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10/24/21 – Marshville Bridge

…Olympia Historical Society and Bigelow House Museum. For more information see https://olympiahistory.org/1874-building-a-railroad/… Continue reading

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10/10/21 – Farmer’s Market

…996.  Photograph selected and captioned by Deborah Ross on behalf of the Olympia Historical Society and Bigelow House Museum. For more information see https://olympiahistory.org/2001-2/… Continue reading

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October 3, 2021 – Robert Chamberlain

…each cityscape. In the 1950 cityscape, a young man is seen in Sylvester Park. This is “a portrait of the artist as a young man,” Mr. Chamberlain himself as a youngster. He gave us permission to publish this updated self-portrait – made many decades later! Image selected and captioned by Deborah Ross on behalf of the Olympia Historical Society and Bigelow House Museum. For more information see https://olympiahistory.org/1950-2/… Continue reading

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Margaret McKenny – 9/26/21

…e Sylvester’s Window cityscape project, now available online. The 1950 cityscape depicts Margaret McKenny in conversation with a young man who will be featured on his own account in an upcoming Looking Back. Miss McKenny grew up in Olympia and in her adulthood became a world-renowned mushroom expert, naturalist, and environmental advocate. Photograph selected and captioned by Deborah Ross on behalf of the Olympia Historical Society and Bigelow Hou… Continue reading

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Josephine Corliss Preston – 9/19/21

…e Old State Capitol Building, which had recently been repurposed to the house the Superintendent of Public Instruction after the Legislative Building was completed in 1926. Pictured revisiting her old haunts is Josephine Corliss Preston, former superintendent from 1913-1929, and the first woman elected to office in Washington State.    Photograph selected and captioned by Deborah Ross on behalf of the Olympia Historical Society and Bigelow House M… Continue reading

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Get Involved!

…his screen to be taken to our Paypal site (Paypal account not required) OHS-BHM PO Box 1821  Olympia, WA 98507   >Designate us as recipient of community charitable donations when you shop at Fred Meyer or the Stormans Stores, >Or, if you are making a purchase through Amazon, designate us as your  recipient.    Subscribe to our bimonthly bulletins  – free! Contact us using the subject line: subscribe and we’ll add you to our list. Attend programs a… Continue reading

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Anna Conner Hartsuck – 6/20/21

… Photograph selected and captioned by Deborah Ross. For more information, see https://olympiahistory.org/1874-building-a-railroad/… Continue reading

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Clara Sylvester – 6/13/21

…he West Coast.   Photograph selected and captioned by Deborah Ross. For more information, https://olympiahistory.org/1856-the-indian-war/… Continue reading

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Bulletin – 6/1/21

…, Housing and Nutrition Education, Employment and Training Counseling, Peer-to-Peer Support Financial and Legal Aid   Register and purchase raffle tickets at http://ci.lacey.wa.us/2021-mayors-gala. Prizes include:   Alderbrook Resort & Spa – Enjoy your choice of lodging, dining, and spa services – Value $1,000 Glacier Aviation Helicopter Tour – One-hour flight for two – Value $600 Mystic Journey’s Sunset Tour – Three-hour sunset boat cruise for up… Continue reading

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Barbara O’Neill – 6/6/21

…ts and people from the Sylvester’s Window cityscape project, now available online. Barbara O’Neill, pictured in the 2001 cityscape, was a commanding presence in our area for many years. While operating a soul food restaurant on Fourth Avenue, she instituted a practice of providing free holiday meals for those in need. The tradition continued after her death, with the annual Barb’s Family and Friends program, led by her children and numerous volunt… Continue reading

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Olympia Historical Society and Bigelow House Museum

…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 Olympia Armory Storytelling Project Launched! We are very excited… Continue reading

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Memorial Clinic – 5/23/21

…The 1950 cityscape begins to include some of downtown Olympia’s iconic mid-Century architecture. The Memorial Clinic just east of the Fourth Avenue bridge, designed in 1948 by father-son team Joseph and Robert Wohleb, was an innovative concept at the time, grouping several physicians and specialties under one roof. The building was demolished in 2015.   Photograph selected and captioned by Deborah Ross. For more information see https://olympiahis… Continue reading

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Security Building – 5/16/21

…ts and people from the Sylvester’s Window cityscape project, now available online. The Security Building on Fourth Avenue, pictured in the 1933 cityscape, was Olympia’s first “skyscraper,” at five stories! The building features elaborate rosettes and pineapple motifs, a variety of rare stones, and mahogany woodwork throughout. Built on pilings that extended 60 feet deep, the building survived both the 1949 and the 2001 earthquakes. Photograph sele… Continue reading

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About Us

…nd promote increased knowledge and advocacy for historic preservation. Our online newsletter, frequent bulletins, Facebook postings, and extensive website all foster engagement and participation, and provide sources of information and tools for further research and activity. We strive to help create a community that is interested and informed about local history. The Bigelow House Museum, located at 918 Glass Avenue, NE, Olympia, Washington,  is a… Continue reading

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Trolleys – 5/9/21

…ts and people from the Sylvester’s Window cityscape project, now available online. The 1899 cityscape shows one of Olympia’s five yellow trolleys proceeding southward on Main Street (now Capitol Way). The trolley system was electrified in 1892, with power supplied by the hydroelectric plant at Deschutes Falls. The system ran until 1933; a remnant exists in the form of a trolley pole at 11th and Capitol. Photograph selected and captioned by Deborah… Continue reading

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First Congregational Church – 5/2/21

…ts and people from the Sylvester’s Window cityscape project, now available online. Religious communities have always played an important role in the life of our residents. First Congregational church, pictured here at its first location on 9th and Capitol (out of view in the 1874 cityscape), was the fifth church to be organized in Olympia. The congregation still exists, part of the federated United Churches of Olympia. Photograph selected and capt… Continue reading

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Washington Center – 4/18/21

…wn cinema venues, the city of Olympia teamed up with the state to develop the current entertainment complex. The cityscape for 2001 features the center as it appeared before its much-needed facelift in 2014. Photograph selected and captioned by Deborah Ross. For more information, see https://olympiahistory.org/2001-2/… Continue reading

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Bulletin – 5/1/21

…hington Center Main Stage is located at 512 Washington St. SE, Olympia. For more information visit Here, or contact 360-753-8586.  … Continue reading

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3/28/21 – Miller’s

…949, around the time this photograph was taken. The building has housed a number of retail establishments throughout the years. Damage from the 2001 earthquake and other alterations have largely eliminated its original mid-Century modern architectural features. Image selected and captioned by Deborah Ross. For more information see https://olympiahistory.org/1950-2/. Jeffers photo, 1949, Susan Parish Collection, Washington State Archives… Continue reading

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Washington Veneer – 3/21/21

…ts and people from the Sylvester’s Window cityscape project, now available online. With the completion of the Carlyon Fill in 1911, the port area of Olympia was able to accommodate dramatic industrial growth. The Washington Veneer Company was founded in 1924, joining the existing Olympia Veneer cooperative at the northern tip of the Port. Photograph selected and captioned by Deborah Ross. For more information see https://olympiahistory.org/1933-2/… Continue reading

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3/14/21 – Sylvester Park with 7th Avenue “lid”

…ts and people from the Sylvester’s Window cityscape project, now available online. This photo, taken from the Old State Capitol building, shows Sylvester Park around the end of the 19th century. To the south of the park we see the planking of “the lid,” the predecessor of the 7th Avenue railroad tunnel. It was originally a trench dug along Seventh Avenue and capped by wooden planking. The trench was replaced by the current tunnel in 1913. Photogra… Continue reading

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3/7/21 – Washington Standard

…). Photograph selected and captioned by Deborah Ross. For more information, see https://olympiahistory.org/1874-building-a-railroad/…. Continue reading

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2/28/21 – Leschi

…r Washington gained territorial status, but refused to sign the Medicine Creek treaty, deeming it inadequate to preserve the Nisqually way of life. He was later judicially murdered for his role in the so-called Indian Wars of the 1850s, but posthumously exonerated in 2004. Image selected and captioned by Deborah Ross. For more information https://olympiahistory.org/1841-cheetwoot/… Continue reading

