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Covington is a city in King County, Washington, United States. The population was 17,575 at the time of the 2010 census. Prior to the 2010 census, Covington was counted as part of Covington-Sawyer-Wilderness CDP.
The area presently known as Covington was originally known as Jenkins Prairie. Between 1899 and 1900 the Northern Pacific Railway built a cut-off between Auburn and Kanaskat, improving the company's primary east-west route across Stampede Pass. Richard Covington, a surveyor for the Northern Pacific Railroad worked out of Fort Vancouver establishing the line through western Washington to complete the line from St Paul, Minnesota, to Auburn. According to the NP's construction records at the University of Montana's K. Ross Toole Archives, the primary contractors were banker Horace C. Henry of Seattle, Washington, and long-time railroad contractor Nelson Bennett of Tacoma, Washington, the NP's prime contractor for Stampede Tunnel, which he completed in 1888. The project engineer in Auburn was George Allen Kyle. The NP's principal assistant engineer in Tacoma, overseeing both Kyle and Bennett's work, was Charles S. Bihler.
In 1900, during the building of the Palmer Cut-Off from Kanaskat to Auburn, the Northern Pacific installed at 2,850-foot passing track, a 700-foot loading track, a second class section house (which broke down to $1,000 for construction, $100 for an outhouse, and $50 for furnishings), a 24-man bunkhouse, a box tank and standpipe for watering steam locomotives at Covington. By 1908 the tiny village was home to the Covington Lumber Company, which had set up a mill capable of cutting 85,000 board feet of timber a day.
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