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.


About Us
Learn more about the Society/Museum, its governance, mission and policies.

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Resources for researching the history and heritage of Olympia

1905 front gardenBigelow House Museum
Olympia’s oldest home, built 1850s

Society and Museum News

Battan Joins Board; Stevenson to VP

Shirley Battan, a recently-retired Deputy State Attorney General, was appointed to the OHS&BHM Board of Trustees at its October 20 meeting.

Battan will serve the remainder of Tim Ransom’s term which expires 2017.

She is a graduate of Seattle University Law School, has served on the State Supreme Court legal staff and in key positions with the AG’s office. After volunteering to organize the Bigelow House Museum files, Battan was recruited to join the Board and volunteered to serve as Secretary.  She will assume that position as of the November 17 Board meeting.

Current Secretary Shanna Stevenson has agreed to step into the Vice President’s position, left vacant when Tim Ransom departed the Board.

Stevenson is a distinguished author and historian, and a winner of the Washington State Historical Society’s Robert Gray Award.  She is a longtime member of the boards of OHS&BHM’s predecessor organizations.  She recently retired from the WSHSstaff where she led the Women’s History Consortium.

Board President Mark Foutch commented, “We are incredibly lucky to have someone of Shirley Battan’s caliber volunteer to join our Board and to take the very responsible post of corporate Secretary.  This organization is on its way to greater accomplishments and her abilities and dedication will play a vital role.

“Likewise, we greatly appreciate Shanna Stevenson’s stepping in to the Secretary’s role when it unexpectedly became vacant a year ago.  Her years of experience with our predecessor organizations have helped us keep up with our State-required corporate responsibilities while she also kept the important record of our Board proceedings.  Now, once again, despite her busy schedule, she has stepped into another key position.  Thanks to Shanna for agreeing to serve as Vice President!”


Farewell departing board member Tim Ransom

Vice President Tim Ransom has decided to leave the OHS&BHM Board of Trustees,  Speaking at Monday’s board meeting, Tim said his other commitments and a schedule conflict prompted this decision.  He is Director of Quixote Village, the small-unit housing development for the homeless that succeeded the temporary encampments known as Camp Quixote.  He is active in his church, and writing a book, besides.

The Board immediately passed a resolution thanking Tim for his years of service.   He began with the former Olympia Historical Society as a board member and vice president, transitioning to the new combined group and again being elected vice president. He was very influential in the deliberations leading up to OHS’ merging with the Bigelow House Preservation Association.   For both organizations he initiated and conducted strategic planning retreats for board members.  His historic Olympia postcard exhibit is on display in the New Caldonia Building, 116 5th Avenue SE in downtown Olympia.

“Tim’s calm competence, wise counsel and good humor truly will be missed,” commented Mark Foutch, Board president. “He has offered to continue facilitating ‘one time’ events, such as our strategic planning retreats, which we greatly appreciate.”

The Board will decide at its October 27 meeting how to fill the vacancy.


Upcoming Events- save these dates:

 Sunday, December 7, 12-4pm
Annual Holiday Tour of Historic Homes in Olympia!  
Check back soon for updates.
Saturday, January 24:
Our annual meeting- all members encouraged to attend. Please join us as we elect board members, recount 2014 activities and accomplishments and discuss future goals!
Time/Place TBA