Thurston County Time Line:
Roger Easton is constructing this timeline to place events occurring in Thurston County in a chronological perspective. Extracted from publications, documents, news articles, journals, etc., it is always open to additions, corrections, amendments.
This is not intended to be the definitive list of events which caused Olympia and Thurston County to evolve into what they are today, but is a list of important, and sometimes just interesting or entertaining bits of information, which hopefully will interest the reader to look further for the whole story.
There are gaps, which we are endeavoring to fill, so expect this page to continually change. Please feel free to contact me to make corrections, add to it, or to further research any of the events below.
The reader may use their browser's “Find” function to locate specific individuals or events when the date of occurrence is unknown.
NOTE: Events listed in any year are not necessarily in chronological order within that year. In order to locate information on this page, please use the “Find on this page” browser feature to search for a particular person, place or event. This is usually located under the 'Edit' menu pull done for your browser.
- Peter Puget, officer aboard the HMS Discovery under George Vancouver, surveyed southern Puget Sound from longboats, including Budd Inlet.
- Isaac Stevens was born. He would later become the First Territorial Governor of Washington Territory.
- Daniel Bigelow was born in New York. He would later be important in many political positions in Olympia and the Washington Territory. [He built Olympia’s Bigelow House, now a museum in Olympia.]
- The James McMillan expedition left Astoria for Puget Sound country. It made its way up the Chehalis River to the Black River to Black Lake. From there men portaged to Eld Inlet and up Puget Sound to the Fraser River.
- Traders of the Hudson's Bay Company called Tumwater Falls “The Puget Sound Falls” when they were proposing to build a sawmill there.
- Hudson's Bay Company sent Archibald McDonald by way of the Cowlitz Trail to establish a trading post, which later became Fort Nisqually.
- Lt. Charles Wilkes, acting Commodore U.S.N., thirty-three months out of Norfolk, by way of the Antarctic, South Pacific, and California, anchored off the mouth of the Columbia River. He was to explore and eventually reach what is now Thurston County.
- The first white child born North of the Columbia River was to Michael T. & Mrs. Simmons. Simmon’s party pushed to the falls of the Deschutes, which the Indians called “Tumwater”. Others in the party included: George Bush; James McCallister; David Kindred; and Gabriel Jones, with their families; and, Jesse Ferguson and Samuel Crockett, both single men. The party was met by Chief Leschi, who gave the party a welcome and supplies.
- The second sawmill (the first being in Vancouver) in the Pacific Northwest was built at Tumwater by Michael T. Simmons and his party. Another was to be built at the mouth of the Nisqually River in 1851.
- The birth of Olympia from a jointly staked claim of Edmund Sylvester, a Maine fisherman, and Levi Lathrop Smith, a minister. Both filed on 320 acres. They had a sole ownership survivor clause. Smith chose the land at the northern end of Budd’s inlet, 2 miles North of New Market (Tumwater) Sylvester settled on the inland section, now known as Chambers Prairie. When Smith drowned in 1847; Sylvester gained claim to both tracts.
- Treaty establishing Oregon Territory, ending joint U.S.-British rule, established the 49th Parallel as border between the U.S. and Canada. Everything south of this line to the California border became Oregon Territory. This made possible a judicial system, laws, mail service and military protection available to the area. The only settlers north of the Willamette Valley, to any extent were a few hundreds of settlers locating from this year to 1851, in Cowlitz and Chehalis River Valleys, and along the shores of Puget Sound.
- A Trail was cleared between Smithfield (Olympia) and New Market (Tumwater) beginning the transportation network.
- Early this year a party made up of Mr. Davis and family, Samuel Cool, A. J. Moore, Benjamin Gordon, Thomas Glasgow, Samuel Hancock, and Leander C. Wallace arrived at New Market. Later that year, Elisha and William Packwood arrived with their families, followed by J. B. Logan, A. D. Carnefix, and Frank Shaw. Thomas Chambers and his sons, David, Andrew, Thomas J., and McLain, with George Shazer and Mr. Brail arrived during the winter.
- Levi Lathrop Smith died of drowning (having an epileptic attack) while canoeing to New Market. Smith was the elected representative from Smithfield (Olympia) to the Oregon Provisional Legislature. At this time Smithfield was in Lewis County, Oregon Territory.
- Father Pascal Richard and a small band of Oblate Missionaries arrived. They settled at Priests Point (now Priest Point Park, Olympia). Some of the 16th Century books used by the priests are now in the State Museum.
- The formal Territorial Government was established. It included all of the Pacific possessions of the United States north of the 32nd Parallel.
- The California gold rush prompted many in this area to leave for the gold fields. Crops were left to rot, and half-built cabins were deserted. All but a few loyal souls left for California. With most gone, Chief Patkanim of
- the Snoqualamies, urged the canoe Indians to join with the horse Indians from east of the mountains to drive the whites from the land. Puget Sound Indians refused.
- Patkanim’s braves attacked Nisqually. Leander C. Wallace was killed.
- Later bribed with 80 blankets, Patkanim delivered six of the murdering Indians for trial. Two of the six were found guilty and hanged. At this time Leschi was learning agriculture from James McCallister and a peaceful bond was being established between the local Whites and Indians.
- George Edwards and John Edgon settled on Yelm Prairie. They were later joined by James Longmire and James Burns.
- Smithfield was dedicated as a town. Edmund Sylvester still owned the town and it was decided to rename it “Olympia”. It is believed the name is to be credited to Colonel I. N. Ebey, who had come from Missouri in 1849. He joined the gold rush and was fairly successful, returning north in 1850, and settling a valuable claim on Whidby Island. He gave a speech, in which the name “Olympia” was a part. There are other origins of the name given by other historians.
- Olympia’s commerce by water began when the brig, Orbit, arrived in the harbor from California, where she had been purchased by Sylvester, Ebey, and other Olympians with profits from gold mining. She was the first sea-going ship owned on Puget Sound. Pilings were loaded for San Francisco.
- Michael T. Simmons set up shop at Nisqually. Later he moved to a post office in Olympia, constructing a 2-story building, which was later to house the U. S. Collector of Customs and Simmon’s general store.
- A customs house was established in Olympia near what is now Percival’s Landing. (A plaque at the surmised site will be found today)
- Samuel Thurston, for whom the County was later to be named, died at sea while returning home to from the National Capital. He was buried at Acapulco. His body was later brought home and now lies in Salem, Oregon. His stone reads, “Here rests Oregon's delegate, a man of genius and learning, a lawyer and statesman, his Christian virtues equaled by his wide philanthropy. His public acts were his best eulogium”. Though he was never in Thurston County, Michael T. Simmons, whose name was proposed for the name of the county, declined, suggesting Thurston County. The Thurston County Historical Commission has since added a stone featuring Thurston's portrait and the County’s Seal with the addition that a county, now in Washington State bears his name. The stone rests adjacent to the original stone.
- Daniel Bigelow gave a rousing, patriotic speech giving reasons why the settlers north of the Columbia deserved a territory of their own. Bigelow is considered the “Father of Washington Territory”, though at the time, some proposed it be called Columbia Territory. But, Edward Stanley of North Carolina, and Richard Stanton of Kentucky, both Congressmen, persuaded them to call the area “Washington”.
- A. B. Rabbeson received a contract to deliver mail between Olympia and Cowlitz Landing over a trail that could traveled by horseback. That same year saw the beginning of occasional mail service by boat on Puget Sound.
- The first Customs District Office in the Puget Sound Country was a few packing boxes on the beach at Nisqually. It was established by William Winlock Miller.
- Captains Nathaniel Crosby and Clanrick Crosby located in Tumwater. They built a general store and a flour mill. Clanrick remained, but Nathaniel removed to Portland. In 1852 he sent a load of Spars from Olympia, the first taken from here. They were cut at Butler’s Cove. Captain Samuel Woodruff’s widow arrived in Tumwater in 1858, where Nathaniel was given employment by Uncle Clanrick. Nathaniel married Cordelia Jane Smith, daughter of Jacob Smith & Settled on Chamber’s Prairie. They also built the Crosby House.
