence of organic farming in the area, with Nash Huber of Nash's Organic Produce leading the way, and a weekly farmer's market is held downtown from May to October.

Commemmoration

Each May since 1895, Sequim holds the Irrigation Festival. As of 2008, it is the longest continuously running festival in the state.

The Sequim Lavender Festival has been held every July since 1996. It includes three days of lavender farm tours and a street fair.

Tourist attractions

Sequim is home of a herd of Roosevelt elk, one attraction to the area. Sequim holds a Lavender Festival during the summer of every year, usually around July, which attracts tens of thousands of people.

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 Olympic Game Farm allows visitors to get a close look at many large game animals.

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 at the end of the spit.

To the east along Highway 101 is Sequim Bay, a 4 mile long inlet from the Straits of Juan de Fuca. Along the western stretch is the Sequim Bay State Park and the John Wayne Marina. The land for the latter was bequeathed by the movie actor John Wayne. The inlet is a popular bird watching area.

Geography

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).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 5.3 square miles (13.7 km²), all of it land.

Climate

Sequim experiences an oceanic climate (Köppen climate classification Cfb).

Weather data for Sequim
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °F (°C) 45
(7)
48
(9)
52
(11)
56
(13)
61
(16)
65
(18)
69
(21)
69
(21)
65
(18)
58
(14)
50
(10)
46
(8)
57
(14)
Average low °F (°C) 29
(-2)
31
(-1)
33
(1)
36
(2)
42
(6)
46
(8)
49
(9)
49
(9)
44
(7)
37
(3)
33
(1)
30
(-1)
38
(3)
Precipitation inches (mm) 1.89
(48)
1.47
(37.3)
1.24
(31.5)
.97
(24.6)
1.18
(30)
1.04
(26.4)
.67
(17)
.73
(18.5)
.84
(21.3)
1.27
(32.3)
2.55
(64.8)
2.25
(57.2)
16.10
(408.9)

Demographics

As of the census of 2000, there were 4,334 people, 2,163 households, and 1,111 families residing in the city. The population density was 820.6 people per square mile (316.9/km²). There were 2,424 housing units at an average density of 459.0/sq mi (177.3/km²). 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 population was spread out with 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.


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