The Snoqualmie Valley was settled by white Americans in the 1850s and 1860s following the relocation of the Snoqualmie tribe to reservations. The community of Tolt, an Anglicized name for the Tolthue River (túlq or Toltxw), was founded in 1865 and platted in 1902. Tolt was incorporated as a town on December 30, 1912, shortly after the arrival of the Milwaukee Road, which provided train connections to Monroe in the north.
The valley was home to several dairy farms established in the 1900s, including a research farm for the Carnation Evaporated Milk Company. Following lobbying from the company and the approval of the state legislature, Tolt was renamed to "Carnation" in 1917. The renaming of the town was opposed by local residents and members of the Snoqualmie tribe, and later changed back to Tolt on May 3, 1928. The "Carnation" name remained on the post office and train depot, and continued to be used by outsiders. Tolt was then renamed back to "Carnation" on October 29, 1951. During the late 20th century, Carnation moved away from dairy farming and became a bedroom community for job centers in the Eastside, growing to a population of 1,893 by 2000.
Carnation is located at 47°38′54″N 121°54′31″W (47.648234, -121.908630).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.18 square miles (3.06 km2), of which, 1.16 square miles (3.00 km2) is land and 0.02 square miles (0.05 km2) is water. The city is located on the east bank of the Snoqualmie River just north of where the Tolt River joins in.
Camlann Medieval Village, a living history museum of a medieval English village, is located approximately four miles north of Carnation. Founded in the early 1980s, Camlann is devoted to teaching and entertaining schools, clubs, families, and individuals about what life in England in 1376 would have been like.
Remlinger Farms is a functioning farm located less than a mile outside of the town center where families can spend time around and crops, eat locally raised and grown food, and go on fun park rides.
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