Category Archives: Uncategorized

Sherwood Press – 1/19/20

Jocelyn Dohm founded the Sherwood Press in 1940 to produce high-quality printed material using traditional techniques. Here, in a photo from 1964, Miss Dohm is creating stationery for the Olympia branch of the American Association of University Women. AAUW member Mrs. Walter Vitous looks on appreciatively. The Sherwood Press is still in operation, now under the able management of Jamie Heinricher. Photograph selected and captioned by Deborah Ross on behalf of the Olympia Historical Society and Bigelow House Museum. For more information see olympiahistory.org.

Daily Olympian photo, October 1964, State Capital Museum collection, Washington State Historical Society

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First All-Woman Jury in Washington State

After most women in Washington permanently achieved the right to vote on November 8, 1910 with the ratification of an amendment to the Washington State Constitution, the first all-women jury in the state was impaneled on December 13, 1910 in Olympia.  Link here for more information about the jurors and the trial. 
 
A full size copy of the poster shown at left is on display in the Thurston County Courthouse Building  2. If you would like to download and print a high resolution image of the poster shown at left, please e-mail olyhistory@gmail.com.
 
This project was funded through a Votes for Women Centennial Grant provided by the Washington State Women’s Commission and the Washington State Historical Society and produced by the Thurston County Historic Courts Committee in partnership with Thurston County Superior Court and Olympia Historical Society and Bigelow House Museum.
 
 
 
 
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Washington State Teachers’ Association – 9/8/19

The Washington State Teachers Association, now the Washington Education Association, is one of the state’s oldest professional associations. In this photograph from April 1889, its charter members and their families pose at the Territorial Capitol to celebrate the association’s foundation. Photograph selected and captioned by Deborah Ross on behalf of the Olympia Historical Society and Bigelow House Museum.

Unknown photographer, 1889, courtesy State Capital Museum collection, Washington State Historical Society

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Central School with Jesse Mars 2/24/19

Students and teachers line up outside the Central School, located at Union and Washington, in a photo from 1883. Among the students, seated in front, is Jesse Mars, who served as Olympia’s first Black firefighter from the age of 13. The school building still exists, now at the corner of Adams and Union. Photograph selected and captioned by Deborah Ross on behalf of the Olympia Historical Society and Bigelow House Museum.

A.D. Rogers Photo, 1883, State Library collection, Washington State Archives

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Jack Gimblet’s boxer – 11/4/18

Early Olympia saloon keeper Jack Gimblet had this professional photograph taken of his handsome boxer “Jerry” in this image from around the turn of the century.  Photograph selected and captioned by Deborah Ross on behalf of the Olympia Historical Society and Bigelow House Museum. For more information see olympiahistory.org. 

unknown photographer, State Capital Museum collection, Washington State Historical Society

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Sun Wo – 9/23/18

Olympia photographer Ida Smith capture this photograph of Chinese entrepreneur Sun Wo in traditional garb in about 1890-1910. Chinese merchants were an important element of commerce in the 19th and early 20th century. Photograph selected and captioned by Deborah Ross on behalf of the Olympia Historical Society and Bigelow House Museum.

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Plaque dedication – 8/19/18

In 1913, a group of Olympia citizens, many of them early pioneers, gathered to dedicate a plaque at the site of the first Washington Territorial Assembly. This plaque is still in existence, in front of the Bread Peddler at 222 Capitol Way N, in the port area. The site is one of the most important in our community’s and territory’s history. 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. 

unknown photographer, 1913, Washington State Historical Society

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Earl Bean in 1963 – 7/22/18

Earl Bean came here from Russia in 1892 and joined his father Joseph in the scrap metal business. He parlayed this into hardware store Olympia Supply on the shore of Capitol Lake, still part of the Bean family. In the 1930s Earl Bean was one of the founders of Temple Beth Hatfiloh. In this photo from 1963, Earl looks back on his distinguished career. 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. 

Daily Olympian photo, 1953, State Capital Museum collection, Washington State Historical Society

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Olympia Voc Tech – 4/22/18


Olympia Vocational Technical Institute student Kent Loomey demonstrates a cathode ray oscilloscope in this photograph from 1963. The Institute (later South Puget Sound Community College) was located in the former Montgomery Ward Building in downtown Olympia. The Institute held an open house to familiarize citizens with the new school, and to publicize the fact that it was no longer the place for residents to place their mail-order catalogue orders. Photograph selected and captioned by Deborah Ross on behalf of the Olympia Historical Society and Bigelow House Museum, olympiahistory.org. 

Daily Olympian photograph, 1963, State Capital Museum Collection, Washington State Historical Society

 

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Roger Easton pen pal – 2/11/18

Roger Easton, a teacher at Mountain View Elementary in Lacey, initiated an international pen pal program between his students and children from around the world. In addition to sending letters, the children exchanged audiotapes. Easton was also an avid local historian; at his untimely death he bequeathed his estate to the Olympia Historical Society and the Bigelow House Preservation Association. Photograph selected and captioned by Deborah Ross on behalf of the Olympia Historical Society and Bigelow House Museum. For more information, visit olympiahistory.org. 

Daily Olympian photo, 1966, State Capital Museum collection, Washington State Historical Society

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Montgomery Ward Building – 12/10/17

The Montgomery Ward Building was erected in 1928 on Fourth Avenue. Ward’s was a department store and catalogue retailer. The building was repurposed in the early 1960s to serve as the first home of the Olympia Regional Vocational Technical Institute (now South Puget Sound Community College). It has since been occupied by retail and entertainment venues. Photograph selected and captioned by Deborah Ross on behalf of the Olympia Historical Society and Bigelow House Museum. For more information, visit olympiahistory.org.

Vibert Jeffers photo, 1938, Susan Parish Collection, Southwest Regional Archives

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Rockway Leland Building – 4/16/17

The Rockway-Leland Building was built in two stages between 1921 and 1941, the later portion in an Art Moderne style designed by Joseph Wohleb.The building was the home of Olympia Oil and Wood Products, and was named after the company’s owner and manager. The building was also once the home of Olympia’s first radio station, KGY. Studios on the second floor are acoustically perfect, and still the home of a local radio station. It once sported a 150 foot tall tower on the roof, visible in this photo from about 1941. 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, around 1941, Susan Parish Collection, Washington State Archives

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St. Michael School groundbreaking – 3/12/17

In this photo from March 12, 1950, parents, children, and Sisters of Providence look on at the groundbreaking for the new St. Michael School building on 10th and Boundary. The school was originally located on Capitol Way.  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. 

Merle Junk photograph, March 1950, Susan Parish Collection, Southwest Regional Archives

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Archives Building under construction – 1/15/17

This photograph from 1962 shows the Washington State Archives building under construction. Erected during the cold-war era, the building doubled as a fallout shelter. Just one of its several floors is above ground. 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. Daily Olympian photograph, May 1962, State Capital Museum collection, Washington State Historical Society

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Talcott Brothers – 12/11/16

Three pioneer brothers – Charles, Grant, and George Noyes Talcott – operated the Talcott Jewelers store on Main Street, now Capitol Way. Here they are shown, as elderly men, with some of the products formerly sold at the store. The business was in the family until 2003. 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. Jeffers photograph, 1950s or 1960s, Susan Parish Collection, Southwest Regional Archives

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Dick Gregory trial – 12/4/16

gregory

In the fall of 1966, comedian, actor, and activist Dick Gregory and his wife Lillian were charged with illegal fishing, when they participated in the Native American Fish-In campaign to assert treaty rights. In this photograph from late November, the Gregorys enter the Thurston County Courthouse on Capitol Way. The trial attracted national publicity. The Gregorys were found guilty on December 2. 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. 

December 1966, Daily Olympian photograph, courtesy Washington State Historical Society, State Capital Museum collection

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Olympia Vocational Technical Institute – 10/2/16

ovti

In the fall of 1962, the Olympia School District founded the Olympia Vocational Technical Institute (OVTI) in the Montgomery Ward Building on 4th Avenue in downtown Olympia.  Here, soon after its opening, a typing class is pictured with its instructor, Carol McKee. This institution later became South Puget Sound Community College. 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.

October 1962, Daily Olympian photograph, courtesy Washington State Historical Society, State Capital Museum collection

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Don Rich – 11/8/15

donulrich11-8-15

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 taken in the 1950s or early 1960s at the beginning of his career. 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.

Merle Junk photograph, Southwest Regional Archives, Susan Parish Collection

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Edward Echtle

  • Bigelow House Operations Committee chair
  • Position 2: Term ends January 2018

Ed was born in Olympia and developed a lifelong interest in local and regional history early in life.  He earned an MA in History from Western Washington University in 2004 and currently works as an independent consultant specializing in public history projects and historical research in support of environmental litigation.  Ed has produced museum exhibits, historical publications, interpretive displays and programs for public and private institutions.

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Hotel Olympian – 11/9/14

11-9-14hotelolympian

Vibert Jeffers photograph, 1937, Susan Parish Collection, Southwest Regional Archives

When the state acquired the Old State Capitol Building in 1902, it was apparent that downtown accommodations were inadequate to house all of the legislators, lobbyists and others during legislative session. After much delay, the five-story Hotel Olympian was built in 1918 directly to the north of Sylvester Park. It was said that more business was transacted in the spacious lobby of the hotel than in the Capitol Building itself. Photograph selected and captioned by Olympia Historical Society and Bigelow House Museum. For more information, visit olympiahistory.org.

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Thurston County Courthouses Through History

This “story map” is part of a collaboration between the Olympia Historical Society and Bigelow House Museum and the Thurston County Courts History Committee. The left side of the map features a narrative of the locations associated with the Thurston County court system, while the right side is a map with locations noted with an gavel icon. Scroll down or click on the buttons at the left of the screen to take a stroll through history! 

Text developed by Thurston County Courts History Committee; story map created by Brian Hovis and Deb Ross

To view the map in full screen, link here (external link to ArcGIS Online)

 

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Centennial Parade – 5/13/2014

5-11-14bathingbeauties

Merle Junk photographer, Susan Parish Collection, Washington State Archives

On May 5, 1950, the City of Olympia celebrated its centennial with a parade. Here, a float, featuring bathing beauties over the decades, rounds the corner of Capitol and Fifth Avenue. The Funk-Volland Building is in the background, where Olympia Federal Savings is now. Photograph selected and captioned by the Olympia Historical Society and Bigelow House Museum. For more information see olympiahistory.org

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Geographic Resources – Maps, Walking Tours, Interactive Maps

On this website

Where Are We? interactive map

External links

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Mosquito Fleet at Percival Landing – 4/20/14

mosquito fleet for blog

In the days when Puget Sound was the equivalent of our Interstate 5, dozens of small, privately owned steam-driven freight and passenger vessels, dubbed the Mosquito Fleet, plied the waterways between Olympia, at the southern end, all the way to Vancouver, in British Columbia. In this photograph, probably from the 1890s, three sternwheelers – the Northern Light, City of Shelton and Multnomah – are all pulled up at Percival Landing, in Olympia. State Library Photograph Collection, Washington State Archives, Digital Archives, http://www.digitalarchives.wa.gov

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Old State Capitol Building after 1949 Earthquake – 4/13/14

SPI earthquake damage

On April 13, 1949 a magnitude 7.1 earthquake struck Puget Sound, the largest ever recorded. It caused extensive damage and destruction to downtown Olympia and to the State Capitol Campus buildings, as well as the entire Puget Sound region. The Old State Capitol Building (now Office of Superintendent of Instruction) is shown here undergoing repairs. General Subjects Photograph Collection, 1845-2005, Washington State Archives, Digital Archives,http://www.digitalarchives.wa.gov. Link here to information about the Old State Capitol Building.

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Looking Back

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Daniel and Ann Elizabeth White Bigelow Family

BigelowfamilyDaniel Richardson Bigelow was born in 1824 in New York State. In 1851, two years after reading law at Harvard, he crossed theOregon Trail. After a short stay in Portland he traveled to the pioneer settlement of Olympia in late 1851. He soon established a law practice, filed a 160 acre Donation Land Claim east of town, and threw himself into local politics.

Ann Elizabeth White was only 14 years old when her family came west from Wisconsin in 1851. They settled on Chambers Prairie southeast of Olympia and by 1853 Ann was employed as a school teacher in the Packwood home in the Nisqually Delta area near Olympia.

In 1854, Elizabeth and Daniel married and began married life in a two-room cabin he built on his land claim just east of downtown Olympia. Soon afterwards they built their neat two-story Carpenter Gothic home where they raised their eight children.

Daniel was among the first settlers to call for the separation of Washington from Oregon Territory. He served as a Councilman representing Thurston County in the Washington Territorial legislature from 1854-56 and as a Representative in 1871.  He also held a number of other public offices during his long career.

He and Elizabeth were devout Methodists and helped organize the Methodist Episcopal Church in Olympia. They were also active proponents of public education, rights for non whites,women’s suffrage and temperance.

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Archives Building

Location: 1129 Washington St SE
mid-Century modern

archivesunderconstructionArchives Building under construction (from Capitol Way), 1963, Merle Junk photograph, Susan Parish Collection, Washington State ArchivesOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAArchives building today (from Washington Street) (2014), photo by Deb Ross

The 1963 Archives Building was one of the last to be built in the first phase of development of East Capitol Campus in the early 1960s. Erected just a year after the Cuban missile crisis, towards the end of the cold-war era Red Scare, the building doubled as an air raid shelter, being constructed almost entirely underground, with just one of its several floors accessible from ground level. The roof of the building is at ground level on Capitol Way, as can be seen in the photograph at above left. A series of ventilation tunnels, still in existence, led from key government offices across Capitol Way, into the Archives Building. The building is included in the mid-Century modern Walking Tour of Olympia, and was designed by Harmon, Pray, and Dietrich.

For more information follow these links:

Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation inventory

mid-Century modern Walking Tour

2013 Article on design of building and tunnels, accessed November 18, 2014

Go to next location

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Meet the Dohms and Sherwood Press

Deb Ross

On October 26, from noon to 7, the Sherwood Press will be hosting an open house at its building on the west side of Olympia, 811 5th Avenue SW. The event honors the tenth anniversary of the death of the press’s founder, Jocelyn Dohm. Current owner Jami Heinrich extends an invitation to the heritage and history community to attend. If you haven’t been inside this historic building, this is a great opportunity to do so. (pleae visit their website at the link above for more information about the event, and a lovely papercutting by Nikki McClure based on the photograph reproduced below.

Here is a little more background on the family and on Jocelyn.

Edward Dohm arrived in Olympia in 1909 after graduation from University of Washington. He had a distinguished civic and military career, serving in World War I and eventually reaching the rank of Brigadier General in the National Guard. He and his wife Estelle built the Dohm House in West Olympia in 1922. It is one of the finest homes in the area, built in a Dutch Colonial style.

Two of Edward and Estelle’s daughters were equally distinguished and important members of the Olympia community. Phyllis Dohm Mueller (Virgie to her family) was an architect who designed the mock-Tudor Kornmesser house at the top of the Fifth Avenue Bridge, among others. Her sister, Jocelyn, founded the Sherwood Press in 1940.

The press began in the basement of the family home, the Dohm House next door. Jocelyn acquired press materials, including an antique platen press and type, in Seattle. The following summer, she and her father built this small house, based on a design by her architect sister Virgie. The building is entirely made of cedar and is heated with a large brick fireplace.

jocelyn_jami1

Photograph of Jocelyn and Jamie courtesy of the Sherwood Press.

The items produced by Sherwood Press over the 70+ years of its existence represent what the website characterizes as a “surprising historical account of the history of Olympia, as seen through a sampling of its printed ephemera.” Jocelyn also hosted a long list of high school students who came to work for her as “printer’s devils” (apprentices). One of her apprentices, Jami Heinricher, inherited the business from Jocelyn, who died in 2003.

In addition to her business, Jocelyn and her long-term partner Margery Sayre were very active in local organizations and causes. The home is on the local register and is included in the Women’s History Walking Tour as well as the Olympia Gay and Lesbian History Walking Tour.

For more information on the Sherwood Press, the Kornmesser House, and the Dohm House, visit our website’s Where Are We? pages.

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Table of Contents – Summer 2013

President’s Column – Summer 2013
Mark Foutch

Temple Beth Hatfiloh is 75!
Anne Kilgannon and Beth Dubey

Have an Historic Summer Stay-Cation
Anne Kilgannon

Origins of Olympia Historical Society, Chapter 3
Mark Foutch

Lanny’s and Deb’s Excellent Adventures 
Deb Ross

We Like to Hear from You!
Anne Kilgannon

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Interactive Map – Where Are We?

