Welcome to the Olympia Historical Society and Bigelow House Museum

Join us in exploring, preserving and promoting Olympia’s history. We are a non-profit membership-based organization 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 the oldest residence in Olympia, Washington, and one of the earliest still standing in the Pacific Northwest.

Our Mission:  The Olympia Historical Society and Bigelow House Museum preserves and shares the history and heritage of Olympia and the Bigelow House in a way that recognizes and values the diversity and rich cultures that gave rise to our community, is inclusive of all persons and perspectives, and informs and engages community members and visitors.

OHS & BHM 2024 Annual Meeting Celebrates Olympia History
On January 27th, a standing room only crowd celebrated Olympia’s rich and diverse heritage at the Society’s 2024 Annual Meeting. Following a program commemorating the 170th anniversary of the first meeting of Washington’s Territorial Legislature in 1854, the Society made seven awards to Olympia persons, places, and organizations for outstanding achievement in heritage. Pictured here are award recipients 99 years-young Toy Kay and Brian Windrope of South Sound Senior Services. Recognized with a Special Achievement Award was retiring OHS & BHM Vice President Gerry Alexander.  Read More.

Society News

Holiday Open House on 12/10

The Olympia Historical Society & Bigelow House Museum invites the community to a Holiday Open House at the Bigelow House Museum at 918 Glass Avenue NE in…

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Looking Back

Leschi – 2/25/24

 Looking  Back’s theme for 2024 is Many Streams, celebrating our rich and diverse history. Leschi, pictured here in this drawing…

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Emma Page – 2/18/24

Looking Back’s theme for 2024 is Many Voices, celebrating our rich and diverse history. Emma Page’s blindness from age 7…

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Historical Research Tools & Information

We have everything from photos and resident data to interactive maps to help you find the information you are looking for. Click on some of the more commonly used historical tools below or use the navigation at the top of the page to see all of categories.

Find out more about the people and places that have shaped our history

Looking Back feature in the Sunday Olympian

We have created interactive maps that will allow you to find out more information about important historic and heritage locations over time.

Resources to help you do your own research