Is Claim to be “Smallest Town in Washington State” Real or a Joke?
You may have seen this welcome sign that claims its home city is the smallest in Washington State with only 12 residents. I thought that was strange, so I did a google search. When I searched "the smallest town by population in Washington", it says the city of Krupp was the smallest with around 40 people. However, the city of Krupp is not the city claiming to be the smallest in our state. So which city is actually the smallest in Washington State, Krupp or the small town claiming to be on their sign?
What are the Classes of Municipalities in Washington State?
To answer this question of which town is smaller, we have to figure out what is considered a town or a municipality in Washington State. There are 5 different classes of municipalities in Washington State: first-class city, second-class city, town, unclassified city, and code city. First-class cities have populations over 10,000, second-class cities are over 1,500 people, and towns are for populations under 1,500. There is one unclassified city in Washington, Waitsburg, because it was formed before Washington was made a state.
What is the Town That Claims to be the Smallest in Washington?
If you drive through Woodinville, you might notice a sign saying your entering the Town of Grace, Washington. Right on that sign, it says that Grace only has a population of 12 people and that it was established in 1906. If you google search for the town of Grace, you can see the story is very complicated. Grace is not officially listed as a town in Washington, but it probably should be. The town of Grace has a rich history that starts back in the early 1900s.
When was the Township of Grace Washington Created?
A man named Thomas Sanders bought the land "on the quarter section of land in Snohomish County that is presently known as the “Township of Grace” according to the city of Woodinville neighborhood plan. The area was set up as an industrial area with a sawmill and was identified by the railroads at the time as "Grace Station." In the 1960s the area had a highway built through the center of town and it was rezoned by Snohomish County as “Light” and Heavy Industrial” zones.
What is Great About the Town of Grace?
Just from the entrance signs, you can tell the people that live here now have a good sense of humor. Next to the official town sign is the town toll booth which also doubles as the town bank. Yes, it is an empty outhouse and the whole thing is a joke. They also have signs next to the "bank" poking fun at things happening in the area.
The signs are not the only thing that points out the humor of the people that live there.
Is the Town of Grace Really Woodinville Washington Now?
If you search on Google Maps, the area is designated as Grace, Woodinville, Washington. The self-described Mayor Terry Jarvis says he has been Mayor of Grace since 1993 and also seems to be the guy in charge of the official Town of Grace Facebook page. He is the man that seems to be solely responsible for the resurgence of the claim of the town to be the smallest in Washington State.
Why is Grace not Considered a Real Municipality?
Honestly, I could not find an official reason why Grace is not considered a town, but it is not officially recognized as such. Originally, Grace and Woodinville were competing towns. Over time, everything that made Grace an official town was replaced and was enveloped and replaced by Woodinville according to a story by the Seattle Times. Hometown Locator says that "all of the census and demographic data for residents of Grace are included as part of the information reported for Maltby CDP." Whether you consider Grace a town or not, when you pass by make sure you throw some change at the Toll Authority Booth and get your free ice cream bar at the Marina nearby. It sounds like a good time for such a small place, whether it is the smallest town or not.