- Sept. 11: The Columbian, a weekly newspaper, commenced publication
- Nov. 13: Michael T. Simmons, S. P. Moses, Stephen D. Ruddell, Adam Wylie, H. A. Goldsborough, Q. A. Brooks, William Plumb, and C. D. Hale were elected delegates to Monticello Convention.
- Nov. 20: The Columbian announced removal of its office to a building near Main and First Streets, in building with post office and custom house, where they “are entirely above the high tide and have no use for canoe to navigate around our sanctum”
- December 4: Death of infant son of Colonel Michael T. Simmons announced.
- Steven Hodgson took a donation claim on the prairie some 15 miles south of Olympia (later Tenino).
- Large coal deposits were found in the Bucoda area. Later these coal fields were purchased by J. B. David of Portland, and Samuel Coulter. When Coulter and David met with William Buckley of the railroad company, they decided a name for the station there. They abandoned the name “Seatco”, coining a new name. Taking the two first letters of their last names -- Bu-Co-Da. Early settler, Oliver Shead preferred Seatco, so at that time the town of Seatco had a Bucoda station. (1890 the legislature officially made it Bucoda).
- Samuel Jones staked a claim at Grand Mound. The name is still a prominent one in the Rochester community.
- William McLane settled at the head of Eld Inlet. That rural community still bears his name.
- Thurston County was created, named in honor of Samuel R. Thurston.
- Olympia Precinct of Thurston County had two school districts. The first term of District Court was convened at Olympia. Elwood Evans, D. R. Bigelow, Quincy A. Brooks, and S. H. Moses were admitted to practice law.
- A ship sailed out of Olympia Harbor carrying Samuel Williams, J. Colvig, William Billings, S. D. Howe, Charles Weed, S. S. Ford, and three Sargent brothers to explore the new-found gold fields on Queen Charlotte’s Island. The ship was wrecked on the east side of the island and the Olympians were captured by fierce Haidahs, who stripped the ship. After two month’s captivity they were rescued by a revenue cutter and troops from Fort Steilacoom.
- Coal was discovered near Olympia. Several sawmills were established, and a growing trade with California was begun. The feeling of ceding from Oregon Territory grew. It was felt Salem was too far from this area. Many towns were 500 wilderness miles from the seat of government, and little representation was being given to this area, though Samuel Thurston pledged to defend the rights of the Americans against the British Hudson's Bay Co.
- Nelson Barnes was instantly killed by a falling tree on Newaukum River
- A new coal mine was reported discovered on the Skookumchuck, by S. S. Ford, Jr.
- A call for a meeting of citizens of Northern Oregon was made to discuss the advisability of memorializing Congress for Territorial division.
- Authorities in Washington consent to establishment of a mail route from Olympia to Steilacoom.
- “Every house between Cowlitz and Olympia crowded with emigrant families”
- January 1: Edmund Sylvester donated two lots to the Masonic fraternity
- January 1: Reverend Benjamin Close assigned by the Methodist Church to Northern Oregon, takes up residence in Olympia
- January 1 Mr. A. W. Moore opens public school.
- Dr. D. S. Maynard of Seattle married to Mrs. Catherine Broshears of Thurston County.
- February 26: Benjamin Dofflemeyer, infant son of Isaac Dofflemeyer died at Allen’s point, six miles below Olympia.
- March 19: Wright, Coulter & Company opened a general merchandise store
- March 19: J. W. Wiley sold his interest in The Columbian to J. J. Beebe.
- April 9: William Dowling, proprietor of Columbia House, died.
- April 9: U. S. District Court opened in Thurston County, Judge Strong presiding
- April 16: Methodist Church erected
- April 23: One hundred guns fired by Olympia light artillery in honor of the new Territory, Washington, first established by act of Congress
- May 7: First Drayage business established in Olympia by Post Master, A. W. Moore
- Conrad Snyder establishes a brickyard in Olympia
- May 28: General merchandise firm of Wright, Coulter & Co., dissolved, but continued under the name Parker, Coulter & Co., John G. Parker being a new member.
- June 4: John Edgar, Whitfield Kirtley, E. J. Allen and George Shazer leave for east of the mountains to confer about a road to Walla Walla.
- June 4: Jesse Ferguson married Margaret J. Rutledge, all of Thurston County.
- July 9: J. Patton Anderson, first U. S. Marshall arrives and prepares to take census.
- July 9: Rebecca V. Chambers, wife of Andrew J. Chambers died at age 19.
- July 23: D. C. Beatty commenced manufacture of furniture in Olympia.
- July 30: Samuel Coulter married Harriet E. Tilley at Scatter Creek, Thurston County. William Plumb, minister.
- August 13: James T. Philips married to Junetta Grogan. Both of Thurston County.
- August 13: James H. Yantis, aged 17 years, and John M. Monroe, aged 23 years, died.
- September 17: T. F. McElroy disposes of The Columbian to Mat. K. Smith.
- November 12: William Billings of Olympia married Mary Angeline Miller in Washington County, Oregon. Also married at Olympia, Benjamin Gordon and Julia Ann McCullough, both of Olympia.
- November 19: Eliza Jane Hicks, aged 21 years, died on Chamber’s Prairie.
- November 21: Sarah Cornell, aged 24 years, died of consumption at Olympia.
- November 26: Census Completed! Thurston County returns 996; Pierce County, 513, The Territory, 3965 people.
- December 3: The Columbian becomes the “Washington Pioneer” J. F. Wiley, Publisher
- December 24: Captain McClellan, Lieutenant Donalson, Lieutenant Duncan, Messrs. Winter, Moffit, Bixby, Giddings and Suckley, all attached to Governor Stevens exploration party, arrive in Olympia
- Olympia enjoys its first theatrical performance. General Jack Rag, celebrated actor and vocalist, gave a grand entertainment at Olympia House. Tickets 25 cents; children and “niggers” [sic] free. Tickets sold at the bar.
- Several buildings erected by March 26 – Catholic Church completed.
- A bed of oysters discovered, four or five acres in extent, on South Bay.
- Chief Justice Lander, Secretary Mason and U. S. Attorney Clendenin arrive in Olympia. Reported that Governor Stevens had arrived in White River Valley en route to Olympia.
- A tiger [cougar] was caught, weighing over 200 pounds by the “boys” on Mr. Bush’s farm, six miles south of Olympia.
- Mr. A. M. Berry associated with J. W. Wiley in publication of The Washington Pioneer
- Olympia Masonic Lodge was formed, and chartered as No. 5 of Oregon.
- The Columbian first was founded. Volume 1, Number 1 was issued by Thornton F. McElroy and J. W. Wiley, who began to advocate a new territory be formed.
- Monticello Convention took place on the banks of the Cowlitz River. Thurston County delegates were Michael T. Simmons, S. D. Ruddell, S. P. Moses, Adam Whyte, Q. A. Brooks, and C. H. Hale. This convention urged Congress to create the Territory of Columbia out of that portion of Oregon Territory lying north and west of the Columbia River. There was little opposition.
- After the creation of Thurston County, elections were held. A. J. Simmons was elected Sheriff; A. M. Poe, County Clerk; D. R. Bigelow, Treasurer; R. S. Bailey, Assessor; and Edmund Sylvester, Coroner. The first County Commissioners were A. A. Denny, S. S. Ford, and David Shelton. Taxes were levied, road districts were established. T. F. McElroy and George Barnes were appointed Justices of Peace. Precincts were established, and William Packwood was authorized to establish a ferry across the Nisqually River.
- Olympia’s first school was built at the corner of 6th and Franklin Streets. Heavy snow that winter caused it to collapse. It was soon replaced.