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2/21/21 – Procession of the Species

…ts and people from the Sylvester’s Window cityscape project, now available online. In 1995, Earthbound Productions founder Eli Sterling spearheaded the Procession of the Species, an annual event commemorating Earth Day and the natural environment. The event features thousands of participants and spectators and involves months of preparation. This angler fish is a perennial favorite. Photograph selected and captioned by Deborah Ross. For more infor… Continue reading

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2/14/21 – KGY

…oldest on the Pacific Coast, licensed in 1916. In 1960 it moved into a mid-Century modern building design by G. Stacey Bennett, at the far northern tip of the Port area. The 1972 Sylvester’s Window narrative describes the welcome voice of KGY’s long-time and beloved Dick Pust, announcing a snow day during the blizzard of January 1972. Both Dick and the station tower are visible in the cityscape for 1972. Dick has now (2021) retired from radio bro… Continue reading

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2/7/2021- Centennial Parade

…Throughout 2021 we are featuring events and people from the Sylvester’s Window cityscape project, now available online. In May 1950, Olympia held a week-long celebration of our city’s centennial. The Olympian put together a multi-page spread, residents dressed as pioneers, culminating with the Grand Centennial Parade of Progress. Photograph selected and captioned by Deborah Ross. For more information, see https://olympiahistory.org/1950-2/…. Continue reading

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Bulletin – February 2021

…Hard Times Unforgiving Waters: Shipwrecks of the Pacific Northwest The Not-So-Ordinary   History Lessons To Go   Do you want to learn more deeply and engage with new historical content? Try a “History Lesson To Go” as part of your distance learning! These lessons also connect with information on the WA State History Museum app.   CSI Lewis: The Mystery of Meriwether Lewis’ Death Point of View Part 1: Understanding Treaties Point of View Part 2: U… Continue reading

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Gery Gerst

…erstory of women, and that of minority groups, and enjoys working with life-long learners. Today he helps evaluate applications for scholarships for the D.A.R. Sacajawea Chapter, teaches U.S. History courses for adults in several areas (including the Electoral College, the Constitution, Women’s Her-story, and more). Besides enjoying reading and learning about local history, he also works for social justice causes, helps distribute items to area La… Continue reading

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Charles Wilkes – 1/3/2021

…ts and people from the Sylvester’s Window cityscape project, now available online. In 1838, an American naval officer, Charles Wilkes, was given command of an expedition to explore the Pacific Ocean and document its shores and islands. Wilkes reached the southern end of Puget Sound in July 1841. He and his crew were among the first Americans to set foot at what is now Olympia.   Image selected and captioned by Deborah Ross on behalf of the Olympia… Continue reading

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Bulletin – 12/31/2020

…legally cast a ballot and who could not during the history of the on-again-off-again vote for women. Journey through an interactive timeline, voting at key spots along the way, to understand the importance of voting to our society and how women’s suffrage has impacted and affected our nation over time. You’ll come out knowing the names of those  who fought for this basic constitutional right, and you’ll appreciate your right to vote as never befo… Continue reading

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Bulletin – 9/1/2020

…le and royalty context information please contact: Daydishka McCloud at 360-456-5221, ext. 1239. This event is taking place at the Nisqually Youth and Community Center, located at 1937 Lashi St. S.E. in Olympia.   September 26, 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM. Historic Fort Steilacoom (Lakewood): Fall Living History Open House & Annual Used Book Sale.   Experience life at a fort in the Pacific Northwest!  Living historians in period dress will demonstrate dail… Continue reading

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Bulletin – 8/1/2020

…guardian. To register your child who is 5 and under contact the Fort at 253-404-3970. Fort Nisqually is located at 5400 N Pearl St #11 Tacoma.   August 4, 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM. Washington Trust for Historic Preservation – Virtual Panel: Careers in Preservation. During this virtual panel, the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation will be focusing on preservation careers in construction and the trades. These industries are crucial pieces of the c… Continue reading

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Washington State Archives, Southwest Regional Branch Collections Abstract

…891-1953 Mug Shots 1956-1958 Prisoner Registers 1895-1904 Treasurer: Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition Visitors Register 1909-1909 Educational Documentation 1893-1977 Other records not included here: Engineering 1930-1951 County Fair 1946-1987 Public Works 1989-1989 Road Dept. 1958-1970 Municipality Holdings in the SW Regional Archives     Aberdeen (Grays Harbor) City Clerk: Birth Register 1892-1906 Death Register 1892-1906 Police Dept.: Alphabetica… Continue reading

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Bulletin – 7/1/2020

…r information, visit https://www.metroparkstacoma.org/event/history-through-the-arts-camps/ Fort Nisqually is located at 5400 N Pearl St #11 Tacoma.  City of Olympia – Marine Creature Mondays Video Series. Visit https://streamteam.info/marine-creature-monday-videos/ to enjoy weekly marine education video posts showcasing  the amazing marine critters found under the sea in Puget Sound. Created by underwater videographer Matt Balder and Bob Wharton,… Continue reading

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Bulletin – 4/1/2020

…videos may be accessed on YouTube HERE. Washington State History Museum – Online Collections.  For the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic the Washington State History Museum is closed, but they encourage you to make good use of their online collections database! Pick a topic of interest, type in your search term (try dogs or WWI for example) and see what comes up! Begin your Washington History Search HERE. Washington State Library – Primarily Wash… Continue reading

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Bulletin – 3/1/2020

…e information, call 360-786-8117 or visit https://olytumfoundation.org/what-we-do/schmidt-house/ The Schmidt House is located just off Custer Way in Tumwater at 330 Schmidt Place. · March 14. 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM. PNW Chapter of International Coleman Collectors Club (Lacey): 15th Annual Display of Vintage Coleman Lanterns, Stoves, and More. So, you thought you’d heard of just about every possible specialized collector organization imaginable? Think a… Continue reading

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Bulletin – 2/15/2020

…e information, call 360-786-8117 or visit https://olytumfoundation.org/what-we-do/schmidt-house/ The Schmidt House is located just off Custer Way in Tumwater at 330 Schmidt Place. · February 20, 3:00 PM. Washington State History Museum (Tacoma): Free Third Thursday! On the Third Thursday of every month, admission to the Washington State History Museum is FREE OF CHARGE after 3:00 PM. For a list of upcoming events, visithttp://www.washingtonhistory… Continue reading

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Bulletin – 2/1/2020

…ts reach adulthood, these punishments can lead to what some call the School-to-Prison Pipeline that affects many Black communities. Why are Black students punished more than others in the classroom? Based on his extensive research and teaching experience, Dr. Daudi Abe, a professor, writer, and historian who holds an MA in human development and holds a PhD in education from the University of Washington, demonstrates that the racial achievement gap… Continue reading

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Bulletin – 1/15/20

…er Randy Lewis. This event is taking place at the Cherberg Building, Room A-B-C, 304 15th Ave SW Olympia. · January 15, 5:30 PM – 8:30 PM. Thurston County League of Women Voters (Olympia): Forum on the Census and Redistricting. The 2020 Census will take place this year, and will be the first U.S. census to offer options to respond on line, by phone, or by writing. Among other things, the census will determine the number of seats for the U.S. House… Continue reading

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All-Woman Jury Trial in Olympia

…ntieth Century,” accessed at: https://www.thurstontalk.com/2014/09/25/share-ada-sprague-mowell-community-activist-early-twentieth-century/ “Crowds See All-Woman Jury Sworn,” Olympia Daily Recorder, December 13, 1910, pg. 1. “Estate Settled Up of Quaint Character Former Suffrage Worker,” [Rev. Genevra Lake], Olympia Daily Recorder, December 23, 1921, pg. 8. “Five Women Sit on Olympia Jury,” Tacoma Daily Ledger, December 14, 1910, pg. 14. “Jean Jogg… Continue reading

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History of Women’s Suffrage in Olympia

