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Skyline Drive-In Celebrates 50 Years

  By Eric Wilson-Edge Summer is rapidly coming to a close. The days are getting shorter. It won’t be long before the leaves turn and the air crisps. We’ll replace short sleeves and shorts with rain coats and sweaters. Hot chocolate weather is on its way. For now, on this particular evening, summer is still [...]

Sand Man Tugboat Keeps On Going

  By Morgan Willie Up until the late 1950s, Olympia was operated by a blue-collar culture. A little bit of elbow grease and fortitude could get you working in a jiffy. Olympia was and still is a vital element to trade and commerce around the area. Its waterfront companies and easily accessible marinas have created [...]

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The History of the Thurston County Fair: Bringing the Community Together Since 1871

  By Gale Hemmann Imagine it’s the year 1871. As you rode to the fair with your family in your horse-drawn wagon, you would probably be excited. This was the first local fair and a big deal. Washington was not yet a state, and the fair aimed to get settlers excited about moving to the [...]

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The Percival Family Intertwined in Olympia’s History

  By Drew Crooks Olympia has long been closely associated with Puget Sound. This relationship to the sea is an important part of the community’s story. One family, the Percivals, for many years were significantly involved in local maritime activities. Several place names in the area honor their contributions. Captain Samuel W. Percival (1823-1891) and [...]

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Port Blakely Tree Farms: A Family Company Celebrates 150 Years of Stewardship

  By Kate Scriven Our culture today is a fast one.  Amidst our frantic world, is a quiet company working steadily, planning for a future that is measured in decades and centuries. Port Blakely Tree Farms is a family-owned company based in Tumwater, Washington that owns and manages over 140,000 acres of forestland in Washington [...]

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Tenino’s History Written in Sandstone

  By Emmett O’Connell The architectural history of Tenino could be written in sandstone. Many important buildings in Tenino (city hall, the train depot and a bank building, for example) are made out of the local stone. At least 15 significant buildings throughout the town are built out of sandstone. One interesting example is the [...]

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History of Thurston County Bars and Taverns

  By Emmett O’Connell To track the early history of drinking establishments in Thurston County is to also track the laws governing them. The oldest bars in our area date back to the end of prohibition in the 1930s. Many of them, like what is now Charlie’s Bar & Grill (620 – 4th Ave East [...]

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30 Years Ago Olympia Played Host to Running History

  By Eric Wilson-Edge History never really goes away.  The landscape changes and people age but the soul of the experience stays.  You’ve seen it as the woman running down the street, something so commonplace you’d think it was always accepted. On May 12, 1984, Olympia stepped onto the national stage.  Thousands lined the streets [...]

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All In the Family – Three Generations of Phillips Attend Garfield Elementary

  By Leslie Merchant Benjamin Franklin once said, “Today is yesterday’s pupil.” If his quote was translated literally, then one might see a picture of the Phillips family standing in front of Garfield Elementary. Three generations of Phillips women spent their formative years in the halls, on the grounds and under the protective tutelage of [...]

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History of the Chambers Prairie Grange at Yelm and Henderson

  By Emmett O’Connell For years, grange halls were the social and political glue that held together the rural farming communities in the Pacific Northwest. Simple, useful community clubhouses sprouted up around Washington throughout our early history, acting as community centers to connected dispersed people. The Chambers Prairie Grange building at the corner of Yelm [...]

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