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Things to do in Olympia

  • Bigelow House Museum Bigelow House Museum Olympia, Washington
    The Bigelow House or Bigelow House Museum is one of the historic houses in Olympia, Washington that has been transformed into a museum as well. It was constructed by Daniel Bigelow in the 1850s, in the carpenter gothic style and is currently listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Daniel Bigelow graduated from Harvard law school and headed west, far west, arriving in Olympia in 1851 after coming across the country by the Oregon Trail and received a 160 acre donation land claim a bit east of the new town and built a two room cabin near an artesian spring that looked out over Budd Inlet on South Puget Sound. He married Ann Elizabeth White in 1854, one of the first school teachers in the new territory and had this house constructed in 1860 and began raising 8 children. The Bigelows became very active in the political causes that included; public education, temperance and women's suffrage; and during the ensuing years had some notable figures visit like, Susan B. Anthony, George Pickett and Snoqualmie headman Patkanim. The couple became a host family for some of the Mercer girls when they came here in 1866; which were brave young women coming west to become brides for the men that had come here in search of riches, fame or homesteads. The couple would live in the house until they passed on, Daniel in 1905 and Ann in 1926. The house would stay in the family until 1994, when the owners, Daniel S. Bigelow, grandson of Ann and Daniel, and his wife, Mary Ann Campbell Bigelow began the nonprofit Bigelow House Preservation Association to save the old home from developers. The association restored the house to its territorial period looks and named it the Bigelow House Museum in 1995, and retained a life estate agreement that would let them stay in the house for the rest of their lives. The house museum has been fully opened since 2005, with period furnishings, documents and photographs from that time; and it is one of the oldest and most complete pioneer era homes in the state. It is the nucleus of the Bigelow Neighborhood, that contains many houses that were constructed by the Bigelow and White families.

  • Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge
    The Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge is a wildlife preserve that is run by the US Fish and Wildlife Service on the Nisqually River delta by Puget Sound in Washington state between the cities of Olympia and Tacoma. The refuge was made in 1974 to allow habitat and nesting areas for the waterfowl and migratory birds that came here every year to nest or rejuvenate before continuing their long journeys. The refuge includes freshwater marshes, a protected estuary, open grassland, riparian woodlands and brush and open mudflats. The refuge is home to the Nisqually River Delta that is the biggest almost undisturbed estuary in the state, near the confluence of the Nisqually River and Puget Sound that has created a unique and diverse environment that is rich in nutrients and natural resources for the wildlife that call this area their home. There is a special five mile dike that separates the fresh water from the saltwater and creates a haven for over 300 different species of wildlife and fish. The sea life highlights 24 different varieties of fish that are contained in one of the three habitat areas; estuarine, Nisqually Reach nearshore and the riverine. These areas are home to huge populations of starry flounder, shiner perch and Fall Chinook salmon and water mammals that differ in size from small porpoises to whales. On the outside of the dikes, the mudflats and saltmarshes sit, with a wealth of nutrients and home to worms, shrimp, clams and crabs that feed the marvelous herons, ducks and gulls that come here just for that reason. There are more than 20,000 birds, representing 275 various migrating species that use the freshwater grasslands and marshes for wintering, resting or breeding with the most prolific being the songbirds, raptors and shorebirds. Bigger animals like coyotes and hawks come to the area to feast on the abundance of voles and mice that live in the grassland area; while the riparian woodlands and the brush habitats have many reptiles, amphibians and mammals.