- The Sarah Warren brought the first American steamboat, Fairy, on its deck to Puget Sound. She ran between Seattle and Olympia, and was later put on the Olympia-Steilacoom run. (In 1857 her boiler exploded, sinking her.) (The Beaver, built in England in the 1830’s, was the first steamer to sail between points on the Sound, between Hudson's Bay Vancouver and Nisqually Companies)
- Louis Bettman came to Olympia to open a general merchandise store. A house he built is near the Olympia Public Library. (He died here in 1904).
- D. C. Beatty opened a furniture manufacturing shop.
- Conrad Snyder opened a brickyard.
- An appreciation for the Olympia oyster spurred the development of several businesses relating to it.
- Large shipments of coal were being hauled from Skookumchuck coal fields for shipment to California.
- The brigs and schooners, James Marshall, Orbit, G.W. Kendall, June Kingsbury, and the bark, Sarah Warren, were calling at Olympia for shingles, timber, pilings, and coal for San Francisco.
- Thurston County had a population of 996; Pierce County, 513, and the Territory had 3,965.
- J. R. Johnson, M.D. announced the opening of a hospital on his claim at Johnson’s Point, at the head of South Bay. He was the first settler there. He often prescribed high test whiskey. His hospital was know for such.
- George Barnes opened a general merchandise store at the west end of 1st Street, before long business houses were opened by A. J. Moses, J. G. Parker, Sam Coulter, L. Bettman, Goldman & Rosenblatt, and Louison & Co.
- Reverend Benjamin Close took up residence in Olympia. On the same day A. W. Moore began classes at the Olympia Public School.
- Congress created Washington Territory. President Franklin Pierce appointed Isaac Ingalls Stevens as Territorial Governor.
- Independence Day was celebrated with a cannon salute at sunrise. Toasts were given at the Methodist Church by prominent citizens. Lieutenant Kautz, U.S. Army, a local witness.
- The Sarah Warren dropped anchor with $15,000 worth of merchandise for the stores of Olympia. She left two passengers, Captain and Mrs. Samuel W. Percival. He built and operated a sawmill at the mouth of now Capitol Lake. He built the dock for Olympia’s first steamers. Percival’s Dock, at the foot of Water Street was the center of community life for more than fifty years. (And now has been re-born and rebuilt as Percival’s Landing) Percival’s son operated the dock and steamship office until shortly before the Second World War.
- Olympia had its first theatrical performance -- General Jack Rag, celebrated actor and vocalist, gave a grand concert at the Olympia House.
- From 1850 to this year, Michael T. Simmons remained as Postmaster of Olympia. Andrew W. Moon was appointed to that position this year, after which, William Rutledge took the position through the Indian War period.
- Isaac Ingalls Stevens arrived at Olympia. On November 28, he proclaimed Olympia the Capital of Washington Territory. Welcoming him were leading citizens of Olympia -- Colonel William Cock, Shirley Ensign, Jno. M. Swan, D. R. Bigelow, George Barnes, h. A. Goldsborough, C. H. Hale, Judge B. F. Yantis, Judge Gilmore Hays, Jno. Parker, Q. A. Brooks, Dr. G. K Willard, Colonel Michael T. Simmons, Captain Clanrick Crosby, Samuel Percival E. Marsh, R. Walker, L. and J. Offut, J. Head, W. Dobbins, Isaac Hawk, and Reverend Witworth.
- Isaac Stevens announced his first legislature to meet in Olympia, the following February. He favored the capitol on Puget Sound, because the Customs Office and first newspaper in the Territory (The Columbian) were here, and Thurston County was the most populated county on the Sound.
- Governor Stevens contracts for several buildings to be built on Main Street, Olympia, for public offices and headquarters for Northern Railway exploring party. (January 21)
- Mr. A. J. Moses and Miss Sarah J. Head married, both of Olympia, (January 21)
- Mr. A. B. Moses and Miss Lucy Barnes married married. (January 21)
- Mr. Andrew J. Chambers and Margaret White married. (January 21)
- Seal of the Territory designed by a member of the Northern Railway exploring, offered for adoption. (This design was afterwards adopted). It represented a sheet of water being traversed by a steamer and sailing vessel, with a Goddess of Hope, with an anchor pointing to the Chinook word “Alki”. (February 25)
- Mr. S. Nelson Woodruff married Samantha Packwood, eldest daughter of William Packwood. (February 25)
- Dedication of the Methodist Church in Olympia, which took place March 19, Reverend J. F. DeVore, pastor.
- First Territorial Legislature meets, Monday, February 25.
- Victor Monroe delivers an address advocating prohibition. (March 25)
- First Legislative Ball given, under supervision of William Cock, of the Pacific Hotel, where the event took place in Olympia. (April 8)
- Mrs. A. J. and A. P. Miller begin erection of a steam sawmill at North Olympia, two miles below town, “the largest lumbering establishment on the Sound.”
- John G. Parker married Jerusha Hays. Chief Justice Lander officiating. (April 29)
- Mrs. Angeline White, wife of John M. Wife, died (April 29)
- Bernard Corleius, graduate of Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland, establishes a classical, mathematical, commercial and training school in Olympia, (May 13)
- Mr. G. W. Allen married Hester Packwood, daughter of William Packwood. (May 13)
- Mr. C. G. Taylor married Matilda J. Sargent. (May 27)
- George W. Guthrie died on Chamber’s Prairie. (May 27)
- Post Office established on Ground [Grand] Mound, L. D. Durgin Postmaster. (June 10)
- First Sunday School opened in Olympia under the superintendence of Reverend G. F. Whitworth, in the Hall of Representatives. (July 1)
- Mr. G. N. McConaha and Captain Barstow drowned, while making passage in a canoe between Vashon Island and Alki. Mr. McConaha was returning home from Olympia, where he had presided as President of the first Legislative Council. (May 13)
- Henry Cock, Dr. Kanby and Judge Roundtree start for Yakima to prospect for gold. Reported that $3 to $5 per day to the hand has been obtained.
- Firm of Bettman & Brand dissolve. Mr. Bettman was third one to open business in Olympia, and now becomes associated with his brother in same. (July 15)
- Commence pile driving for a dock to deep water. (August 5)
- First class in vocal music organized, under Mrs. M. A. Hamm, who “as a teacher of sacred music has few superiors living” (August 19)
- Messrs. Ensign, Blankenship and Kirtley return from a prospecting tour in Cascade Mountains. Convinced gold exists there but doubt its presence in paying quantities. They reported favorable progress on the immigrant road over the mountains. (August 19)
- Tumwater flouring mill commences operation, under management of Ward & Hays.
- Silas Gallagher arrives, being first accession to the population of Olympia from the Atlantic states that summer. (September 2)
- Messrs. Giddings and Scration arrive at Olympia, four days from San Francisco, breaking record for time to that date. (September 2)
- Mr. A. M. Berry, senior proprietor of The Pioneer and Democrat death announced. He died in New Hampshire of smallpox. He had gone East to make contract for printing the laws and journals of the Territory.
- Contract let for the bridge across the bay to the eastside. (October 15)
- Edmund Sylvester returns from the East, where he went to be married, accompanied by T. F. McElroy and Mrs. A. J. Baldwin, a sister of Mrs. Sylvester.
- Francis Marion Rhodes and Mary Ann Mounts were married. Both of Thurston County. (October 21)
- Miss Jane Thomson died. (October 21)
- Second Legislative Assembly convened at old Masonic Hall. (December 4)
- Sarah Catherine Koontz Interviewed in Vol. 2, “As Told by the Pioneers” said, “My parents both crossed the plains in wagon trains in 1852. My father was William Martin and mother’s name was Ann Yantis, daughter of Alexander Scott Yantis. Mother was 14 years old when she came. My father and mother were married in 1854, and lived in Thurston County until 1872.” William Martin took land near Tenino in a two-room log cabin. Fell in love with Ann during Indian Wars. Married at Fort Hennis, he being a Lieutenant.
- The iron propellor steamer, Major Tompkins, began the Olympia-Vancouver run, but was wrecked outside Victoria Harbour in 1855. The wooden propellor steamer, Constitution, replaced her.