…/legislature/Pages/MemberInformation.aspx [27] City of Olympia website:  http://olympiawa.gov/city-government/city-council-and-mayor.aspx  … Continue reading

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John Grace – 9/29/19

John Grace is a cherished member of Olympia’s music-loving community. Blind from early childhood, Grace has operated a piano tuning service for over five decades. He is shown here in this Daily Olympian article from 1964, early in his career. Photograph selected and captioned by Deborah Ross on behalf of the Olympia Historical Society and Bigelow House Museum. Daily Olympian photo, 1964, State Capital Museum collection, Washington State Historica… Continue reading

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July 4, 1889 – 7/7/19

…leet, steam into the Port of Olympia. The day was a particularly important one in our state’s history. Besides being our nation’s Independence Day, it was on this day that Washington Territory assembled delegates to begin writing a state constitution. Washington officially became a state on November 11 of that year. For more information see olympiahistory.org. Silas Wray photo, July 4, 1889, courtesy Washington State Historical Society… Continue reading

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Daffodil Princesses – 3/31/19

…s. Here the 1964 daffodil princesses make a goodwill stop at the Hotel Olympian in downtown Olympia in advance of the event. Daffodil parade entrants from Olympia that year included a 50 foot yacht, and the Lakefair Float, which won a prize for best portraying the theme of the state’s Diamond Jubilee. Photograph selected and captioned by Deborah Ross on behalf of the Olympia Historical Society and Bigelow House Museum. unknown photographer, March… Continue reading

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Gerry Alexander

…e-elected in 2000. Shortly thereafter, his colleagues elected him to a four-year position as chief justice, and re-elected him as chief in 2004 and again in 2008. Although Justice Alexander stepped down as chief justice in January 2011, his nine years of service in that position give him the distinction of being the longest running chief justice in the state’s history. He retired from the Supreme Court on December 31, 2011. In February 2012, he be… Continue reading

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Bulletin – 9/1/18

…Marketing & Events Coordinator, at marketing@harborhistorymuseum.org or 253-858-6722. The Harbor History Museum is located at 4121 Harborview Dr, Gig Harbor. ********** * September 7, 7:30 PM. Schneebeck Concert Hall (Tacoma): Jacobsen Series – Bernstein 100. Famed conductor Leonard Bernstein’s 100th birthday was August 25, 2018. Celebrating Bernstein’s legacy as a composer, conductor, and intellectual, Anna Wittstruck will emcee an evening of cla… Continue reading

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Natalie Riggin – 7/8/18

…and captioned by Deborah Ross on behalf of the Olympia Historical Society and Bigelow House Museum. Here’s a link to the recipe: https://toriavey.com/toris-kitchen/hoot-owl-cookies/ Daily Olympian photo, 1956, State Capital Museum collection, Washington State Historical Society… Continue reading

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Blankenship, Georgiana, Old Olympia Landmarks

…ry’s history, when the people lived in constant dread of the Indians, a man-of-war was sent to the Sound as a means of protection. The commanding officer unloaded a gun mounted on a carriage and left it for use in an emergency. This gun was mounted on the stockade on Fourth street and later was taken to the waterfront and thenceforth the gun was fired only on special occasions as on the Fourth of July or on political rallies. The people of Olympia… Continue reading

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Olympia Air Transport – 12/18/16

…peration of the airport and used Olympia Air Transport planes for military service and training. In this photograph from 1941, servicemen are lined up in front of a fleet of OAT aircraft.  Photograph selected and captioned by Deborah Ross on behalf of the Olympia Historical Society and Bigelow House Museum. More information is available at olympiahistory.org.  Vibert Jeffers photograph, November 1941, Susan Parish Collection Southwest Regional Arc… Continue reading

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Pacific Tel building – 6/12/16

…tood on Fifth Avenue, where the Washington Business Bank is now. Telephone service was available in Olympia by 1889. In 1908, the California conglomerate Pacific Tel &Tel acquired the local telephone franchise from the Sunset Telephone Company. It erected this structure in the 1920s. In the 1930s, Pacific Tel & Tel moved to the so-called Fleetwood building (named after Olympia’s local Fleetwood telephone exchange). Photograph selected and captione… Continue reading

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Olympia Transit – 4/3/16

…re Intercity Transit came into being, the Olympia Transit Company provided service within Olympia and to neighboring communities. Here, in this photo from 1950, the fleet and its drivers are lined up in front of the Temple of Justice. Photograph selected and captioned by Deborah Ross on behalf of the Olympia Historical Society and Bigelow House Museum. For more information, visit us at olympiahistory.org. Unknown photographer, 1950, Susan Parish C… Continue reading

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USO Club – 2/28/16

…2, 1942, it had a lounge, library, showers, and cafeteria. The USO (United Service Organization) is a nonprofit, founded in 1941, that provides support to service troops and their families. This building was located on Fourth Avenue, just east of where the Olympian building now stands. Photograph selected and captioned by Deborah Ross on behalf of the Olympia Historical Society and Bigelow House Museum. More information is available at olympiahist… Continue reading

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Don Rich – 11/8/15

Olympia-born Donald Eugene Ulrich, best known by the stage name Don Rich (August 15, 1941 – July 17, 1974) was a country musician who helped develop the Bakersfield sound in the early 1960s. He was a noted guitarist and fiddler, and a member of the The Buckaroos, the backing band of country singer Buck Owens. Don graduated from Olympia High School in 1959, already having opened for Elvis Presley at the Tacoma Dome at age 16. This photograph was t… Continue reading

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Olympia Federal Savings – 11/2/14

…ng glass box framed by metal and brick. Erected in 1967, it was one of the best works of Olympia architect G. Stacey Bennett. The elaborate carved doors were the work of artist Walter Graham. The building is located in the Olympia Downtown National Historic District and is one of the most important mid-Century modern buildings in Olympia. Photograph selected and captioned by Olympia Historical Society and Bigelow House Museum. For more information… Continue reading

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Thurston County Courthouses Through History

…tee; story map created by Brian Hovis and Deb Ross To view the map in full screen, link here (external link to ArcGIS Online)  … Continue reading

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The Sanborn overlays: Olympia in 1884

…idual sheets, which you can turn on or off by clicking on the layer icon ( ), as well as setting opacity levels for each layer (use right arrow in the layer menu). There is also a layer that contains color-coded dots with links to historical features (see instruction page for more information on this feature).  To view the map in full screen, link here (external link to ArcGIS Online)  … Continue reading

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The Sanborn overlays: Olympia in 1891

…born. The shoreline can be seen outlined in blue.  These overlays consist of several individual sheets , which you can turn on or off by clicking on the layer icon ( ), as well as setting opacity levels for each layer (use right arrow in the layer menu). There is also a layer that contains color-coded dots with links to historical features (see instruction page for more information on this feature). We recommend you start with the overview for 189… Continue reading

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The Sanborn overlays: Olympia in 1908

…e right arrow in the layer menu). There is also a layer that contains color-coded dots with links to historical features (see instruction page for more information on this feature). We recommend you start with the overview layer, then click on various layers as desired.  Click here for more detailed instructions and tips on using the Sanborn overlay feature.  Story map created and copyright 2014 by J. Brian Hovis. Used by permission. All rights re… Continue reading

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Geographic Resources – Maps, Walking Tours, Interactive Maps

…ire Insurance Maps, historic maps created between 1888 and 1947; available online to Timberland Regional Library cardholders [Login required] (See also the Sanborn Overlay Project above) Tacoma Public Library Northwest Room: Washington Place Names Database Thurston County Courthouses through history, an interactive Storymap Thurston Regional Planning Commission Historic Properties interactive map What Was There: Historical photos superimposed on m… Continue reading

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Tim Ransom

Vice President Term 2012-2014 Tim Ransom has lived in Washington State since 1974 and in Olympia since 1993. After receiving his doctorate in Psychology from the University of California, he has pursued a number of careers, including behavioral scientist, professional photographer, musician, owner/operator of an art gallery/custom framing shop, and environmental educator (for The Whale Museum in Friday Harbor and the Puget Sound Water Quality Aut… Continue reading

