In 1853, the area was settled by Joseph Foster, a Canadian pioneer who had traveled to the northwest from Wisconsin. Foster would become known as the “Father of Tukwila” and serve King County, Washington Territory in the legislature for 22 years. Today, Foster’s legendary home on the banks of the Duwamish River is preserved as Fort Dent Park, as it also served as a military base during 1850s Indian Wars. Foster’s name is also memorialized in the Foster neighborhood of Tukwila where Foster High School is located
In 1883, the legislature approved the Woman Suffrage bill introduced by Representative Joseph Foster from the Duwamish River Valley. Bells rang and guns boomed as suffragists celebrated their victory — and promptly voted towns dry and banned brothels and game rooms.
Joseph Foster was a prominant pioneer. He served in the early Washington territorial legislator, was first superintendent of schools in Tukwila, and a well-respected local leader. His homestead was located at the present day site of Foster Golf Course. A plaque commemorating Foster’s Landing is located at the north end of the golf course. Nearby is a monument citing a maple tree that the Foster’s planted on July 4, 1873, making it the oldest known tree in Tukwila.
Settlers arrived in the 1850’s, traveling by boats and wagons to farm the rich soil of the Duwamish River Valley. The most prominent settlers were Luther and Lucinda Collins, John Holgate, Joseph and Martha Foster, Henry Van Asselt and Samuel Maple and his children. Local schools and streets are named for them.
Most well known was Joseph Foster, early Washington state legislator, first superintendent of schools in Tukwila, and a well-respected local leader. His homestead was located at the present day site of Foster Golf Course. A plaque commemorating Foster’s homestead is located on Tukwila’s oldest maple tree at the north end of the golf course. Nearby is a monument citing Foster’s landing where riverboats stopped to load and unload goods and passengers.