- The first settler on a small prairie south of Tenino was Aaron Webster. In the Chinook language, the stream passing the Webster claim was Skookum Chuck-- “Strong water”. (In 1857, he harnessed the water for a mill wheel and turned out lumber for the community. When the mill went into operation, he sold the farm to Oliver Shead, who named the place Seatco, a Chinook word meaning “devil” or “ghost”.
- The Oregon Territorial Legislature appointed the following County Officers: Commissioners -- S. E. Ford, David J. Chambers, James McAllister; Auditor, V. E. Hicks; Sheriff, Frank Kennedy; Assessor, Whitfield Kertly; Probate Judge, Steven Ruddle; Treasurer, D. R. Bigelow; School Superintendent, Elwood Evans; and Justices of the Peace, William (Squire) Plumb, Nathan Eaton, and Joseph Broshears. Ruddle declined the judgeship, and Judge Joseph Cushman was appointed in his place.
- Late in this year, William Winlock miller built a sawmill, and the original Masonic Temple was built on the site of the earlier one. This was the town of Olympia’s first fraternal order.
- A Northern Indian of the Kake Tribe was working at H. L. Butler’s sawmill at Butler’s Cove. A dispute arose over wages, during which he was shot and killed by one Burke, a white employee. Burke and Butler were arrested, but Judge Squire Plumb (for whom, Plumb Station was named) moved to discharge them because, “the county had no jail, and it would be too expensive to retain them in custody. At this time the tribes in the north were enroute on their annual trip to the Sound.
- Commander Sarthout of the USS Massachusetts raided the northern Indian at Port Gamble, leaving huts afire, smashed canoes, and 27 dead Indians on the beach. Burke had already been acquitted, for the murder of their tribesman at Butler’s sawmill. This was the beginning of the stress, which caused the Indian War.
- The first of a number of legislative balls was held at the New Pacific Hotel, under the supervision of Colonel William Cock. During the same month A. J. N. P. Miller began to build a steam sawmill at North Olympia. It was to be the largest lumber works on the Sound.
- Reverend J. F. Devore completed construction of the Methodist Church, dedicated this year. Captain Clanrick Crosby said he would donate all the lumber to build it that Devore could carry away by himself in one day. Early the next morning, he carried enough lumber from the mill to build the entire church by rafting it to his building site. It served as Epworth Hall, and later was made into a rooming house. (It was destroyed by fire in 1949.)
- Washington’s first assembly convened in Olympia, February 28, 1854, in the Parker and Coulter Building at the corner of 3rd & Main (now State & Capital Way). John Goldbury Parker, Jr. and Henry V. Coulter ran an express office and general store in the building. It was constructed by Edmund Sylvester, who added a second story to the 28x64 foot Parker and Coulter store, making it one of the rare 2-story buildings in Olympia. However, the only access to the second story was by an outside stairway.
- Delegates to Congress and members of the first Territorial Legislature were appointed. Michael T. Simmons was appointed Indian Agent, and sent to visit many tribes. Charles H. Mason was made the first Secretary of State. Judge Edward Leander was appointed first Chief Justice of the Territorial Supreme Court. Columbia Lancaster was elected Delegate to Congress. Councilmen (Senators) were B. F. Yantis, a whig; D. R. Bigelow, a Democrat; Representatives were: L. D. Durgin and David Shelton, Democrats; Ira Ward, C. H. Hale, Whigs.
- A pile driver began work on the waterfront, constructing a dock from the foot of Main Street (Capital Way) to deeper water. The original dock, Gidding’s Wharf, extended only 300 feet, and was high and dry at low tide. (By 1888 the dock extended a mile into the bay, and was known far and wide as Olympia’s “mile wharf”.
- The second legislative assembly was held in the Masonic Temple, which was erected that year (Olympia Lodge No. 1, chartered as No. 5 of Oregon in 1853. The temple was not finished when the legislature convened. Edmund Sylvester donated the land. A temporary building for the legislature was being built, but because of the Indian War, it was put on hold, making the Masonic Hall the temporary meeting place.
- Bishop Scott and the Reverend D. McCarthy announced a meeting to form an Episcopal Church, which was built on the present site of the Governor House on the west side of Capital Way between Legion Way and 7th Avenue.
- Legislature adjourned, after locating capital at Olympia, penitentiary at Fort Vancouver, and University at Seattle, with a branch on Boisfort Plains, Lewis County. (February 3)
- Urban E. Hicks, County Auditory, married India Ann Hartsock. (February 3)
- Henry Rader, of Bellingham, married Miss Elizabeth Austin. Edward Lander, Minister. (February 24)
- George Watson Stevens drowned while crossing Skookumchuck River. He was a Kinsman and private secretary of Governor Stevens. (February 24)
- Major Tilton, Surveyor General, arrived in Olympia. (March 24)
- J. Patton resigned as U. S. Marshall. (March 24)
- Mr. A. Benton Moses married Sarah Jane Yantis (daughter of B. F. Yantis) on Gravelly Prairie, by Reverend G. F. Whitworth. (March 24)
- George W. Corliss married Lucretia R. Judson. (March 24)
- Democratic Territorial convention met in Olympia and nominated J. Patton Anderson for Congress. (May 12)
- William Hicks committed suicide by drowning in the bay just below town. The first recorded act of self destruction. “Insanity, caused by too close application to study of spirit rapping”. (May 12)
- William Winlock Miller was appointed Clerk of the District Court for the Second District. (May 26)
- Jas. K. Hurd married Eliza A. Woodward. (June 13)
- Rachel Henrietta, wife of John D. Biles, died near Vancouver. (May 26)
- Butler P. Anderson married to Ione Head. (October 5)
- Joseph Bunting married Miss M. A. E. McAllister (October 12)
- Nathaniel Alden, son of William and Mary Angeline Billings married. Also Mary Angeline Billings, wife of William Billings, 26 years of age. (October 12)
- Call by acting Governor for two companies of mounted volunteers for Indian Wars. (October 19)
- Mr. A. J. Baldwin married Miss Mary Pattle. (October 26)
- James McAllister, A. Benton Moses, and Joseph Miles were announced killed by Indians. (November 9)
- Mr. J. C. Patton married Mary E. Weed, both of Olympia. (November 9)
- Companies of volunteers for service in the Indian war organized at Olympia, Chambers’ and Grand Mound Prairies. (November 9)
- Third session of the Legislative Assembly met in Olympia. (November 9)
- William Baffleck married Miss Elizabeth Simmons.
- The Steamship, Traveler, was brought from California on the deck of a sailing ship and assembled on the beach north of Priest Point. She made regular trips between Seattle and Olympia, but eventually sank off Port Townsend.
- Lieutenant McAllister, knowing the gentleness of the Nisquallys, rode toward their camp at Puyallup Crossing. He, and his companion, Connell were fired on from ambush and killed. His Indian farmhand escaped to Nisqually in time to warn Mrs. McAllister and conduct her and her eight children to the Stockade at Chamber’s Prairie (Other records dispute this) A. B. Moses and Colonel Joseph Miles were killed a few days later. They were buried on Chamber’s Prairie. Only two other Thurston County Settlers were killed in the war -- William Northcraft and William White.
- The legislature officially made Olympia the capital. The city got regular steamer service to Seattle and mail by J. G. Parker.
- Indians were goaded into action, and a full-fledged Indian war began. Olympians built a 12 foot stockade along both sides of 4th Street from bay to bay. A blockhouse was built at the corner of 4th and Main (Capital Way) with the town’s cannon mounted there. The 1st Militia Company enrolled at Olympia, and was known as “Puget Sound Mounted Volunteers”. Captain J. K. Hurd, 2nd Lieutenant commanded it. W. B. Affleck was 1st Lieutenant. Later, Nathan Eaton was authorized to form a company of Rangers. Jim McAllister was 1st Lieutenant, James Tullis, 2nd Lieutenant, and A. M. Poe was 3rd Lieutenant.