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  • Olympic Flight MuseumOlympic Flight Museum Olympia, Washington
    The Olympic Flight Museum was started in 1998, at the Olympia Regional Airport in Olympia, Washington that contains a marvelous collection of memorabilia from the history of aviation in this country and the region.  Some of the featured items in the collection include; an HH-43 Husky helicopter, A6M2 "Tora" Zero, AH-1S Cobra, AT-6 Texan, BAC-167 Strikemaster, FG1D Corsair, L-39 Albatros, OH-6A Cayuse, P-51D Mustang, UH-1H Huey, UH-1K Huey, and many more. The featured collection this month is that of Thomas C. Nelson, Jr., Aviation Radioman first class, USNR. Tomcat was in WWII and his many exploits and service is showcased on the wall of the facility, and he is one of two surviving POWs that was interned in Japan, as well as being one of the survivors of Pearl Harbor. It must have been an eerie feeling for his wife, when the Secretary of the Navy sent her a letter after a year had passed, telling her that Tom had been killed in action; only to find out later that he was alive and a POW. The letter is part of his collection and helps us all understand the turmoil and distress that accompanied or actually became a part of their lives. Hard for anyone to imagine, but that terrible letter or telegram has been a part of every service person's family, and the one thing that none of them ever wanted to receive. Just try to think about the many service people that face that unimaginable event today and be sure to remember our troops in your prayers. Another memento is a length of barbed wired surrounding his short story and a Japanese flag that helps describe the situation he faced, as well as the news that his family had to endure. But the real letter that says it all was from the White House and signed by Harry Truman; and one that was very important to Tom and all his family. This is just a single story about the terrible war that included the world and affected almost every person on this earth. It is one that we must do whatever is necessary and whatever it takes to never allow this to occur again. It was a terrible loss for every nation concerned, as well as those that didn't have many soldiers or other fighting forces to help, but that were affected in some way. Some of the plans that aren't on display presently, but can probably been viewed include; A-37B Dragonfly, F-86 Sabre, F-104A Starfighter and Sikorsky S-51. All great aircraft and exciting to view. Take some time out of your busy vacation schedule to come here and pay some respect to those fallen heroes that helped keep our country and the world free.

  •  Monarch Sculpture ParkBeginning of Life Monarch Sculpture Park Olympia, Washington
    The Monarch Sculpture Park is found in Olympia, Washington and highlights more than 100 magnificent sculptures set in the great outdoors. There are themed sections like the "Sound Garden" that contains an interactive sculpture for kids, the "Fantasy Garden" and the "Bird and Butterfly Sanctuary", with marvelous sculptures placed in many spots that invoke a moment of thought and then understanding. The park sets close to a creek, so if going at any other time than the summer months, be sure to bring some boots or other shoes that will keep your feet dry. The list of sculptors is quite impressive with many works made of wood, stone, steel and more; some are understandable while others need you to put your thinking cap on and then perhaps read what the piece is or represents, but it just adds some fun to your day. It should be quite a day, since there are more than a hundred, but well worth it and besides all that you are spending the day outside. There are sculptures made of marble, soapstone, cedar, limestone, bronze, aluminum, stainless steel, copper, sandstone, some are painted and others just natural, but all require some thought which is what sculpture is all about, isn't it.  The sculpture to the right is called "The Beginning of Life" and will have you thinking long and hard about it, but Ivan Bulavitsky created his masterpiece out of marble, and hopes that you spend a few minutes enjoying this thought provoking piece; Ivan hails from the Ukraine, but looks like he's settled in Washington.

