It was not until 1885 that Mercer Island was established as the vacation spot for the Seattle elite. Travel was by boat or ferry and by 1889, C.C. Calkins built a luxury Resort, Calkins Hotel, which lead to the expanding population, development of ferry docks, and paved the road to the Island we know today.
Still, Mercer Island has managed to maintain its Island beauty with spaces for reflection, calm and a connection with nature, always within walking distance from every home. The Island includes approximately 475 acres of Park lands with parks for just about any activity you can imagine. The waterfront parks offer views of Lake Washington, Mount Rainier, the Cascade Mountain Ranges, Mount Baker and the Olympic Mountain ranges. At night, the waters of the lake sparkle as do the skies offering views of Seattle, Bellevue, Medina, Renton and beyond. The forefathers of Mercer Island struck a deal with the Dept of Transportation years before the I90 project was expanded in the 1980’s to preserve the sanctity of the Island assuring the expansion would be the beautifully landscaped crossing that it is today, hidden below parks, ball fields, tennis courts and places to enjoy the views and just have a picnic!
Schools are of great importance to the Mercer Island Community and the Schools are highly respected. Mercer Island students consistently rank highly among schools in the state for students attending post-secondary schooling, and approximately 98% of graduating Mercer Island high school seniors continue on for further education.
Mercer Island stands alone as it’s own City, with it’s own School System, City Planning and Government. Your voice will be heard on Mercer Island as the population rarely exceeds 23,000. There are about 10,000 households that inhabit the Island and it supports them all very well.
Residents often boast that once they cross the bridge, be it from Seattle or Bellevue, they feel they are at home. There are only a handful of traffic lights at the north end of the City, where you find restaurants, grocers and retail stores and can find just what you need on your way home. Mercer Island is country living at it's best and is just ten to fifteen minutes to downtowns Seattle and Bellevue.