Downtown

South Renton Mini Murals

Art can often be found in unexpected areas and the mini murals in South Renton are hidden in one of the last places you might think to look. This whimsical series of tiny murals was created by artist, Vikram Madan, and are installed on the backs of the street signs along the Burnett Linear Park in Renton. Vikram spent hours pouring over Renton’s history files to find unique stories and factoids to inspire the images in 20 unique mini mural designs.

Scroll down for a preview of the designs and the history behind the images. For more information and to view full length images, please visit the artist’s page at SouthRentonArt.com.

The Women's Bucket Brigade

The Women's Bucket Brigade Women played an integral part in early Renton. Once, when a fire broke out in downtown, an enterprising group of women put it out by forming a bucket brigade and drawing water from a nearby railway engine.

Black River School

Renton had an early commitment to education, with the first school in Renton, the 'Black River School', founded in 1854. The school, however, was located on the 'wrong side' of the river and students could only reach the school either by canoe or by crossing the fishing weirs across the river.

Renton's First Non-Native Explorers

The first non-native person to explore the Renton area was Colonel Ebbe.

Captain William Renton

The first settlers in Renton came from all over the world, including Austria, Poland, Serbia, Italy, China, Japan, Scotland, Ireland, Belgium, Wales, and many parts of the United States, often to work in the coal and lumber industries. Many settlers arrived by the Seattle and Walla Walla Railroad.

Renton Flood of 1911

With three rivers in proximity, Renton would often flood, including a particularly memorable flood in 1911. People would have to travel by boats, and sometimes boats would get stranded on the poles they were tethered to when the flood waters receded. The rivers were eventually drained.

The Bridge Over the Black River

With the opening of the Black River Bridge, cowboys bringing cattle herds from Eastern Washington to Seattle would sometimes drive their cattle right through the heart of Renton.

Elephants of Renton

When circus elephants roamed the Boeing factory floor.

Elliot Farm - Renton Dairy Farmers

While Renton is a place of industry today - that is also how the city got its start. Serving lumber mills, dairy farms, and a number of factories.

Bear in Renton Tree

Renton is home to a number of mammals from bears to beavers.

Muskrat Creation Stories

Original inhabitants of Renton, the Duwamish tribe, believed a muskrat formed the islands by diving down to the bottom of the ocean to bring up pieces of wet earth.

"Good"Bye to Four Cow Bridge

Renton homesteader Erasmus Smith permitted the Seattle and Walla Walla Railroad to build a bridge on his lands but requested the bridge tunnel be at least four cows wide.

Learn About Salmon Season in Renton!

Many salmon of the Pacific Northwest call Renton home - in fact you can follow their entire journey up the Cedar River with the Cedar Library each autumn.

How Logs Traveled Along the Railroad

Logging was one of the many industries that helped to form Renton into the city it is today.

How Renton Railroads Have Changed

Along with logging - trains have and continue to shape Renton as a city.

1900's Coal Mining in Renton

For early coal miners their lives were run by the whistles - indicating shift changes, work for the next day, and emergencies.

Captain William Renton

Captain Renton never actually lived in Renton, though the city was named after him. He did however invest in Renton's coal mines and was an early ship captain.

Seattle's Working Women

Women played a critical part in the building of tanks and planes in Renton's factories while men were off at war during WWII.

Bess the Mule

Mules were essential in hauling coal out of mines. Rats were also essential in indicating that the conditions were safe for miners to enter.

The Rise of the Lumber Industry in Washington

Prior to the logging industry coming to Renton, the city was made up of mostly old growth trees which can grow over 250 feet tall.

Largest Coal Mines Located in Puget Sound

Renton wouldn't be the city it is without the early efforts and hard work of coal miners.