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.

Society News

Mark your calendars for History in the Garden Tour of Bigelow House on August 15!

The Olympia Historical Society and Bigelow House Museum invites you to a special, all-outdoor History in the Garden Tour on Sunday August 15, 2021 from 1 to 3 pm at the Bigelow House Museum, 918 Glass Avenue NE in Olympia. Admission to the event is by donation and masks are required for unvaccinated attendees.

Visitors will enjoy six sites around the house to view the gardens and meet first-person, costumed interpreters relating the history of the house, its residents and their relationship to women’s voting rights in Washington.  National suffragist Susan B. Anthony visited the Bigelow House in 1871 and most Washington women permanently won the right to vote in 1910 and most women nationally attained voting rights with the ratification of the federal 19th amendment in 1920.

Featured by presenters will be:   Margaret Bigelow and Seven Oars; Susan B. Anthony, Abigail Scott Duniway, and Nettie Asberry; Ann Elizabeth White Bigelow, Margaret Stewart White Ruddell, Daniel Bigelow, and Ruth Bigelow Wright. 

The interior of the Bigelow House Museum is currently closed to the public.

Pictured  in above image: Bigelow House 1905 showing Ann Elizabeth White Bigelow (second from right) with daughters Margaret (at right) and Ruth (third from right).

It’s the Water Exhibit

“It’s the Water” exhibit a project of Olympia Arts & Heritage Alliance (AHA!), is now on view in the front windows of the Old City Hall and Fire Station at State Street and Capitol Way in downtown Olympia and will be on view through October.

The exhibit is a curated collection of 48 images, including historic photographs, contemporary art, and maps. The exhibit is designed to explore the importance that water has played in the lives, businesses, cultures and recreation of South Sound residents. Images include oyster growing, shipbuilding, maritime fleets, Olympia Fire Department, Lakefair, beer brewing, Capitol Lake, rainfall, sea level rise, tribal fishing and basketry, and the Port of Olympia. Online resources accompany the installation, with background information, stories, and links to enrich the exhibit. AHA is also planning a series of related events. For more information see olyaha.org.
Thanks to all of you for your support


We would love you to shop local, but if you do happen to be shopping on line, please consider clicking on the Amazon Smile logo and designating us as the beneficiary of this program, where a percentage of your purchase will go to support our programs. 

We also partner with Fred Meyer, and Ralph’s/Bayview Thriftway charitable donation programs. Click on any of the links provided here to be taken to their donation pages. 

Thank you!