Location: 2201 Water St SW
Women’s History; South Capitol National Historic District

mckenny_1939Margaret McKenny House, 1939, Thurston County Assessor, Southwest Regional Archives
Margaret McKenny House today (2014), photo by Deb Ross

This unassuming duplex bungalow  was the home of famed naturalist Margaret McKenny. She was the daughter of General Thomas I. McKenny, who served in the Civil War and later as Indian Agent in Washington Territory. General McKenny was also a businessman who built the McKenny Block on Capitol Way. General McKenny built this home for his daughter, Margaret. Miss McKenny, who never married, was a landscape architect and author of several books on nature, including a definitive tome on mushrooms. She helped to preserve many important historic and natural areas, including Sylvester Park and the Nisqually Wildlife Preserve. A campground and an elementary school are named after her. A decades-long friend and activist partner, Flo Brodie (see Brodie House), later owned this house.

The home is not on the local heritage register, but is located in the South Capitol National Historic Neighborhood. It was built in 1921. 

Olympia Heritage inventory

South Capitol National Historic District

Women’s History Walking Tour

For more information on the McKenny family, see the Residents section of this website.

Copyright © 2022 Deborah Ross