For 10,000 years the Nisqually Tribe lived in relative peace and prosperity in its aboriginal homeland of about 2 million acres near the present-day towns of Olympia, Tenino, and Dupont, and extending to Mount Rainier. Tribal life changed radically with the advent of Euro-American settlement about 150 years ago. Forced to compromise its interests and rights over the years, the Tribe has always sought to maintain its integrity and dignity. Subsisting on shellfish from the beaches and salmon from Sequalitchew Creek. Captain George Vancouver mapped the area in 1792, and in 1833, the Hudson's Bay Company established a fur trading post at Fort Nisqually. The fort was relocated upstream in 1843.
Charles Wilkes of The United States Exploring Expedition held the first American Independence Day celebration west of the Mississippi River in Dupont, Washington on July 5, 1841.
The first school in the area was the Nisqually Methodist Mission school, which operated from 1840 through 1842. Chloe A. Clark was appointed teacher at the mission school. The first public school was established in 1852, and in 1869, the federal government auctioned the site off to settlers. In 1906, DuPont purchased a 5-square-mile (13 km2) area for construction of an explosives plant. By 1909, the company town had more than 100 houses.
DuPont was officially incorporated on March 26, 1912, and was re-incorporated in 1951. DuPont has recently undergone a modern transformation as the modern planned community of "Northwest Landing" has been realized. The city is expected to have a built-out population of more than 12,000.
Today, DuPont is still a growing community. The elementary school in DuPont (Chloe Clark Elementary), which hosted kindergarten through fifth grade, reached capacity in the 2007-2008 school year. As a result, starting with the 2008-2009 school year, Steilacoom School district realigned all three elementary schools. Chloe Clark Elementary and Cherrydale Primary in Steilacoom now only have students in grades K-3. Saltar's Point Elementary in Steilacoom now serves 4th and 5th grades. Pioneer Middle School relocated from Steilacoom to Dupont in August 2008. The new school received the LEED award for its "Green" Design elements.
DuPont is divided into several "villages", each with its own design style and/or building contractors. Northwest Landing is the most visible due to a sign along the freeway announcing it. Several businesses have opened in the downtown area, but development has slowed in recent years. Hoffman Hill is the largest in area, and houses about 60% of the total population. The Historic Village, a residential area, is the only part of DuPont that is not a modern planned community and is on the registry of historic places. Bell Hill is considered the most expensive area. Dupont has trails and green belts throughout, and is about 95% built out according to the master plan. Sections that remain empty are stalled due to economic conditions, or pre-existing activities that prevent development until completed.
DuPont is located at 47°05′57″N 122°38′15″W (47.099070, -122.637544).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 5.88 square miles (15.23 km2), of which, 5.86 square miles (15.18 km2) is land and 0.02 square miles (0.05 km2) is water.
Within the city limits of DuPont, next to city hall, lies Sequalitchew Creek trail which can be accessed by the old narrow gauge railway roadbed which ran from the old Powderworks plant to Puget Sound. The trail leads to Sequalitchew Beach. The creek corridor is used by hundreds of species, including bald eagles, hawks, McKay's bunting, song birds, herons, ducks, owls, frogs, salamanders, snakes, beaver, raccoons, coyotes, deer, and rabbits. The waters off Sequalitchew Beach are inhabited by harbor seal, marbled murrelet and gray whale.
DuPont's other trails and the parks offer similar access to wildlife and are throughout the city, providing exceptional outdoor activity opportunities. The trail and greenbelt system provides a wide cross-section of DuPont's geographic and natural environments, while maintaining an urban feel. Full maps are available at the visitor center, city hall, and the history museum.
As of the census of 2010, there were 8,199 people, 3,023 households, and 2,185 families residing in the city. The population densitywas 1,399.1 inhabitants per square mile (540.2/km2). There were 3,241 housing units at an average density of 553.1 per square mile (213.6/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 68.7% White, 8.1% African American, 0.5% Native American, 10.2% Asian, 1.1% Pacific Islander, 2.6% from other races, and 8.9% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 9.7% of the population.
There were 3,023 households of which 47.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.0% were married couples living together, 11.6% had a female householder with no husband present, 2.7% had a male householder with no wife present, and 27.7% were non-families. 24.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.71 and the average family size was 3.27.
The median age in the city was 32 years. 33.4% of residents were under the age of 18; 5.2% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 37.1% were from 25 to 44; 17.2% were from 45 to 64; and 7.1% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 47.2% male and 52.8% female.