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7th Avenue tunnel

…bway) was opened in 1891, the year that the Northern Pacific first brought service into downtown. The depot was built on new fill at its current location on Columbia Street, just past the western end of the tunnel. At first the “lid” of the tunnel was made of wood, and considered an informal extension of Sylvester Park, which ran along its northern edge. Improvements were made in 1913, when the tunnel was lined in concrete. Railroad historian Jame… Continue reading

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Baretich Building/Site of Olympia Cafe

…ster. Additional resources: Olympia Heritage inventory Washington State Historical Society photographs enter the following catalog number in collection search box: 2010.149.28.1; Best Camera Store in 1950s or 1960s, C1986.43.0.269 Olympia Downtown National Historic District                                    … Continue reading

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Capitol Lake Restrooms and Bath House

…nating in the arrest, in 1980, of a state legislator, director of a social service organization, and the president of Olympia Brewing Company. The building is on the Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation inventory as part of DAHP’s “Nifty from the Last Fifty” project. Additional resources: Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation Inventory mid-Century Modern Tour Guide Olympia’s Gay and Lesbian History Tour                … Continue reading

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Cloverfields

…eek Treaty, and a lifelong staunch supporter of his father’s controversial service as governor. He accompanied his father back east to Civil War duty, and was wounded in the same battle that killed his father. After the war, Hazard, his mother, and his sisters returned to Olympia, where he began his involvement in the early industrial and transportation ventures that contributed to Olympia’s prominence in territorial and, later, state affairs. He… Continue reading

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Dairy Queen building/site of Washington Equal Suffrage Association

…ton Women’s Cookbook, which was widely distributed, including at the Alaska-Pacific-Yukon Exposition. The cookbook’s title page bore the inscription: Give us the vote and we will cook The better for a wide outlook.  Women’s suffrage in Washington State passed on a referendum in 1910. City of Olympia, mid-Century modern context statement, page 16 History Link article, Washington Equal Suffrage Association City of Olympia Women’s History Walking Tou… Continue reading

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Donald Building

…eb’s finest commercial designs in the Mission Revival mode, and one of the best preserved small commercial structures in the city, the Donald Building … together with the adjacent Jeffers Building,  is the most fully developed and best preserved of the architect’s Mission Revival structures downtown.” It was erected in 1924 by James Martin, a prolific developer in the 1920s, who already had two buildings named after himself, the Martin Building ju… Continue reading

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Eastside Big Tom/Site of Glidden Homestead

…is a mecca for locals and visitors alike who seek an alternative to chain fast-food restaurants. Information on the history of Eastside Big Tom is taken from its Facebook and Myspace postings as well as other local blogs. The location and building do not appear to be inventoried by DAHP (although the Westside Eagan’s is inventoried). Washington State Historical Society photograph collection Enter the catalog number in the Collections Search Box:… Continue reading

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Upcoming Changes on the Board: Thanks (but not Farewell) to Ralph Blankenship, with Statements from Proposed New Board Members

…combined group and more fun historical education and promotion. I wish the best to the collection of some of the best historians in the county into the new organization’s board of directors.” Ralph promises to stay active as a member, so when you see him at events and meetings, thank him for his long service to Olympia history. Introducing Debra Jackson as a prospective new Board member: Debra (Cain) Jackson is a lifelong resident of the Olympia a… Continue reading

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Governor’s Mansion

…overnor. The location is significant for women’s history as well as Chinese-American history: Washington’s first female governor, Dixy Lee Ray, lived here from 1977-1981, as does the current governor  [written in 2012], Christine Gregoire. The nation’s first Chinese-American governor, Gary Locke, and his wife Mona Lee Locke, occupied the house from 1997 to 2005. For more information follow these links: Governor’s Mansion Foundation Historylink art… Continue reading

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Harbst Service Station

…when this building was repurposed into an espresso stand. Greater fuel efficiency, the advent of multi-pump stations, and environmental regulations all served to deplete the margins of small mom-and-pop gas stations. This building represents an innovative way to preserve an art moderne icon of 1920s Olympia. Olympia Heritage inventory Go to next location… Continue reading

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Huesing House/Orchard Park Plat

…ted the subdivision and marketed it with innovative terms: first, each acre-sized lot would allow for working class families to have a small orchard, which would be planted by Woodruff as part of the deal. With that size lot they would also be able to keep a cow and plant a garden. Finally, the lots would be sold on the installment plan so that families could afford them. A great deal of publicity accompanied the release of the lots for sale. Arti… Continue reading

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President’s Column – Summer 2013

…he Finance Committee is working on our application to the Internal Revenue Service for tax-exempt status under Section 501(c)(3) of the Revenue Code. Clearly OHS qualifies for that status. Another report: the new Bylaws Committee has finished its first draft of a major revision to the OHS Bylaws. The new version, if adopted by the membership at our next annual meeting, would consolidate functions and duties, eliminate an anomaly or two, and positi… Continue reading

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Have an Historic Stay-cation and Come Home with Memories

…ng us a wonderful list of historic sites and local museums located in a day-trip driving arc from and in Olympia. His essay, A Brief History of the South Sound Country, newly posted on the OHS website, not only sweeps the area for known and little-known places of interest, he embeds them in a survey of history so that you can pick your era as well as area of interest. From easily reached Native American sites to pioneer structures to early industr… Continue reading

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Kilgannon: Temple Beth Hatfiloh is 75!

…nor. Others followed. This group concentrated on gaining a foothold in the fast-opening societies; they pitched in to build the towns and create the institutions that promoted economic growth and community survival. They were often more intent on assimilation than finding an outlet for religious expression. Having experienced the persecution and discrimination of the Old Countries, they tended to downplay their separate identity and focused on a m… Continue reading

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We Like to Hear from You!

…that would help us piece together the mosaic of our past, please consider writing an article to be posted here or donating or making copies of records for our archival collection. If your organization, business, church or other group will be celebrating an important anniversary, we’d like to hear about your history and how you plan to mark the occasion. Your story enriches everyone’s understanding and appreciation of our local history! Please sen… Continue reading

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Origins of the Olympia Historical Society, Chapter 3

…newsletter for September. Susan Goff will provide an article on the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific exhibition by Olympia High School and will ask Michael Houser for an item on Olympia City Hall. Shanna Stevenson will provide information on Francis Sylvester; Drew Crooks will provide one of the donated postcards for an illustration. Membership: Rebecca Christie presented the draft membership flier. Members suggested 250 copies for the first printing; member… Continue reading

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Israel House

…airs of columns and a wide porch, surrounded by extensive landscaping. George Israel was the son of pioneer Thurston County commissioner William Israel. George attended college in California and then returned to practice law here. He was one of the best-known attorneys in the Pacific Northwest, presiding over numerous criminal proceedings including 30 murder cases. The house is on the local register. Olympia Heritage inventory For more on George I… Continue reading

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Iverson House

…is railroad — and Olympia and Mount Rainier beyond it — from the large east-facing window. Likewise, Olympia citizens, as well as visitors traveling by water or rail, had an impressive view of the home. The home was later lived by the Iverson family, who occupied it until 1970. Oliver Iverson was a Norwegian immigrant who worked for the United States Survey and was known as a local historian. When Iverson died in 1940, he was one of the last two s… Continue reading

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Johnson Building

…ventoried, but not on the local register, although it is very well preserved. For many years it was owned by A.G. Johnson who had an electrical appliance and service operation here. More information: Olympia Heritage inventory Go to next location  … Continue reading

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Echtle, A Brief History of the South Sound Country

…in 1912, produced explosives for World War I.  Ryderwood, built by the Long-Bell Lumber Company, was designed as a model family-friendly community.  Driving the magnanimity of companies to create such community however was a desire to subvert the power of the labor unions.  Companies such as DuPont and Long-Bell hoped that family men were less likely to strike.  The DuPont Museum tells the story of the town and its workers and families. As the pac… Continue reading

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Derricott: Personal Reflections of a Former Newsletter Editor

…line between my experience with the concept of a house in Olympia and upper-class living standards in mid-nineteenth century Provincial Russia. The realization came that this verse actually describes us (the subject) just as much—if not more—than it describes its own object, the house in which Fyodor Pavlovich lived. Along with questionable sources and stories, along with questionable memories of the sources, there is further the questionable inte… Continue reading

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President’s Message Spring 2013

…conducted, followed by a planning Retreat. Topics for discussion included: -Communications Strategy; -Web page overview by Deb Ross followed by discussion of technical upgrades and costs; -Preparing for all phases of managing the late Roger Easton’s bequest to the Society; and, -Better orientation for new Board members. Your Board currently has the absolute minimum number of members called for in the Bylaws. Considering our future challenges two m… Continue reading

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Get involved!