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Local Restaurants in Olympia
  • Falls Terrace
    Starters; the tower of grilled chipotle prawns, crab & artichoke dip, peppercorn, tenderloin tips & sautéed mushrooms; clam chowder housemade daily; oyster stew fresh from Hood Canal, sautéed in butter & cream; pan seared oysters with tartar sauce; grilled prawn cocktail served with spicy red cocktail sauce; stuffed portabella is fresh extra large mushroom stuffed with artichoke, crab & cheese with toasted cheese croutons; steamed clams one pound with wine, onions & garlic butter; batter dipped avocado is beer battered deep fried avocado, served with gorgonzola dip; northwest crab cakes with mango chutney; Falls signature salad is wild mixed greens, candied walnuts, pears & crumbled gorgonzola tossed in herb vinaigrette; Caesar salad; pomegranate & pear is pears, onions, sweet red & yellow peppers & candied walnuts sautéed in olive oil on bed of wild greens with pomegranate glaze. Terrace Classics; steak terrace is filet mignon topped with Dungeness crab, shrimp, asparagus & Hollandaise sauce; steak mozzarella is broiled sirloin atop fresh wild greens, red onion, sliced tomatoes & mozzarella cheese topped with balsamic vinaigrette; pork chops is Iowa center cut pork chops; Kobe burger is 8oz. fresh ground Kobe beef on Kaiser bun with bacon, cheese, lettuce, tomato, mushrooms & onions with fries; chicken pasta is chicken breast sautéed in olive oil with onions, garlic, mushrooms, cream & white wine over Cavatappi pasta; chicken cordon bleu is chicken breast wrapped with ham & Swiss cheese baked & topped with creamy butter sauce; BBQ chicken & Swiss is chicken breast grilled & brushed with great smoke house BBQ sauce on Kaiser bun with fries; sole Almandine is lightly floured & grilled topped with toasted almonds; cedar planked salmon is fresh salmon smoked on cedar plank served flaming; grilled Pacific oysters with tartar sauce.

  • Gardner's Seafood & Pasta
    Seafood; cioppino is fisherman's stew with clams, crab, shrimp, scallops, oysters & seasonal fish simmered in Italian tomato sauce; Dungeness crab casserole is bacon, green onions, mushrooms & cream topped with cheese and baked; seafood trio is prawns, scallops & Dungeness crab steamed with white wine, garlic, lemon & butter; oysters lightly floured and pan-fried; scallop sauté is sea scallops with cream, shallots, garlic, dill & lemon; steamed clams &or mussels is fresh local clam & mussels served with drawn butter & Dijon mustard sauce; prawn sauté is white wine, cream, butter, shallots, garlic & lemon. Steaks; rib steak 16oz. charbroiled; tenderloin steak 10oz. charbroiled. Poultry; chicken marsala is pieces of chicken breast sautéed with spinach, cream, black olives, mushrooms, artichoke hearts & Marsala wine; chicken piccata is sautéed chicken breast with white wine, lemon, butter & capers; chicken parmesan is sautéed chicken breast with marinara, red wine & cheeses served on bed of fettuccini. Pasta; seafood fettuccini is scallops, crab, shrimp, clams & mushrooms in lobster cream sauce; chicken pepperoncini is sautéed chicken with red onions, mushrooms, leeks, pepperoncinis, cream & spirelli pasta; lasagna is Italian sausage, ground beef, cheeses & marinara; seafood cannelloni is stuffed with crab, scallops, shrimp, seasonal fish, cheeses & lobster sauce; chicken spirelli is boneless chicken pieces, mushrooms, leeks, rosemary, cream & parmesan; portabella mushroom ravioli is olive oil, caramelized onions, garlic & parmesan; fettuccini alfredo with cream & parmesan; fettuccini primavera is fresh veggies, cream & parmesan; spinach fettuccini with prawns is spinach fettuccini tossed with olive oil, white wine, garlic & lemon topped with charbroiled prawns. All pasta dishes are served with warm bread, veggies and choice of soup of the day or green salad.


