About Pullman

Pullman is so much more than the sum of its parts. High tech, higher education, and the highest quality of life make this community a great place to live. Welcome to Pullman. Come home to stay.

Pullman Proud

About Pullman

Business Environment
WSU’s robust research and development programs have been the catalyst for numerous businesses, both in Pullman and across the country. One such business, Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories, makes Pullman its international headquarters. This high-tech giant of electric power technology is Pullman’s second largest employer after Washington State University.
Parks and Paths
Pullman's well-educated and diverse population has demonstrated how much they value outdoor areas for rest and recreation by showing their support in the polls and becoming members of energetic civic improvement groups.

The city boasts 18 distinct parks and natural areas encompassing more than 145 acres, as well as more than 15 miles of pathways to walk, run or bike within city limits. In addition, the path system intersects the Whitman County Bill Chipman Trail that runs between Pullman and Moscow, Idaho.

Recognizing and including all community members and visitors is a priority. The city is continuously improving many of its parks by adding ADA-accessible elements, such as playgrounds, paths, and restrooms. City Playfields are fully accessible recreation areas and Mary's Park, which is still under development, will be the city's first park and playground designed for accessibility.
Award-winning Community
More than 20 years ago, Demographics Daily ranked Pullman the #1 Dreamtown in the state of Washington and the 26th in the nation for its vitality, supply of good jobs, freedom from stress, connection to cultural mainstream, support for schools, access to health care, and low cost of living.

Since then, Pullman has been recognized repeatedly  on  state and national levels for its safety, diversity, health, business climate, green transportation, schools, technology, and for being a great place to raise kids, as well as one of the best college towns in America for both students and permanent residents. One Wall Street Journal columnist called the Palouse (the area surrounding Pullman) the Tuscany of America.
Keep up with Pullman
Multiple agencies keep you informed through the Pullman Community Update, a free monthly newsletter mailed to all Pullman School District residential addresses. Find timely tidbits, human interest stories, and practical information about Pullman city government, WSU, Pullman Regional Hospital, Pullman School District, Pullman Chamber of Commerce, Whitman County United Way, Palouse Discovery Science Center, the YMCA, Gladish Community and Cultural Center, Whitman County Humane Society, and more.
Sister City Ties Endure
In November 1989, former Pullman Mayor Carole Helm was instrumental in establishing a sister-city relationship with Kasai City of Hyogo prefecture, Japan. Kasai City and the city of Pullman were matched because of the many similarities between the agricultural university communities. During the intervening years of the sister-city relationship, both cities have worked hard to establish exchange programs, initially among business owners and more recently for their students. The years of friendship between our cities have been marked by goodwill delegations numbering more than 300 people over the years.

Pullman Mayor Glenn A. Johnson and Kasai City Mayor Kazuhira Nishimura renewed the friendship affiliation between the two cities during a face-to-face meeting in Pullman City Hall on February 6, 2014. The visit also commemorated the 25th anniversary of the sister-city relationship. Mayor Glenn A. Johnson reciprocated the hand of friendship by accepting an invitation to visit Kasai on the occasion of the 1,300th anniversary celebration of the "Harima-no-kuni Fudoki" in May 2015.

Over the years, numerous Pullman host families established enduring international friendships while housing, providing transportation and sharing meals with their Japanese exchange guests. In addition to time with their host families, the Kasai delegates toured city government services, Washington State University, Pullman schools and other points of interest. 

For many years, Pullman and Kasai City alternated sending a chaperoned junior and senior high school delegation to visit. The last trip of Pullman youth ambassadors was during spring break 2007, when the group experienced a cultural exchange in Japan. The most recent Japanese youth delegation visited Pullman in March 23-28, 2019, spending time with host families and at Lincoln Middle School. That was the third youth delegation to visit since 2008.

Japan is divided into 47 prefectures which are administrative units of Japanese government comparable to our states. Hyogo prefecture and Washington state established their sister relationship in October 1963 to work closely on shared government agendas and issues and simultaneously to gain valuable insight and share key information to further strengthen international ties. The Pacific Northwest has active ties to Japan through the sister cities program, business and trade organizations and the Office of the Japanese Consulate in Seattle.
Pullman History
Early years: 1871-1892

Settlers in the area engaged in the grazing of animals, farming, mining, and trading. Enoch Bryan describes the town in 1892:

...around the houses scattered over the seven hills lay the commons over which the town cow peacefully browsed. College Hill, then called Mechanic's Hill, now the principal residence district, was covered with bunchgrass sod interspersed with the sun flower and lupin. There was not a tree in sight.

From former Councilmember Julia Bush's extensive compilation of Pullman Early History.