…hem. Please contact Ed if you are interested: echtle@harbornet.com Website assistance: review and update links to Olympia Historical Society and Bigelow House Museum  website, take photographs for “Where Are We?” listings, write Where Are We? text. Qualifications vary with task. Write articles for newsletter. We are always looking for feature (longer) articles, as well as shorter articles about families of Olympia and Thurston County.    … Continue reading

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Letter From The President

…Ross for the successful launch of her book, Konrad and Albertina, based on the true story of Olympia pioneers Konrad and Albertina Schneider. Best wishes to everyone for a happy holiday season. Lanny… Continue reading

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New History Blogs That Inform and Inspire

…to uncover the past. Click on http://www.thurstontalk.com/category/history-2/ for this story and check this space in the future for more insightful writing on local history topics. Another new blog explores local history from a different angle. Heather Lockman has been writing about Olympia history for years but her work and commentary is now available online at www.heatherlockman.com for easy perusal. Here you will discover that she is the autho… Continue reading

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President’s Message Summer 2012

…sonalities who helped shape the Nisqually Delta as we know it today.  We co-sponsored that event with the League of Women Voters. On May 12 OHS assembled a big exhibit on law enforcement and firefighting in Thurston County from 1920-25 as part of the third Thurston County Through The Decades event since the series started last year.  This was a major effort at Lacey’s Huntamer Park, sponsored by the Lacey Historical Museum and the City of Lacey. … Continue reading

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Queries

…doesn’t answer your question, we welcome and will reply to all queries (although we can’t always guarantee that your questions will be answered). Please email your query to olyhistoryresearch@gmail.com, If you find this service helpful and are not already a member of our organization, please consider either joining, or making a tax-deductible donation to the organization by clicking on the Donate button to the right of this page. … Continue reading

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Olympia’s Historic Chinese Community – Chinese Cemetery

…marker and some years later exhumed them for their return to China.  This service required that a traveling monk, or “bone gatherer” visit the city every few years and prepare the remains for the voyage home.  This practice persisted until the 1930s when  war and the Communist Revolution in China severed contact. Forest Cemetery records show a section sold to “Chinese Sam,” (probably Sam Fun Locke,) generically labeled “Chinese.”  The site, which… Continue reading

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Olympia Historical Society and Bigelow House Museum Bylaws

…ing committee  that shall be responsible for the care, maintenance, and day-to-day operations of the Bigelow House facility. Such committee shall have a line item in the budget for purposes of regular and emergency facility maintenance expenditures.   (b)    Finance Committee. There shall be a standing committee  that shall be responsible for managing the corporation’s budget and finances. The treasurer shall chair the finance committee.   Article… Continue reading

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Munro: Olympia’s African American Trailblazers

…could be: Phone calls in the night: ’are you the guy who lives with the n—- ’………….’he’s the first n—- to live in this neighborhood’… click One night when we were having dinner in Ben Moore’s café, a fellow at an adjoining table challenged us. ’would you and those two n—-s like to fight your way out of here tonight’. That was the Olympia that John Grace arrived to. John was born in Perry, Georgia in 1931. Before he arrived here, he had already gra… Continue reading

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Selected Transcriptions and Images from Olympia Tribune Souvenir Issue 1891

…the business management. In March last, with Major C.M. Bartin, his father-in-law, he leased the paper, and his long journalistic experience insures the success of the venture. Mr. Gill will continue as business manager of the paper. Among the later additions to the business firms of Olympia is that of Rose & Godard, who, late in the year 1890, opened their handsome and magnificantly stocked jewelry and optical salesroom at 222  Fourth street… Bo… Continue reading

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Miller and O’Connell: Revisiting Capitol Lake

…ing the hill between Water Street and the campus, creating space for a park-like setting for city and “other public buildings.” Then, they discuss the building of a tide lock at the boulevard first mentioned earlier to “form a lake and the whole effect would be visible from most parts of the city as well as from the Sound.” In the entire document, this is the only mention of a tide lock and a lake. Then follows a more philosophical discussion of w… Continue reading

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Derricott: Judge Lee Creighton

…appealing to the ironical humor that life always presents. He was a huge X-Files fan; fashioned himself an “X-Filian”; and couldn’t resist giving weekly updates on the series from the bench. Monica Schneider, at the time the Probation Program Manager, recounts an unforgettable example of his courtroom humor: “I was in court on a probation matter and a defendant who I knew from high school was being sentenced. I was merely a bystander during that… Continue reading

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Derricott, Applied Historiography: Olympia’s Capital Lake

…nsciousness. Droysen’s student, Friedrich Meinecke was one of the most well-known historians of the 20th century. He attempted to synthesize the work of his forbearers, including both von Ranke and Droysen. In his view, elements of art, positivism, and the subjective scholarly curiosity are beneficial if not critical ingredients in the output of the historian. In 1928, Meinecke published his essay “Values and Causalities in History” offering eluci… Continue reading

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O’Connell: The Myth of Connection Between Wilder and White and Capitol Lake

…much larger lake by impounding the Deschutes River with a dam running east-to-west. This more drastic proposal was not embraced by the State Capitol Commission and was immediately rejected. The first suggestion of a dam at the mouth of the Deschutes actually pre-dates Wilder and White by more than a decade. Ironically, Leopold Schmidt, the founder of the Olympia Brewing Company, proposed damming the river with a set of locks in 1895 to facilitate… Continue reading

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McIntyre House

…ay (2012), Photograph courtesy of Deb Ross The McIntyre home is one of the best preserved and restored homes in Westside Olympia. It was built by or for Joseph McIntyre, a carpenter who arrived in Olympia in around 1890. His daughter Nellie married Methodist minister Clarence Seely, a graduate of the Olympia Collegiate Institute. This home is on the local register and currently (2021 operated as a Bed &  Breakfast). Links to more information: Wash… Continue reading

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Northern Pacific depot

Location: 721 Columbia St SW Transportation, mid-Century Northern Pacific Railroad depot around 1914, photo courtesy of Washington State Historical Society Northern Pacific Depot today  (2012), photo by Matt Kennelly The first Northern Pacific depot, pictured at above left, was built in about 1891, the year that the Northern Pacific railroad reached downtown Olympia (see also 7th Avenue Tunnel). It was a long clapboard building with a platform fa… Continue reading

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Old City Hall/Fire Station/”Dead Zone” (Tenderloin District)/Tilley stable site

…ere; and the first woman firefighter in Olympia, Barbara Greene, began her service here. The location was likely also a house of prostitution, based on its designation as a “female boarding house” in early maps (see Sanborn overlays for maps). According to historian Bernice Sapp, the first occupation of this site was Moses Rice Tilley’s Overland Stage stable. The Tilley family operated not only this first stagecoach line, but Moses Tilley’s father… Continue reading

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Olympia Avenue Historic District

…The Olympia Avenue Historic District was created by resolution of the Heritage Commission, approved by the Olympia City Council. Link below for the Staff report describing the District. Several of the homes are individually listed in Where are We?, best found by consulting the Interactive Map. Olympia Avenue Historic District Staff Report PCTV/TCTV video on Olympia Avenue Historic District, available on Youtube  … Continue reading

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Olympia Federal Savings and Loan/Funk-Volland Building/Elwood Evans home site

