Kapowsin Real Estate Listings and Information


Today the village of Kapowsin (US ZIP code 98344) is located approximately 25 miles (38 kilometers) south east of Tacoma in Pierce County, Washington, United States. The 2010 Census placed the population at 333. The town falls within the Graham Community Planning area. The largest and most distinguishing feature of the town is the 512-acre Kapowsin Lake.

‘Officially’ founded in 1901 when the Kapowsin Lumber Company built a sawmill adjacent to the lake and the St. Paul & Tacoma Lumber Company and other investors extended their tracks from Tacoma to the town site and lake that had been originally settled by European loggers and farmers in the 1890s. Located at several mill sites around the lake, the village was concentrated on the northwest shore. The community was a thriving lumber town in the early part of the 20th century until the late 1920s, with multiple saw and shingle mills, a railroad depot, a high school, elementary school, natatorium, performance hall, hotels, restaurants, shops, and trades, and a population of about 1,000.

As the town grew, tribal members, local residents, farmers, loggers, and ‘tourists’ continued to fish for salmon and trout, and camp along the lakeshore. Residents walked over a floating boardwalk spanning the lake to work in the woods and patronize the businesses on the east side. Pilings were driven at many locations around the lake. Wharves and railroad spurs were extended around the lakeshore and out over the lake, and more pilings were driven to create log pens.

In 1928 Tacoma Public Utilities condemned and bought the town for a reservoir that was never built. TPU razed most of the buildings, leaving behind the relics of an abandoned industrial site: a few masonry walls and cellar holes, the railroad on the west shore, the platted lots shown on the County Assessor’s map, and the pilings. The rest of the demolished mill town was burned or dumped into the lake. Aside from the Fish & Wildlife boat launch, there is no longer legal public access to the shoreline.

Parts of the town remain a few hundred feet west of the lake with a store, gas station, tavern, post office, fire station and grange hall. Housing for the 300+ residents lies to the north and west of the lake. The railroad, the boat launch, the Hancock Forest Resources Company Douglas fir tree farm, an active quarry/rock crushing operation, and a single lakeside residential compound are all that remain of lake shore development.

The railroad, now operated by Tacoma Public Utilities Rail Division still runs through the town. The rail line carries freight between the industrial center in the town of Frederickson and the port city of Tacoma, but upgrading the tracks and bridges to carry freight south to Eatonville is not economically feasible. The line may one day be a part of a revived ‘light’ passenger service between Tacoma and Eatonville. This would serve the needs of County planners who wish to preserve open space and the rural character of that part of the county by allowing reuse of existing infrastructure, and the creation of pockets of density – not unlike what existed in the area over 100 years ago.

"1 Kapowsin and Rainier" by Bpickard - Photograph from an airplanePreviously published: No. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:1_Kapowsin_and_Rainier.jpg#mediaviewer/File:1_Kapowsin_and_Rainier.jpg

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Active Market Stats
  • 8 Listings For Sale
  • $263,663 Average Listing Price
  • $214 Average Listing Price per Square Foot
Sold Market Stats
  • 23 Properties Sold
  • $191 Average Sale Price per Square Foot

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