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.

“Deck the Halls!” The Bigelow House Museum is getting ready for the Holidays! Pictured here, volunteers Jean (left) and Chris (right) help decorate the museum for our special Holiday Open House on Sunday December 10, 2023 from 1:00 to 4:00 pm.

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

David Shelton – 12/3/23

Throughout 2023 we’ll be exploring the origins of area place names. Shelton, Washington, was named for Mason County settler David…

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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