The collection that became the Olympia Public Library was begun by the Women’s Club of Olympia in 1896. In 1909, the City took over the collection. Around that time, Andrew Carnegie instituted his program of endowing communities with funds to build local libraries, subject to certain stipulations. Carnegie’s grant of $25,000 assisted in the construction of this building, which was completed in 1914. After the current Timberland Regional Library was erected in 1968, this building served as a bookstore, restaurant, and most recently as a church. It is on the National Register of Historic Places. Photograph selected and captioned by Deborah Ross on behalf of the Olympia Historical Society and Bigelow House Museum. For more information, visit us at

Vibert Jeffers Photograph, about 1925, Susan Parish Collection, Southwest Regional Archives