The Where are We? feature of the Olympia Historical Society website allows you to find out more about important historical buildings and locations in Olympia. Click on any of the orange buttons on the map to view a popup naming the location. Clicking on “more info” at the bottom of the popup will take you to a page describing the location, “then and now” pictures, and links. You can use the +/- buttons or your scroll wheel to zoom in and out, click and hold your left mouse to move around. To search locations by theme (for example, Women’s History), click on the arrow at the top of the map to display or hide theme options.  You can turn off “Combined Locations” by unchecking that selection and then check another box to see which locations are associated with a particular theme.  To change the basemap to aerial photography or other views, please select the icon below the zoom box.

Be patient – map may take a few moments to load up!

 

To view a larger map, click here (you will be taken to an external webpage)

Map copyright 2013 and 2021 by J. Brian Hovis. Used by permission. All rights reserved

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Visual Resources – Photographs and Videos

Photographs

The Society’s website maintains a small collection of photographs in our image bibliography. Many more photographs and links to photographs are available for viewing in our Where Are We?, Looking Back, and Residents sections. The following is a list of the additional photograph collections on our website.

Videos and Films

 

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Membership form

 

OHS logo                                   

You may print out, fill in and mail this membership form, along with your check, to the address below, or, if you prefer, send an e-mail to the Treasurer listed in the Contact us page with this information and make your payment with Paypal. 

 

Name_____________________________________________________

 

Address:________________________________________________

 

City:_________________State:_______________ Zip:________

 

Phone ________________________

Email ________________________

 

 

Mail to:  Olympia Historical Society, PO Box 6064, Olympia, WA 98507-6064

 

By joining the Olympia Historical Society, you will help support our website, meeting, and mailing expenses, and maintenance of our collection; be entitled to attend our periodic members-only events; and have a voice on the direction and events sponsored by the Society.

 

Membership Categories (annual dues)

 

Student & Senior (65+) member – $20.00

 

Regular member – $30.00

 

Non-profit Organizational member – $50.00

 

Business, Institutional, or Professional member – $100.00

 

Dues enclosed:        $ _________________

 

Additional donation: $ _________________

 

Total:                          $ _________________

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Get involved!

Do you want to become more involved in Olympia’s history and heritage? There are many ways to do so, and we can help. Here are a few:

Join the Olympia Historical Society and Bigelow House Museum and help support our website and programs

Donate to the ongoing work of the Society and Museum, by clicking on the Donate button at the right of this page, or mail a check to
OHS-BHM
PO Box 1821 
Olympia, WA 98507

Subscribe to our biweekly bulletins and quarterly newsletter – free! Contact us using the subject line: subscribe and we’ll add you to our list.

TCTDAttend programs and events on Olympia and Thurston County history presented by the Society and Museum or other organizations – you can find out what’s happening by subscribing to our bulletins (see above) or checking our Calendar or Upcoming Events sidebar. You can even add calendared events to your own Google calendar.

 

Take a walk! The City of Olympia has walking tour brochures available to view on line or print out. If you want to create your own themed walking tour, check out our Interactive Map where you can look at historic locations and even search by theme. If you are downtown, check out the display at the New Caldonia building featuring historic views of Capitol Way and Fourth Avenue, courtesy of the Society, the Olympia Heritage Commission, and the Olympia Downtown Association.

Visit the Bigelow House Museum. Link here for more information on visiting hours, or scheduling a special tour.

Donate to our collection: link here (bottom of page) to our collections policy

Preserve our heritage. If you live in an older home (50 years or more), explore the possibility of having it inventoried and/or listed on the heritage register. Benefits include research assistance, preservation assistance and tips, tax relief and the environmental, historical, and aesthetic advantages of living in a heritage home. Contact Marygrace Goddu at mgoddu@ci.olympia.wa.us for more details on the program.

Volunteer. Below is a list of current volunteer opportunities with the Society or other organizations. Contact us if you would like to volunteer or add a volunteer opportunity to this list:

  • Transcriber: Historian Ed Echtle and local leader Thelma Jackson are working on an oral history project to collect the stories of contemporary African Americans in Thurston County. Several interviews have been recorded but they need volunteers to transcribe them. 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.

 

 

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Resources for Researching Olympia’s History

springer and white mill

The following is a list of materials relating to Olympia area history that are available either on our website or elsewhere. 

  • Bibliographylisting of books, transcripts, and articles – many on-line
  • Visual Resources – photographs, films, and videos
  • Geographic Resources – maps, walking tours, and interactive maps
  • Where Are We? website project with interactive map and pages showing historic and heritage locations throughout Olympia, with photographs and links.
  • Residents website project listing early residents of Olympia and Thurston County from 1840s through 1930, with brief bios, photographs and links.
  • Easton collection: Legacy webpages from the late Roger Easton’s work as a Washington State History researcher, captured to this site by permission of Easton’s literary executor, Ed Echtle. Note that not all links on these pages are still active
  • Query: submit a query about a topic you are researching
  • Links to other useful websites

 

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Where Are We?

Welcome to “Where Are We?”, a new feature of the Olympia Historical Society website that gives you information about buildings and sites in Olympia. Click here for more information about this feature, or start right in with the interactive map.

Locations of Historic Interest

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Researching Olympia – Contents

  • Articles
  • Bibliography
  • Chinese Olympia
  • Image Bibliography
  • Links to other helpful sites
  • Transcriptions
  • Where Are We?

Articles

Chinese Olympia

Bibliography

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Image Bibliography

Transcriptions

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Newsletters and Bulletins

The Olympia Historical Society and Bigelow House Museum publishes a quarterly newsletter announcing upcoming events, showcasing the most recent research of local historians, and updating members and the public on the society’s latest activities. Newsletters are free to all current members

Newsletters issued between 2005 and 2013 can be viewed on line by hovering over the Newsletter menu heading and clicking on the desired year of publications. 

Bulletins are issued twice a month, highlighting local and regional events, at no charge. To be added to the email list of those receiving the free bulletin, email us as olyhistory@gmail.com. Past editions of the bulletin can be viewed on our Blog page

To submit articles for the newsletter or an item for the bulletin, e-mail the society at olyhistory@gmail.com .

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Treasurer Lois Fenske

Lois is a retired Economics professor from South Puget Sound Community College. Her historical interests are: Genealogy and Family History, Business and Economic history, History of Higher Education, History of Fashion, Architectural History and History of Automobiles.

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Board Member Sue Goff

Sue is an avid local historian and researcher. She is the principal caretaker of the OHS artifact and document collection. Most recently she has headed the processing of the Bigelow House collection, preparing items for use by researchers.

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Oops

Two corrections to yesterday’s bulletin:

The Drew Crooks event date was correct, but the day of the week is
Saturday, not Monday.

All of the events listed except the Bigelow House event are at the State
Capital Museum.


Deborah Ross, on behalf of
The Olympia Historical Society
www.OlympiaHistory.org
To unsubscribe, send us an e-mail: olyhistory@gmail.com

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Olympia Historical Society at Canoe Journey

Anne Kilgannon, Secretary

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photo from Department of Natural Resources

For many OHS members, the film showing of Canoe Way: The Sacred Journey, followed by a presentation and discussion session by Philip Red Eagle, a founder of the Canoe Way of Knowledge twenty years ago, was the real opening of our own journey of understanding. The event held at the State Capitol Museum on July 17 deepened our appreciation for the tremendous cultural and spiritual movement expressed as Canoe Journey and helped prepare volunteers to participate in the welcoming to Olympia shores of the hundreds of paddlers.

Olympia Historical Society (OHS) teamed with the State Capitol Museum to host a tent at the Canoe Landing site on July 29. Perfect weather only heightened the excitement as we did our part to welcome the huge crowd of families, friends and supporters there to greet the paddlers and open a week of festivities and ceremonies to be held at Squaxin Island.

The focus of our table exhibit drew its inspiration from the work of Shanna Stevenson, Ed Echtle, Drew Crooks and others to uncover the Native American histories of many sites in Olympia, too often forgotten or unrecognized. Board member Tim Ransom’s photographs of eight well-known places around town formed the “cover” for accompanying histories “just underneath” that illustrated events and times important to Native American life in this area from the early contact period, American settlement and town building era, and present-day times. The hoped-for message was the story of continuity of Indian life here: “always here, still here,” and the importance of inclusion of all peoples in our work to research and present the history of Olympia.

We will continue this work by co-sponsoring Native American historic sites walking tours in October, created by Shanna Stevenson. These walks-and-talks will begin at the Farmers Market where we will have a table again featuring our exhibit from Canoe Journey. This will be an important opportunity to further engage the community in this journey of inclusion and celebration of Native American history. Watch for upcoming bulletins for details of how to get involved!

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Society website back on line

Our website was off line briefly but our wonderful webmaster, Sean Krier, has restored it. We hope this has not inconvenienced you.

We hope you will be able to attend the memorial for Roger Easton on the 18th at the Smith House in Lacey. The Society is one of the suggested recipients for donations in memory of Roger. You can easily do this by donating via Paypal (no Paypal membership needed) by going to this site: https://olympiahistory.org/membership/

Thank you very much in advance, on behalf of the Society.

Deborah Ross, on behalf of

The Olympia Historical Society
www.OlympiaHistory.org

To unsubscribe, send us an e-mail: olyhistory@gmail.com

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Olympia Historical Society July 2012 bulletin

Hello friends. As we are on "summer schedule," this will be your only
bulletin for July, but it’s an important one!

First, please join historical societies and commissions throughout Thurston
County for a* tribute to Roger Easton*, to be held at the Jacob Smith House
in Lacey, 4500 Intelco Loop, on Wednesday, July 18, 6-8 p.m. Here is a link
to the Jacob Smith House:
http://www.ci.lacey.wa.us/city-government/city-departments/parks-and-recreation/parks-and-facilities/community-buildings/jacob-smith-house
All
of us who love Olympia history benefited greatly from Roger’s contributions
and we will miss him sorely.

The *Canoe Journey,* to be held at the end of July, will be a spectacular,
interesting, and fun filled time. Several organizations have contacted us
with requests for volunteers and assistance. Of course, first off the bat
is our own Olympia Historical Society, which still needs 9-10 volunteers to
help with our participation. OHS coordinator Anne Kilgannon writes:

OHS is planning to share a booth with the State Capitol Museum at the Canoe
Journey event on July 29th. This will be an exciting opportunity to work
with the Squaxin and other tribes during this huge celebration of Native
culture. See http://paddletosquaxin2012.org/ for more information. We will
need 8 to 10 people to staff our part of the booth, which will be featuring
materials on little-known Native American historical sites in the Olympia
area. Interested volunteers should attend a program at the State Capitol
Museum, The Canoe Way of Knowledge on July 17, 6:00, for orientation. We
will also have a short meeting, TBA, on logistics and other information for
volunteers. Contact Ralph Blankenship at ralph.bship@comcast.net or Anne
Kilgannon at anneandgary@gmail.com to get involved in this tremendous
gathering.

Co-host State Capitol Museum sponsor of our table, Susan Rohrer, adds: We
have the booth on July 29 from 10 am to 6 Pm. We are gathering information
from the city about the shuttle bus transportation, as you will not be able
to drive to the venue.

We are having two trainings, one for anyone wishing to volunteer, and an
additional one for anyone who wants to lead a walking tour of native sites
near the waterfront in Olympia.

The general training is scheduled for 5:00 PM on Tuesday, July 17. We will
have a brown bag dinner with our team supplying drinks and desserts. The
training will include all the details about the booth and event and
logistics. Then from 6 to 7 PM we are asking all volunteers to stay for a
program on Canoe Journey that includes an hour long documentary on the
journey and then a presentation by the film producer and canoe journey
founder Phil Red Eagle. This will provide a background for our volunteers
on the cultural and historical significance of the journey.

Finally, Jennifer Kenny, staff to the Olympia Historical Commission, writes
us: The Squaxin Island Tribe is the host of Canoe Journey 2012 (
http://paddletosquaxin2012.org/).

Tribal Journeys began in 1989, intending to coincide with the centennial
celebration for Washington State. Since 1993, ‘Tribal Journeys’ or ‘The
Paddle’ has been held on an annual basis, with various tribes serving as
the host tribe. Today more than a 100 canoes from as many as 90 US Tribes,
Canadian First Nations and New Zealand and an estimated 12,000 people
participate in the annual Tribal Canoe Journeys.

The Tribe expects to host 5,000-8,000 people at the Potlatch Protocol,
July 30-August 5, at the Squaxin Island Reservation. The Landing of the
Canoes is July 29th, in the Swantown area, Port of Olympia.

The Potlatch Protocol includes feeding and housing (camping) all guests
for the entire week of July 29-August 5. As you can imagine, many hands are
needed to assist.

The 2012 Paddle to Squaxin Canoe Journey Hosting will be a “green” event
held in the spirit of sustainability and in the spirit of the teachings of
the ancestors.

Volunteers for the Paddle to Squaxin Green Team will work on recycling and
composting in collaboration with the Public Works Team.

Watch the video to learn more: http://vimeo.com/44108195

For a more detailed description of the Squaxin Green Team and to sign up,*
please go to:

http://paddletosquaxin2012.org/volunteer/green-team

There may also be opportunities to work in a supervisory capacity during
the event. Please contact Sheena Kaas for more information, 360-432-3907 or
skaas@squaxin.us

The *State Capitol Museum* is also sponsoring several events in July and
August associated with the Canoe Journey and the museum’s exhibit on Orca
whales. For more information, click on this link:
http://wshs.org/scmoc/event-programs.aspx

For music lovers and those interested in recent history, the Olympia
library has a great upcoming event: Friday, July 27, 2012
*Start Time:* 7:30 PM
*Library:* Olympia
*Description:*
Mark Baumgarten will read from and sign his new book "Love Rock Revolution:
*K Records and the Rise of Independent Music*," and musical guests The
Maxines will perform

The South Sound Maritime Association asks us to pass along the sad news
that, along with Roger Easton, our area has lost another passionate lover
of local history, *Robin Paterson. *Chuck Fowler writes: Robin passed
away last Wednesday after a several months-long battle with cancer.

Finally, the July issue of "Inquiring Minds Want to Know" is available for
your viewing pleasure. Remember, you can also subscribe to this interesting
monthly compilation of queries that the Society receives. Here is the link:
https://olympiahistory.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&layout=blog&id=16&Itemid=34

As many OHS members know, Robin and his wife Kae were dedicated, quietly
passionate tug owner participants in Olympia Harbor Days for almost its
entire 37 year history. With their first restored, retired tugboat, *Bayburn
*, they entered the first Harbor Days event to feature a tugboat race in
1975 and only missed one annual event during their more than three decades
of involvement.


Deborah Ross, on behalf of
The Olympia Historical Society
www.OlympiaHistory.org
To unsubscribe, send us an e-mail: olyhistory@gmail.com

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Queries

Our website has extensive materials and links on Olympia history, but sometimes it’s hard to know where to get started or how to find answers to specific questions. We suggest you begin by entering a search term in the Search button on our Menu bar. If this 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. 

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Olympia’s Historic Chinese Community – Links

Related Sites

Chinese and Asian American History

Historical Societies, Museums, and Exhibits:

Genealogy

Miscellaneous

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Olympia’s Historic Chinese Community – Interpretive Marker

The dedication of the Olympia Chinatown Historical Marker took place May 22, 2004 at Heritage Park.

Interpretive Marker located in Heritage Park, near the site of Olympia’s last Chinatown

 

The Olympia Area Chinese Fellowship Youth Orchestra
provided traditional music for the ceremony.

Bill and Toy Kay, Brian Lock, Jimmy Locke, Mary Pang, and City Councilman Doug Mah unveil the marker

 

Lion Dance presented by Mak Fai Washington Kung Fu Club of Seattle.
Performers include Kavin Chan, Gary Chan, Royal Gam, Sifu Mak, Sifu Zhu, Assim and Franklin Hsu.

Project Sponsors

Olympia Heritage Commission
Locke Family Association
Olympia Area Chinese Association

Event Sponsors

Locke Family Association
City of Olympia Parks and Recreation
Olympia Area Chinese Association

Event Planning and Staging

Kathy Thompson
Carla Wulfsberg
Emily Locke
Jane Locke
Muoi Nguy
Wendy Seid

Special Thanks

Bill and Toy Kay for sponsoring the Lion Dance performance. 
Susan Karren, Director, Archival Operations, NARA – Pacific Alaska Region 
Ron Chew, Director, Wing Luke Asian Museum
Jane Boubel, City of Olympia Parks and Recreation 
David Hanna, City of Olympia Parks and Recreation 
Greg Miller, Bartel’s Men Store 
Lynne Chao and Corliss Fong

The Olympia Chinatown Historical Project Committee, 1998.  