…lding is a floating glass box framed by metal and brick. It was one of the best works of Olympia architect G. Stacey Bennett. The elaborate carved doors were the work of artist Walter Graham. The building is located in the Olympia Downtown National Historic District. This is also the former site of the Funk-Volland Building, another important downtown structure, seen in the photograph at above left. That building was erected in 1909 by attorney Ge… Continue reading

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Pacific Tel & Tel site/Thurston First Building

…ted for this purpose. Historian Bernice Sapp refers to the building in her essay, “Olympia 100 Years Ago,” linked below, although clearly this building did not exist 100 years before Miss Sapp wrote the essay, in 1951. According to historian Shanna Stevenson, women were a major part of the workforce for the telephone company as they are today in the banking industry. The site of the Pacific Tel and Tel building is currently occupied partly by a pa… Continue reading

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Post, J.H. Store

…y (2015), photo by Deb Ross This building has been described as one of the best examples of commercial architecture at the north end of downtown Olympia. Erected in 1928, its utilitarian design by Joseph Wohleb is another example of the broad range of Wohleb’s abilities and styles. The original owner, J.H. Post, was proprietor of Post Electric and also was active in the oyster business. Many of the original features of the building have been lost… Continue reading

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Wohleb, Joseph House

…on the Wohleb theme on Where Are We’s Interactive Map. Although Wohleb is best known for creating the Mission-style “look” of downtown Olympia, he was capable of designing buildings and homes in a wide range of styles and to suit a wide range of needs. He has been aptly dubbed “the man who designed the city.” His well-preserved home is not individually on the local register, but is located in the South Capitol National Historic District. Olympia… Continue reading

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New Online Options for Donating, Joining, and Renewing

…We are at last leaving the past and now offer our community the opportunity to join or renew online. Please follow this link for details…. Continue reading

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Fall 2011 Newsletter: Table of Contents

…President’s Message Mark Foutch Newsletter Editorial Policies The Honorable Lee Creighton Mark Derricott Deb & Lanny’s Excellent Adventures in Tacoma Lanny Weaver Revisiting Capitol Lake Allen Miller & Emmett O’Connell New Online Options for Donating, Joining, and Renewing… Continue reading

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Newsletter Editorial Policies

…pportunity to reply, either in the form of a letter to the editor or a full-length article, as s/he prefers. Alternatively the editor would summarize the complainant’s concerns in the next edition. We believe and adopt the words of the late U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis “…the remedy (for fallacious information) is more information.” The Olympia Historical Society gratefully accepts contributions from those who have an interest in resea… Continue reading

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Revisiting Capitol Lake

…ing the hill between Water Street and the campus, creating space for a park-like setting for city and “other public buildings.” Then, they discuss the building of a tide lock at the boulevard first mentioned earlier to “form a lake and the whole effect would be visible from most parts of the city as well as from the Sound.” In the entire document, this is the only mention of a tide lock and a lake. Then follows a more philosophical discussion of w… Continue reading

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President’s Message Fall 2011: Olympia History: Alive and Kicking

…ke controversy here and now. Emmett O’Connell’s article challenged a widely-accepted and cherished principle, that today’s Capitol Lake was a key feature of the Wilder and White plan for our beautiful State Capitol campus. As part of his argument O’Connell produced a map showing a much smaller Reflecting Pool as proposed in the Olmsted landscaping plan, overlaid on an aerial photograph of the lake as it is today. That pool would not have required… Continue reading

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The Honorable Lee Creighton

…appealing to the ironical humor that life always presents. He was a huge X-Files fan; fashioned himself an “X-Filian”; and couldn’t resist giving weekly updates on the series from the bench. Monica Schneider, at the time the Probation Program Manager, recounts an unforgettable example of his courtroom humor: “I was in court on a probation matter and a defendant who I knew from high school was being sentenced. I was merely a bystander during that… Continue reading

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The myth of connection between Wilder and White and Capitol Lake

…much larger lake by impounding the Deschutes River with a dam running east-to-west. This more drastic proposal was not embraced by the State Capitol Commission and was immediately rejected. The first suggestion of a dam at the mouth of the Deschutes actually pre-dates Wilder and White by more than a decade. Ironically, Leopold Schmidt, the founder of the Olympia Brewing Company, proposed damming the river with a set of locks in 1895 to facilitate… Continue reading

Posted in Summer 2011 | Comments Off on The myth of connection between Wilder and White and Capitol Lake

Applied Historiography: Olympia’s Capitol Lake

…1, 1971), 22 [2] Stern, Fritz (1971). The Ideal of Universal History. In Varieties of History (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Vintage, 57 [3] Stern, Fritz (1971). Positivistic History and its Critics In Varieties of History (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Vintage, 141-142 [4] Ibid.at 141-142 [5] Stern, Fritz (1971). Historicism and its Problems In Varieties of History (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Vintage, 270 [6] Stern, Fritz (1971). That Noble Dream In Varieties… Continue reading

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From the LACEY HISTORICAL SOCIETY

…ps, Summertime Visiting, and Eating *** Save the Date: August 31, 2011 Long-time Lacey resident William Ehlers will be celebrating his 90th birthday on August 31st. Dr. Ehlers was the first physician in Lacey and has many community connections. Please help the Lacey Historical Society celebrate his birthday by planning to attend his birthday celebration at Panorama City. Details will be provided later in the summer, or you may contact the Lacey Hi… Continue reading

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Derricott: Bush Prairie Farm, Then and Now

…eir original uses and maybe even optimal uses. The question of highest and best use is of paramount, if not singular concern, in the question of the use of land. Viewed as an income producing asset, one could easily question whether food production is the best use of any parcel of land, although without some land allocated to it somewhere, all such questions are undeniably mooted. Our understanding and appreciation for the toil of those who came b… Continue reading

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Miller: Centennial of the Wilder and White Plan

…proposed capitol campus. In May, Harry White’s overnight note to his bride-to-be, Blossom Randolph in nearby Plainfield, New Jersey, confirmed the spark of this memorable moment: Have just finished our entry…..We think it’s good …..very good……classic, eye-catching, a very sound plan. Worked two nights till 1:30, then 3 A.M. Wednesday to get things just right……. Had extra time today, before Western mails closed At six….Got to the counter on time w… Continue reading

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Ross: The Loft on Cherry

…and cities; and the suits were in national demand. In 1929 the current two-story side of the U-shaped complex was added extending between Jefferson and Cherry Street along Legion Way. The building has tall bay windows along the long (Legion) side of the building at both levels, which provided ample daylighting for workers at their machinery. The one-story office annex, designed by famed architect Joseph Wohleb, was built around the same time. In… Continue reading

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Bret: Living with the Pioneers

…he would chuckle as he won the game.   Capt. Sam W. Percival House Taken 8-8-1888 at 8 o’clock My brother, who loved boats, went with him often to his office, the walls of which were completely covered with photos of various ships. My brother had worked months building a scale model of Old Ironsides. the USS Constitution. My grandfather took it to his office and Noyes Talcott, a friend of my mother’s, displayed it in his jewelry shop window when… Continue reading

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Goforth: Home Again in Olympia

…expect that the entire area—both sides of the road— would be blanketed in cheap-looking development housing; with so many for rent and for sale signs I wondered why they had been built to begin with. The only charm left on that stretch down memory lane for me was the towering rows of evergreens creating a sheltered passage, dappled green in the afternoon sun. The once rural two-lane road that was the Yelm Highway and Ruddle [Ruddell] Road had bee… Continue reading

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Derricott: Bush Prairie Farm: Then and Now

…eir original uses and maybe even optimal uses. The question of highest and best use is of paramount, if not singular concern, in the question of the use of land. Viewed as an income producing asset, one could easily question whether food production is the best use of any parcel of land, although without some land allocated to it somewhere, all such questions are undeniably mooted. Our understanding and appreciation for the toil of those who came b… Continue reading

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WASHINGTON CELEBRATES THE CENTENNIAL OF THE WILDER AND WHITE PLAN

…proposed capitol campus. In May, Harry White’s overnight note to his bride-to-be, Blossom Randolph in nearby Plainfield, New Jersey, confirmed the spark of this memorable moment: Have just finished our entry…..We think it’s good …..very good……classic, eye-catching, a very sound plan. Worked two nights till 1:30, then 3 A.M. Wednesday to get things just right……. Had extra time today, before Western mails closed At six….Got to the counter on time w… Continue reading

