This project provides links to on-line and other resources and, where available, brief information about Olympia area residents from first pioneer settlement to 1930. Please refer to the following list of resources, acronyms and hints on how to search for individuals in this index. Additional instructions are available at the Instructions page.
Disclaimer: The Olympia Historical Society and Bigelow House Museum does not vouch for the accuracy of any information contained in the links provided. Contact us to suggest additional links, individuals, or needed corrections. The index is neither intended to be comprehensive nor make judgments about the relative importance of the individuals listed. It will be continually added to as time permits and resources become available on line.
Thumbnail images in this index are either in the public domain or provided by special arrangement. Clicking on a thumbnail or link will link to a site from which you may be able to view higher resolution images, if available. Please respect any and all copyrights.
A note about women’s names: for the most part, women are indexed under their maiden names if known, with a cross-reference at her married name. If a woman is currently better known by her married name (for example, photographer Ida B. Smith), her primary listing may be under her married name, with a cross reference to her maiden name.
- Blankenship, Georgiana (Georgiana): Early History of Thurston County, Washington, Together with Biographies and Reminiscences of those Identified with Pioneer Days Olympia, 1914 (Reprint: Seattle: Shorey Book Store, 1972). [Available Online via Google Books]A compilation of accounts by several early pioneers. To search for individuals, click on the link at the person’s entry, and then enter the provided page number in the search box at the top of the page.
- Thurston County Pioneers (TCP): a project from the early 20th century wherein pioneers or their descendants were asked to fill out forms with information concerning their pioneer experience. Clicking on the link at the person’s entry should bring up the first page of each person’s entry. In many cases, additional pages or photos are also available.
- Washington State Historical Society (WSHS) –ongoing. Photographs and other materials from the State Capital Museum collection, now housed at the Research Center in Tacoma. If the image has been scanned, small thumbnails will be included, provided by special license from the Washington State Historical Society. If additional information about the photo is desired, clicking on the provided link (e.g., Cxxxx.xx) will take you to the Research Collections page where you can enter the catalogue number.
- Works Projects Administration, Told by the Pioneers (WPA). A three volume Depression-era project by the Works Projects Administration that includes interviews, submissions, and other materials about Washington Territory Pioneer Life. Links are provided to individual chapters about Thurston County or Olympia pioneers.Please be aware that links will begin uploading large PDF files, not suitable for dial-up connection.
- Thurston County History in Photos, a pictoral project of Thurston County
- References contained in transcriptions on this website, including Early Olympia Doctors,Captain Doane’s Oyster Roast, Bulletin articles, etc.
- Links to pages in the Where Are We? section of our website
- Historic Newspapers project of the Secretary of State’s office. Limited to Olympia newspapers that are currently scanned and indexed on line. Not all articles are linked here. A personal name search at this site may result in additional hits. Please review instructions page for information on format and additional links.
- Territorial Librarians: short biographies of librarians of Washington Territory, compiled by State Library
- Photographs from Washington’s Digital Archives collection, in process
- Olympia Women’s History Walking Tour, prepared by Women’s History Consortium funded by Olympia 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 Wikipedia entries or materials from the City of Olympia and other historical organizations. Contributions are welcome.