L-R: Shanna Stevenson, Bill Kay, Edward Echtle, Brian Lock, Toy Kay and Ron Locke

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Olympia’s Historic Chinese Community – Chinese Cemetery

At Forest Memorial Gardens, 2501 Pacific Ave., Olympia

Marker for Locke Mai Tuck

Edward Echtle photo

 

As late as the 1930s members of Olympia’s Chinese community still gathered at Forest Cemetery for the traditional springtime Ching Ming memorial ceremony.  After tidying the site, they laid out offerings of food, burned incense and set off fireworks to ward off malevolent spirits.

Early Chinese sojourners made arrangements with their surname association to return their bones to their family’s ancestral burial site in China so that family members could honor them.  These associations interred Chinese who died in the United States with only a temporary 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 is in the oldest part of the cemetery, is located just inside the gate, on the raised ground to the left.   The Chinese community managed this section as a cemetery within a cemetery, maintaining their own records separate from the rest of the non-Chinese burials.

At present [2014] there is only one marker remaining, that of Locke Mai Tuck who drowned while tending oyster floats at Henderson Inlet in 1914.  In 1987 construction workers found his marker under the sod when Pacific Avenue was widened, lost during the years the cemetery was neglected and overgrown.  The Cemetery association did not record individual Chinese interments.  The Locke Family Association kept these records but they were destroyed in the 1970s when the Locke Family Association Hall in Seattle burned.   It is unknown how many of Olympia’s Chinese pioneers at the site awaiting a return to their families in China.

Partial List of Chinese pioneers interred at Forest Cemetery: 

Don Yin, “Billy,” d. June 18, 1904
Hey Lee, d. June 23, 1901
Hong Hai, Mrs., d. November 1902
Lee Fon, d. May 1894
Lee Klet, d. April 30, 1915
Leuu Gim Hing, “China Jim,” d. December 25, 1913
Lew He Soon, “Old Charlie,” d. October 1911
Lewis Yu Kea, “Hong Hai,” d. January 24, 1912
Lock Hock Joe, d. August 7, 1904
Lock Kay, d. November 26, 1931
Lock Pow, d. January 1894
Mo Hen, d. April 11, 1899
Poo, Yee “Johnson,” d. November 30, 1934
Sing Yet Ying, d. October 27, 1918
Su He, d. April 24, 1880
Unknown, “Chinaman Joe,” d. July 15, 1899
Unknown, Chinese Man, d. 1892 

 

Next Section: Chinatown Interpretive Marker Project

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Olympia’s Historic Chinese Community – Families

Due to immigration restrictions it was prohibitively expensive and legally difficult for most Chinese men to bring a wife and family members to America. Nevertheless, a small but significant number of Chinese American families established  homes in Olympia from very early on.  Census records show several families that came and went over the early decades of Olympia’s existence.  Intriguing clues and oblique references surface infrequently in local records and much detail may be lost to history.

After the Seatte fire of 1889, a number of displaced Chinese relocated to Olympia.  Among them was the Jim Ah Toone family.  Jim and his wife Nettie Chiang raised a family of five children in Olympia before moving on to Yakima and then Minneapolis where their Olympia-born son Walter James opened the successful Nankin Cafe in 1919. The family continued its operation through 1999.

Jim Ah Toone and Nettie James Family, 1890s
WSHS Photo 

The James Family Children in Olympia 
Keystone/Maste


Nettie James at Ida Smith’s Studio, Olympia 
Photo Courtesy of Corliss Fong and Lynne Chao

 

In 1902, prominent local merchant Sam Fun Locke returned from Toison with a wife.  They lived in the space above the Hong Yek Kee and Company store.  On the occasion of the birth of their first child, Loy Wing, the new family had a photo taken, a copy of which was presented to Sheriff Billings’ family in gratitude for his intervention in the 1886 riots.  Eventually the Lockes had nine children, all born at Hong Yek.

In 1934 Sam Fun Locke, known locally as the “Mayor of Chinatown,” passed away.  The local press described  hs funeral as one of the most elaborate in Olympia history.  Many surviving pioneers from the area and Chinese community leaders from around the region attended the event.  The procession passed by the Water Street Chinatown before proceeding to the Masonic Cemetery at Tumwater.  He was later reinterred at Calvary Cemetery, Seattle.

Sam Fun Locke Family, 1905
Courtesy of Hugh Locke

Sam Fun  Locke Family ca. 1930
Courtesy of Hugh Locke

 

Locke Suey Kay , emigrated around 1900, and brought his wife Lam Shee, and their first two children to Olympia in 1915.  Locke Suey Kay , known locally as Charley Kay, worked as a cook in Olympia.  He was employed for a time at Doane’s Oyster House and, along with many other Olympia Chinese, at the Hotel Olympian.

In 1928 the Kay family opened the Nankin Cafe on the north side of Fourth Avenue between Columbia and Capitol Way.  During the depression Charley worked in Seattle.  Lam Shee Kay, with the help of their children, opened Kay’s Cafe on Capital Way in 1941,  which continued operation through 1976.

 

Lam Shee Kay immigration photo, 1915
Photo courtesy of the Kay Family

Kay Family, ca. 1920s
Photo courtesy of the Kay Family

 

Also among the young Chinese men seeking work in Olympia in the early 1900s was Suey Gim Locke, grandfather of Washington State Governor [1996-2004] Gary Locke.  Governor Locke acknowledged his family’s early connection to Olympia in his 1997 Inaugural Address, excerpted here in a press release:

Locke, the first Chinese-American governor in the nation’s history, traced his family’s roots in Washington from his grandfather’s arrival in the state nearly 100 years ago. His grandfather, Suey Gim Locke, worked as a “house boy” for a family in Olympia, where he learned English in return for his work.

“Although I may be standing less than a mile from where our family started its life in America, we’ve come a long way,” the new governor said.

http://www.digitalarchives.wa.gov/governorlocke/speeches/speech-view.asp?SpeechSeq=107

 

Next Section: Chinese Cemetery

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Olympia’s Historic Chinese Community – Market Gardens

By the 1870s some of Olympia’s Chinese residents earned their keep as market gardeners.  In fact, they were so efficient they effectively cornered the local produce market for some years.  Two or more crops annually were common, and some even harvested wild blackberries which were offered for sale along with garden produce:

We are asserting only what everybody knows to be a fact, when we say that, until the arrival of our Chinese gardeners, all our earliest small fruits and vegetables came by steamer from San Francisco, for which we paid exorbitant prices.  Now, through the native tact and indomitable energy of Chinamen, these fruits and vegetables are raised from our own soil and brought to our doors, weeks earlier than ever they were produced by white men.

Olympia: Washington Standard, June 20, 1879.

In a 1933 interview, George Blankenship of Olympia recalled an early Chinese garden at the foot of the bluff below the Capitol Campus, along the tide flat.  This was later displaced by the Northern Pacific Railroad depot and switching yard when the Tacoma to Grays Harbor line was built around 1890.  The area is now part of Heritage Park.

One of Olympia’s early produce grower was Lum Jo.  Lum was also an herbalist and described himself in the census as the community doctor as well as a farmer.  His garden and small cabin were located at Eighth and Plumb Streets.  There is still a natural spring flowing at the site which Lum Jo used to irrigate his crops.  Known locally as “The Vegetable Man,”  Lum delivered his produce door to door in baskets he carried on a shoulder pole.  In 1889 the Washington Standard reported that a local gardener, possibly Lum Jo, had switched from shoulder pole baskets to a horse cart to make his deliveries.

In 1887 gardener, Wong Jong Hang, leased three acres located between the foot of Madison Street above West Bay Avenue on Olympia’s west side.  This site is also adjacent to a natural spring.  Terms of this lease included the use of a cabin already at the site, clearing of the land of stumps and other debris, and grading the steep bluff to a more gentle incline.  Evidently this was a successful endeavor, as plats for the development of the West Side in 1918 continued to show this site in use as a “China Garden.”

Yet another truck garden located near where Eastside Street now [2014] crosses the Interstate 5 freeway was developed around 1891 by Lock Chong and Le-u Choong and was one of the first leases recorded in the Stevens Addition plat.

It remains unclear whether these lease dates reflect the actual time of establishment of these gardens, due to the lack of formally recorded business agreements between local Chinese and the white community prior to the mid 1880s.  It may be that the gardens existed before the paperwork was filed.   Considering the tensions of the anti-Chinese era, whites and Chinese may have been reluctant to create a “paper trail.”  The appearance of these leases after the 1880s may reflect a lessening of anti-Chinese sentiments among whites.

 

Next Section: Families

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Olympia’s Historic Chinese Community – Restaurants

 

Restaurants were a pioneer business for Chinese immigrants.  Many early Chinese found employment as cooks for affluent families, at lumber camps and in hotels and rooming houses and learned this trade “on the job.”  Since opening a restaurant required a relatively small capital investment, it was a more accessible first enterprise.  While it is still unknown what the first Chinese owned restaurant in Olympia was, records show a number that came and went through the 1890s and early 1900s.  During the 1890s,local restaurateur Jim Ah Toone operated the historic Gold Bar Restaurant on lower Capitol Way, the site of the meeting of the first territorial legislature in 1853.

Lumber and plywood mills around the Olympia area operated three shifts a day.  Local Chinese-owned restaurants were among the few that stayed open late and opened early to serve the workers coming and going to their shifts.  Menus were not strictly Chinese cuisine; steak and eggs, ham, and potatoes were also available to hungry workers at reasonable prices.  The combination of extended hours and low prices enabled Chinese owned restaurants to compete in Olympia.

                   

The Pekin Cafe, ca. 1920.  This restaurant was located on the east side of Capitol Way between State Street and Fourth Avenue.  The Pekin Cafe advertised that they “…specialize in chop suey and noodles, [and] the choicest American dishes.”  The proprietor, Lock Hoy, went on to manage the Shanghai Cafe on Fifth Ave.

Henderson House Museum Photo

 

The Nan Young Cafe, which opened around 1918, operated at 116 West Fourth Street.  This became the Nankin Cafe after it was purchased by Charley Kay in 1928, but closed in the 1930s due to the depression.

Photo courtesy of Bill and Toy Kay

                                           

   

During the depression when opportunity was scarce in Olympia, Charley Kay worked in Seattle.  In order to make ends meet, his wife Lam Shee, with the help of their children, opened Kay’s Cafe in 1941 at 111 Capitol Way, The restaurant was operated by the Kay family at that location until 1976.

Photo courtesy of Bill and Toy Kay

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Olympia’s Historic Chinese Community – Laundries

A number of Chinese owned laundries existed in Olympia over the years.  As laundries required little start up capital, they were often the first business a recent Chinese immigrant could start.  Since profit margins were small, laundry operators had to cut expenses wherever possible.  For example, the continual need for wood to heat water prompted some of the Chinese engaged in the laundry business to collect bark and other waste wood from mills around Budd Inlet  They used rafts to transport it back to their laundries to use as fuel for heating water.

The 1870 Federal Census lists three Chinese laundries in Olympia.  One laundry, operated by Ung Cheung and Ung Naeg was the home of the only female Chinese resident listed in any local census of the time, Kow Kow, age 16 in 1870.

A few of the early laundries located away from the central Chinese quarters on Fourth Avenue.  Some of the earliest were located in the vicinity of the intersection of what is now State and Washington Streets, which was then waterfront.  Probably the earliest of these was the Shong Gong Laundry, located on the north side of State Street between Washington and Franklin Streets, the present site (2007) of the Intercity Transit station.  Early maps show a number of small Chinese laundries in this vicinity into the 1880s, probably supported by business from the various inns and boarding houses nearby.  Many disappear within a short time, evidence of the transitory nature of the business.  The Quong Dan Laundry, for example, appears on the northwest corner of the intersection of State and Washington streets in the late 1880s but is gone by 1896.

When the core of the Chinese community relocated to Fifth Street, the Kwong Hong Yick Laundry was the most substantial Chinese laundry in Olympia and operated into the early twentieth century.  There were usually about six to eight men who lived and worked at Kwong Hong Yick, and many who lived above the stores on Fifth Street were employed there.  Established around 1889, it may have been a continuation of the Yick Lee Laundry business which was located on Fourth Avenue next to Hong Yek and Company.  Kwong Hong Yick operated until 1913 at this location and then moved to new quarters on Capitol Way north of State St. when the Fifth St. Chinatown moved to Water St.

One of the longest lived laundries in Olympia was the Chong Lee laundry on the south side of State Street between Capitol Way and Washington Streets.  Initially, the Chong Lee laundry began business in 1891 at the northwest corner of  Columbia and State Streets in a one story frame building on piling, directly adjacent to Percival’s Dock.  By the early 1900s Chong Lee Laundry moved to the larger State Street location, where it operated until at least 1920.  This laundry changed hands a number of times.  Records show the owner/proprietors to be Lock Kung, Lock Suig and Lock Lee in 1910.

Parade on Third St. (present State St,)  the Chong Lee Laundry in the background.
Washington State Library Photo

 

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Olympia’s Historic Chinese Community – Chinatowns

The International Chinese Business Directory of the World for the Year 1913

Over the years Olympia’s main Chinese quarters were located in three places.  Available records show the earliest Chinatown was located ½ block west of Capital Way on Fourth Avenue, although some Chinese-owned businesses located near the intersection of State and Washington Streets.  The core of Chinatown consisted of several structures including at least one hand laundry and two small mercantiles.

As downtown expanded in the late 1880s, Chinese relocated their businesses to the corner of Fifth Avenue and Columbia Streets, on what was then the waterfront.  Five two-story wood frame buildings, housing the Hong Yek Kee Company, the Quong Yuen Sang Company and the Hong Hai Company were built on piles over tide flats.

In 1913 further expansion of the land area downtown through filling caused the Chinese owned stores to move a second time.  Five buildings moved from the Fifth Street site to the west side of Water Street, between Fourth and Fifth.  This was the third and final location of Olympia’s Chinatown.

 

 

The Chinese store was key to early Chinese community.  It served as a multi-purpose facility, providing many services to resident Chinese.  Inside, Chinese laborers found lodging, cooked their meals, sent and received mail, purchased supplies and socialized.  For the primarily young male Chinese immigrant population, leisure time was often boisterous, with drinking and gambling the favorite forms of passtime.  The Chinese merchants who operated these stores often rose to local prominence as representatives of the Chinese community, serving as liaisons between the Chinese and the white populations in business and government transactions.

     

By the 1890s Olympia Merchant Sam Fun Locke emerged as an important leader in the community.  He arrived in 1874 as a railroad laborer, but soon rose to senior partner of the Hong Yek Kee Company.  He served as banker for the laborers, many of whom spoke no English.   Sam Fun Locke used this money to finance new Chinese owned businesses in Olympia and as far away as Hoquiam and South Bend, keeping the funds in a metal box in his home above Hong Yek.

Three of the five buildings that made up Olympia’s Chinatown, ca. 1902, SE corner of 5th and Columbia Streets.  From left to right: “Chinese boarding house”  (partly shown,) Hong Yek Kee and Co. Import Mercantile and Labor Contracting, and the Kwong Hong Yick Laundry.  Note the firewood stacked on the side of Kwong Hong Yick,
used for fuel to heat water and the laundry drying platform built on the roof.
National Archives and Records Administration Photo.
NARA’s Pacific Alaska Region

                            

Interior of the Hong Yek Kee Mercantile.  Doorway on right looks across alley into the Kwong Hong Yick Laundry.
National Archives and Records Administration Photo.
NARA Pacific Alaska Region

 

By the early 1900s the local population of Chinese began to dwindle.  Restrictive immigration laws limited new arrivals to replace the aging population.  In addition, immigrant laborers from Japan filled many of the jobs that formerly employed Chinese.  Many of Olympia’s Chinese retired to larger population centers like Seattle or, if they were able, returned to their families in China.  By the early 1940s the old stores on Water Street were nearly vacant.  In 1943 the fire department deemed them hazardous and condemned them.  They were razed later that year; the same year the US repealed Chinese exclusion laws. 

                   

Olympia Fire Dept photo of the rear of Water St Chinatown ca1940
Digital Archives

 

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Olympia’s Historic Chinese History – Railroads and Riots

 

 

Chinese railroad section hands at the 
Tenino Northern Pacific Railroad depot, early 1880s

WSHS Image

In the early 1870s construction of the Northern Pacific Railroad in western Washington brought a large influx of new Chinese laborers to Olympia, adding to the existing population.  Excitement ran high locally over the approach of the rails and residents expected Olympia to be the terminus on Puget Sound.  When the Northern Pacific Railroad bypassed Olympia in favor of Tacoma in 1873, Olympia residents formed the Thurston County Railroad Construction Company and began building their own narrow gauge spur line to the main tracks at Tenino, fifteen miles to the south.  Initially conceived and implemented as a volunteer effort, work soon slowed to a crawl.  After the project languished for a time, the TCRCC hired a Chinese labor contractor identified in records as Jimmia to complete the project.  Jimmia recruited forty laborers for the task.  They completed the grading of the right of way and track laying.   Completed in 1878, historians consider the little railroad to have saved Olympia from economic oblivion and helped preserve its standing as the capitol.

