Believed to be named after Governor Isaac I. Stevens, the shores of Lake Stevens were first settled in 1886, on a 160-acre (0.65 km2) homestead along the east shore. By 1890 the first town in the area, "Ferry", was established. Its name was later changed to "Hartford", and it served as the main link from the famed Monte Cristo timber and mining resources to the world.
In 1905 a railroad spur was built by the Rucker Brothers Timber Company, linking Hartford with Lake Stevens. Two years later Rucker Mill was opened, located along and in the north cove of the lake (original pilings can still be seen in the old lake outflow area just south of the boat launch). In 1919, the mill, which became known as the "world's largest sawmill", burned and was partially rebuilt. When it burned a second time in 1925 the mill was dismantled and Lake Stevens lost the very industry which caused its founding. However, by then a flourishing town was established and continued under its own momentum.
From the 1920s to the 1950s Lake Stevens was primarily a resort community, with many public and private resort beaches scattered around the shore. On November 29, 1960, Lake Stevens incorporated as a City with a population of 900. Soon, its popularity and natural beauty, combined with changing commuter habits, attracted more and more residents, changing its character to that of a suburban community. By 2000 the City had grown to a population of 6,361 in approximately 1.8 square miles. The lake remains the focal point of the greater Lake Stevens community for recreation and as "a symbol of our need to provide for a sustainable existence that will protect our natural environment".
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 8.90 square miles (23.05 km2), of which, 8.88 square miles (23.00 km2) is land and 0.02 square miles (0.05 km2) is water.
The lake itself is the largest and deepest lake in Snohomish County, with an area of 1,040 acres (4.2 km2) and an average depth of 64 feet (20 m). It is fed by Lundeen, Mitchell, Kokanee, and Stitch Creeks and drained by Catherine Creek, which ultimately flows to the Pilchuck River. The small size of the surrounding watershed compared to the lake minimizes the effects of upstream pollution. This combined with an artificial aeration system allows for a generally good water quality. Much of the shoreline is heavily developed, so few wetlands exist adjacent to the lake. Recreational activities include boating, fishing, and swimming.
Lake Stevens is located at 48°1′11″N 122°3′58″W (48.019782, -122.066089).
Lake Stevens government operates under the mayor-council system. The mayor serves as the executive of the city, while the council serves as the legislative body of the city.
Voters elect a mayor and seven councilmembers to serve, each to four-year terms. All positions are non-partisan. Elections for the mayoral and council positions are held in staggered cycles, meaning that not all positions are up for election in the same year.
Urban Growth Area Edit
Since 2005, the population of the City of Lake Stevens has nearly quadrupled from 7,400 to 28,069 currently. This has been primarily due to an effort called. "One Community Around the Lake." The goal is to bring the unincorporated areas within the Urban Growth Area into the city limits. Some of the bigger areas annexed were; Northlake in 2006, adding 2,300 people. Frontier Village also in 2006, added 3,600 new citizens. Super Hill in 2007 added 1,200. Southwest in 2009 added 10,874 new residents to Lake Stevens.