- The territorial legislature passed a bill making Olympia permanent capital. (done in the Masonic Hall on Main Street, (Capitol Way) Olympia.
- A Sylvester tract on a hill overlooking Budd Inlet was selected to build the government buildings (The present Capitol Site). Vancouver and Steilacoom both objected. Arthur Denny spoke in favor of Olympia because of its central location to the population, and accessibility to water, and for its view of the Olympic Mountains and Puget Sound from Sylvester’s land.
- W. B. Goodell established a stage line between Olympia and Cowlitz Landing (now Toledo). It left Olympia Tuesdays and Fridays, connecting with steamers for Monticello and Portland at the Landing. The fare was $3.50 to Grand Mound, $10 per 100 pounds. They sold butter at $1 per pound, onions at $4 per bushel, eggs at $1 a dozen, tea at $1 per pound, pork at $.20 per pound, coffee at $.18 per pound.
- Elwood Evans married Elzira Z. Gore. Reverend G. F. Whitworth, presiding. (January 4) First company of volunteers and a company of Mounted Rangers raised in Thurston County under call of Governor Stevens. (February 8)
- A detachment of 20 men were sent by Governor Stevens to apprehend Indians who had raided Yelm Prairie and driven off and killed a large number of head of stock belonging to Messrs. Brail, Longmire, and Chambers. (April 4)
- On account of the Indian troubles the National holiday was not celebrated. A picnic was held down the bay, on the return from which the revenue cutter, Jeff Davis, accompanied the Steamer, Traveler, firing a salute. (July 4)
- Charles C. Ferry married Mary J. Russell. (July 18)
- Thomas Rutledge married Miss M. L. Shotwell, by Reverend DeVore.
- Mr. T. W. Glascow introduced the first threshing machine in Thurston County and advertised for its use. (September 5)
- Victor Monroe, Associate Justice of the United States Court, died in Olympia. He was a Native of Kentucky and was aged about 40 years. (September 15)
- John French married Rebecca Littlejohn. (September 26)
- James Laws married Hester Bryan, both of Thurston County, at Miami [Mima?] Prairie. (September 26)
- James Redpath married P. Catherine Ostrander, daughter of Dr. N. Ostrander. (December 9)
- Fourth Legislative Assembly convened on the 4th instant (December 12)
- Joseph Gibson married Narcissa Jane Henness, both of Thurston County. (December 12)
- William Martin married Ann E. Yantis, Reverend G. F. Whitworth presiding. Daniel C. Beatty married Mary Jane Thomson. (December 19).
- Charles H. Mason, first Secretary of State, died at age 29. Sawamish County, made from the northwest section of Thurston County was changed to Mason County in his honor.
- James McAllister, as a Lieutenant of the Territorial Rangers died at the hands of an Indian sharpshooter. (He settled in Nisqually, became a member of Leschi’s tribe, at first living in two hollow cedar stumps until Leschi and his braves helped them build a log farmhouse. Leschi encouraged this, as he wanted to learn farming techniques. (McAllister Springs, the site of his claim, is now one of Olympia’s water supplies).
- From the Pioneer & Democrat, “Four years ago, where stood but a few solitary buildings, Olympia may be found, with its numerous stores, workshops, and scores of neat, substantial dwellings. In its vicinity, Swanville, [now a art of the city east of East Bay Drive] had sprung from chaos, New Market [Tumwater] has become a place of considerable business, and the once dense forests of fir, lining the bay on either side, are fast being supplanted by farms.”
- Pioneer & Democrat, “Harbor of Olympia -- during the past week four vessels have been lying at anchor in the harbor of Olympia. Three of them belong to Kendall Co.’s Line, viz: The Clipper barks live Yankee and Samuel Merritt, the Bark, Sarah Warren, and the Schooners, Rob Roy, McLaine Master...this is the first time for the last year that four merchant vessels of large dimensions have been anchored in our harbor at one time, and would seem to augur that a revival of business is at hand.
- “First Volunteers of Washington Territory of both Staff and Line are hereby disbanded”. Notice that appeared in the Pioneer & Democrat, at the end of the Indian Wars.
- Governor Stevens declared Martial law when Judge Lander held court against the government, hearing the cases of the settlers who were removed from their claims by Stevens. Martial Law ended 14 May 1856, Stevens paid the Judge $50 for contempt of court after a Federal Marshall was ejected while trying to serve a contempt of court order.
- Qui-ee-muth, Leschi’s brother, and chief of the Nisquallys was captured near Yelm and taken to the Governor’s office at Olympia. Late at night he was murdered. It appeared to be common knowledge among the settlers that Joseph Bunting, son-in-law of Jim McAllister had shot and stabbed the Chief to death with the help of the guards.
- Louis D. Barnard married Mary A. Parsons. (January 2)
- Mr. W. R. Stockend, a farm hand on Tenalquot Prairie, killed a panther, six feet, seven inches long, in a “fair fist and boot fight. The elaborated account in The Pioneer and Democrat proves that likely candidates died before the Ananias Club was organized” (March 27)
- “Colored” Republican convention met in Olympia and nominated a candidate for Delegate to the Congress, after adopting a platform affirming that “James Buchanan, as well as the Supreme Court, should be abolished as a great humbug and that a white man was as good as a Negro when behaving”. (May 29)
- Major G. C. Blankenship married Mrs. Sarah Jane Moses, Reverend G. F. Whitworth presiding, at Swanville.
- Isaac Lightner, an Olympia businessman, married Dorothea Leseritz in San Francisco. (June 26)
- Mr. B. F. Brown, two miles below town, on the Westside, commenced the erection of a wharf to deep water at that point. (July 17)
- Governor Fayette McMullen arrived and took oath of office. (September 11)
- William Wright married Sarah Ellen Littlejohn. (September 11)
- Contract for carrying mail from San Francisco to Olympia, let to Pacific Mail S. S. Co. (September 11)
- Mr. G. B. Goudy, former publisher of The Pioneer and Democrat, aged 29, died, as well as Mr. Jason K. Hurd, died from injuries received from an attack of a wild ox. (September 11)
- Edward Huggins married Elititia Work, sister-in-law of Dr. Huggins. (September 11)
- Edmund Sylvester’s house was erected on 8th Street, between Washington and the present Capitol Way.
- Congress appropriated $30,000 for a permanent capitol, but money was not spent because there was a squabble between Vancouver, Steilacoom, and Olympia for the permanent site of the capitol. So, the temporary meeting place was used from 1857-1901. (It was demolished in 1911.)
- Colonel Isaac N. Ebey, who was instrumental in changing the name of Smithfield to Olympia, a pioneer since 1859, and later a customs agent for the Puget Sound was killed by Haidah Indians from Canada, who were revenging the murder of their chief, killed in a raid by American Naval forces in the Battle of Port Gamble. His head was taken to Canada, where the Haida Tribe were. (On January 20, 1860, Charles Dodd of the Hudson's Bay Company was thanked for “returning Ebey”.
- Meeting held in Olympia to protest the failure of the Pierce County Authorities to hang the “Indian Murderer Leschi” under sentence of death [It should be noted here that the source, author Georgianna Blankenship, had a more than average “distaste” for the Native American. For further information, the reader should refer to the letter of Ezra Meeker, and many others who adamantly disagreed with the Blankenship interpretation of Leschi’s guilt] (January 29)
- Jared S. Hurd married Anne M. Cock, Reverend G. F. Whitworth presiding. (February 19)
- William L. Mitchell, Deputy Sheriff of Thurston County, under order from the Supreme Court, proceeded to Steilacoom and on the same day hung Leschi. (February 19)
- David L. Phillips married Sophia Ellen Suttlemeirs. (March 19)
- Mrs. Sarah Thomson, aged 82, the mother of Reverend George F. Whitworth died. (July 2)
- Fayette McMullen, Governor of Washington Territory, married Ellen Suttlemeirs. (March 19)
- Rufus Willard married Sarah J. Fletcher. (September 10)
- Margaret Rutledge, wife of William Rutledge, died at age 66. (October 15)
- William G. Dunlap married Carrie Cock. (December 17)
- Grand Lodge of Masons for Washington Territory organized at Olympia. (December 31)
- James R. Wood married Mrs. M. B. Pullen. (February 11)
- Fannie Bell, only daughter of Major James and Isabella Tilton, died. (February 11)
- “First earthquake experienced in Thurston County occurred February 2”
- Leschi hanged, February 19
- William Mitchel married Martha Johns by Chief Justice McFadden, April 13.