 

Anti Chinese Era

By the the 1880s unemployed Euroamericans saw Chinese residents as unfair labor competition for scarce jobs.  Many whites derided Chinese, (who were relegated to lower earning status all along,) as detrimental to wages because they worked for less. Tragically, the Knights of Labor used this animosity to unite European immigrant laborers against the Chinese as a common foe.

In 1882, congress passed the first of several exclusionary immigration laws aimed specifically at the Chinese.  The goal was to stem the immigration of unskilled Chinese labor.  Further, US customs officials began requiring Chinese returning from overseas to pass detailed questionings about their families and places of residence to determine whether they might be entering the US under the identity of a legal resident.  Some Chinese bypassed this step and enter illegally, “blending” with the local population until able to speak enough English to get by on their own.

Organized agitation by white workers against the Chinese became increasingly violent.  In September of 1885, white miners at Rock Springs Wyoming attacked Chinese miners, driving them out of town and killing many in the process.  News of this incident emboldened radical anti-Chinese agitators in the Puget Sound region.  Several instances of violence against the Chinese culminated in November, when a white mob that included the Mayor and many prominent businessmen removed the entire Chinese population of Tacoma, and burned their homes and businesses.  Seattle citizens immediately attempted to follow suit, but Territorial Governor Watson Squire called in Federal Troops to keep peace and, for a time, Seattle lived under martial law.

Sporadic outbreaks of violence against the Chinese persisted throughout the winter.  Vigilantes burned Chinese railroad workers out of their homes on Christmas Eve at Tenino and elsewhere in Thurston County.  The men escaped only with their blankets.  When the federal troops finally left  Seattle in early February of 1886, citizens there reprised the “Tacoma Method.”

On February 8, 1886, agitators in Olympia also tried to emulate their counterparts to the north.  The prearranged signal was the ringing of the city fire bell.  Rioters converged on the Chinese dwellings on Fourth Avenue and demanded that the Chinese depart at once.  While the majority of the white population of Olympia approved of Chinese expulsion, they were also determined to uphold the rule of law.  The ambivalence of white Olympia residents over this issue is reflected in the resolution drafted at a town meeting the previous November in the aftermath of the Tacoma riot:

Be It Resolved: […] while we fully realize the fact that we have too much of the Chinese element in our midst, we as clearly recognize the fact that they are here in and by the virtue of law and treaty stipulations, and that we are decidedly opposed to their expulsion by force or by intimidation, or by any other unlawful means, but we will at all times give our aid and support to any measures looking to a peaceable and lawful riddance of that element and a final solution of the ‘Chinese question’

Town Meeting:  November 12, 1885 
Olympia: Washington Standard,  13 November 1885

During the riot Sheriff William Billings deputized many prominent Olympia residents and they patrolled the scene to maintain order.   While the deputies allowed the agitators to harass the Chinese , apparently none were forced to leave.   The deputized businessmen subsequently arrested the leaders of the “riot” who were tried, convicted of conspiracy, fined, and sentenced to prison at McNeil Island.

While shaken by these events, Chinese in Olympia kept their homes and businesses.  In addition, refugees escaping from violence in other cities came to the relative safety of Olympia, bolstering the small population.

Polk Directory listing “No Chinamen Employed”

 

Next article: Olympia’s Chinatowns

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Olympia’s Historic Chinese Community – Origins and Early Arrivals

During the latter half of the 19th century, the Puget Sound region received an influx of settlers from around the world.  Among them were immigrants from southeast China.  Many came to earn money to send to their struggling families, while others arrived planning to stay and make a new start.  These men and women provided a much needed labor force in constructing new towns in the region, including Olympia.

Long before the railroads, Chinese arrived to live and work in Olympia.  In September 1852, the first edition of the Columbian (the first newspaper published on Puget Sound) carried an advertisement for Olympia founder Edmund Sylvester’s Olympia House Hotel, which highlighted its “…accomplished Chinese cook.”  By the early 1860s, the annual celebration of Lunar New Year by the Chinese in Olympia received  regular mention  in the local press:

Chinese New Year.-  The Chinese Residents of our town kept up the a continual popping of firecrackers on Tuesday last, in honor of the commencement of new year.  John is about ten months ahead of us in this anniversary and celebrates in a much more becoming way.  His firecrackers and strong tea take the place of firearms and strong whiskey sometimes used by his more civilized brethren; and their hospitality on such occasions is immense.  They kept a supply of ‘hardware’ for the ‘mellicans’ but confined themselves mostly, we believe, to their tea.

Olympia: Washington Standard, 21 February 1863

Prior to the arrival of the Chinese, most of Olympia’s streets existed only on paper.  Hired by the town as contract laborers, these men built bridges, pulled stumps, and graded streets in and around what is now downtown.  Chinese also worked at many local manufacturing concerns, at lumber camps, and were employed extensively in the local oystering industry.  Some also served as crew on the early steamships that were the main form of transportation on Puget Sound.


Sun Wo, 1890s.

WSHS/Capitol Museum Photo

 

Chinese also found other opportunities.  Many became cooks or house servants for affluent families.  Chinese men operated commercial hand laundries, working long hours and living in their places of business to save money.  Others cultivated vegetables in gardens near town and delivered them door to door, the first locally grown commercial produce.

Community Life

Chinese immigrants with the same surname tended to congregate in the same towns.  Early on, Olympia emerged as a “Locke town.”  Family Associations, based on surname, language and village ties, were the foundation of early Chinese American communities.  Generally, those sharing the same surname were from the same vicinity in  China.   In the case of the Locke clan, this was the Toisan region of Guangdong Province, southeast China.

Most early Chinese immigrants were male.  In the absence of traditional family structure in America they relied on the services provided by the Family Associations to secure a place to live, employment, and legal representation.  In turn, they paid dues to the Association to support the various services it provided.

Next section: Railroads and Riots

Return to Main Page 

 

 

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New website feature “Where are we?”

I’m excited to announce the addition of a major new feature to the Olympia
Historical Society website. Called "Where are we?", this feature includes
separate pages about locations and buildings of historical interest in
Olympia. Each page has "then and now" photographs, brief description of
the location and its history,and multiple links. We currently have 30
locations on line, with more being added daily. The feature also includes
an interactive map, so you can click on a location of interest to pop up a
link to its associated page. In the near future we will be adding the
ability to screen the map for various "themes."

Click here for an orientation page, and then start having fun!
https://olympiahistory.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=322:welcome-to-qwhere-are-weq&catid=32:where-are-we&Itemid=50

This feature was developed by me, the Society’s web content "mistress,"
with able assistance of Brian Hovis (map developer) and Sean Krier (Society
webmaster).

We would love to have your help in developing pages for locations to add to
this site. We have plenty of sites to get you started with, or you may
suggest your own, and we’ll provide technical assistance. And, of course,
your financial assistance will ensure that the website continues to be
available. Go to our homepage and click on the membership button to make a
donation or to join the society.


Deborah Ross, on behalf of
The Olympia Historical Society
www.OlympiaHistory.org
To unsubscribe, send us an e-mail: olyhistory@gmail.com

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Olympia Historical Society and Bigelow House Museum Bylaws

 

AMENDED: DECEMBER 31, 2013, January 12, 2015, January 11, 2016, January 16, 2017, and January 20, 2018

Olympia Historical Society and Bigelow House Museum

 

Article I.      Purpose

 

Consistent with Article III of the Restated Articles of Incorporation, the purpose of the corporation is to preserve, protect, and promote the history and heritage of Olympia and of the Bigelow House.

 

 

Article II.      Registered Office and Registered Agent

 

The registered office of the corporation shall be located in the State of Washington at such place as may be fixed from time to time by the board of trustees upon filing of such notices as may be required by law, and the registered agent shall have a business office identical with such registered office. Any change in the registered agent or registered office shall be effective upon filing such change with the office of the Secretary of State of the State of Washington.

 

Article III.      Member Meetings

 

Section 3.01 Membership. Membership classes, the qualifications and rights of each class of members, and the dues for members may be established at the discretion of the board of trustees. The board of trustees must make the designation of such membership classes and the associated dues available to the members of this corporation and to the public. Each member shall be entitled to one vote.

 

Memberships for dues received shall run until the end of that calendar year, provided, however, that memberships for dues received after September 30th shall run until December 31st of the following year.

 

Section 3.02 Annual Meeting. The annual meeting of the members of this corporation, for the purpose of election of trustees and for such other business as may come before it, shall be held either (a) in the month of January of each and every year at such place and time as designated by the board of trustees and specified in the notice of the meeting, or (b) at such other place and time which may be within the State of Washington, as may be determined by the board of trustees and specified in the notice of the meeting. At each annual meeting, the board of trustees shall present a financial report for the past year to the members. Such report shall also be posted publicly.

 

Section 3.03 Special Meetings. Special meetings of the members of this corporation may be called at any time by the board of trustees. No business shall be transacted at any special meeting of the members except as is specified in the notice calling for said meeting. The place of any special meeting shall be such place, within the State of Washington, determined by the board of trustees and specified in the notice of the meeting.

 

Members may call a meeting of the membership at any time.  Thirty (30) percent of the current membership will be necessary to call a valid meeting.  All notification, quorum and voting requirements specified elsewhere in the Bylaws will be followed; the purpose of the meeting and an advance agenda will be provided to all members.  The President will chair the meeting and the Secretary will take minutes; in their absence the members assembled will elect a chairperson and recording secretary.  The “Rules for Conduct of Meetings” of the Olympia Historical Society and Bigelow House Museum will be followed.  Meeting minutes will be provided to all members within one week of the meeting.

 

Section 3.04 Notice of Meetings. Notice of annual or special meetings of the members stating the place, day, and hour of the meeting, and, in the case of a special meeting, the purpose or purposes for which the meeting is called, shall be given by the secretary or persons authorized to call the meeting to each member of record. Notice of annual meetings shall be given no less than one calendar month before the meeting date; notice of special meetings shall be given no less than one week before the meeting date.

 

(a)      Notices in writing may be delivered or mailed to the member at his or her address shown on the records of the corporation.  If notice is delivered via regular mail, the notice shall be deemed effective when deposited in the official government mail properly addressed with postage thereon prepaid.

 (b)      Notices may be provided in an electronic transmission and be electronically transmitted. Notice in an electronic transmission is deemed effective with respect to those members that have provided a valid e-mail address, location or system to which these notices may be electronically transmitted, unless the member has specifically requested notice by mail, or if the corporation is unable to electronically transmit two consecutive notices given by the corporation.  Notice provided in an electronic transmission is effective when it is electronically transmitted to an address, location or system designated by the recipient for that purpose.

 

Section 3.05 Quorum. Ten percent (10%) of the number of members of record shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business at any annual meeting or special meeting of the members. If a quorum is not present at a meeting, the board of trustees may adjourn the meeting from time to time without further notice.

 

Section 3.06 Membership Approval. Approval of the members, by majority vote, shall be required for: (i) mergers or a sale of all or substantially all of the assets of the corporation; (ii) amendment or restatement of the Articles of Incorporation of the corporation; or (iii) amendment or restatement of these Bylaws of the corporation that would result in an increase in the power of the board of the trustees.

 

Article IV.      Board of Trustees

 

Section 4.01 General Powers. The affairs of the corporation shall be managed by a board of trustees.

 

Section 4.02 Number. The number of trustees of the corporation shall be no less than nine (9) nor more than fifteen (15). Board positions, whether filled or vacant, shall be numbered with staggered terms as provided in section 4.03.

 

Section 4.03 Tenure; Qualification; Conflicts of Interest. Trustee terms shall be staggered and new trustees may be elected to complete unfilled terms.  Trustees shall serve three (3) year terms, except when elected or appointed to fill positions vacated before a term is completed.  Trustee terms shall expire at the end of the annual membership meeting.  This could result in terms that are slightly shorter or slightly longer than three (3) years.  Trustees must be members in good standing of the organization prior to election or appointment.   Trustees must disclose to the board of trustees any conflicts of interest, including personal interests in organizational programs, contracts, or other activities or membership or employment in organizations with competing missions.

 

Section 4.04 Election.

(a)      Nominating Committee. A nominating committee, appointed by the board of trustees, shall be formed at least two (2) months prior to the annual meeting to recommend a slate of trustees to the membership. This committee shall consist of three trustees whose positions will not expire in the following year.  The nominating committee shall (1) identify those current board members who have been appointed to fill vacant positions pursuant to paragraph 4.05 and whose positions are subject to ratification by the membership; (2) propose candidates to fill positions that are or will be vacant by virtue of the expiration of a term or have remained unfilled.

(b)      Member Vote. The trustees shall be elected at the annual meeting of the members, by an affirmative majority vote of the members present at a membership meeting.  Vacancies filled by Board appointment shall be subject to ratification by membership at the annual meeting.  No vote of membership to decrease the number of trustees shall operate to remove an incumbent trustee whose term has not yet expired.  Nominations for any vacant position or additional positions may also be made from the floor at the annual meeting.

 

Section 4.05 Vacancies. In the event of (a) any vacancy in the board of trustees resulting in board membership falling below nine (9), or (b) a vacancy of a board trustee who also held a board officer position, e.g. Treasurer, which cannot be filled by a current board member, the vacancy may be filled either by action of (a) a quorum of the board of trustees or (b) if no action has been taken by the board of trustees, then by a majority of the members present at a membership meeting.

 

 

Section 4.06.  Transition.  All board members elected or appointed between December 1, 2013 and December 31, 2014 shall serve the terms for which they were elected or appointed, without the need for further ratification by membership.  Thereafter, terms and positions shall be filled in accordance with these bylaws.

 

Section 4.07 Resignation. Any trustee may resign at any time by delivering an executed notice to the board of trustees or the president or secretary of the corporation. A resignation shall be effective when the notice is delivered, unless the notice specifies a later effective date.

 

Section 4.08 Removal of Trustees. A trustee may be removed from the board of trustees, by a majority vote of the remaining trustees, if the trustee has three unexcused absences, as defined by resolution of the board of trustees.

 

Section 4.09 Regular Meetings. Regular meetings of the board of trustees may be held at such place and on such day and hour as shall from time to time be fixed by resolution of the board of trustees. Regular meetings shall be held at least quarterly.

 

Section 4.10 Special Meetings. Special meetings of the board of trustees of this corporation may be called at any time by the president, secretary or a majority of the trustees. No business shall be transacted at any special meeting of the board of trustees except as is specified in the notice calling for said meeting. The place of any special meeting shall be such place, within or without the State of Washington, determined by the board of trustees and specified in the notice of the meeting.

 

Section 4.11 Notice of Meetings. Notice of regular or special meetings of the board of trustees stating the place, day, and hour of the meeting, and, in the case of a special meeting, the purpose or purposes for which the meeting is called, shall be given by the secretary or persons authorized to call the meeting to each trustee. Notice of regular or special meetings shall be given no less than one week before the meeting date.

 

(a)      Notices in writing may be delivered or mailed to the trustee at his or her address shown on the records of the corporation.  If notice is delivered via regular mail, the notice shall be deemed effective when deposited in the official government mail properly addressed with postage thereon prepaid.

 (b)      Notices may be provided in an electronic transmission and be electronically transmitted. Notice in an electronic transmission is deemed effective  with respect to those trustees that have provided a valid e-mail address,  location or system to which these notices may be electronically transmitted, unless the trustee has specifically requested notice by mail or if the corporation is unable to transmit two consecutive notices given by the corporation.    Notice provided in an electronic transmission is effective when it is electronically transmitted to an address, location or system designated by the recipient for that purpose.

 (c)      Notice of regular or special board meetings stating the place, day, and hour of the meeting, and, in the case of a special meeting, the purpose or purposes for which the meeting is called, shall be given by the secretary or persons authorized to call the meeting to each member of record. Such notice shall expressly state that members are welcome to attend board meetings.

 

Section 4.12 Quorum and Voting. A majority of the number of trustees specified in or fixed in accordance with these Bylaws shall constitute a quorum, but a lesser number may adjourn any meeting from time to time until a quorum is obtained, and no further notice thereof need be given. If a quorum is present when a vote is taken, the affirmative vote of a majority of the trustees present at the meeting is an act of the board.

 

Section 4.13 Presumption of Assent. A trustee of the corporation who is present at a meeting of the board of trustees at which action on any corporate matter is taken shall be deemed to have assented to the action taken unless: (1) the trustee objects at the beginning of the meeting, or promptly upon the trustee’s arrival, to holding it or transacting business at the meeting; (2) the trustee’s dissent or abstention from the action taken is entered in the minutes of the meeting; or (3) the trustee delivers notice of the trustee’s dissent or abstention to the presiding officer of the meeting before its adjournment or to the corporation within a reasonable time after adjournment of the meeting. The right of dissent or adjournment is not available to a trustee who votes in favor of an action taken.

