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History of Wellington Washington

The History of Wellington WA is one of the most iconic ghost towns in the state of Washington. The original town of Wellington Washington was established in 1893 as an integral railroad community located on The Great Northern Railroad. The town took root on the west portal of the old Cascade Tunnel near the base of Windy Mountain.


The tragic history of Wellington Washington has its roots when 96 lives were lost on March 1, 1910. Heavy snow trapped two Great Northern Railroad trains during an intense winter storm. During the night, a quarter-mile-wide avalanche came roaring down the mountain, hitting both of the trapped trains and catapulting them 150 feet. The trains came to a stop in the Tye River Valley where they were buried under 40 feet of snow.

The 96 people who passed away as a result of the avalanche included 35 passengers and 61 railroad employees. There were 23 survivors of the incident. It took rescuers 21 weeks for all of the snow to melt and for rescuers to recover all of the bodies. Authorities determined that the avalanche was precipitated by thunder and rain storms. To this day, the avalanche remains the deadliest incident of its kind in US history.


In October of 1910, the town of Wellington was renamed Tye in an effort to distance itself from the tragedy and bury the bad public relations associated with the railroad and the History of Wellington WA. Also in that same month, the Great Northern Railway began building concrete snow sheds in order to shelter the train tracks from future disasters.

The town was eventually abandoned and burned to the ground. However, the name of Wellington was reclaimed as a neighborhood in Woodinville in an attempt to pay tribute to the area’s rich history.


Today, Wellington Washington has earned a reputation as an idyllic neighborhood in Woodinville. Located on Seattle’s Eastside, the bedroom community of Wellington boasts a network of highly-rated public schools, including Wellington Elementary, Leota Middle School, and Woodinville High School. Wellington is located just a few miles from downtown Woodinville, giving residents access to a variety of chain stores, local businesses, and diverse dining options. The area is also conveniently located to the coveted Woodinville Wine Country. This region particularly comes alive during the warm summer months.

Many working families commute to the nearby Microsoft campus in Redmond or to other businesses located in Bellevue, Kirkland, Everett, and Seattle. The homes in Wellington are most known for their large estate lots. The heavily wooded area of the Wellington neighborhood is ideal for homeowners looking for privacy and the opportunity to get up close and personal with Mother Nature. It is not uncommon for residents to spy native wildlife on the property, including deer, bears, and bobcats.