Founded in 1901, Kenmore's name comes third-hand from the Scottish village of Kenmore, via town founder home town of Kenmore, Ontario. McMasters and his wife Annie arrived in Puget Sound circa 1889 from Canada, intending to establish themselves in the shingle-making trade. They opened a shingle mill on the northern shore of Lake Washington on land leased from Watson C Square. By 1903, Kenmore had established a school system and post office.
After the end of the first World War, the Puget Mill Company (Pope & Talbot) offered small tracts of land. Homes were built north of the highway and between the main intersection and Swamp Creek. Progression of the Moorlands also started about the same time, especially after a bridge was built across the river about 1918. The Mitchell family built a store in 1919 at the Kenmore crossroads and the first service station went in the following year. During the second half of the 20th Century, the population of Kenmore grew quickly.