City of Roy Washington
Incorporated January 16, 1908
The City of Roy is located in South Pierce County on the densely forested plains of the Nisqually Basin. We are surrounded by open prairies and farmland as well as Joint Base Lewis-McChord military reservation.
The town was originally founded in 1884 by James McNaught and Dr. C. A. Warren and was incorporated as a City in 1908. We are governed by a mayor as well as a city council made up of five residents of the City, who are elected every four years. Our population is currently under 800 people who reside within city limits; however, the outlying community in unincorporated Pierce County with the Roy mailing address is much larger.
The area on which the city was founded was originally Indian country, and was inhabited by the Nisqually Indian tribe, although little of their legacy remains to be seen today.
When the Northern Pacific Railroad was built here in the early 1870's, the township was known as "Media," named so because the town was the midway point between Tacoma and Tenino on the railway. When the town was incorporated into a city, the official name was Roy, named after the son of founder James McNaught. Historically, the city played an important role for the entire region. Roy was home to many saw mills that supplied lumber for the ever-growing Tacoma, and provided a water stop for the old steam trains that needed to refill before making the climb into the foothills. Roy was also a prime growing region for hops, which are used in making beer. The hops were sold to many of the local breweries, such as Rainier and Olympia.
Agriculture, such as farming and cattle raising, are our main industries. Both Wilcox Farms, Inc., and Silvaseed Tree and Seed Company are located in Roy and provide much of the local employment. The Roy Pioneer Rodeo Association hosts its rodeo twice a year, which draws thousands of people from around the country as well as Canada.
Our climate is like that of most of western Washington, with mild winters and warm, short summers. With the abundance of rainfall, it is not surprising that we are surrounded by many lakes and streams, or that fishing is a favorite pastime of the local residents. Salmon, trout, bass and catfish are plentiful in the nearby waters. Other popular recreations include baseball, horseback riding, hiking and swimming. The City also has a small independent library that encourages everyone to read and is the site of annual community events.
Our City is small but has a deep sense of history, and many of our older buildings are still standing. Our general store and other buildings were built in the early 1900's, and the water tower that supplied the steam trains still stands as a reminder of our pioneering past.