Steak Terrace Falls Terrace Olympia, Washington


Chicken Cordon Bleu Falls Terrace Olympia, Washington


Cedar Plank Salmon Falls Terrace Olympia, Washington



 Chicken Marsala Gardner's Seafood & Pasta Olympia, Washington

10oz. Charbroiled Tenderloin Gardner's Seafood & Pasta Olympia, Washington


Spinach Fettucini Gardner's Seafood & Pasta Olympia, Washington


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  • Capitol Museum State Capitol Museum Olympia, Washington
    The Capitol Museum and Outreach Center can be seen in the magnificent historic Lord mansion, seven blocks to the south of the capital campus in Olympia, Washington. The museum is devoted to saving and interpreting the culture and history of the state and contains two floors of marvelous displays. The numerous displays about the regional Native American history and the city's place as the state's capital, all help bring history alive in this wonderful exhibit. There are many temporary displays that augment the permanent collections, inviting visitors to learn more about the fabulous history and heritage of this great area, and helping them to look at the differences between the social, cultural and political aspects of the state. Beautiful expanses of green lawns and ethnobotanical gardens showcase the flora of the northwest as it surrounds the museum. The museum building contains outreach programs of the Washington State Historical Society, that include; traveling exhibits service, Women's History Consortium, National History Day and Heritage Resource Center. Permanent displays include Her Present Proud Position: Olympia as Washington State Capitol that pertains to the growth and development of the city, Traditions and Transitions that include a replicate of a Salish Tribal Winter House, and the Delbert McBride Ethnobotanical Garden that really showcases the native plants, trees, shrubs and flowers of the state that have been utilized for medicine, food and tools.  The Lord Mansion that houses the museum is an outstanding home that is located in the historic district of the state capitol neighborhood and is one of the few authentic mansions and was constructed for banker Clarence J. Lord and his wife, Elizabeth; in 1923. CJ was a prominent figure in the history of banking in the state and served as the city's mayor in 1902 and 1903; totally against any kind of attempts to move the capitol away from Olympia. Lord commissioned city architect Joseph Wohleb to design the marvelous structure; and since Wohleb was raised and trained in California, bringing his own style of southwest architecture to the area, which included most of south Puget Sound. The Spanish Colonial villa is encompassed by gorgeous lawns and evergreen trees and believed to be one of Wohleb's grandest stucco-and-tile structures. It highlights the exterior with decorative friezes inset in the walls, an arched formal entrance that is flanked by Doric columns and carved brackets underneath wide eaves. There is even a matching coach house in the rear of the mansion, that contains a chauffeur's apartment upstairs and became a symbol for CJ's affection for big motor cars. When he passed on in 1939, Elizabeth donated the estate to the city and it was then transformed into the State Capitol Museum and Outreach Center. The interior has gone through some changes, but the handsome wood panels in the dining room and the sweeping central staircase are still the same. 

  • Hand's On Children Museum
    The Hands-on Children Museum was opened in 1987, and has evolved from a museum without walls into the premier provider of hands-on art and science education in southwest Washington, by moving from its former small storefront facility to the present location on the state's capitol campus. Following three years of exciting growth, the museum has had more visitors per square foot than any of the other children's museums in the northwest, and during the last decade has had to move because of its phenomenal growth three times and just won a $9 million grant to construct a permanent structure on the city's waterfront downtown. Their mission is to stimulate creativity, learning and curiosity via interactive fun displays and programs for children, school groups and families. The museum's well known Field Trip Education Program encourages academic achievement in the sciences and arts field for elementary school students by offering interactive learning chances based on curriculum standards. Exhibits include; art & science of sandcastles, Build It!, Backyard Wilderness, Working Waterfront, Good for You and the Art studio. The museum is available for birthday parties, overnights stays, themed parties and sports team parties; with numerous after-hours activities. Some of the marvelous events include; Parents' Night Out, Mother/Son Space Adventure, Noon Years Eve, Sand in the City, Boo Bash and Imagine That! Breakfast. Their plans for the new museum and grand opening in the fall of 2011 is one of immense imagination and excitement with a three-quarter acre play area that is above and beyond what the ordinary playgrounds include and will spark the imaginations of every child that comes here and you will love the way their eyes will sparkle and shine when they see it.

