Vashon is a census-designated place (CDP) in King County, Washington, United States. It covers an island alternately called Vashon-Maury Island or Vashon Island, the largest island in Puget Sound south of Admiralty Inlet. The population was 10,123 at the 2000 census. At 37 square miles (96 km²), it is about 60 percent larger in area than Manhattan, with about 1/150 the population.
Vashon has two ferry terminals. The southern terminus of the Vashon Highway is the Tahlequah Ferry Terminal, connected to the Point Defiance neighborhood of Tacoma by a Washington State Ferries run. The northern terminus of the Vashon Highway is the Heights Dock at Point Vashon, which services the state ferry docks at Southworth, Fauntleroy in West Seattle, and Downtown Seattle. There are no bridges to connect the island with the mainland.
The island was named on May 28, 1792, by the explorer George Vancouver after his friend James Vashon of the Royal Navy. At that time, Vashon Island was separate from the neighbouring Maury Island, but today the hamlet of Portage sits on an isthmus built by the U.S Army Corps of Engineers that connects the two.
Based on per capita income, Vashon ranks 32nd of 522 areas in the state of Washington to be ranked.
Vashon is located at (47.416198, -122.468211).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 37.0 square miles (95.8 km²).
There were 4,193 households out of which 30.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.2% were married couples living together, 7.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.3% were non-families. 23.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.40 and the average family size was 2.86.
In the CDP the population was spread out with 23.2% under the age of 18, 4.6% from 18 to 24, 25.1% from 25 to 44, 34.0% from 45 to 64, and 13.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 44 years. For every 100 females there were 94.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.0 males.
The median income for a household in the CDP was $58,261, and the median income for a family was $67,010. Males had a median income of $50,201 versus $36,426 for females. The per capita income for the island was $31,983. About 4.6% of families and 6.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 5.2% of those under the age of 18 and 2.2% of those 65 and older.
Vashon's economy took another hit in recent years when it lost two of its major industrial employers: K2 Sports moved its manufacturing to China, and the Seattle's Best Coffee roastery operation was closed shortly after SBC was bought by Starbucks. Currently, the largest manufacturer on Vashon is Pacific Research Laboratories, locally referred to as "The Bone Factory."
Maury Island is home to numerous AM transmitters. Built in 1941, KIRO 710 has two massive towers for its 50,000 watt transmitter. KIRO is 50,000 watts day/night. KTTH 770 which operates with 50,000 watts during the day and 5,000 watts at night. KTTH shares towers with KPTK. KIRO and KTTH are owned by Bonneville International.
There was a tower originally built in 1946 for KEVR 1090AM, which later became KING radio and is now KPTK. KPTK, 50,000 watts day/night, now operates 3 towers. CBS ownes KPTK. This site is shared with KTTH.
On Vashon Island, radio station KVI 570 has a single tower on a beach in Tramp Harbor, nicknamed "KVI Beach." KVI is owned by local owner Fisher Broadcasting and operates 24 hours a day at 5,000 watts. Fisher also owns KOMO 1000 has a three tower setup on the northeast corner of Vashon Island. KOMO is 50,000 watts day/night.
KGNW 820 propagates its signal from three towers in the center of the island, KGNW operates 50,000 watts day and 5,000 night and is owned by Salem Communications. KJR 950 shares the towers at the KGNW site. KJR is owned by Clear Channel and operates 50,000 watts day/night
One of the few Russian Orthodox Monasteries in America is located on Vashon Island. The monks gained notoriety years ago when they were threatened with a lawsuit by Starbucks for promoting a monastery coffee labeled, "Christmas Blend", which Starbucks claimed they owned rights to. The lawsuit was eventually dropped. Their story was included in a documentary exposing the evils of American corporations.
Collections – Oliver S. Van Olinda Photographs A collection of 420 photographs depicting life on Vashon Island, Whidbey Island, Seattle and other communities of Washington State's Puget Sound from the 1880s to the 1930s.