 

Section 4.14 Action Without Meeting. Any corporate action required or permitted by the Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws or the Washington Nonprofit Corporation Act, to be voted upon or approved at a duly called meeting of the board of trustees or a committee of trustees may be accomplished without a meeting if one or more unanimous consents of the respective trustees or committee members entitled to vote on the actions, setting forth the actions so taken shall be executed by all the trustees or committee members entitled to vote thereon, as the case may be.

 

Such consents may be executed in counterpart. The consents may be executed before or after the action is taken. Action taken by unanimous consent of the trustees or a committee of the trustees is effective when the last trustee or committee member executes the consent, unless the consent specifies a later effective date.

 

Section 4.15 Committees.  The President may appoint committees after consultation with the trustees.  Both trustees and members may serve on committees, provided that each committee shall be chaired by a trustee appointed by the President. 

 

(a)   Bigelow House Operations Committee. There shall be a standing 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 V.      Officers

 

Section 5.01 Officers Designated. The officers of the corporation shall be a president, a vice president, a secretary and a treasurer, each of whom shall be elected by the board of trustees at the first board meeting following the annual meeting. Such other officers and assistant officers as may be deemed necessary may be elected or appointed by the board of trustees. Any two (2) or more offices may be held by the same person.

 

Section 5.02 Term of Office. Each officer shall hold office for a one (1) year term, subject to the provisions of Section 5.01, which could result in a term that is slightly shorter or slightly longer than one year.  Terms of officers will end at the first board meeting following the annual meeting, unless re-elected.

 

Section 5.03 Powers and Duties.

 (a)      President. Unless otherwise determined by the board of trustees, the president shall be the chairperson of the board and, subject to the direction and control of the board of trustees, shall have general charge and supervision over its property, business and affairs. The president shall preside at meetings of the members and the board of trustees.

 (b)      Vice President. In the absence of the president or the president’s inability to act, the vice president shall act in the president’s place and stead and shall have all the powers and authority of the president, except as limited by resolution of the board of trustees.

 (c)      Secretary. The secretary shall: (i) keep the minutes of the meetings of the members and the board of trustees; (ii) see that all notices are duly given in accordance with the provisions of these Bylaws or as required by law; (iii) be custodian of the corporate records; (iv) keep, or cause to be kept, a register of the post office address or email address of each member which shall be furnished to the secretary by each member; and (v) in general perform all duties incident to the office of secretary and such other duties as from time to time may be assigned to the secretary by the president or the board of trustees.

 (d)     Treasurer. Subject to the direction and control of the board of trustees, the treasurer shall have custody, control, and disposition of the funds of the corporation and shall account for the same.

 

Article VI.      Staff

 

Such staff of the corporation, including without limitation, an executive director, as may be deemed necessary may be hired by the board of trustees.

 

 

 

 

Article VII.      Financials

 

Section 7.01 Fiscal Year. The fiscal year of the corporation shall be the calendar year.

 

Section 7.02 Signor Convention. Two signatures will be required on all checks and account withdrawal and transfer documents in the name of the corporation. Signatures may be any combination of the president, vice-president or treasurer.

 

Section 7.03 Donation Acceptance Policy. Items offered for donation, whether monetary or otherwise, that have restrictions placed on the donation will be accepted or refused by a majority of the board of trustees.

 

Article VIII.      Amendments to Bylaws

 

Section 8.01 By the Members. These Bylaws may be amended, altered, or repealed by a 2/3 vote of those members attending at any annual meeting or special meeting of the members; provided that, in the case of a special meeting, notice of the proposed alteration or amendment is contained in the notice of the meeting.

 

Section 8.02 By the Board of Trustees. Except as otherwise provided herein, these Bylaws may be amended, altered, or repealed by a 2/3 vote of the board of trustees at any regular or special meeting of the board.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Welcome to “Where Are We?”

This feature of our website includes separate pages for historic locations and buildings throughout Olympia. Each location has side-by-side photographs, with brief descriptions of the history and importance of the location, followed by links to other photographs and information. New locations are being added every day, so check back often!

We seek your help in adding to this feature! If you would like to research a location or building for this section, please contact us at Olyhistory@gmail.com, and we can either assign you a location, or you can suggest your own.

You can search for locations in several ways:

  • Use the interactive map and click on a location or theme of interest. A popup box will allow you to click to a page describing the location and its history
  • Scroll through the list of locations on our Contents Page
  • A random virtual “stroll”: Start with the Harris Dry Goods Building, then scroll through the pages by following the “Go to the next location” link at the bottom of each page
  • Enter any search term on our search page (this will take you to any place on our website where this term is found, including the “where are we” listings)

Each location is identified by address and may include one or more themes, shown near the top of the page. The interactive map allows you to search for locations that fall under particular themes, so you can develop your own walking tour or list.  Themes to date include:

  • Registered properties or districts: Local, State and National Registered properties and districts
  • Diversity: locations that have significance for our rich ethnic and cultural diversity
  • Transportation
  • Popular Culture
  • Schools
  • Women’s History
  • Wohleb: buildings designed or remodeled by Wohleb brothers
  • Religious Institutions
  • Mid-century Modern: built between 1949 and 1974

Unless noted, all text is written by Deborah Ross, Olympia Historical Society web content master. Thanks to Brian Hovis for interactive maps, to photographers Matthew Kennelly and Benjamin Helle, and others who provided information and assistance as noted on individual pages.

 

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Meet a Family: Charles and Zoe Chaenn

by Richard Edwards

Charles Chaenn was born in France in January 1839 to John Chaenn and Madelina Juliet. According to local oral tradition, he served in the French military before entering the United States. He was married on 15 March 1876 to Mari Zoe (maiden name unknown, born in France about 1849) in Texas.

Charles and Zoe (as she is usually referred to) were in Thurston County by early 1879 where he is listed as a Farmer in the territorial census. In 1884 they purchased 80 acres of Section 7, Township 16 North, Range 1 West from Avery Gilmore for $600.

This area just north of Tenino would become known as Chaenn Hill, though spelled many ways over the decades including Chain, Chaen and Chane. In 1885 they purchased lots in Olympia now located on the corner of Capitol Way and 18th Ave SE. In 1887 Charles is listed in the city directory as running a saloon on Main (Capitol Way) near the city limits.

In 1888 a well publicized legal battle between Zoe and her husband ended up in Territorial District Court where amid criminal charges involving Adultery and Selling Liquor without a License (against Zoe though she was not found guilty) they were granted a divorce in 1889. By 1890 Zoe was running a saloon on Main (Capitol Way) between 16th and 17th according to the city directory but nothing after that is known of her.

Charles Chaenn appears to have retired to his farm at Chaenn Hill, though he also spent a brief time around 1900 serving as a gardener for Edward Wittler in Seattle where he also married a second time (to Lisette Schmidt) though it appears they soon divorced as well. By 1903 Charles was living back on his farm in Thurston County. His health declining, in 1909 he sold his land for $1 to Wilbur F Blue in return for being cared for by Wilbur’s wife, Margaret.Charles died on 4 March 1910 from “general breakdown and old age.” He was buried at county expense in Forest Cemetery, Tenino.

This newsletter series will help you become acquainted with some of the families whose names you see in our local history, neighborhoods, and street signs. Their intentional brevity will hopefully pique your curiosity and consequent research. We welcome contributions from our members and friends.

Richard Edwards is a retired librarian with the Washington State Library. He is a member of the Southwest Thurston County Historical Society

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McArdle House

Location: 223 19th Ave SW
Local register; South Capitol National Historic District

McArdle House 1939, Thurston County Assessor, Washington State ArchivesMcArdle House now (2013), photo by Deb Ross

This handsome Foursquare House, with two stories of bay windows, was built around 1906. It is named after long-time residents L.D. and Fannie McArdle. L.D. was a legislator from Jefferson County who was an avid collector of historical ephemera. The house is very well preserved and is on the local register as well as located in the South Capitol National Historic District.

Additional resources:

Olympia Heritage inventory

South Capitol National Historic District

 

 

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2014 Holiday Tour of Homes

Sunday, December 7, 2014
12:00 noon to 4:00 PM
$20 per person

Purchase tickets at
∗Drees
524 Washington St SE
Popinjay
414 Capitol Way SE
Thompson Furniture
5407 Capitol Blvd SE, Tumwater, WA 98501
(360) 357-6342
∗On day of tour:
Bigelow House
918 Glass Avenue NE∗or NEW! Prepay with credit or debit card for tickets here (no Paypal account required):

2014 Holiday Tour


Print out Paypal receipt and bring it with you to the Bigelow House on December 7 to exchange for ticket(s)


[meteor_slideshow]
Tour locations (see map below):
Bigelow House, 918 Glass Ave NE
∗Kaler House, 909 Glass Ave NE
∗Bigelow-Bailey House, 936 Glass Ave
∗Patnude House, 1239 8th Ave SE
∗William White House, 1431 11th Ave SE
∗Backlund House, 616 Boundary St SE
∗Meyer-Chitty House, 618 Milas St NE

All proceeds benefit Olympia Historical Society and Bigelow House Museum

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Contact

 

For research queries: submit your query by linking to our query form: Queries. You may also email your query to olyhistoryresearch@gmail.com,

For website content suggestions and corrections, membership questions, to be added to bulletins, newsletters, and blogs, and all other communications, email olyhistory@gmail.com

To contact the Board or for suggestions about programs and activities, e-mail us at: olyhistory@gmail.com

To tour Bigelow House: Reservations are not required to tour the Bigelow House Museum during regular hours. To schedule a tour of the Bigelow House Museum outside of normal opening hours, contact bigelowhousemuseum@gmail.com. All of our tours are operated by volunteer docents who may or may not be available to provide tours outside regular hours. Please contact us at least 5 days ahead of time to arrange a special tour.

Mailing address:

 OHS-BHM
PO Box 1821 
Olympia, WA 98507
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Saturday Meeting canceled, stay tuned

Due to the unusually bad weather, Board President Mark Foutch has asked me
to let you know that Saturday’s annual meeting has been canceled. We will
try to reschedule for a time not too far in the future – I will send an
update as soon as I hear when that will be.

Deborah Ross, on behalf of
The Olympia Historical Society
www.OlympiaHistory.org
To unsubscribe, send us an e-mail: olyhistory@gmail.com

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Fenske: Captain Calvin Hale and his House on Tullis Street

Captain Calvin Hale and his House on Tullis Street

by Lois J. Fenske

There is a unique house on the corner of Tullis and Pine streets in North East Olympia.  According to the description from the City of Olympia:  “This charming Queen Anne-style cottage was built for Captain Calvin Hale and his second wife, Pamela Case Hale in 1882.  The Hale House, though small in scale, captures all the spirited elements of the popular Queen Anne style: irregular profile and floor plan, steeply pitched roof, large front porch, elaborate use of fancy shingles, turned posts and other decorative millwork.”

It is currently a private residence as it was when it was built in 1882.  The unpretentious house is listed on the National and Washington State Registers of Historic Places as well as the Olympia Heritage Register.

Calvin Henry Hale was born 26 June 1818 in Norridgewock, Somerset County, Maine.  His father was Ebenezer Hale (1784-1861) and his mother was Ann Dinsmore (1788-1861).

Captain Hale was a master seaman and boat builder.  He married Waitstill Look in about 1841.  According to the 1850 census, they lived in Lincolnville, Waldo County, Maine with two sons, Henry Calvin, born 25 September 1842, and Samuel Look, born in 1846.  They had a daughter, Nancy A., born in late 1850, after the census was taken.

In 1851 Captain Hale, his wife and three young children decided to head west, but not overland.  They boarded a ship that took the family around Cape Horn to Olympia where he obtained a 320 acre donation land claim in North East Olympia.

In all of the federal, state and territorial census from 1860 on, Captain Hale was listed as a farmer (or agriculturist or horticulturist), but he made much more of an impact on his new home in Olympia than just as a farmer.

Captain Hale had been a legislator in Maine and he became active in local affairs soon after his arrival in Olympia.  In 1852 he attended the Monticello Convention and served in the first territorial legislature. At one time, he was the Thurston County Coroner and was on the Olympia City Council.  He also helped establish the Puget Sound Wesleyan Institute, the first school of higher education in the State.  (The original building still exists near the Capital Campus and is used as a private residence.)  Captain Hale was also on the first Board of Regents of the University of Washington.

In 1862, Captain Hale was appointed by President Abraham Lincoln to the post of Superintendent of Indian Affairs for the Washington and Idaho Territories.  In this capacity he was involved in the Treaty of 1863 with the Nez Perce tribe, among many other treaties over the years.

These were busy years for Captain Hale and Waitstill, Calvin with his local civic duties, his Indian Affairs responsibilities, and, of course, being a farmer.

Waitstill died 4 December 1870 and had been bedridden during the last six years of her life, having injured her spine in a fall.

On 17 August 1872, Captain Hale married Mrs. Pamela C. Case. They had one child, a son, Paul Eaton Hale, born in 1873.  Pamela was a respected school teacher, an astute busiiness woman and a founding member of the Olympia Woman’s Club.  In 1882, she became the first woman ever elected as Thurston County’s Superintendent of Public Schools.

1882 was also the year that the Hales had their house on Tullis Street built.  Captain Hale was only able to enjoy the house for five years.  He died in 1887.

Take a Sunday drive and look at this delightful little house.  It is worth saving for Olympia and the state’s and nation’s historic value.

 

Sources:

Various federal, state and territorial census.

Internet, City of Olympia’s Historic Places.

Internet, Monticello Convenstion Commemoration, Calvin Henry Hale.

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Newsletter available on line

Good morning!

The Winter 2011 Newsletter of the Olympia Historical Society is available
for your reading pleasure at
https://olympiahistory.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&layout=blog&id=20&Itemid=39

<https://olympiahistory.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&layout=blog&id=20&Itemid=39>The
newsletter features greetings from our current and outgoing president and
current secretary, a feature article about the historic Loft on
Cherry/Olympia Knitting Mills space, currently slated for demolition, and a
tentative calendar of meeting dates for 2011.

As always, we welcome your comments. Feel free to forward this message or
link to others whom you feel would be interested.


Deborah Ross, on behalf of
The Olympia Historical Society
www.OlympiaHistory.org

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Olympia Historical Society Bulletin – upcoming events and newsletter deadline

Happy New Year to all of you history lovers in our midst! January promises
to be a busy month with lots of events to participate in. Here are some we
know of:

– January 5, 6:30-8:30 PM: Wood Window restoration. This is part of
the Do-it-Yourself Wednesdays! Workshops, Hosted by Olympia Supply Co, 625
Columbia St. Olympia. With each Workshop: Get a 15% Off Coupon at Oly
Supply, and a chance to win free products worth $30 or more!

– January 10, noon, State Capital Museum: Arrowheads, Dart Points, and
Knives, Oh My! Stone Tool Technology of the Southern Puget Sound. Scott
Williams, Cultural Resources program manager at Washington’s Department of
Transportation, will discuss the history of stone tools and technologies in
the South Sound with a slide presentation and hands-on artifact display.

– January 17, 7:30: The Olympia Power and Sail Squadron has invited John
Dodge to speak on the history of Olympia’s estuary and waterfront, as part
of its regular January meeting. The Squadron has graciously invited Olympia
Historical Society members and friends to attend John’s talk. The event will
be held at the Yacht Club (near Bayview Market)

The winter 2011 issue of the Olympia Historical Society newsletter will be
issued towards the end of January. 2010 and 2011 members who wish to place a
*free *ad in the newsletter should e-mail their image and/or copy
(preferably in jpg format) to the above address no later than January 10.
This is a great way to advertise your business, organization, book, etc.
The newsletter editor is always interested in hearing your stories
about Olympia – for example, your family, events from your youth or
childhood. One or two paragraphs can always be accommodated. If you are
interested in submitting a longer, feature, article, please contact us for
use in a future issue.
Another great format for sharing your memories is our Facebook page
(Olympia Historical Society), also maintained by our newsletter editor Mark
Derricott. It has lively discussions about all sorts of historical subjects,
including a new "This week in Olympia’s history" feature. If you visit this
page, and become a "fan" you will receive updates on your Facebook home page
whenever there is a new post.

And speaking of membership: if you haven’t done so already, don’t forget to
send in your renewal. Your dues help to pay for our website, brochures and
collection, as well as contributions to other important history-related
organizations and events.


Deborah Ross, on behalf of
The Olympia Historical Society
www.OlympiaHistory.org

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Reminder – annual meeting and potluck this Saturday

This is one last reminder about the Olympia Historical Society’s Second
Annual potluck and annual meeting this Saturday, December 4, starting at 5
PM at the Coach House of the State Capitol Museum, co-sponsored by the
Washington State Historical Society. Please bring a dish to share and your
own plates and cutlery. There is sure to be lively discussion and exchange
of news and ideas. We will be sending Lois and Sue off to well-deserved
retirements from the board, and electing two new board members to take their
places.

