Location: 919 Capitol Way S
First Congregational Church, Main Street around 1878, Washington State Historical Society collection
Site of First Congregational today, photograph by Deborah Ross (2017)
The First Congregational Church was the fifth church organized in Olympia, in 1874. The building site is another example of the “Musical Pews” phenomenon described in other Where Are We? pages (see, for example, Gloria Dei congregation). Once incorporated, the congregation erected this building on grounds formerly owned by the Catholic Church (that building can be seen in the background of the photograph linked below). A steeple was added in 1886 (see link below). The building served First Congregational until 1915, when First Congregational federated with First Presbyterian to form The United Churches of Olympia (First Congregational also acquired the original Sunset Life Building to be used as a recreational annex for a short period of time). For a time, the church was used by the Seventh Day Adventist congregation, which moved to a site on Puget and Bigelow in the mid-1920s (see Seventh Day Adventist Building) . The manse of First Congregational still exists and is next door on 10th Avenue.
Washington State Historical Society, enter the catalog number in the Collections Search Box: C1960.298x.10; C1952.226.68; C1959.8.6 (above photograph, notable view for having the steeple uncompleted); C2016.0.8
Bird’s Eye View of Olympia, 1879 (location number 3)
Copyright © 2022 Deborah Ross