Medina has long been recognized as the home to wealthy and influential members of Seattle’s elite. Industry captains such as Clapp, Blethan, Gates, and Bezos have built estates along Medina’s waterfront. Meanwhile, a diverse group of families with a variety of backgrounds have settled the uplands, creating a close-knit community. Farmers, including many of Japanese heritage, first settled the area in the late 1800’s. Upon the arrival of the car ferry service to Seattle in 1913, Medina gradually evolved into a commuter suburb for the working class and wealthy alike. In 1940, the first Lake Washington floating bridge ushered in a new era, and with incorporation in 1955 and the opening of the Evergreen Point Bridge in 1963, Medina completed its transformation to a largely residential area. Despite its marvelous growth, Medina has successfully maintained its charm. A new generation of families arrived in the 1990’s, filling classrooms and parks, and renewing Medina’s original identity: close to the big city, but a world apart.
Written by: Michael Luis
First printed: 2011