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.

History repeating itself…in a beautiful way
There is no better way to know that spring has arrived than to see the daffodils blooming at the Bigelow House Museum grounds as pictured above. A big thank you to our volunteer gardeners for keeping our front yard blooming in all seasons. 
On our twice monthly tours of the Bigelow House, our volunteer tour docents love to share about the many interests Bigelow family members pursued during their lifetimes. The Bigelows were enthusiastic gardeners and the Bigelow property was well-known as a local garden spot and beautiful display of flowers. A big thank you goes to OHS & BHM board  member Jean Wilkinson for “planting” this enlarged circa 1905 photograph that shows family members gathered before the west (front) facade of the Bigelow House enjoying spring blooms, perhaps yellow daffodils. 

Society News

Looking Back

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