OHS-BHM Logo Draft (1)Join us in exploring, preserving and promoting Olympia’s history. We are a non-profit membership-based organization actively engaged in researching and presenting the stories from our past to enrich the present and inform the future of Olympia. The Bigelow House Museum, owned and operated by the Society and Museum, is dedicated to preserving and interpreting the early history of Olympia and Washington Territory.  It is the oldest residence in Olympia, Washington, and one of the earliest still standing in the Pacific Northwest.


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Society and Museum News

Annual meeting on January 31



Sloan’s Shipyard, from a private collection

The Olympia Historical Society& Bigelow House Museum in partnership with the Washington State Historical Society/State Capital Museum is presenting a special program, “Olympia in World War I” as part of the OHS/BHM annual meeting at 1:00 pm on Saturday January 31, 2015 at the State Capital Museum Coach House at 211 21st Avenue SW in Olympia.  The program is open to the public and free with OHS/BHM or WSHS membership.  (Membership forms will be available at the door, or electronically here). For non-members, a $2.00 donation is requested.  Refreshments will be served.

Presenters  for the program include retired Washington State Supreme Court Chief Justice Gerry Alexander who will moderate the panel and provide an introduction about Olympia in 1914-1918 and discuss the construction of Camp Lewis in 1917 and its part in the war effort.

Maritime Historian Chuck Fowler will present “Olympia Shipbuilding during WWI:  The Ill-fated Story” about the Ward and Sloan shipyards on the Olympia waterfront.

Historian Ed Echtle will explore tensions between patriotism and nativism in “Home Front in Olympia” with special emphasis on the experiences of German-Americans.

Historian Shanna Stevenson will provide insight into the role of women in Olympia in home front activities and also how Olympia was affected by the influenza epidemic during that era.

The annual meeting of the Olympia Historical Society/Bigelow House Museum will follow the program at the same location.