The annual membership drive for 2021 for Olympia Historical Society & Bigelow House Museum is underway! Notices for renewals will be sent to current and past members and interested persons in the community via e-mail only this year. We always welcome new members as well! Your annual dues support the newsletter, the Thurston County History Journal, continued programming, operation of the Bigelow House Museum, our website, and our continuing work toward a local downtown history museum and history archive for public research. As a small, all volunteer organization, your contributions have always been critical to our success. Please join, rejoin, or renew for 2021 now, via either the membership notice being sent to you, or CLICK HERE!
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Bigelow House Museum remains closed. In honor of the 25th anniversary of the Museum, and due to cancellation of fundraising events, we are asking our friends to consider an extra donation this year. Please help support the Olympia Historical Society and Bigelow Museum through our $25 for 25 Campaign! We recognize that economic fallout from the pandemic may make this difficult for some. However, please do consider a $25.00 donation, or whatever amount you can give, to help ensure the future of the Olympia Historical Society and Bigelow House Museum. Click DONATE to give $25 or any other amount to this campaign, either by credit card or with your PayPal account. Or you can mail us a check; go to our Get Involved page for more information. If you are not yet a member of the Society and Museum, please consider visiting our Membership Page and joining now! And, while OHS&BHM fully supports area businesses, we realize that many are finding local shopping difficult in these trying times. If you are an Amazon customer, please consider donating to OHS&BHM through Amazon’s SMILE program. Information can be found at SMILE. We also partner with Fred Meyer, and Ralph’s/Bayview Thriftway charitable donation programs. Information is available at the Get Involved link, above.
Dr. Thelma Jackson
Washington’s Attorney General Bob Ferguson, together with twenty-nine federally recognized tribes, Alaskan tribal entities, and tribal communities from Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Alaska, as well as nine community organizations, historical preservation societies and museums and the state of Oregon, have filed a law suit against the federal government to stop the sale of the National Archives and Record Administration (NARA) building in Seattle. The building hosts exclusive and un-digitized tribal and treaty records, as well as Chinese Exclusion Act case files and records regarding the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. The records are invaluable resources for researchers, historians and individuals seeking information about their family history or heritage. Tribal members use federal archive records to establish tribal membership, demonstrate and enforce tribal rights to fishing and other activities, trace their lineage and ancestry and access native school records. If these historical records are removed from the Pacific Northwest, many tribal members will be prevented from exercising these important rights. According NARA’s Seattle director, only “.001% of the facility’s 56,000 cubic feet of records are digitized and available online.” The archives house a significant collection of tribal and treaty records relating to the 272 federally recognized tribes in Alaska, Washington, Oregon and Idaho. The archives contain original drafts of tribal treaties and original copies of correspondence from treaty negotiations during the mid-19th century. The federal government did not consult with Northwest tribal leaders before deciding to move these significant pieces of tribal history thousands of miles away from the Northwest, depriving local tribes of access to these critical historical documents. The move to sell the building was initiated by the Public Records Reform Board, under Donald Trump. Visit the Washington Attorney General’s Office for additional information.
Explore the Historical Society’s collections online by entering a type of object (baskets, for example) or a subject (logging, for example) and see what comes up!
Explore exhibitions at the History Museum using the new app, WA State History Museum. It’s free to download from the app store for iPhones, and free to use the web app on Android smartphones or on computers.
Activity Sheets for the App
Ready to have fun and do activities while virtually visiting the museum? Download and print the activity sheets (below) to begin exploring an exhibition through the WA State History Museum app from the comfort of home!
Washington: My Home
Hope in Hard Times
Unforgiving Waters: Shipwrecks of the Pacific Northwest
Do you want to learn more deeply and engage with new historical content? Try a “History Lesson To Go” as part of your distance learning! These lessons also connect with information on the WA State History Museum app.
CSI Lewis: The Mystery of Meriwether Lewis’ Death
Point of View Part 1: Understanding Treaties
Point of View Part 2: Using Art to Understand the Past
Find amazing articles about the rich history of the Pacific Northwest in the archives of the award-winning popular history magazine, COLUMBIA.
Listen to the Columbia Conversations Podcast, hosted by Feliks Banel , a producer, host, and historian for KIRO Radio, and editor of Columbia. The podcasts feature interviews with historians from around Washington and the Old Oregon Territory, plus historic sound files.
- February 2, 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM. Gig Harbor Literary Society ZOOM event: No – No Boy by John Okada.
“No-No Boy has the honor of being among the first of what has become an entire literary canon of Asian American literature,” writes novelist Ruth Ozeki in her new foreword. First published in 1957, No-No Boy was virtually ignored by a public eager to put World War II and the Japanese internment behind them. It was not until the mid-1970s that a new generation of Japanese American writers and scholars recognized the novel’s importance and popularized it as one of literature’s most powerful testaments to the Asian American experience.
