Anne Kilgannon, Secretary

In a new history column featured in the online news source, blogger Emmett O’Connell writes about a little known historic
site in downtown Olympia. Now the location of the Olympia community center, in
the 1850s Territorial Governor Isaac Stevens had his first office built there
near the waterfront and first businesses of the pioneer town. Infamously, it
was here that Nisqually warrior Quiemuth was brought during the closing days of
the Indian war and foully murdered. No one was ever charged or prosecuted,
although many claimed to know the name of the perpetrator. O’Connell, unusual
for a blogger, helpfully includes not only links to other works on this
subject, but citations to source materials so that other readers may explore
this subject for themselves. His skillful probing of the mystery also
demonstrates the historian-detective mind at work, turning over the clues and
sifting through the sources to uncover the past. Click on
for this story and check this space in the future for more insightful writing
on local history topics.

Another new blog explores local history from a different
angle. Heather Lockman has been writing about Olympia history for years but her
work and commentary is now available online at for easy
perusal. Here you will discover that she is the author of many of the
interpretive signs you’ve enjoyed around town, those concise nuggets that call
attention to some facet of the past and add a storied dimension to familiar
places. Lockman humorously recalls the joys and terrors of saving the local
historic gem, the Bigelow House, for future generations and other adventures in
the historic preservation trenches. Her hilarious tales entertain yet engage
the reader to take the work of preserving and explaining historic sites
seriously, to appreciate how and why “the past is important” and to take the
time to study all those road and trailside markers. The past is everywhere,
just waiting for us to notice. Brimming with intelligence and passion for
history, Lockman is more than an armchair historian’s guide; she entices us to
get out and find our own favorite places that tell the story of Olympia and