Bring yourself and a friend or two – and your checkbook if you have not yet
renewed your membership for 2011.


Deborah Ross, on behalf of
The Olympia Historical Society
www.OlympiaHistory.org

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Fall Newsletter

The Olympia Historical Society’s Fall Newsletter is now available for your
viewing at
https://olympiahistory.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&layout=blog&id=19&Itemid=38

Enjoy, and have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Deborah Ross, on behalf of
The Olympia Historical Society
www.OlympiaHistory.org

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Olympia Historical Society Bulletin

“‘Come Softly to Me’:  Gretchen Christopher of the Fleetwoods.”   Saturday February 19th at 1:00 p.m. at the Coach House at the State Capital Museum, 211 21st Avenue SW.  Gretchen Christopher of the Fleetwoods will tell the story of this famous group as part of Olympia’s music history.  Ms. Christopher will also have CDs for sale and autographing at the event.

Also coming up in February:

February 14, noon: State Capital Museum ongoing lecture series presents: The Civilian Conservation Corps in Washington State Parks — A Long-Term Investment
This lecture is presented by Ryan Karlson, Interpretive Program Manager, Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission. The Civilian Conservation Corps played a significant role in the early development of Washington’s state park system. This program will highlight the accomplishments of the CCC and the lasting benefits of their work, including local examples such as Millersylvania State Park. $2 suggested donation

Though not, strictly speaking, a part of Olympia history, OHS friends and members will not want to miss the upcoming exhibit about the Klee Wyk artist cooperative at Tacoma’s Washington State History Museum. Long-time State Capital Museum curator Del McBride was part of this cooperative. On Thursday February 17 from 4 to 6 PM, at the WSHS museum you can meet Del’s brother Bud and his fellow and Klee Wyk partner Richard Schneider to kick off this exhibit.

State Capital Museum: February 21, 1 PM: Special Lecture in honor of President’s Day—
Michael Allen: The Formative Years of Presidents Truman and Reagan

Michael Allen, Professor of History at the University of Washington, Tacoma and Washington State Historical Society’s Board of Directors. Harry Truman and Ronald Reagan rank alongside the two Roosevelts—Theodore and Franklin—as the four most pivotal U.S Presidents of the 29th Century. But Truman and Reagan came from very different background than the two New Yorkers. This talk will discuss the formative Midwestern upbringing of Truman and Reagan, both Mississippi Valley men strongly impacted by the culture of the American heartland. Book signing with Professor Allen to follow program.

The deadline has been extended for nominations for the Washington State Historical Society’s annual awards  recognizing excellence in advancing the field of history in the state of Washington through writing, teaching, historic projects, understanding cultural diversity and voluntarism. Nominations are now due February 24, 2011.

For further information about the awards program, contact Society 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

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Fwd: Traffic Problem – Take Another Route to the OHS meeting

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: <ralph.bship@comcast.net>
Date: Sat, Oct 16, 2010 at 8:04 AM
Subject: Traffic Problem
To: Olympia History <olyhistory@gmail.com>, "Bowen, Karen" <
bowenkap@comcast.net>, "Ross, Deb" <nrgdeb@msn.com>, "Hupe, Russ" <
grhupe@scattercreek.com>, "Krier, Sean" <
seankrier.olympiahistory@blogger.com>, "Goff, Susan" <scdgoff@comcast.net>,
"Fenske, Lois" <lfenske@comcast.net>, "Derricott, Mark" <
markderricott@gmail.com>

To OHS members

I am reading in this mornings Olympian that the I-5 exit to the State
Capitol is closed today. Plan another route.

See you at the meeting

Ralph


Deborah Ross, on behalf of
The Olympia Historical Society
www.OlympiaHistory.org

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Olympia Historical society bulletin

There are several upcoming events to put on your calendars. We hope to see you at one or more of these!

*First*, remember our membership meeting coming up soon on October 16. It will be held at the State Capitol Museum. We begin as usual with a members-only “meet and greet” in the dining room at 10:30, followed by a short business meeting and a presentation by Roger Easton on the Olympia trolley system. OHS president Ralph Blankenship will bring in an actual piece of the trolley still attached to a piece of the old Fourth Avenue bridge. This event is cohosted by the Washington State Historical Society and State Capitol Museum.

Clarification/correction: In my last bulletin, I indicated that these events are free to the public. While there is no extra charge to attend the presentation, WSHS charges a $2 fee to enter the museum itself. HOWEVER, WSHS has generously agreed to waive this fee for members of the Olympia Historical Society. If you are a member (or wish to join at the meeting), come to the meet and greet event at 10:30 to receive a “ticket” that will grant you free admission to the museum and the presentation for the day. The OHS Board has also agreed that joining in October will extend you membership through 2010 and 2011. Existing members may wish to pay their 2011 dues at the same time.

*Second*, the Heritage Center, in conjunction with other sponsoring agencies, are once again presenting a Basics of Archives workshop to be held at a variety of locations throughout the region. “The Basics of Archives” is a free workshop that will equip you with practical advice, sample forms and policies, and the basics of care for archival materials. Workshops will be held in three locations from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.: National Archives Pacific-Alaska Region in Seattle (October 14), Eastern Washington Regional Archives in Cheney (October 21), and Pierce County Public Works Environmental Services Building, University Place (October 29).  Pre-registration is required by October 8. Enrollment 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 registration is required with all types of payments.

* *

*HURRY! Reduced fee for “Early Bird” registration ends October 6!*

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WordPress Resources at SiteGround

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WordPress tutorial
The WordPress tutorial at SiteGround shows how and where to actually start creating your blog site. It includes installation and theme change instructions, management of WordPress plugins, upgrade and backup manuals, and more.

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SiteGround servers are fully-optimized to accommodate WordPress-powered websites. Free installation of WordPress is also included in the hosting services provided by SiteGround.

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Summer Newsletter Available!

The Olympia Historical Society’s Summer 2010 Newsletter is available on line
for your reading and viewing pleasure! Link to it here:
https://olympiahistory.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&layout=blog&id=18&Itemid=36
, or, go to our website olympiahistory.org and click on the Newsletter menu
for this and previous issues.

I’m sure you will enjoy, as we have, the feature article by Elizabeth Bret,
a descendant of Samuel W and John C Percival – it’s delightful.

While you are visiting our website, check out its new features, including
improved Calendar information. Highlights of the upcoming summer season
include the State Capitol Museum’s summer film festival, and the celebration
of the 100th anniversary of the Sandman in August. In early fall, you will
have the opportunity to join our sister organization and newest member of
OHS, the Lacey Historical Society, for its exciting annual meeting,
featuring celebrated developments in Lacey’s early history.

Speaking of summer, we will be switching to a summer schedule and sending
out only one bulletin a month, instead of the usual two. So keep close to
the website for scheduled events and activities, and get out in the sun if
and when it appears!

Deborah Ross, on behalf of
The Olympia Historical Society
www.OlympiaHistory.org

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Summer Newsletter Available!

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 party. There will be live music, honored guests, various community information resources, food booths, and even a few (short) speeches. The speaking part of the program will take place between 12:45 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. Several sister tugboats will also visit for the event. We hope you can attend!

sandman

The Sand Man Foundation is a nonprofit organization that has owned the boat for the past decade.  The mission of the Foundation has been to restore the 60 ft. vessel and to operate the boat as a floating museum, dedicated to preserving some of the maritime history of Olympia and South Puget Sound. The boat is open to the public, free of charge, on most weekends, year-round. You are cordially invited to come to Percival Landing in Olympia and visit this historic vessel.  Until then, enjoy some of the photos of Sand Man’s history and restoration on the website www.tugsandman.org.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Sandman

M

Click here for instructions/tips on using links provided. Links in bold face are to scanned images; others to detailed descriptions or other information.

Mabie
Jeremiah, territorial librarian

Mack
Sierra Nevada, nee Cook
Thomas M., WSHS C1970.28.64
Thomas S., see Thomas S. Ball

Macleay
Annie, nee Frost
Thomas Moore, opened store in Olympia in 1860s, Georgiana p. 244,, photo following p. 244; TCP
Elizabeth, Olympia High School 1909 graduate,  C1951.8.17

Mahard
William, settled near Nathan Eatons in 1853, TCP

Mallory
Henry, machinist at Springer & White, see Mallory House in Where Are We?

Manier
David, WSHS C1990.25.7
Martha Elizabeth, married Henry McCray, WSHS C1990.25.1
Will, OHS student, WSHS C1951.8.15

Mann
MannChampion Champion Bramwell, son of Sylvester, arrived Olympia 1870 – businessman and county official, TCP, succeeded his father as territorial librarian;
photo from TCP
Evangeline St. Claire – nee Brewer
Ida, nee Lemon, married Lyman Mann
Lyman, son of Sylvester

wshs_S_H_Mann1
Sylvester
, circuit riding minister, later territorial librarian (photo from Territorial Librarians page); WSHS C1943.1010.2

Manning
Alma, married Fred Stocking, WSHS C1949.1298.3 

Manville
Chester, C1982.18.30.21
Emma, nee Hood, married Ira Manville
Ira, WSHS C1952.226.27
Israel, Land Agent,  C1982.18.30.21

Mapleby
Bert, OHS student, WSHS C1951.8.15

Marcus
Annie,
married Mitchel Harris, WSHS C1961.306.1

Marcy
Record Image ThumbnailAda, married Dodge, photo from Digital Archives, see also photo of Dodge family here, and photo with brother Harry linked below
Record Image Thumbnail
Harry,
photo from Digital Archives
Mary Jane,  nee Proseus

Maris
Amanda, married William G. White
Drusilla, mother in law of William G. White, C1945.141.1

Markham
Cora, married Duncan Bigelow, OCI student,  C1950.1117.1.31.4

Marr
Laura Belle, OCI Student,  C1950.1117.1.21.1, C1951.303.3.16
Marr_R
Robert
, proprietor of Acme Drug Store, see Olympia Tribune Souvenir Issue

Mars
Mars
James
, proprietor of Our House restaurant, see Olympia Tribune Souvenir Issue

Martin
Martin_A
Alfred
, private secretary to Hon. Charles Laughton, see Olympia Tribune Souvenir Issue

Ann, nee Yantis
McCurdy  C1961.1185.6
Katherine, daughter of Bertha Eugley (see Eugley), married McCurdy Martin and later Musgrove
Sarah, daughter of William and Ann, WPA (note link will open a large PDF file, not suitable for dial-up connection)
William, early Tumwater settler, WPA (see above note)

Mason
Record Image Thumbnail
Charles H.,
first territorial secretary and acting governor under Isaac Stevens, image from Digital Archives
D.P., WSHS C1952.226.35
Frances (Frankie), daughter of Z.C.,
Z.C. Mason House, corner of 8th and Pear WSHS C1964.26.4.15.2
Z.C., owned Olympia Iron Works

Matson
Gertrude, OHS student, WSHS C1951.8.15
Oliver, OHS student, WSHS C1951.8.15

Maynard
Lucy, married Dr. Redpath

McAfferty
Green, arrived Olympia 1852 served as Indian scout for Governor Stevens, TCP, Democratic representative from South Bay, Pioneer and Democrat
 July 22, 1854, reports on progress of Indian hostilities in Walla Walla, Feb 15, 1856, Pioneer and Democrat

McAllister
Elizabeth, married Isaac Hawk, WSHS C1978.52.1, C1978.52.4, Thurston County History in Photos
James, very early “Boston” settler, arrived 1846 with Simmons/Bush party,
farmed Bush Prairie then settled in Nisqually, TCP, vice president of committee to celebrate July 4, Columbian June 25, 1853, appointed county commissioner, Pioneer and Democrat, April 22, 1854, elected First Lieutenant in Indian Wars, Pioneer and Democrat Oct. 26, 1855, death and funeral in Indian Wars, Pioneer and Democrat, Nov. 7, 1855, murder of Quiemuth as possible retaliation for his death, Pioneer and Democrat Nov 25, 1856
John Wesley, cousin of James
Mary Jane, nee Thomas, married John Wesley before coming to Puget Sound
Record Image Thumbnail
Sarah
, married David Hartman, photo from Digital Archives

McBratney
McBratney_T
Thomas
, horseshoer and city council member, see Olympia Tribune Souvenir Issue

 

McCarogher

McCarrogher_J
Joseph
, firefighter, real estate developer, surveyor, see Olympia Tribune Souvenir Issue, see also WSHS C1943.2x.137

McCausland
Royal,   C1948.18.76

McClarty
Ed, superintendent of Olympia Water System, WSHS C1949.18.51

McClellan (or McLellan or McLelland)
Leonard, son of Sam, WSHS C1949.3.123
Sam – owned blacksmith shop at State & Washington, also Olympia fire chief, WSHS  C1943.1003.24, C1943.1003.3, C1949.3.122, C1943.2x.137

McClelland
B.R., high school principal and teacher, see McClelland House in Where Are We?

 McCoy
Christina, married Hume,  C1976.41.4

McCray
Charles, WSHS C1990.25.9
Henry
Martha Elizabeth, nee Manier, wife of Henry

McCullough or McCulley
Julia Ann, nee Woolery

McDonald
Walter, real estate developer, see Olympia Tribune Souvenir Issue

McElroy
Carrie, nee Williams
Harry, son of Thornton, WSHS C1945.20.11, ;
C1950.1301.19.14
Hilda, WSHS C1952.226.42

Record Image Thumbnail
Thornton
, published Columbian, Olympia’s first newspaper; photo from Digital Archives; TCP ; C1945.20.9, see site of McElroy House in Where Are We?
Mrs, member of “Busy Bees,” see Women’s History Walking Tour, St. John’s Church; see also WSHS C1956.39.9,. C1945.20.10, (not known if this is Mrs. Thornton or Mrs. Harry)
Sarah, nee Bates, married Harry McElroy

McFadden
Mary – daughter of Oliver, married William Winlock Miller
Oliver B., judge early Olympia, Congressional delegate 1873, Georgiana p. 246, photo following p. 200

McGuire
Eliza Jane married John Miller Murphy WSHS C1964.17.10, C1947.9.47

Grandpa,” father of Eliza Jane, WSHS  C1964.17.19

McIntosh
Earl, OHS student, WSHS C1951.8.15
Lou, married Wilson, WSHS C1948.64.72

McIntyre
Joseph McIntyre, carpenter, see Seely-McIntyre House in Where Are We?
Edith
1998.113.3
Nellie, married Clarence Seely (a/k/a Seeley), WSHS C1948.64.63

McInzie
John A, arrived 1868, logger and farmer, TCP
Laura Etta, nee Elder

McKenny
Cynthia, nee King, wife of Thomas
Ida, author of work on Priest Point, married Thomas Reed, Jr., WSHS C1950.197.17
Margaret, daughter of general, naturalist, conservationist, see Women’s History Walking Tour, Margaret McKenny House; see also  WSHS C2009.05
Thomas, Civil War general, WSHS C1970.42.17, built McKenny Block

McKenzie
Roy, OHS student, WSHS C1951.8.15

McKnight
Edna, nee Brazel
Joseph, photographer

McLean
Ike
, WSHS C1979.32.10

McLellan – see McClellan

McMicken
Helen (Nellie), nee Parker
William, arrived in 1871 with NPRR, then surveyor general, TCP

McMillen
Archibald, settled near Chambers Prairie 1853, TCP
Marcus, Archibald’s brother, settled in Chambers Prairie around 1853, TCP; WPA  p. 198 (note link will open large PDF file, not suitable for dial-up connection)

McNamara
Dan, musician, Olympia Soda Works owner, WSHS C1949.3.124
Mrs. Dan, WSHS C1949.3.125 

Meays
Lillian, married Melvin, OCI student,  C1950.1117.1.34.4

Messegee
George, steamboat 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, Columbian Oct. 16, 1852, Quartermaster General for claims by volunteers in Indian Wars, Pioneer and Democrat Jan 9, 1857, bridge commissioner for bridge across Budd Inlet, Pioneer and Democrat Feb 13, 1857, elected to Territorial Council (Senate), Pioneer and Democrat June 11, 1857, meeting to reorganize Democratic party, Pioneer and Democrat, Feb. 11, 1859

Millett
Byron, judge, Georgiana  p. 369

Milligan
Bob, WSHS C1961.1185.54

Mills
Alice, nee Allen, married Jesse Mills
MillsGeorgeG
George G, Land registrar, teacher in late 1800s, Union Academy graduate, TCP, photo from TCP, see also WSHS C1950.1117.1.12.3
MillsGeorgeW
George W., arrived Olympia 1865, farmer, TCP; photo from TCP; see also Georgiana  p 212., photo following p. 212;
Isabella – nee Fleming, married George
Jesse, son of George W.
William, arrived Grand Mound 1853, TCP

