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100-Year-Old Lost Lake House Added to Thurston County Historic Register

  Submitted by Thurston County Thurston County has added a 1900s-era log house to its inventory of 140 historic sites. The cabin-style structure is located near the Nisqually Indian Reservation in North Thurston County. Situated on the edge of spring-fed Lost Lake, it is believed to have been built almost 100 years ago. Its original […]

Aberdeen Founders’ Day – A Celebration of Bearded Men and the City’s Lively History

  By Chelsea Royer Why road trip to Aberdeen? Often when out of town, the people I speak to aren’t sure where Aberdeen is. More often, people know it as the town they pass through on their way to the Pacific Ocean. In the effort to make it through traffic and reach their destination, most travelers […]

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Trees of Legion Way – “A Perpetual Memorial” for Veterans

  By Jennifer Crooks Tracing their origins back to 1928, the trees lining Legion Way between Plum and Central Streets in Olympia were planted as a unique memorial for veterans along a road that honors those killed in World War I. This project was sponsored by two Olympia veteran organizations: Alfred W. Leach Post #3 […]

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When the “Birdman” Soared: Fred J. Wiseman and Olympia’s First Airplane Flight on May 20, 1911

  By Jennifer Crooks With the Wright Brothers’ first flight in 1903 aviation became an object of national fascination in early twentieth century America. In May 1911, this interest in flight would combine with civic boosterism to bring Fred “The Birdman” Wiseman to Olympia to make the first airplane flight in Thurston County’s history. Wiseman […]

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A Legacy of Learning – History of Schools Named Washington in Olympia

  By Jennifer Crooks The story of Olympia’s Washington Middle School (3100 Cain Road SE) has roots in the community’s early history. Growing out of the original Eastside School, schools with the name of Washington have been a part of the everyday life of Olympia since 1891. In different buildings and locations, Washington Schools have […]

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Tugboat Annie’s – A True Olympia Establishment in a Serene Waterfront Setting

  By Lynn West Leaving Tugboat Annie’s one recent Sunday after brunch, my husband wondered about its history. “Maybe it was a boarding house or a factory,” he mused. I must say I didn’t think the West Bay Marina and the restaurant that sits proudly in its midst on the banks of Budd Inlet would […]

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Sharing Knowledge: The Washington State Library as a Valuable Resource

  By Jennifer Crooks The Washington State Library (WSL), a part of the Secretary of State’s Office located at 69880 Capitol Boulevard in Tumwater, is perhaps one of the area’s best kept secrets. While many people may have seen the statue of author Mark Twain reading his novel Huckleberry Finn on a park bench on […]

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“As Clean as a Fresh Cookie” – Clean-Up Day in Turn of the Century Olympia

  By Jennifer Crooks Who wants a messy city? Across the United States in the early 1900s, Progressive Era goals of city beautification, increased sanitation, and better quality of life led to urban improvement efforts. At that time Olympia’s Civic Improvement Club sponsored an annual “Clean-Up Day.” Vowing to make the city “as clean as […]

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40 Years of History at the Olympia Farmers Market

  By Emmett O’Connell The Olympia Farmers Market has held an important place in the Olympia community landscape for the past 40 years. As the market’s season opens this year, it will be celebrating its fourth decade in existence. But, the history of markets where local farmers sell direct to the public have a much longer […]

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A Historic Look at the Various Locations of the Thurston County Courthouse

  By Emmett O’Connell Up until the last forty years, the Thurston County Courthouse has always been located in what people would know as “downtown Olympia.” While our definition of the space considered “downtown” has expanded over time, the courthouse has moved slowly away from the downtown core since the 1930s. The first site for what […]

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