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  • State Capitol Building and CampusState Capitol Building & Campus Olympia, Washington
    The Washington State Capitol building in Olympia, Washington and although most states have just a single structure to house their government, this capitol sits on a campus of numerous buildings that include the governor's mansion, the legislature building and the Supreme Court. In 1853, Olympia became the capital of the Washington territory, and the city's founder, Edmund Sylvester gave the state 12 acres of land to construct the state capitol on the hill that looked out over the area that became Capitol Lake. They started building the two-story wood framed structure and the legislature was convened for the first time there in 1928. When President Benjamin Harrison approved the state's constitution in 1889, he also donated 132,000 acres of land to the state government so that the monies that were received from the sale of that land could be used for the capitol fund to build the capitol building. The capitol building came to house all the agencies of the state government and in just a few more years, found that the structure was too small to accommodate everything. In 1911, a new state capitol commission met and decided to construct a group of buildings, rather than just one like the other state capitols had, and had a competition for architect. The firm of Harry White and Walter Wilder was chosen and the Olmsted brothers included some influence in the final design in 1911-12 and designed the landscaping for the campus in 1927-1931. The actual construction started in 1912, and the Temple of Justice was finished in 1920, with the insurance building as well as power and heating plant next. With numerous revisions made, the legislative building was finally finished in 1928, with more buildings built during the following decades. The entire Capitol campus was put on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974 and has some of the most magnificent views in the city; with those of the Olympic Mountains, Mount Rainier, the capitol dome, which is one of the tallest in the world, the capitol buildings group on the hill, Puget Sound and more. The design of the campus is an excellent example of the City Beautiful Movement that came from the Progressive period of the early 20th century.  Those structures that are part of the campus include the insurance building, Irv Newhouse Senate office building, Temple of Justice, John A. Cherberg Senate office building, legislative building, John L. O'Brien House office building and numerous other structures. In 1939, the capitol conservatory was constructed by the Works Progress Administration and held many different kinds of flora until it was closed in September, 2008. All along the campus grounds there are numerous veterans memorials that honor the citizens of this state that bravely served their country and state. The legislative building contains the Washington state legislature and the offices of the governor, lt. governor, secretary of state and treasurer. The structure is the most domineering building on the campus and the dome goes 287 feet into the sky, making it the tallest self-supporting masonry dome in the nation, and the fourth tallest in the world, with St. Peter's Cathedral, Rome, St. Isaac's Cathedral, St. Petersburg, and St. Paul's Cathedral London being the only taller ones on earth. The structure contains the most amount of marble used on any of the state capitols, and was imported from four nations, Italy, Germany, France and Belgium. The outside sandstone came from the Wilkeson quarries in Pierce County, Washington. And since this is the 42nd state to enter the union, there are numerous features that commemorate that, like the 42 granite steps that lead up to the building's north entrance; and the legislative building has one of five 42 star flags. There wasn't an official flag since Idaho joined the union just afterwards. The lamps and Roman fire pots in the rotunda were created by Louis Comfort Tiffany, and are considered the biggest collection of Tiffany bronze in the world and the last big commission before he passed on in 1933. The enormous 5 ton chandelier that hangs above the rotunda is held 50 feet above the floor by a 101 foot chain that measures 25 feet long. It can hold a VW Beetle if you could place in there sideways and highlights full size figures, 202 lights and human faces. The building also has a big brass bust of George Washington and during the years, the nose has gotten a good shine to it as visitors rub the nose for good luck. 

  • The Crosby House
    The Crosby House was built in 1860, by Nathaniel Crosby III, and his new bride, Cordelia Jane Smith, the daughter of Jacob and Priscilla Smith that lived in nearby Lacey. In 1872, the house that sits in Tumwater, Washington, just next door to Olympia, was purchased by Dr. Nathaniel Ostrander, a well known pioneer doctor and his wife, Eliza Jane Yantis, and they lived here until 1903 when it was sold to Frederick and Elizabeth Hahn. In 1918, E. S. Cuyler and his wife, Lena bought it and then sold it in 1941 to Joseph and Mary Louise Parker. The house would be put into the hands of a trustee, William Manier, local lawyer, and with the efforts of the Schmidt family and other descendants of the Crosby family, the home was bought and given to the Daughters of the Pioneers of Washington in 1941. In 1978, the organization gave the house to the city of Tumwater with the provision that as long as the chapter continued, they would have a life estate. The DPW restored the house and furnished it with period furnishings and furniture and fought to keep it from being demolished for the construction of the Deschutes Parkway and Interstate 5. The house does have a wonderful pioneer garden to show the vegetable, and other plants that most families would grow for their own consumption during those days.