Milroy
Mary, nee Armitage, married Robert
Robert Bruce, son of Robert, WSHS C1943.118.4, C1943.118.3,
 wins election bet in Yakima, Yakima Herald Nov. 7, 1889
Robert Houston – Civil War general, arrived in Olympia late 1860s, Superintendent of Indian Affairs,
Georgiana p. 278, WSHS C1943.118.7, C1943.118.2, C1943.118.5.2, C1943.118.5.1, C1943.118.3; anecdotes about Civil War service, Yakima Herald March 14, 1889; obituary, Yakima Herald April 3, 1890
Record Image Thumbnail
Robert Milroy home
, 11th and Capitol, photo from Digital Archives
Sam, son of Robert, WSHS C1943.118.3
Milroy_V
Val
, son of Robert, postmaster of Olympia, see Olympia Tribune Souvenir Issue; see also WSHS C1943.118.4,
, C1943.118.3
Walter, son of Robert, WSHS C1943.118.4   , C1943.118.3

 

Mitchel
Agnes, photographer, married Benjamin M. Price,  C1951.284.3, C1952.284.6
Ida, Agnes’s sister, came out West as Ida B. Smith, photographer (see under Smith)
Bethier Mitchel (Agnes’s and Ida’s mother)C1952.284.4

Mitchell
David,
doctor, see Mitchell House in Where Are We?
Mrs. David, WSHS C1943.1003.32
Elizabeth, nee Phillips

Mitchell_JR
John R
., attorney and judge, see Olympia Tribune Souvenir Issue; see Georgiana  p. 370, photo following p. 368
Georgiana,  chronicler of early Olympia, married first Frank Smith, then George Blankenship, Jr., see Blankenship, G., see Georgiana
MitchellWilliam
William H
. – Early pioneer, logger, businessman, Georgiana  p. 142; TCP, photo from TCP

Mix
James, early pioneer family, C1972.37.10
Lura
, sister of James, married John Clark before setting out with family and husband, arrived 1853, TCP
Lura, daughter of James, married James Lybarger
Mary, nee Littlejohn
Walter, logger,  C1972.32.9

Mize
Hiram Furgason, arrived Olympia 1860, farmer, TCP , C1980.30x.15.12
Mary Ann, wife of William, nee Frost
William Gibson, arrived in late 1840s, Donation Claim, farmer, TCP, WSHS C1943.1008.2

Moe
Mattie, WSHS C1980.30x.15.15

Monaghan
Record Image Thumbnail
Thomas
, bricklayer, photo from Digital Archives

Moore
Alexander, brother of Charles M., WSHS C1950.1301.19.1
Anna, nee Rabbeson, married Waldo Moore
Andrew Warren, arrived Olympia 1852, first postmaster, TCP, Building a house July 1853, Columbian
Charles M., musician, businessman, owner of City Market; see Olympia Tribune Souvenir Issue; see also WSHS C1952.226.41, , C1949.1301.16.1, C1949.1301.33.24, C1950.1301.19.14, C1950.1301.19.16
Elizabeth, nee York, wife of Andrew Moore
Freeman, brother of Charles M., C1950.1301.13.27
Moore
Janet
, daughter of Philip, charter member of Olympia Women’s Club; see WPA vol. 3 (note link will open large PDF file, not suitable for dial-up connection); see Women’s History Walking Tour Janet Moore House
Maria, nee Olney, mother of Charles M. Moore
Mary Elizabeth, married Sidney Ford, Jr., Pioneer and Democrat Oct. 26, 1860
Miles, governor,  C1965.28.1
Mollie, daughter of Charles M., WSHS C1952.226.58
Moore_PD
Philip Dorland
, arrived 1862 as deputy revenue collector, served in legislature and other offices, see Olympia Tribune Souvenir IssueTCP, Georgiana  p. 328
Roxie, saloonkeeper, see Roxie Moore Saloon in Where Are We?, see WSHS C1956.20.9,
Waldo, saloonkeeper of Tony Faust’s saloon, see WSHS 2010.149.24.2

Morf
Charles, police officer, C1957.111x.3

Morrison
Bert, WSHS C1980.30x.14.10
Hannah, Olympia Collegiate Institute student,  C1950.1117.1.27.4

Moses
A. Benton, death and funeral in Indian Wars, Pioneer and Democrat, Nov 16, 1855, account of trial of Leschi for his murder, Pioneer and Democrat, March 27, 1857
Andrew, early settler, TCP, keeping registry of, and transporting, new arrivals, Columbian Feb. 5, 1853, territorial librarian 

 Mossman
Ida, married William Henry Yeager, OCI alumna,  C1950.1117.1.36.1, OHS alumna  C1951.8.17
OregonNativeSon_v2n6Nov1900pg299_IVMossman
Isaac Van Dorsey
, arrived 1867 – mail carrier, storekeeper, territorial librarian,  TCP, WSHS C2011.8.2, C2011.8.1
Lottie, married DeVaull
Minnie, first female steamboat captain, married Hill

Mottman
FritzC1951.284.9
JohnC1951.284.9

Moulthrop
I.S., laundry and roller skating rink operator, see Olympia Tribune Souvenir Issue 

Mount
Frank, OHS student, WSHS C1951.8.15
wallace_mount-small
Wallace
, Supreme court justice, Department of Justice page, WSHS C1956.39.8, C1946.240.3

Mounts
Lucinda
, arrived in Grand Mound in 1850s, married Elisha Sarjent, marriage Pioneer and Democrat Feb 15, 1861
Thomas
, settled in South Bay 1853, TCP

Mowell
John,
Early Doctor, see Mowell House in Where Are We?
Ada, nee Sprague

Mumford
Mumford_ME
M.E., Title abstractor, see Olympia Tribune Souvenir Issue 

Munn
Emma, married Hunter
John, husband of Mary Coates
Mary, nee Coates
May, daughter of Mary and John, married Tunin, hotel operator, WSHS C1950.1305z.33, 36

Munson
Albert – Olympia businessman,  C1982.18.30.1, C1982.18.30.32, C1982.18.30.3, C1982.18.30.21, C1982.18.30.24
Emma, nee Haines
Emily T. – wife of Albert,  C1948.1193.3
Josie – daughter of Al, milliner, married Grant,   C1948.18.81, see Munson Millinery in Where Are We?
Josiah  C1948.1193.2
Lewis, WSHS C1982.18.30.24
Lucy, WSHS C1952.226.29

Murphy
Murphy Home C1947.9.39; C1964.17.7
Annie  C1964.17.12, C1964.17.13
Bertha  C1964.17.11, C1964.17.20
Charles, WSHS C1964.17.20
FrankStandard editor; (took over business from John Miller), C1964.17.15
Gilbert Whitman, died young, C1954.469.4
Harriet, nee Brown, married Seth
Henry, WSHS C1982.18.30.7, C1982.18.30.1

Jessica
, WSHS C1952.226.58


MurphyJohnMiller
John Miller Mary Kandle Barnes half brother, worked in Barnes store ; Owner and publisher, Washington Standard, owner Olympia Opera House; see Georgiana, p. 107; TCP; photo from TCP; see also C1964.17.6; see photo of Murphy at Opera House at Digital Archives; see also Olympia Tribune Souvenir Issue; see article Mere Mention: John Miller Murphy’s column, see site of Washington Standard in Where Are We? See site of Olympia Opera House in Where Are We?

Mary Verne, daughter of Seth, WSHS C1954.469.6
Rosa Pearl, WSHS C1964.17.20
SethC1954.469.5
Winnie, married Will Harris, WSHS C1958.205x.8C1964.17.9

Murray
Otis, OHS graduate,  C1951.8.17

Musgrove
Bonnie, nee Van Eaton, married Lewis Musgrove
Lewis Chalmers (or Chandler) – shoe store owner,  C1961.1185.36, C1961.1185.31,C1961.1185.16-21, C1961.1185.58, see Walker Building in Where Are We?
Katherine, daughter of Bertha Eugley, married McCurdy Martin,  then Stewart Musgrove; see Musgrove Millinery in Where Are We?
Mary,  nee Patch
StewartC1961.1185.30

Myers
Edwina LloydC1960.298X.4
Jim, worker at water system, WSHS C1949.18.51
Sol, founder of Olympia Knitting Mills, OHS newsletter article Bathing Suits, Beat and Brew, WSHS C1951.250.24, see Olympia Knitting Mills in Where Are We?

 

Return to main index page

 

 

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Instructions/Tips for Using Provided Links

Most links will open a new window (or tab, depending on your browser), taking you to an external site with information and/or pictures of the named person (or, in the case of State Historical Society images, to the Collections Search page). In some cases, for example, full texts of books posted at Google, you may have to enter the provided page number in a search box. To return to the index, simply X out of the new window/tab. Please contact us if you find broken links, or have a suggested name or link to add to this site. Updates are made continually.

Instructions for specific sources:
Washington State Historical Society (WSHS): To access images from the Washington State Historical Society (WSHS) collections, enter their catalog numbers in Collections Search box. You will be taken to a detailed description of the photograph or object, whether or not it has been scanned. Items in bold face have been scanned. 

Works Projects Administration, Told by the Pioneers: Clicking on a link will take you directly to the biography or sketch in question. Warning: links will download large PDF files; not suitable for dial-up connections.

Georgiana Blankenship: Clicking on a link will take you to an “Overview” page, where you can enter the provided page number (or enter a person’s name in the search box) to be taken to their biography or picture.

Thurston County Pioneers: Clicking on a thumbnail will take you to a photograph of the person posted on the Thurston County Pioneers site. Clicking on the TCP link will take you to page one of the pioneer’s listing. Note: there may be two or more pages associated with one pioneer – you can enter the pioneer’s name in the Pioneer website’s search box to find all pages.

Historic Newspapers Project: The Secretary of State has scanned and indexed a number of newspapers from before Washington became a state (main page here). Links are provided to a select number of articles relating to Olympia pioneers. Many others are available by entering a personal name search here. For the most part, these links are to the DJVU version of these articles. DJVU is a free downloadable reader available here. Articles are also available in PDF format through the search links provided above.

Olympia Women’s Walking Tour: clicking on the WHC link will take you to the interactive Google map compiled by the Women’s History Consortium. You will then have to scroll down the left-hand column to look for the provided site name

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An Index to Olympia Area Residents 1845-1930

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P-Q  R S T U V W X Y Z

 

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.

Sources/hints:

Currently indexed

  • 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. 

 

 

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Links to Helpful Sites

See also our bibliography and other resource pages that include links to thousands of documents, photographs, and other resources for researching Olympia history

Olympia area Museums and Historical Groups

Libraries

Archives

Genealogy

Other Links

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Bibliography – Books, Transcripts, and Articles

This bibliography lists books, articles, and transcripts relating to Olympia area history. Many are also available on line, either housed on our website or externally, and links will be underlined. External links (those found on other websites) will open new windows.  Many links are in PDF format and require the free Acrobat reader. Please contact us to add to this list, or if you find a broken link. Link here for visual media resources (photographs and films). Link here for geographic resources (maps, walking tours, interactive maps)

Alexander, Gerry L. “Olympia’s Legal Battles to Retain the Capital.”, Columbia Magazine 14:4 (2000-01),  3-5.

Bates, Kate Stevens.  “The Old Stevens Mansion.”Washington Historical Quarterly, Vol 19 No 2 (April 1928) 108-111.

Bigelow, Mary Ann.  Where the Potholes Are.  Olympia: Thurston Regional Planning Council,  1990.

Blankenship, George E. History of Olympia Lodge No. 1, F. & A. M. Olympia, Washington  1852–1935. Olympia: The Masons, 1935.

Blankenship, Georgiana Mitchell, Early History of Thurston County, Washington, Together with Biographies and Reminiscences of those Identified with Pioneer Days  Olympia, 1914

Blankenship, Georgiana Mitchell, Old Olympia Landmarks, manuscript at Washington State Library, transcribed here, with links to Where Are We? and Residents pages

Blankenship, Ralph “Meet the Yantises and Blankenships,” Olympia 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 Senate, 2000

Bret, Elizabeth “Living with the Pioneers,” Olympia Historical Society Newsletter Summer 2010. https://olympiahistory.org/living-with-the-pioneers/

Carr, Shelley Sperry, and Stephanie Takase. A Public Mansion, a Private Home: The Governor’s Mansion of Washington State : First 100 Years, [1909-2009]. Centralia, Wash: Gorham Printing, 2009.

Christie, Rebecca. Workingman’s Hill: A History of an Olympia Neighborhood. Olympia: Bigelow House Preservation Association with the Bigelow Highlands Neighborhood Association, 2001.

The Coast: Olympia and Thurston County, Wash.  17:3 (March, 1909)

Crooks, Drew. A Centennial History of Westminster Presbyterian Church, Olympia, Washington. 1994.

Crooks, Drew. (ed.) Olympia Washington, A People’s History. City of Olympia 2010.

Crooks, Drew. “Shipwreck and Captivity” Columbia Magazine 8:2 (1994): 17-23.

The Daily Olympian: Louisiana Purchase Edition, 1904 (promotional pamphlet).

Daughters of the American Revolution, Sacajawea Chapter.  Location of Houses in Olympia, Washington Territory, in 1873. typescript, n.d.

Derricott, Mark “Applied Historiography: Olympia’s Capital Lake”Olympia Historical Society Newsletter Summer 2011. https://olympiahistory.org/applied-historiography-olympias-capitol-lake/

Derricott, Mark “Bush Prairie Farm, Then and Now”Olympia Historical Society Newsletter Spring 2011. https://olympiahistory.org/bush-prairie-farm-then-and-now/

Derricott, Mark “The Honorable Lee Creighton”Olympia Historical Society Newsletter Fall 2011. https://olympiahistory.org/honorable-lee-creighton/

Derricott, Mark “Personal Reflections of a Former Newsletter Editor”Olympia Historical Society Newsletter Spring 2013. https://olympiahistory.org/personal-reflections-of-a-former-newsletter-editor/

Downtown Olympia’s Historic Resources  Olympia: Olympia Heritage Commission, 1984.

Easton, Roger. (ed.)  Mere Mention:  John Miller Murphy’s Local News Column from the Weekly 1889 Newspaper  Olympia: Olympia Heritage Commission, 1989.

Easton, Roger. (ed.)  Map of Olympia, Washington 1891.

Eaton, Edgar Eugene. A History of Olympia Newspapers from 1852 to 1885. MA Thesis, University of Washington, 1963.

Echtle, Edward. The Cultural History of the Olympia Oyster. City of Olympia, 2013. http://olympiawa.gov/community/parks/percival-landing/olympia-oyster

Echtle, Edward.  Historic Forest Cemetery. Olympia: Forest Funeral Homes and Cemetery, 2014.

Echtle, Edward. “(Re)Discover Bigelow House!” Olympia Historical Society Newsletter Fall 2013. https://olympiahistory.org/rediscover-bigelow-house

Echtle, Edward. “A Brief History of the South Sound Country.” South Sound Heritage Association, reposted on Olympia Historical Society/Bigelow House Museum website by permission. https://olympiahistory.org/a-brief-history-of-the-south-sound-country/

Echtle, Edward. History of the Washington Center for the Performing Arts. City of Olympia, 2014.

Echtle, Edward. “Olympia’s Backyard: The History of Priest Point Park”Olympia Historical Society Newsletter Spring 2005, p. 3. https://olympiahistory.org/historypriestpointpark/

Echtle. Edward “Olympia’s Historic Chinese Community,” series of articles created for Olympia Historical Society website. https://olympiahistory.org/chinese-olympia/

Edmund Sylvester’s Narrative of the Founding of Olympia” Pacific Northwest Quarterly 36 (1945): 331-41.

Emmons, Della Gould, Leschi of the Nisquallies. T.S. Dennison & Co., 1965.

Erickson, Lynn, Sylvester’s Window accompanying materials, including extensive references. 

Fenske, Lois. A History of South Puget Sound Community College, 1957 to 1997: A Chronology of Shifting Power and Control.  Olympia: South Pugt Sound Community College, 1997.

Fenske, Lois, “Captain Calvin Hale and his house on Tullis Street, a Forgotten Piece of Olympia History” Olympia Historical Society Newsletter Fall 2010. https://olympiahistory.org/captain-calvin-hale-and-his-house-on-tullis-street-a-forgotten-piece-of-olympia-history/

Foutch, Mark, “Origins of the Olympia Historical Society, part 1,” Olympia Historical

Society Newsletter Fall 2012.  https://olympiahistory.org/origins-of-the-olympia-historical-society/

Foutch, Mark, “Origins of the Olympia Historical Society, part 2,” Olympia Historical Society Newsletter Spring 2013.  https://olympiahistory.org/origins-of-the-olympia-historical-society-part-2/

Foutch, Mark, “Origins of the Olympia Historical Society, part 3,” Olympia Historical Society Newsletter Summer 2013. https://olympiahistory.org/origins-of-the-olympia-historical-society-chapter-3/

Foutch, Mark, “Origins of the Olympia Historical Society: part 4,” Olympia Historical Society Newsletter Fall 2013. https://olympiahistory.org/origins-of-the-olympia-historical-society-chapter-4/

Frost, Robert. “Olympia Fifty Years Ago” Morning Olympian, 26 January 1908.