- Henry Cock married Maria D. Hall. (July 8)
- Isaac Wood erected a brewery at 5th and Columbia Streets in Olympia. (July 22)
- Charles H. Mason, Secretary of the Territory, died at age 29. (July 22)
- Fourth Street with its junction with Main Street [Capitol Way] planked. Stumps removed from Main above Fourth. (October 21)
- Mollie Garfielde, daughter of Selucius and S. E. Garfielde died. (November 25)
- Mary F. Reed, daughter of T. M. and E. H. Reed, died. (December 9)
- Mr. A. B. Gore married Mrs. Vestatia J. M. Hyde; Dan W. Lowell married Ellen Willard (December 23)
- Envelopes made their appearance in the mail in Washington Territory, an improvement over the practice of folding the letter and sealing it with gum or wax, and addressing the letter on the reverse side. (By 1860, envelopes were sold for $.01 each by the post offices) The usual postage was around $.50 for mail to the East.
- The steamer Eliza Anderson began running between Olympia and Vancouver, B.C. on a weekly mail schedule. Other well-known steamers: Enterprise, Alexandria, Josie McNear, New World, Alida, and Wilson G. Hunt.
- First Olympia town election held. George A. Barnes, U. G. Warbass, William Rutledge, Jr., Butler P. Anderson, and Harvey Winsor won seats on the Board of Trustees. Elwood Evans was appointed in W. Rutledge’s place when he resigned.
- Articles of Incorporation were filed for the Town of Olympia. The entire county had a population of less than 1,000 by 1860. (It was not until 1870 before the population passed that number.)
- During the legislature, Vancouver failed by only one vote to move the Capitol there.
- Barnes Hook and Ladder company, Olympia’s first fire protection was formed.
- The Washington Standard, Olympia’s second newspaper was founded by John Miller Murphy, who was to become one of the state’s well-known newspapermen.
- The Pioneer Democrat was sold to James Lodge.
- Bridges connecting Swantown on the east and west side district was built from the present-day Jefferson Street to East Bay Drive.
- Caucuses resulted in giving the Territorial government the following:
Port Townsend..........a Penetentiary
Vancouver............... the Capitol
- Alert Hook and Ladder Fire Company organized, “the first organization of its kind in Olympia”. (January 13)
- Mr. M. R. Tilley married R. A. Leonard. (March 23)
- Mr. J. W. Wiley, 40 years of age, died. He was for several years connected with The Pioneer and Democrat. (March 30)
- Nathaniel Crosby married Cordelia Smith. (August 10)
- Contract let for clearing of Capitol Grounds. There is much local criticism of the Territorial Capitol Commission for not proceeding to build with $30,000 appropriated by Federal Government.
- Census just completed shows total population for Thurston County of 1504; value of property, $1,529,700. Eighth Legislative Assembly convenes, and on December 11 passes bill removing capital to Vancouver, and the penitentiary from Vancouver to Port Townsend.
- Charles Eagan married Kate Wood; and, John Chapman married Sarah E. Dofflemeyer. January 4)
- Mary Rutledge, wife of William Rutledge Sr., died. (January 25)
- Mr. E. N. Sargent married Lucinda Mounts. (February 15)
- Messrs. DeLacy, Blankenship, and Packwood start on trip to explore Nisqually pass, south of Mt. Rainier. (March 8)
- Having been discovered that the bill removing the capital to Vancouver is defective, having no enacting clause, and editorial battle is commenced between The Pioneer and Democrat and Vancouver Chronicle (March 15)
- Aaron Webster married “Miss Yantis” (April 10)
- John Miller Murphy married Eliza J. McGuire of Portland. (April 26)
- Isaac Ellis married Martha A. Connor. (May 24)
- New Administration for Washington Territory announced as follows: Governor, W. H. Wallace, Chief Justice, C. C. Hewitt; Receiver of the Land Office, Jos. Cushman; Register A. A. Denny; Secretary, L. J. Turney; Attorney, J. J. McGilvra; Associate Justice, J. E. Wyeh. (May 24)
- Joseph H. Kellett married to Rebecca D. Sargent. (September 14)
- Peterfield Turpin married Eunice M. Harned. (September 21)
- Chief Justice Hewitt declares the law removing capital from Olympia to Vancouver null and void. (October 5)
- Ninth Legislature convened. (December 7)
- Tumwater tried to annex the County Seat for their community. When Olympia offered the town’s public square to the county if they would build a courthouse there, they accepted. Later they found it illegal. Edmund Sylvester donated the town square for park purposes only. Eventually the courthouse was built elsewhere, and the old town square is now Sylvester Park.
- A referendum was held. Olympia was the clear winner for the Capitol. Votes were:
Vancouver............... ..839 votes
Steilacoom................. 253 votes
Port Townsend........... 72 votes
Walla Walla............... 67 votes
Seattle........................ 22 votes
The Supreme Court decided that year that Olympia would be the Territorial Capitol.
- C. H. Hale confirmed as Superintendent of Indian Affairs. (March 29)
- A theatrical company presenting, “Lucretia Borgia”, “Lady of Lyons”, “David Copperfield”, “The Brigands,” etc. appeared for one week in Olympia.
- Henry C. Hale married Fannie E. Knox. (Sept 20)
- Meeting called to take measures for showing proper respect to memory of Isaac I. Stevens [who was killed at Battle of Chantilly in Civil War] (October 18)
- The First Presbyterian Church was erected on the SE corner of Legion Way and Franklin Street. This was the first church of this denomination north of the Columbia. (1950 - “This church is still standing and is used by the Gloria Dei Lutheran Church on Adams, between Legion Way and 5th Avenue”)
- Pioneer & Democrat was now being published by the Overland Press, by B. F. Kendal. An angry reader attempted to whip Kendal on the street and was shot (not killed) in self defense. The editor enraged the reader’s son with his account of the incident in his paper. The son entered the newspaper office and murdered Kendal.
- Isaac Stevens died was killed while serving as an officer in the Battle of Chantilly, in the Civil War. News of the death of Isaac Ingals Stevens reached Olympia, and he was honored for dying a hero’s death.
- B. F. Kendall, editor of the Overland Press died on the 7th of January from a pistol shot fired by Horace Howe. Kendall was 34 years old and a graduate of Bowdoin College. (January 10)
- Wife of William Cock died at Walla Walla, May 31st, age 49. (June 20)
- Reverend Richard J. Evans, Age 28, died. At the time of his death, Mr. Evans was pastor of the Presbyterian Church, from March 13, 1860 to the time of his death. (June 27)
- McLain Chambers married Esther Packwood. (July 11)
- Mr. G. Warbass, of Olympia, died at Victoria. (July 25)
- Mount Baker reported in a state of Eruption. (August 1)
- Mr. D. B. Ward married Belle Byles. (September 26)
- Levi Offutt, aged 44 years, died. (October 3)
- Mr. T. J. Axtell married Eliza M. Brown. Bride was dressed in red, white and blue. (November 14)
- Born to the wife of Robert Frost, a daughter on the 24th of November; also to A. B. Young, a son. (November 28)
- Clanrick Crosby married Martha B. Ward, December 23, 1863
- Nicholas Crosby established the first post office in Tumwater. (The Washington State Museum has the desks and windowed partitions he used.)
- Gustave Rosenthal arrived in Olympia and opened a general store at 2nd and Main. The firm later became M.M. Morris.
- Mr. W. H. Ruddell married Helen Z. Himes, February 21, 1864.
