The Hudson’s Bay Company, headquartered at Fort Nisqually, had control of this region until 1863. Company maps and journals show the company’s subsidiary, the Pugets Sound Agricultural Company, raised cattle, grain, and sheep at “Spanueh Station” on the south and east shores of “Spanueh Lake.” Spanueh is the Hudson Bay Company’s spelling of the native Lushootseed spadue, which means “dug roots” referring to an area where camas and other edible roots can be found. Lushootseed underwent a loss of nasal consonants in the 1800s, so “Spanueh” simply transcribes an older pronunciation of what is now “Spadue”.
Although the U.S. Board on Geographic Names recognized the community of “Lake Park” in 1897, it had to very belatedly reverse its decision in 1970 to accept common usage: Spanaway (Spanueh).
In the 21st century, several attempts were made to incorporate Spanaway and neighboring communities into a city.