Fultz, Hollis.  Elkdom in Olympia: A History.  Olympia: Warren’s Quick Print, 1966.

Funk, Goldie Robertson.  “Captain Doane and His Oyster Pan Roast” Pacific Northwest Quarterly  43 [1948]:154-157

Gloria Dei Lutheran Church (Olympia, Wash.). Lutefisk & Liturgy : A Collection of Memories from Members of Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, Olympia, Washington, 1905-2005. Olympia, Wash: Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, 2005.

Goforth, Pennelope, “Home Again in Olympia,” Olympia Historical Society Newsletter Winter 2009. https://olympiahistory.org/home-again-in-olympia/

Goularte, David, “Egbert-Ingham House, Built 1914,” Olympia Historical Society Newsletter Fall 2013. https://olympiahistory.org/egbert-ingham-house-built-1914

Gribskov, Margaret.  “The Women Behind Washington’s Libraries.” Columbia Magazine 11:2 (1997): 37-42.

Hawley, Michael K. & Robert J. Sustek.  “The Cultural Imprint of Architecture.” MPA Thesis, The Evergreen State College, 1993.

Heffernan, Trova. Where the Salmon Run: The Life and Legacy of Billy Frank Jr. Olympia, Wash: Washington State Heritage Center Legacy Project, 2012.

History of the Organization and Directory of Worship of the First Presbyterian Church, Olympia, Washington, 1854-1904  [Olympia, Wash.? 1904?]

Holmes, H. E.,  PGM.  Pioneer Links: A Narrative Of The Establishment Of The Independent Order Of Odd Fellows On The Pacific Coast And A History Of Odd Fellowship In Washington To 1880, A Souvenir Of Thirty-Two Years In The Grand Lodge Of Washington IOOF.  Seattle: Press of the Washington Odd Fellow Times Bldg, 1913.

Howard, Helen Addison.  “Isaac Ingalls Stevens: First Governor of Washington Territory.” Journal of the West 2:3 (1963): 336-346.

Howard, Spencer J. “Capitol Challenge: The Olmsted Brothers’ Landscape Architecture Master Plan for the Washington State Capitol Group in Olympia”  Columbia v25, n2. (Summer 2011)

Ingham, Dr. T.R.  Some Early Doctors of Olympia.  Olympia: Thurston County Historic Commission, 1994.

James, Walter; “Walter James: Reminiscences of My Younger Days”  (Hom, Marlon K., ed.; Lai, Him Mark, Lai, Laura, and Choy, Philip P., interviewers.) Chinese America: History and Perspectives 1995:  75-86. 

Jessett, Thomas E. Pioneering God’s Country; The History of the Diocese of Olympia, 1853-1967.  Seattle: Diocese of Olympia Press, 1967.

Jessett, Thomas E. “The Episcopate of William Morris Barker, Second Missionary Bishop of Olympia.”  Historical Magazine of the Protestant Episcopal Church 39:3 (1970): 251-263.

Jessett, Thomas E. St. John’s Church of Olympia (1853-1941): A Brief History. Olympia, Wash.?: The Church?, 1940.

Johnson, Karen L., and Dennis M. Larsen. A Yankee on Puget Sound: Pioneer Dispatches of Edward Jay Allen, 1852-1855. Washington State University Press, 2013.

Johnston, Norman. Washington’s Audacious State Capitol and Its Builders  Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1988.

Johnston, Norman J. “A Capitol in Search of an Architect.” Pacific Northwest Quarterly 1982 73(1): 2-9.

Johnston, Norman J.  “The Washington State Capitol Campus and its Peripatetic Planning” Columbia Magazine 13:1 (1999): 16-23.

Kainber, Jim. Olympia High School. Charleston, SC: Arcadia Pub, 2007.

Kilgannon, Anne “Free Boy, a story about slavery and freedom in Washington Territory,” Olympia Historical Society book review, undated

Kilgannon, Anne “Temple Beth Hatfiloh is 75!” Olympia Historical Society Newsletter Summer 2013. https://olympiahistory.org/temple-beth-hatfiloh-is-75/

Knopfler, Mary Schouweiler. The View from My Roller Skates: Olympia in the 1930s and 40s As Seen Through the Eyes of a Child. Lacey, WA: Miracle of Mary Pub, 2009.

Knox, Esther.  A Diary of the Olympia School District, 1852-1976: pages 1-57; pages 58-114Pages 115-171 ; pages 117-227. Olympia: Olympia School District, ca. 1976; links to Olympia High School Alumni Association website; thank you for providing this service!

Lang, William L. A Confederacy of Ambition: William Winlock Miller and the Making of Washington Territory Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1996.

Lockman, Heather.  Building a Capital City: Olympia’s Past Revealed Through Its Historic Architecture (researched by Shanna Stevenson) Olympia: Olympia Community Planning and Development Dept, 2000.

Lockman, Heather.  “Shaken But Still Standing: Washington’s Legislative Building- Survivor of Three Major Earthquakes.”  Columbia, 17:2 (Summer, 2003)

McMenamins Brings New Life to Olympia’s Cafe, ‘The Spar‘” McMenamins Newsletter December-February 2006-2007, 11-12

Miller, William Winlock.  “The Olympia Narrow Gauge Railroad” Washington Historical  Quarterly  Vol 16 No 4 (October 1925): 243-250

Miller, Allen and O’Connell, Emmett.  “Revisiting Capitol Lake” Olympia Historical Society Newsletter Fall 2011. https://olympiahistory.org/revisiting-capitol-lake/

Miller, Allen, “Centennial of the Wilder and White Plan.” Olympia Historical Society Newsletter Spring 2011. https://olympiahistory.org/washington-celebrates-the-centennial-of-the-wilder-and-white-plan-for-the-most-beautiful-state-capit/

Munro, Ralph, “Olympia’s African American Trailblazers,” Olympia Historical Society Newsletter Summer 2012. https://olympiahistory.org/olympias-20th-century-pioneers/

Newell, Gordon R. So Fair a Dwelling Place: A History of Olympia and Thurston County, Washington Olympia: Olympia News Publishing, 1950

Newell, Gordon R. Rogues, Buffoons & Statesmen; The Inside Story of Washington’s Capital City & the Hilarious History of 120 Years of State Politics. Seattle, Wash: Superior Pub. Co, 1975.  (click on link for searchable PDFs of this book). 

Nicandri, David. Olympia’s Forgotten Pioneers: The Oblates of Mary Immaculate  Olympia: State Capitol Historical Association, 1976.

Nicandri, David. (ed.) Olympia’s Old Times and Places. Olympia: State Capitol Museum, 1976.

Nicandri, David and Derek Valley. Olympia Wins: Washington’s Capital Controversies.  Olympia: Washington State Capitol Museum, 1980.

Oakland, Mike (et al.) Images of South Sound Olympia: The Olympian, 2000.

O’Connell, Emmett, “Olympia in Minor League Baseball,” Olympia Historical Society Newsletter Spring 2013. https://olympiahistory.org/olympia-in-minor-league-baseball/

O’Connell, Emmett, “The Myth of Connection Between Wilder and White and Capitol Lake,” Olympia Historical Society Newsletter Summer 2011. https://olympiahistory.org/the-myth-of-connection-between-wilder-and-white-and-capitol-lake/

Olsen, Winnifred.  You’re Making History Now (Edited by Erica Stillman and Lois Fenske.)  Olympia: Olympia Historical Society, 2006.

Olsen, Winnifred and Fenske, Lois, “The History and Memories of Priest Point Park,” Olympia Historical Society Newsletter, Summer 2009. https://olympiahistory.org/memories-of-priest-point-park/

Olympia, City of, Labor History Walking Tour, PDF of narrative created for Heritage Month 2016

Olympia Municipal Government, voter registration forms from 1872 to 1890, transcribed by Shanna Stevenson, volunteer for Washington State Archives. Enter a name in the search box or scroll through this list of over 2,000 residents, including women, who were allowed to vote between 1883 and 1886. 

Olympia Tribune Souvenir Issue of 1891 (selected transcriptions and images)

The Olympian, “Celebrating the Dream: Olympia’s 150th Birthday Olympia”, The Daily Olympian, 2000.

Partlow, Janet, “Meet a Family: the Streets and Partlows of West Olympia,” Olympia Historical Society Newsletter, Summer 2012. https://olympiahistory.org/know-a-family/

Plywood Pioneers Association, 1969, Olympia Veneer Company

Plywood Pioneers Association, 1969, Washington Veneer Company

Rainey, Thomas.  “A Short History of Industry and Manufacturing in Thurston County, Washington,” Washington State Employment Security Office

Ramsey, Guy Reed, and Postmarked Washington: Thurston County. [Thurston County, Wash.]: Thurston County Historic Commission, 1988.

Rathbun, J. C.  History of Thurston County, Washington.  Olympia: Paladium Publishing, 1895.

Reddick, SuAnn M. and Cary C. Collins. “Medicine Creek to Fox Island: Cadastral Scams and Contested Domains” Oregon Historical Quarterly 106:3 (Fall, 2005)

Richards, Kent D.  Isaac I. Stevens: Young Man in a Hurry.  Brigham Young U. Press, 1979.

Rogers, George. Equipping Olympia’s Saints: Historical Sketches of the First United Methodist Church of Olympia.  Olympia United Methodist Church, 1979.

Rosenberg, Jessica and Gitana Garofalo. “Riot Grrrl: Revolutions From Within”  Signs, Vol. 23, No. 3, (Spring, 1998), 809-841.

Ross, Deborah Jane. Konrad and Albertina. [Philadelphia]: Xlibris, 2009.

Ross, Deborah Jane, Tales from Schneider’s Creek. [Philadelphia]: Xlibris, 2013

Ross, Deborah, “The Loft on Cherry,” Olympia Historical Society Newsletter, Winter 2010-11. https://olympiahistory.org/the-loft-on-cherry-and-olympia-knitting-mills-bathing-suits-beat-and-brew/

Ross, Deborah, “Veteran’s Day Legion Way Stroll,” Olympia Historical Society Blog Post  November 10, 2013

Sapp, Bernice A. Memorials for Thurston County Pioneer and Historical Society, Olympia Washington Olympia: Thurston County Pioneer and Historical Society, 1952.

Sapp, Bernice, Olympia 100 Years Ago, Echtle Edward, and Ross, Deborah, eds. (Excerpt from Newell, So Fair a Dwelling Place, with Interactive Map and Hyperlinks to Where Are We? pages)

Schreiner, Charles F.  A History of the Bishops of the Diocese of Olympia: The Episcopal Church in Western Washington. [Seattle]: Diocese of Olympia, 1986.

A Short History of Budd Inlet. Olympia: Thurston County Historic Commission, 1992.

Smith, Larry (ed.) How the West Was Once; A History of West Olympia, by Larry Smith’s Eighth Grade English Classes, Jefferson Junior High School  Olympia, Jefferson Junior High, 1974.

Steele, E. N. The Rise and Decline of the Olympia Oyster. Elma, Wash., Fulco Publications,  1957.

Simmons, Katharine N. “The Cultural Beginnings of Olympia, Washington, 1850-1865.”  M.A. Thesis, Washington State College, 1948.

Stevens, Hazard. Olympia. Boston (1891?)

Stevenson, Shanna. “Daniel R. Bigelow: A Man of Principle Who Stood Against the Political Order” Columbia Magazine 7:4 (1993), 31-35.

Stevenson, Shanna, “First All-Woman Jury in Washington State

Stevenson, Shanna. History of the Port of Olympia Olympia, Port of Olympia (1982).

Stevenson, Shanna. Marking Time: Thurston County Historical Markers.  Olympia: POSSCA, 1983.

Stevenson, Shanna. St. Peter’s Hospital: A History. Olympia: St. Peter Hospital Centennial Committee, 1987.

Stevenson, Shanna. Olympia, Tumwater, and Lacey: A Pictorial History Norfolk: Donning Co, 1996.

Stevenson, Shanna. Olympiana: Historical Vignettes of Olympia’s People and Places  Olympia: Washington State Capitol Museum, 1982.

Stevenson, Shanna. History of Women’s Suffrage in Olympia

Strong, Harry McElroy. “T.F. McElroy: Pioneer Publisher of Washington’s First Newspaper” Columbia 14:2 (Summer 2000): 32-37.

Talcott, G. Noyes, and David W. Owens. Oral History Interview with G. Noyes Talcott, May 14-July 22, 1975, Including Articles and Documents Pertaining to the Chambers/Talcott Families. [Olympia]: State of Washington, Division of Archives and Records Management, 1975.

Tanis, James R., (ed.). “The Journal of Levi Lathrop Smith, 1847-1848” Pacific Northwest Quarterly 43 (1952): 277-301

Thurston County Pioneer & Historical Society, Cooking Favorites of Olympia, 1966, Women’s Clubs Publishing Co, Chicago.

Thurston County Sesquicentennial.  Olympia: The Daily Olympian, 2002.

Told By The Pioneers: Tales of Frontier Life as Told By Those Who Remember the Days of the Territory and Early Statehood of Washington.  Olympia: Works Progress Administration, 1937 & 1938.  [Online at Washington State Library: Volume 1Volume 2Volume 3]

Weir, Allen.  “Olympia, The Capital of the State of Washington” The Washington Historian 2:3 (April, 1901): 107-111.

Yockey, Beth.  Olympia Federal Savings: The First Hundred Years. Seattle: Abecedary Press, 2006.

Youmans, Vance H. “Christian Churches in the Early History of Olympia,” Pacific Northwest Forum, v4 n1 (Winter-Spring 1991) 121-123.

Zindt, Mary, “Memories of Olympia,” Olympia Historical Society Newsletter Winter 2010-11. https://olympiahistory.org/memories-of-olympia-in-the-1920s-and-1930s/ (OHS Newsletter article)

 

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Olympia’s Historic Chinese Community

By Edward Echtle

Jim Ah Toone Family, Olympia, 1890s.  WSHS Collection

 

 

Origins and Early Arrivals

During the latter half of the 19th century, the Puget Sound region received an influx of settlers from around the world. Among them were immigrants from southeast China Many came to earn money to send to their struggling families. Others arrived planning to stay and make a new start. These men and women provided a much needed labor force in constructing new towns in the region, including Olympia.

Long before the arrival of the railroads, Chinese looking for new opportunities began arriving in Olympia. In 1852, the first edition of the Columbia (the first newspaper published on Puget Sound) carried an advertisement for Edmund Sylvester’s Olympia House Hotel, which boasted an “…accomplished Chinese cook, who comes highly recommended by the American Consul at Canton.” By the early 1860s, the annual celebration of Lunar New Year by Chinese in Olympia received regular mention in the local press:

Chinese New Year.- The Chinese Residents of our town kept up the a continual popping of firecrackers on Tuesday last, in honor of the commencement of new year. John is about ten months ahead of us in this anniversary and celebrates in a much more becoming way. His firecrackers and strong tea take the place of firearms and strong whiskey sometimes used by his more civilized brethren; and their hospitality on such occasions is immense. They kept a supply of ‘hardware’ for the ‘mellicans’ but confined themselves mostly, we believe, to their tea.

Before the arrival of the Chinese, most of Olympia’s streets existed only on paper. Hired by the community as contract laborers, these men built bridges, pulled stumps and graded streets in and around what is now downtown. Chinese also worked at many local manufacturing concerns, at lumber camps, and were employed extensively in the local oystering industry. Some also served as crew on the early steamers that served as the main form of transportation on Puget Sound.

WSHS Photo

Chinese also found other opportunities. Many became cooks or house servants for affluent families. Chinese men operated commercial hand laundries, working long hours and living in their places of business to save money. Others cultivated vegetables in gardens near town and delivered them door to door, the first locally grown commercial produce.

 

Community Life

Chinese sojourners with the same surname tended to congregate in the same towns. Early on, Olympia emerged as a “Locke town.” Family Associations, based on surname, language and village ties, were the foundation of early Chinese American communities. Generally, those sharing the same surname were from the same vicinity in China. In the case of the Locke clan, this was the Toisan county region of Guangdong Province, southeast China.

Most early Chinese immigrants were male. In the absence of traditional family structure they relied on the services provided by the Family Associations to secure a place to live and employment. In turn, they paid dues to the Association to support the various services it provided.

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