In between the foothills of the Olympic Mountains, and the Strait of Juan de Fuca, the town of Sequim (pronounced Skwim) sits on a flatland called the Sequim Prairie. A patchwork of forests and farmland cover the area with a scattering of houses spread through a spacious area. The core of the town lies at the bottom of Bell Hill and some distance west of Sequim Bay.
Even though the explorers Ensign Manuel Quimper, and Capt. George Vancouver visited Sequim Bay in 1790 and 1792, the area was not settled until the 1850s. Using irrigation water from the Dungeness River, dairying and farming quickly prospered. In recent years retirees have been attracted to the area because of its surprising climate. Only 17 inches of rain fall here annually, a remarkably low number, compared to the 140 inches that fall on the western slopes of the Olympic Mountains. This is because of the rain shadow effect caused by the mountains on storms approaching from the Pacific.