Welcome to “Where Are We?”

This feature of our website includes over 500 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.

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
  • The Sanborn Overlay project projects historic Sanborn insurance maps for the years 1884, 1891, 1908, and 1924 onto current aerial views of Olympia . Links are provided to Where Are We? pages for buildings and features for each time span.
  • Scroll through the list of locations on our Contents Page
  • A 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 in the Search function on the menu bar (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: Jewish, Chinese, African-American, German,  Scandinavian Heritage; LGBT historical sites
  • Transportation
  • Popular Culture
  • Schools
  • Women’s History
  • Wohleb: buildings designed or remodeled by members of the Wohleb family or their firm
  • 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, Marisa Merkel, and Benjamin Helle, and others who provided information and assistance as noted on individual pages.