Auburn is a city in King County, with a small portion in Pierce County, Washington, United States. The population was 70,180 at the 2010 United States Census. Auburn is a suburb in the Seattle metropolitan area, currently ranked the fifteenth largest city in the state of Washington.
Auburn is bordered by the cities of Federal Way, Pacific, and Algona to the west, Sumner to the south, Kent to the north, and unincorporated King County to the east. The Muckleshoot Indian Reservation is in or near the southern city limits.
The first non-indigenous settlers in the Green River Valley arrived in the 1850s, but were temporarily driven out by Indian wars later that decade. Several settler families returned in the 1860s, including Levi Ballard, who set up a homestead between the Green and White rivers. Ballard filed for a plat to establish a town in February 1886, naming it Slaughter for an officer slain during the Indian wars in 1855.
Slaughter was incorporated on June 13, 1891, but its name was changed two years later to Auburn on February 21, 1893, by an action of the state legislature. Newer residents had disliked the name and its connection to the word "slaughter", especially after the town's hotel was named the Slaughter House. The name Auburn was chosen in honor of Auburn, New York, for the area's shared reliance on hops farming.
The White and Green Rivers have been a major part of the history and culture of Auburn since the area was settled with multiple locations in the city being named after either of the two rivers. Frequent flooding from the rivers caused numerous problems for the people living in the community with one outcome being the creation of Mountain View Cemetery over on one of the hills overlooking the valley.