- George N. Scott died at age 24 years on April 10, 1864.
- George W. Biles married Louise Crosby on July 3, 1864.
- George W. Simmons married Virginia H. Calhoun; Christopher C. Simmons married Amantha Kennedy. (October 1)
- Stephen L. Ruddell married Amanda J. Packwood. (December 24)
- The Olympia post office was moved to a hotel building, and Charles Wood
- The Overland Press became the Pacific Tribune when its publisher was shot.
- The telegraph was completed to Olympia. Territorial Governor Pickering dispatched a congratulatory message to President Lincoln, received next day, September 6, 1864, “Governor Pickering, Olympia, W.T: Your patriotic dispatch of yesterday received and will be published...A. Lincoln."
- Olympia’s very pro-Union sympathy, John Miller Murphy favored at any cost.
- James Scott married Electra Rutledge. (March 4 )
- Mary Frances Shelton, daughter of Levi and Christiana Shelton died at age 19. (March 4)
- Mr. A. J. Burr of Olympia married Mrs. M. Woodruff of Tumwater (August 19)
- The long awaited wagon road across the Cascades was finally finished.
- The pioneer town pump at 4th and Main, where the Chambers Block now stands, gave way to a cistern and water mains.
- John Shelton married Angeline Ford; William P. Wright married Maria L. Willard. (January 6)
- Samuel James died at the age of 60. (February 3)
- New flouring mill erected by C. Crosby at Tumwater is completed. (March 17)
- Columbia Engine Company No. 1 is organized (March 31)
- Dudley Barnes married Harriet L. Eastman. (April 7)
- Columbus White married May Clark April 14)
- Mary Crosby, age 58, died. She, a relict of late Captain Nathaniel Crosby, a pioneer of the county. (May 19)
- The Pixley family gave their first performance in Olympia. Annie Pixley, at this time fourteen years of age, gained a national reputation as an actress. Her mother, at this time, opened a millinery shop on Washington Street, between 3rd and 4th. (July 21)
- John Scate, aged 76 years, died near Tumwater. (August 4)
- Jacob Waldrick married Lucretia Eaton, both of Thurston County, married in Victoria. (September 8)
- Mr. G. K. Willard, aged 58, died. (December 22)
- Governor Cole arrived in Olympia and succeeded Governor Pickering. (January 12)
- W. H. Waterman, Superintendent of Indian Affairs, died at age 58; also, Christiana Shelton, wife of Levi Shelton at 51 years of age. (January 19)
- John M. James married Mary C. Scammons at Montesano. (January 26)
- Mr. B. S. Cornell died at age 69. (February 23)
- Mr. B. F. Ruth married Mrs. Vail, both of Thurston County. (March 2)
- Ebenger Eastman, aged 45 died at Tumwater. (May 4)
- Mr. J. D. Spirlock married Cordelia Rickard. (June 29)
- Thomas M. Reed married Eliza C. Giddings on July 21, 1867.
- Amos Brown married Annie M. Peebles. (November 23)
- The first circus to appear in Olympia performed on the southwest corner of Main [Capital Way] and 4th Streets. (November 24)
- Colonel Michael T. Simmons died July 14, 1868. Mary A., wife of William Billings died on same date.
- The Tribune made an attempt to print a daily paper. It became too much for its resources and the plant and subscription lists were sold at a sheriff’s sale. John Miller Murphy bought most of it and gave it back to its publishers. The Tribune moved to Seattle, then Tacoma, and is still printed there.
- A radical Republican paper, The Transcript, began publishing . (It continue until l885.)
- The Echo, a temperance paper began publishing.
- A wooden pipe company, which was to develop into one of Olympia’s major industries for many years, was established in Tumwater.
- Frederick Prosch married Helen M. Elder; and at the same time and place; H. M. Elder to Miss C. A. Ruddell (January 2)
- Captain D. B. Finch presents to Olympia Lodge of Good Templars, the Olympic Building, southwest corner of 4th and Columbia Streets, on condition that the lodge maintain a free reading room. [site of present Oddfellows Hall]
- Mrs. I. Lightner and G. Rosenthall, pioneer merchants, form a partnership.
- Mr. R. W. Moxlie, a pioneer, for whom Moxlie Creek was named, died. (January 16)
- Reverend Charles Biles, a pioneer of 1853, died on Mound Prairie. (March 13)
- Two velocipedes [bicycles/tricycles] appear upon the streets of Olympia. One a two-wheel affair, and the other a three-wheel affair; the latter of home construction.
- Isaac Wood, a pioneer of 1851 died. Mr. Wood was the first brewer in Thurston County, his brewery being located at 4th and Columbia Streets. (April 17)
- The Marshville (Westside) bridge is completed. (April 17)
- James A. Watson died. He was connected with the press of the Sound since 1851. (July 10)
- George Francis Train lectured in Olympia. (July 10)
- Tumwater bridge completed (July 17)
- Albert A. Phillips married Nellie Gillispie, of Whidby Island (August 7)
- David Longmire married Elizabeth Pollard. (September 18)
- Olympia Town Hall dedicated with a dance, Friday evening November 26, 1869. (This hall was destroyed by fire, June 4, 1914)
- William Winlock Miller married to Mary M. McFadden, in Lewis County. (November 27)
- Mr. George A. Barnes commenced the erection of the first brick building in Olympia, “which still stands on Main Street, between 3rd and 4th. In this building the first bank in the Territory was started. [as of February 2002, the building still stands!] (December 25, 1869)
- The first Olympia City Library and City Hall were built.
- Marshall F. Moore, Governor of the Territory, dies at Olympia (February 27)
- Mr. J. B. Biles married Julia Burkett (June 25)
- General Hazard Stevens and P. B. Van Trump return after making the first ascent of Mount Rainier, although Captain F. W. Ferrell claimed to have ascended it in October 1847, in company with John Edgar and a Frenchman and Indian, names unknown.
- Census Completed – Olympia 1203; Thurston County 2246. (September 17)
- Mr. C. M. Bradshaw married Florence Holmes.(October 22)
- Mrs. C. H. Hale died, aged 52 years. (December 4)
- The Eliza Anderson was tied up in her wharf, and the new steamer, Olympia, was assigned to her run. (In 1897, she was wrecked while on her way to join the Alaskan Gold Rush)
- The Steamer Alida, built in Olympia, was sailing between Olympia and Victoria.
- The Sternwheeler, Chehalis, built in Tumwater, was running from Olympia to Seattle.
- I. Harris arrived in Washington Territory and entered the general merchandise business in what is now Eastern Washington (1853). This year he moved to Olympia and opened the dry goods store, which was at the site of what is now the NE corner of Legion Way and Capitol Way.
- The Federal Census showed the following populations:
- Thurston County.................2,246
- King County.......................2,164
- An association of pioneers formed. All citizens eligible whose residence date back to 1860.
- Mrs. L. D. Durgin and Eliza C. Reed, wife of T. M. Reed died. (May 20)
- Woman’s Suffrage Association for Thurston County formed (November 18)
- Puget Sound Courier commenced publication as political organ of the Federal office holders. (December 30)
- Olympia receives formal notice of acceptance by Northern Pacific Railroad of land subsidy and location of termini at Olympia. (December 30)
- The Puget Sound Courier was moved from Port Townsend to Olympia. Its publisher, Clarence Bagley, joined forces with John Miller Murphy of The Washington Standard to run the Temperence Echo out of business. Bagley was a Republican and Murphy, a Democrat. They named their combined paper, The Daily Olympian, and agreed to edit the paper on alternate days to keep the paper neutral.
- The Zephyr was launched in Seattle and was placed on the Olympia-Seattle run, which she continued for many years.
- The Northern Pacific Railroad was within 15 miles of Olympia, with the location of the terminus still undecided.
- The Puget Sound Land Company, a subsidiary of the Northern Pacific Railway, bought up large tracts of land on Budd’s Inlet in the name of one Ira Bradley Thomas. Before the rails reached Olympia, Thomas died. Rather than face legal delays of probating his estate, the company quickly bought up new land near old Tacoma and told Northern Pacific to change its terminus to that location.
