About This Place
Rainier is a city in Thurston County, Washington, United States. Beginning as a train stop in the 1870s, Rainier was first settled in 1890, and was officially incorporated in 1947. The population was 1,794 at the 2010 U.S. Census.
Rainier began in the 1870s as a stop on the Northern Pacific Railroad line between Kalama, Washington and Tacoma. Situated amidst the ‘ten al quelth’ prairies (Lushootseed for "the best yet",) it was named for its view of Mount Rainier. In 1890, Albert and Maria Gehrke were the first permanent settlers to homestead in Rainier; later that year a post office was established. Rainier was officially platted in 1891.
In 1896, the community's first full time school and church was built by Albert Gehrke and his two brothers, Theodore and Paul; the building is now a state historic landmark.