Located at the banks of the Nisqually River in Washington's prairie land, Yelm was the crossroads of Native American trails, later used by traders, eastern settlers and the Northern Pacific Railroad. The nearby Nisqually Tribal Reservation continues to be part of the town's culture.
Despite being close to both Olympia and Tacoma, Yelm maintains the feel of farmland and the prairie life. While many families have lived and worked in Yelm for generations, the city also continues to annex more property to accommodate growth. Residential development is underway.
Seventeen Miles east of Olympia and 25 south of Tacoma, Yelm's skyline is dominated by Mt. Rainier.
The farming economy, while still going, isn't dominant in Yelm's economy anymore. The city is developing growth in other business sectors, including retail, clean industry and tourism.
The success of the Yelm Industrial Park is an indication of the city's outlook. The city is also undergoing infrastructure changes to enhance its small-town feel, and its central retail district.