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  • Lacey MuseumLacey Museum Olympia, Washington
    The Lacey Museum is located in Lacey, Washington and concentrates on the collection and display of rare and ordinary relics that assist in telling and showing the history of the area with a marvelous collection of old photographs, household objects and furniture from more than a century of collections. The museum is housed in the historical house of Fred Russell who constructed this fine home in 1926 and then used by the volunteer fire department in the 1940s. When the city was incorporated in 1966, it would be used as the city hall and when that organization became too big to be housed here, in 1979, a decision was finalized to make this into a museum on land that was donated for that purpose by the Lacey Women's Club. The structure was moved and in 1981 opened to the public as a museum.

  • Mima Mounds Natural Area PreserveMima Mounds Natural Area Preserve Olympia, Washington
    The Mima Mounds Natural Area Preserve sits on 637 acres of gorgeous lands and holds the best remaining examples of the unusual Mima Mounds. There is a wonderful interpretive trail that can accommodate the disabled, as it wanders through the strange mounds and large prairie with longer trails available. Because of its unusual topography, the preserve was made a National Natural Landmark in 1968 to save the pristine mounds for the citizens of the region and those visitors that come here to view the unique mounds. It preserves the finest remaining example of mima mounds and although there have been many ideas about these mysterious mounds, there hasn't been any acceptable or reasonable explanation about the origin of the mounds that are regularly spaced and 6 to 8 feet high. It is a native grassland ecosystem that is called the Puget prairie and white topped aster, the state's sensitive plant species that blooms only in this area called the Puget Trough. There is an interpretive shelter with many displays, a parking lot and restrooms with the interpretive trail through the mounds as well as a two mile trail to view the flora and fauna native to the area.  The preserve has some of the best bird watching areas in the state, as well as marvelous and beautiful butterfly watching. Each spring the plethora of wildflowers bring many visitors that enjoy the magnificent colors and blossoms as the aroma wafts through the air making it a perfect place to have a picnic and relax and enjoy the beauty of the day and weather. The birding that is available here just seems to be available all year long but there are some peak periods like in the late spring and early summer; when the passerines visit and the blossoms really begin to explode. The Douglas fir and vine maple forest areas are wonderful areas to listen and watch for woodpeckers and flickers as well as brown creepers, chickadees and nuthatches. Some of the specialty birds that you can watch here include; band-tailed pigeons, hermit warblers, white-tailed kite, western bluebird, bald eagles, Vaux's swift, peregrine falcon, Cassin's vireos, shorteared and northern pygmy-owls, Pacific slope flycatcher, pileated woodpecker, red-breasted sapsucker and Rufus hummingbirds. 