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Farewell and Welcome from your Outgoing President

…spot as Treasurer for OHS. She seemed to be breathing a sigh of relief as she handed me her 6” tall stack of materials that I will need to step into her very large shoes. Thanks again Lois for your years of service on the board and as treasurer. A Happy New Year to you all and I’ll see you at the February 19 general membership meeting. Ralph Blankenship, outgoing-president, current treasurer…. Continue reading

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The Loft on Cherry and Olympia Knitting Mills: Bathing Suits, Beat, and Brew

…and cities; and the suits were in national demand. In 1929 the current two-story side of the U-shaped complex was added extending between Jefferson and Cherry Street along Legion Way. The building has tall bay windows along the long (Legion) side of the building at both levels, which provided ample daylighting for workers at their machinery. The one-story office annex, designed by famed architect Joseph Wohleb, was built around the same time. In… Continue reading

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Olympia Historical Society Bulletin

…ociety Awards Committee staff member: Shanna Stevenson State Capital Museum and Outreach Center 211 – 21st Avenue SW Olympia, WA 98501 (360) 360-586-0171 (360) 586-8322 – fax E-mail: sstevenson@wshs.wa.gov… Continue reading

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Olympia Historical society bulletin

…ment is limited. To register, contact Mark Vessey, mvessey@wshs.wa.gov, 360-586-0219 *Last* but not least, the 63rd Annual Pacific Northwest History Conference “Game Changers & History Makers: Women in Pacific Northwest History,” will be held November 3-5, 2010 at the Davenport Hotel in Spokane, Washington. For information, program and registration visit: http://www.washingtonhistory.org/heritageServices/conferences.aspx Note that online registrat… Continue reading

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Imagine, but Remember, Olympia

…with your help. Therefore, I urge you to get involved in the process and consider this an invitation to share your memories of your lives and memories in Olympia. We cannot hope to maintain a tightly-knit community without our connection to our past. Please write us, call us, or otherwise contact and let us know what you remember. We’ll all be thankful for your effort…. Continue reading

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Sandman

This year marks the 100th year of service to the maritime community by the vintage tug, Sand Man. Following its 75 year working career on the waters of Puget Sound, the boat has now become a free, floating maritime museum. The Foundation has chosen August 7 as a day of celebration. The event will be held at the Port Plaza just west of the Olympia Farmer’s Market on the waterfront. Please join us anytime between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. for our birthday… Continue reading

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Living with the Pioneers

…nd he would chuckle as he won the game. Capt. Sam W. Percival House Taken 8-8-1888 at 8 o’clock My brother, who loved boats, went with him often to his office, the walls of which were completely covered with photos of various ships. My brother had worked months building a scale model of Old Ironsides. the USS Constitution. My grandfather took it to his office and Noyes Talcott, a friend of my mother’s, displayed it in his jewelry shop window when… Continue reading

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Letter from the President

…g board member Roger Easton for the great job they did over their years of service.   Under Lanny’s leadership we helped with Olympia’s 150th year birthday celebration.  And thanks to Roger Easton and his team as well for organizing festivities including the Priest Point Park historical celebration & educational effort. The fun and learning about Olympia’s history we got during the sesquicentennial celebration gives us a good start for our future… Continue reading

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President’s Message

…ck meeting to thank Lois Fenske and Sue Goff for their many years of great service to the Society. The meeting starts at 5pm at the State Capitol Museum. Lois and Sue have a huge store of institutional memory about the society between them that will be missed at board meetings. But they will remain members and will be available to answer questions from us less experienced members. Speaking of board member spots, we will need a couple of new recrui… Continue reading

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Early Residents – S

…rman Worthington, attorney, home designer, and developer, see Belsito House-27th ,  including an oral history about her linked on that page in heritage application, and Belsito-Worthington houses on  Hillside Avenue; WSHS C1986.43.0.875.1,  (with the Rosellinis), .2 Semple Eugene, last territorial governor, photo from Digital Archives; Rogues p. 114 et seq; see also WSHS C1952.197.7 Eugene, Jr., WSHS C1952.197.8 Setchfield Daniel, principal of Oly… Continue reading

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Early Residents – P-Q

…nd Ellen, WSHS C1949.18.28 Patch Mary, married Musgrove, WSHS C1961.1185.32-35; C1961.1185.23-28, C2008.169.14, C1948.1185.4 Mrs., mother of Mary, WSHS C1948.1185.4, C1948.1185.10 Patnude Charles Arthur, Olympia contractor, see Patnude House ; see Sylvester’s Window 1899 Meet the Neighbors p. 16 Edna, daughter of Charles, WSHS C2019.18.41 Patterson Mildred, staff of legislature, WSHS C2013.18.39; WSHS C2019.18.51 Pattison Martha Anna, married Brad… Continue reading

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M

…captain and pioneer, WSHS C1943.1006.17 Meyer Victor, contractor, see Meyer-Riddle House Michener Herbert, President Olympia Collegiate Institute, C1950.1117.1.11.2 Miller Alice, married Stephen Didier, WSHS C1961.1185.53 Ira, logger, Zanaton, WSHS C1972.37.9 Blanche, married Dye, WSHS C1979.32.7 T.J., co-owned B&M cigar store, WSHS 2010.149.7.1 William Winlock, Businessman arrived 1853, Georgiana p. 250, appointed customs surveyer for Puget Sound… Continue reading

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Early Residents – M

…ilda, m. Bingham, then Naden Della, nee Johnston, married Ed Edgar, Spanish-American war veteran, sheriff, WSHS C2013.18.165, C2017.0.42 Irene, daughter of Ed and Della, m. Swift, WSHS 2009.224.3 John, superintendent of water system, superintendent of Olympia Water System, WSHS C1949.18.51, C1949.18.53 Matilda, nee Bennett, mother of Ed McCleary Charles, son of Henry, see McCleary-Robinson House in Where Are We? Henry, lumberman (founder of McClea… Continue reading

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Early Residents – I

…gues p. 183 et seq T. Reed, son of George William, author of Early Doctors essay, see Egbert-Ingham House; WSHS C1986.43.0.806 Inman Nora, m. Wm Marshall and took name Halcyon,  WSHS C1951.1117.5 Irwin Eliza, nee Newell Mason, judge, first Superior Court judge, Georgiana p. 366; see Olympia Tribune Souvenir Issue Israel George, prominent attorney, History of the Puget Sound Country, p. 144; see Israel House ; Rogues p. 235 Viva, WSHS C1952.226.42… Continue reading

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Early Residents – H

…er of Anson and wife, and first cousin, of Francis (photo at left from Find-a-Grave) Elvira (Elva), daughter of Gordon and Sally, married Wiley, WSHS C1952.197.14, C1946.241.5 Fanny, nee Talcott, wife of Dudley Francis, arrived 1861, miner, lawyer, and surveyor, TCP, (photo from TCP) WSHS C1970.6.5, C1952.226.12; C2013.18.14; C2018.0.63; home at 7th & Adams, WSHS C2018.0.118;  biography here (first cousin of Anson Henry); Rogues p. 41 Gordon, son… Continue reading

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An Index to Olympia Area Residents 1845-1930

…a Heritage Commission. Link will bring up a Google Map, sites can be searched by name from there. Transcriptions from Olympia Tribune’s Souvenir Issue of 1891, containing biographies and photographs of notable Olympia citizens Washington West of the Cascades, a turn-of-the-century compilation Gordon Newell, Rogues, Buffoons, and Statesmen  Sylvester’s Window project As time and resources are available, other on-line resources are added, such as Wi… Continue reading

