Years ago, the Sammamish branch of the Duwamish Indian tribe used the Redmond area for food collection, hunting and fishing. In 1964, an archeological site was discovered near the Clise Mansion in Marymoor Park and explored until 1970 by a team of University of Washington archeologists. The Marymoor Prehistoric Indian Site is currently listed in the State and National Registers of Historic Places.
Redmond's modern history began in the spring of 1871, when Luke McRedmond and Warren Perrigo established farms east of the Sammamish River. Agricultural and logging opportunities encouraged by the construction of highways and the Lakeshore Eastern Railroad attracted additional pioneers.
Although the townsite, originally known as Salmonberg, was platted in 1891, it remained unincorporated until 1912. Agriculture and lumbering remained the primary industries, but as the lumber industry decreased in significance, Redmond became a shopping hub for surrounding farm areas.
The City of Redmond incorporated on December 31, 1912 with 303 residents. Among those to first serve were Judge Fred Reil, its first Mayor, working with five elected City Councilmembers and a volunteer clerk. A town marshal and water superintendent were the forerunners of the present Police and Public Works Departments. A Fire Department was formed in 1946, the Planning Commission in 1948 (with the actual Planning Department coming later), and the Parks Department was started in 1968. Area schools date from 1875.
Over Redmond's first 40 years, population grew slowly, from 303 residents in 1912 to 573 residents in 1950 and 1,426 in 1960. In 1963, the Evergreen Point Floating Bridge was completed and by 1970, the population had multiplied to 11,020.
Redmond enjoys a diverse and growing economic base. Redmond is home to some of the major high-tech firms in the country, including Microsoft, Nintendo of America, Allied Signal Avionics, Primex Aerospace Company, Spacelabs Medical, and Physio-Control. Redmond is also the headquarters of such businesses as Eddie Bauer and Genie Industries, and is the regional headquarters of Safeco Insurance Company. The city's strong retail sector will be enhanced by the Redmond Town Center, a 1.4 million square foot commercial development. Phase I of this project opened in the Fall of 1997.
From an original incorporated area of three square blocks, the City has expanded to its present size of nearly 16.06 square miles. Regional growth around the Eastside will continue to impact Redmond as more people and businesses are attracted to the area.