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  • Mount Rainier National ParkMount Rainier National Park Washington
    Mount Rainier National Park is situated in the southeast Pierce County and northeast Lewis County in Washington and is one of the first parks opening in 1899 as the fifth national park in the nation. It holds 368 square miles of magnificent and splendid landscapes that includes all of Mount Rainier, a 14,411 foot stratovolcano that rises sharply from the land that encompasses it with elevations in the entire park that range from 1600 feet to more than 14,000 feet. It is the highest peak in the Cascade mountain range with subalpine wildflower meadows, old growth forests, waterfalls, valleys and over 26 glaciers. The volcano peak is quite often enclosed with clouds and drop large amounts of rain and snow into the park each year and hide it from the crowds that come here on the weekends. The mount is circled by the Wonderland Trail and is covered by numerous glaciers and snowfields that total 35 square miles. Carbon Glacier is the biggest glacier by volume, in the entire continental United States, but Emmons Glacier is the biggest by area. The park is visited by 1.3 million people each year and it is a very popular peak for mountain climbing with about 10,000 attempts made every year; although only about a quarter actually make it to the top. There are beautiful subalpine meadows full of wildflowers in season and 91,000 acres of old growth forests.  In all, 97% of the park is saved as wilderness under the National Wilderness Preservation system and that includes the Clearwater Wilderness and the Mount Rainier Wilderness that was given in 1988. It sits next to the Tatoosh Wilderness and was made a National Historic Landmark in 1997 becoming a showcase for the National Park Service Rustic style architecture for the 1920s and 1930s, especially the Paradise Inn. The earliest remnant of human activity in the region is a projectile point that was dated to 4,000 to 5,000 BC that was discovered along the Bench Lake Trail which is the beginning of the Snow Lake Trail. Close by Fryingpan Creek, a rock shelter was discovered that contained a more substantial archaeological find, which sits east of Goat Island Mountain. Hunting relics were found in the shelter, although it wouldn't have been used year round; and cultural affinities give the impression that the site was used by the Columbia Plateau Tribes from 300 to 1000 years ago. The park service contacted Washington State University, in 1963, to study the Native American use of the mountain area and Richard D. Daugherty led the archaeological study in the area and discovered that the prehistoric humans used the area most heavily during the period between 4500 and 8000 years ago. Allan H. Smith went and interviewed elderly Native Americans to study the ethnographic literature of the region and discovered no positive evidence that permanent habitations had existed in the park region. It was used solely for hunting and gathering or spiritual quests and found that the area was used by five different tribes along the watershed boundary; the Puyallup, Taidnapam, Nisqually, Yakama and Muckleshoot. Studies that took place afterwards didn't agree with Smith since most tribes would never have set up boundaries, especially before they entered into treaties with the United States in 1845 to 1855.

  • Henderson House Museum
    The Henderson House is a marvelous two and a half story house found near the lower Tumwater Falls was built around the turn of the 20th century, in the small town of Tumwater, just south of Olympia and had grown into a town with electric streetcars, railroad spur and the successful brewery at the base of Tumwater Falls. The home was constructed for William Naumann, a brewmaster from Hamburg, Germany, in 1905, who worked across the river at the Olympia Brewing Company. The house was constructed by the Olympia Manufacturing and Building Company that was on West Bay Drive and had already constructed a number of homes in Olympia for $1800 to $2000; about the same time that the brewery was itself building a new six story brewhouse, a landmark structure that was made of red brick and sandstone. The Naumann's house was thought to be quite modern, with hot and cold running water, electric lights and steam heat from a coal fired boiler. The electrical power for the house was provided by the Olympia Power and Light Company that had just finished building a new powerhouse on the river, just below the Naumann house, on the Lower Falls. The house was bought by John and Catherine Rohrbeck in 1909 and stayed there for a decade, raising three children. John worked for the brewery his entire life, starting out as an accountant and becoming an officer before retiring after 40 years. The Rohrbecks grew most of their own vegetables in their kitchen garden, as did most folks during that period of time, and they also had some fruit trees on the property. They had many chickens and a dairy cow for milk; and their daughter recalls the many times that she would carry milk to the brewery across the small footbridge that went across Lower Falls; which would be become a real treat for the brewhouse cats. One of her brothers recalls his favorite times, when he had to run to the brewery for the ice that would be used for the best ice cream ever with lots of fresh eggs and cream. Although the house was constructed during the turn of the century, it was a throwback to the Victorian era with bay windows, symmetrical profile, fancy upstairs shingles and marvelous corner turret that were all prominent features of the Queen Ann style that was very popular during the 1880s and 1890s. In 1914, the state banned all alcoholic beverages because of strong public opinion, six years before the rest of the nation did that; which became a calamity for the brewery. It decided to switch to bottling water and fruit juices instead of beer, but had to close in 1921. That year, the Rohrbecks sold their house and moved into Olympia.

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