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Walking Through History at Tumwater’s Schmidt House

  By Kathryn Millhorn When the chilly autumn winds drive us indoors, thoughts turn to family, history, and community.  All three are embodied within a walking tour of Tumwater’s stunning, historic Schmidt House.  Tours are available throughout September and—like the perfect roses in their garden—shouldn’t be missed. Built in 1904, the Schmidt house was the [...]

The Story of Olympia’s Public Libraries

  By Drew Crooks From pioneer days to the present, public libraries have been part of Olympia’s life. Community residents, for example, could use the Washington Territorial Library after it was established in Olympia by Governor Isaac Stevens in 1853. Over time this institution evolved into the current Washington State Library, an excellent source of [...]

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Shelton’s Colonial House has a Story to Tell

  By Leslie Merchant Even though Washington State is 125 years old, it is still a baby compared to the rest of the nation. Older states are able to showcase their pasts through their rich architecture, yet the 42nd state is somewhat lacking in classic structural marvels. For a glimpse of Washington’s past, a quick trip [...]

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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 [...]

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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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