No-No Boy tells the story of Ichiro Yamada, a fictional version of the real-life “no-no boys.” Yamada answered “no” twice in a compulsory government questionnaire as to whether he would serve in the armed forces and swear loyalty to the United States. Unwilling to pledge himself to the country that interned him and his family, Ichiro earns two years in prison and the hostility of his family and community when he returns home to Seattle. As Ozeki writes, Ichiro’s “obsessive, tormented” voice subverts Japanese postwar “model-minority” stereotypes, showing a fractured community and one man’s “threnody of guilt, rage, and blame as he tries to negotiate his reentry into a shattered world.” The first edition of No-No Boy since 1979 presents this important work to new generations of readers.
This event is FREE and open to the public. For questions, please contact Cindy Hackett at firstname.lastname@example.org . ZOOM event information will be provided the weekend prior to the event, visit Here for more information.
- February 5, 5:30 PM – 7:00 PM. Lacey Timberland Library (Lacey). Virtual Event – People and Microbes on the Move: an Evening with Science Journalist and Author Sonia Shah.
Join the Lacey Timberland Library for an evening with prizewinning science journalist and author Sonia Shah. Sonia will be reading from her most recent book with a Q & A to follow. Sonia is the author of five nonfiction books, including the topical titles Pandemic: Tracking Contagions from Cholera to Coronaviruses and Beyond and The Next Great Migration: the Beauty and Terror of Life on the Move, published in 2020. Sonia’s writing explores the intersection of science, politics, and human rights. She has written for The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Scientific American, and the Nation; and has been featured and interviewed on Radiolab, Fresh Air, Democracy Now!, Senator Bernie Sanders’ Coronavirus roundtable, CNN with Fareed Zakaria, and TED Connects. Registration for this event closes February 5, visit HERE for more information.
- February 10, 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM. Timberland Regional Library. Virtual Event – Julia Butler Hansen: A Trailblazing Washington Politician.
Julia Butler Hansen
Julia Butler Hansen was the second woman and first female Democrat elected to the U.S. Congress from Washington State. Undefeated in 41 consecutive elections, she retired in 1974. In her amazing career, Julia came to be known as The Duchess of Cathlamet, The Sage of Wahkiakum County, The Little Old Lady in Logging Boots, Mrs. Highways, or Madame Queen. Her name was recognizable enough that her campaign buttons eventually just said “Julia” in script, which is also how she was addressed by her constituents. Join Historian John Hughes to learn about her trailblazing career, spent championing issues like transportation, education, and women’s rights. Hughes’ presentation and biography examines the fascinating woman behind the nicknames. Historian John Hughes is the author of Julia Butler Hansen: A Trailblazing Washington Politician and Ahead of the Curve. For more information and to register, visit TRL Events.
- February 11, 7:00 PM. Fort Nisqually Living History Museum (Tacoma): Fort From Home Nightcap – 19th Century Birth Control.
19th Century Birth Control Devices
Fort from Home brings the talents and expertise of Fort Nisqually historians to you live through interactive virtual programming! Join the Fort for a Fort from Home Nightcap: 19th Century Birth control. Fort Interpreter Elizabeth will share her research on 19th century birth control, including types, availability, and conventions. Visit Register Now for more information and to sign up. Questions? Contact Event and Volunteer Coordinator Elizabeth Rudrud at email@example.com, or call 253.404.3970.
- February 20, 11:00 AM. Fort Nisqually Living History Museum (Tacoma): Fort from Home for KIDS! – Crochet.
Fort from Home for Kids is a kid-friendly program led by Fort Nisqually high school Apprentice Interpreters. Learn heritage skills at home! This month, Fort Nisqually Apprentice Interpreter Abigail teaches you the basics of crochet. Please have ready simple knitting supplies, including a crochet hook and yarn. Questions? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information and to register for this virtual event, visit Crochet.
- February 22, 6:00 PM. Lacey Museum – History Talks via ZOOM! A People’s History of the Seven Inlets of the Southern Salish Sea.
The historical narrative of the Squaxin Island people is an ancient history from time immemorial and can be traced back to the recession of glaciers. They are the people of the seven inlets of Steh-Chass of Olympia, Noo-Seh-Chatl of Henderson Inlet, Squi-Aitl of Eld Inlet, Sawamish/T’Peeksin of Totten Inlet, Sa-Heh-Wa-Mish of Hammersley Inlet, S’Hotle-Ma-Mish of Carr Inlet, and Squaksin-wa-mish of Case Inlet. Their history is one of hospitality, medicine, longevity of life, regional trading networks and the birthplace of NW Tribal religious movement. To register for this free vent, visit Seven Inlets.
- February 25, 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM. Washington State Historical Society – Black History is Washington History – From Migration to Mark Making: George Bush, Jacob Lawrence, and the impact of Black Pioneers in Washington State.
- February 27, 11:00 AM. Fort Nisqually Living History Museum (Tacoma): Fort from Home – Victorian Cooking: Offal.