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Early Residents – B

…-slavery) principles, Pioneer and Democrat Aug. 1854, death of wife, sister-in-law and son in same week of consumption, Pioneer and Democrat, Oct. 1855, marriage to Mary Ann Kandle, Pioneer and Democrat May 1861; Home WSHS C2017.0.185 Binheimer W.W., leader of Capital City Band, see Olympia Tribune Souvenir Issue 1891; WSHS C2019.0.44; C2016.0.18 Black Amanda, married Engard,  WSHS C1945.194.1 John, WSHS C1945.194.1 Marilla, WSHS  C1945.194.5, C19… Continue reading

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Weir: Olympia, The Capital

…d street car system; water works supplied from a pure mountain stream; the best of telegraph and telephone systems and service; attractive homes; a fine, graded public school system; good society, and many other advantages such as intelligent and desirable newcomers inquire about and appreciate. Olympia has two banks, and an aggregate of cash deposits amounting to upwards of a million dollars, divided among a large number of depositors, indicating… Continue reading

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Rainey: Short History of Manufacturing

…lished a tree farm now known as Capital Forest. Olympia emerged in the post-war era as a major service center for lumber communities west of Thurston County while the Port of Olympia remained a major transportation center for shipping logs and finished lumber. But the glory days of the local timber industry were over. With the decline of the timber industry went many of the associated milling and secondary operations. Local mills boomed briefly in… Continue reading

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Tannis: Journal of Levi Lathrop Smith

…ng writing all day Thursday 20 A fine day good helth and spirits. buisy in writing Friday 21 buisy in writing and planning. likewise in the gardin Saturday 22 a fine day very still working the gardin Sunday [23] been to the falls this morning Sylvester planting the corn Monday 23 [i.e., 24] been to the falls to sign the contract with Simmons he refused to sign. helth quite good rainy by showrs Tuesday 24 [i.e., 25] clowdy. nothing a sturing. buisy… Continue reading

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Sylvester Narrative of the Founding of Olympia

…his claim. It was reserved for him by the Government. We could buy vessels cheap there then. Twenty-Five hundred dollars was all we paid for this brig. When we got into the Valley we went to Fosters bar. There is where we were all taken sick. Foster had a trading post there. We left here on the 2nd of April and got into Sacramento Valley about the 2nd of July. We were all that length of time going by ox team. About the 1st of September we got in S… Continue reading

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Funk: Doane’s Oyster Pan Roast

…s doubtful if any other human food has had wider spread or more fervid word-of-mouth advertising. When the Captain came to Olympia to stay in 1880 and saw the limitless acres of oysters to be had for the taking on all the tidelands, he opened a little place on the north side of Fifth Street, just off Main Street, now Capitol Way. He raked and opened his own oysters in the forenoon and served them, fried or in oyster stew, in the afternoon and even… Continue reading

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Miller, Olympia Narrow Gauge Railroad

…nd later tore up the track. The roadbed is still visible along the Chehalis-Olympia highway. The Olympia-Tenino Railroad, while it did not bring great commercial prosperity to Olympia, did save the city from sinking into decay. Also it gave Thurston County and the surrounding territory the desired railroad communication with the rest of the territory. Most important, however, it placed a period at the end of the paragraph of pioneer railroad build… Continue reading

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Ingham: Early Doctors of Olympia

…pay. Even this newborn baby had measles. Mrs. Ostrander also lost a sister-in-law, the wife of her brother Franklin Yantis, the grandmother of George and Robert Yantis and also for George and Robert Blankenship. She herself was so miserable she told later that at the time she wished they could all die. However, after six months of constant travel they finally arrived in Portland in September 1852. From the Dalles, they made the trip to Portland i… Continue reading

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Newell: So Fair a Dwelling Place

…revalent as to how Tenino got its name . . . that it was from the number 10-9-0 on a railway surveyor’s stake or on an early locomotive. The fact is that the railway used the Chinook word meaning “junction” in naming the station Tenino. It referred to the junction of the old military roads from Vancouver to Steilacoom and Olympia, which branched at that point. p57 Tenino achieved commercial importance in 1888 when its magnificent sandstone quarrie… Continue reading

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Holmes: Narrative of the Establishment of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows

…in Olympia Lodge May 25, 1867, and has been continuously a member for forty-six years. Gustav Rosenthal antedates his initiation by 22 days, having been initiated May 3, 1867, but the distinguished and faithful service of Past Grand Patriarch Porter, his continuous good standing all these years and at the present time, and the fact he has been the Treasurer of the Lodge so long that no one remembers the time he was not the Treasurer, clearly secur… Continue reading

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Blankenship: Lights and Shades of Pioneer Life

…s to Indians and other minorities. No attempt has been made to delete or re-write these passages to soften the author’s words, which remain in their historical context. From Blankenship’s forward of Tillicum Tales, Thurston County, another valuable local historical reference used by researchers today, he says of himself, “As I am not myself a pioneer, or in the proper conception of the term, an early settler, it may be necessary to explain why I s… Continue reading

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Blankenship: History of Olympia Lodge No. 1, F&AM

…ge No. 5. The dispensation was tendered by Mrs. Carrie M. McElroy, daughter-in- law of Thornton F. McElroy, first Grand Master of Washington. The model of the old temple, completely furnished with miniature models of the old Lodge furniture was displayed in the Lodge room on October 7, 1932. The furniture was made by Brother Frank O. Scott; the wiring installed by Brother Case of this Lodge, and the painting done by Brother Messegee of Harmony Lod… Continue reading

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Home Again in Olympia

…expect that the entire area—both sides of the road— would be blanketed in cheap-looking development housing; with so many for rent and for sale signs I wondered why they had been built to begin with. The only charm left on that stretch down memory lane for me was the towering rows of evergreens creating a sheltered passage, dappled green in the afternoon sun. The once rural two-lane road that was the Yelm Highway and Ruddle [Ruddell] Road had bee… Continue reading

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Links to Helpful Sites

…t Sound Community College Library Washington State Library Ask a Librarian service of the Washington State Library Library of Congress Sanborn Maps (in color)  Archives Washington State Archives & SW Regional Archives Center in Olympia Evergreen State College Archives Nisqually  Delta Association Genealogy Olympia Genealogical Society Thurston County Genealogy Washington State Genealogical Society Mygenealogist.com  Other Links Washington Secretar… Continue reading

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Bibliography – Books, Transcripts, and Articles

…Historical Society Newsletter, Summer 2011. https://olympiahistory.org/meet-a-family-blankenships/ Boba, Eleanor A.  “The Governor’s Mansion”  Portage 1988 9:3, 13-15. Bowman, George. McLane Volunteer Fire Department: Fire Dist. no. 9, 1950 to 1980, Thurston County, Washington  Olympia: The Fire Dept, 1989. Bullock, Jill. Olympia. Arcadia Publishing, 2010. Brazier, Don.  History of the Washington Legislature: 1854 – 1963  Olympia: Wasington State… Continue reading

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Olsen and Fenske: The History and Memories of Priest Point Park

…Standing nearby were his brothers and their spouses dressed in their Sunday-best suits and hats! Dad loved the park. On his last outing, before his death, he rested on an army cot beside Kitchen 3 and using his former logging experiences identified the various species of old growth trees towering above him for all of us to enjoy. The Swimming “Hole” In my grade school days (1928-30) we had several class hikes to the park from Washington School –du… Continue reading

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Memories I cherish from Priest Point Park

…Standing nearby were his brothers and their spouses dressed in their Sunday-best suits and hats! Dad loved the park. On his last outing, before his death, he rested on an army cot beside Kitchen 3 and using his former logging experiences identified the various species of old growth trees towering above him for all of us to enjoy. The Swimming “Hole” In my grade school days (1928-30) we had several class hikes to the park from Washington School –du… Continue reading

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Echtle: Olympia’s Backyard: The History of Priest Point Park

…ay outings. In summer, some local entrepreneurs offered steam powered small-launch service to Priest Point. Olympians camped, hiked, hunted, and swam in the relatively undeveloped land. By the 1890s, the expansion of Olympia made Priest Point lands desirable to developers. Delinquent taxes on the property forced foreclosure and the city set an auction date. Meanwhile, local community activists who wished to see the land become a park sprang into a… Continue reading

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