- John Law, age 74 died. Reported this year, but actually November 12, 1871. He was an emigrant of 1852.
- First Unitarian Church Sunday school Organized. (January 27)
- Mr. J. W. Brazee married to Minnie Biles (February 4)
- Joseph Cushman, an early pioneer died. (March 2)
- Mr. J. J. Gilbert married Fannie A. Yantis, May 12, 1872
- Mr. L. P. Venen married Emma Clark (June 22)
- Tallitha Kindred died on Bush Prairie (June 22)
- Mr. C. H. Hale married Mrs. Pamela C. Case (August 17)
- Mr. W. E. Boone married to Mercie Slocum on October 30, 1872
- William Billings married Jeanette M. Ballentine (November 9)
- Mr. H. R. Woodard, pioneer of 1852 died. (November 9)
- Olympia has experienced the hardest earthquake that has ever occurred here [to that date]
- (November 9)
- Mr. J. M. Lammon married Mary Hallett. (November 30)
- Nathan Eaton married Lestina Himes (December 21)
- The Northern Pacific Railroad established a station 15 miles South of Olympia - Tenino
- The last stage coach mail, carried from Monticello to Olequa, was delivered to the Northern Pacific train there and carried as far as Tenino, and again transferred to a horse drawn vehicle and brought to Olympia.
- Mail was also distributed to Puget Sound points by steamer. P. D. Moore, operated the S.S. Favorite, and his son, A. S. Moore became mail clerk. Later young Moore’s brother, W. G. Moore held that job for 8 more years.
- The worst earthquake in Olympia’s history [to that date] occurred.
- Olympia was incorporated as a city. The office of Mayor replaced the President of the Board of Trustees.
- The first brick house in Olympia was built by Frederick Billings, on a lot at 9th and Washington Streets.
- Sheriff Billings of Thurston County, and Sheriff Smith of Pierce County got a bill passed to turn the Territorial prisoners over to them for contract labor. Oliver Shead put up the money to finance them a timber prison with well-spiked, 12 inch walls to house the prisoners in Seatco (Bucoda). This Prison continued until 1888, when Walla Walla was made site of the Territorial prison.
- Dr. Nathaniel Ostrander built his house and homes for his daughters on the same block in Olympia. (The Walter Crosby house, the Fanny Moore house, and the Mike O’Connor house) [all have been torn down]
- The Olympia Collegiate Institute was organized at 2nd and Pear Streets. It served as a school for the whole Northwest, and later evolved into the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma.
- Hong Yek Kee and Company, Chinese Mercantile and Labor Contracting is founded in Olympia. Chinese had resided in Olympia since at least 1852, and a number of other Chinese owned businesses were established prior to Hong Yek Kee. Owned by Sam Fun Locke and associates, Hong Yek Kee emerged as the most enduring Chinese business in Olympia, operating into the 1930's.
- The Olympia Oyster Company was established.
- Thurston County Commissioners floated a $75,000 bond to complete a narrow guage railroad built to connect Olympia with the main line in Tenino. The first train carrying Olympians on excursion ran this year. They entered Olympia from the south by way of a trestle just west of the present capitol building, passing under the Westside Bridge to the terminal on pilings just east of Westbay Drive.
- The first meeting of Olympia’s Town Trustees met. Present at this gathering were T. F. McElroy, James Tilton, Joseph Cushman, and Elwood Evans. [They held the same positions as present City Commissioners]. Joseph Cushman was elected as Board President. Others appointed by the Board were: Richard Lane, Town Clerk; William Mitchell, Town Marshall; and Thomas M. Reed Committing Magistrate.
- The Olympia Post Office was established on the site that later became the Knights of Pythias Hall. It moved again to the site where the Old Capitol now stands. During J. M. Gale’s term, Olympians got their mail at the Columbia Hall [located just east of the north side of 4th and Washington Streets, the present site of the State Theater]. Gale was succeeded by Val A. Milroy, who became the first postmaster at Olympia, when the post office was located just west of the northeast corner of 4th and Main (Capitol Way) Streets. (Before Gale, A. J. Burr was Olympia Postmaster at the latter location, and J. H. Munson was the mail clerk and sorter)
- The Tenino Herald, first newspaper in Tenino was printed. It had a short life, but was the forerunner of the present Tenino Independent.
- The Mottman Mercantile Company began this year as Toklas and Kaufman. Prior to this store, on the same site, beginning in the 1850’s, C. E. Williams had a store.
- The Courier combined with The Daily Critic, changing the name to The Daily Critic and Weekly Courier. They were staunch Republican in their views.
- Fire destroyed two square blocks on 4th and 5th Streets, east of Main Street (Capitol Way).
- The Daily Critic and Weekly Courier became The Republican Partisan in Olympia. (It later became The Olympia Tribune in 1890, and then The Olympia-Tribune in 1893, when it merged with The Daily Olympian. Then in 1903, it became The Olympia Daily Recorder.)
- February 9. Anti Chinese agitation around the Puget Sound region emboldened local demonstrators to attempt to oust Olympia's Chinese. Local business leaders, fearing the negative press that had followed the Seattle and Tacoma riots, banded together to preempt the riot. While the Chinese were harassed, none were forced to leave, and Olympia gained a reputation as somewhat of a safe haven for embattled Chinese.
- Tenino became an important commercial center when the sandstone quarries began operation. This stone was to be used for many of the state’s most important buildings, and remained important until steel and concrete replaced it.
- Real estate men had taken over, promoting Olympia as “the site” to locate. Some of the more successful were: J. F. Murphy and Company; J. C. Boyd and Company; E. L. Sawyer and Company; T. C. Van Epps and Company; Shoecraft Cook and Smith; Alfred Thompson; George Gelbash; Henderson and Guyot; R. G. O’Brien; S. C. Woodruff and H. T. Mayo, of Olympia Real Estate, Loan and Insurance Company.
- The leading store in Olympia was Toklas and Kaufman. Arthur Ellis had a furniture store at 3rd and Main, O. R. Simenson ran a jewelry store in the Woodruff Block (southeast corner of now Capitol Way and State Street), Clayton Aldrdridge had a grocery store, James Brewer was a butcher, Albert D. Wright sold harnesses and saddles, Francis Henry was an attorney-at-law and sold real estate, Rogers, the photographer took photos of the pioneers, and Young’s Hotel, on Main Street (north of now State Street), was the leading hotel ($1 to $1.50 per day) and was the office of the Montesano Stage Line. Also important in this year was the Olympia Planing Mill and the Puget Sound Pipe Company.
- Sunset Telephone and Telegraph Company installed the first telephone lines in Olympia. Street Railway franchises were granted, and E. T. Young was given the franchise to erect electric light poles along city streets. Western Union was allowed to put in telegraph poles, and the Olympia Water Company proposed plans for the modern water system. (which the city used until McAllister Springs was developed and completed in 1949)
- The State Constitution provided for the election of five Supreme CourtJustices, who were: John P. Hoyt, Thomas J. Anders, T. L. Stiles, R. O. Dunbar, and Emon Scott. The upper story of Talcott Brother Jewelry Store became the chambers of the Supreme Court until the State rented the upper floors of the Kneeland Hotel (4th & Main Street). (This major hotel was demolished after the earthquake of 1949)
- The Supreme Court moved in 1901, when the State purchased the Thurston County Courthouse [now the Old Capitol Building] It convened there until 1920.
- The battle over the capitol site reoccurred. Anti-Olympia sentiment stated Olympia was off the beaten track, and the capitol was run-down. Further, the mail service was poor, as was the rail service.
- The horse car service began in Olympia. It was drawn by two horses. The two drivers were John Bickle and Elmer Dodge.
- The Olympia street railway system was built. It consisted of two horse cars. One terminus was located at Maple Park, and it ran north on Main Street, then east on 4th Street to Puget Street. The franchise and equipment was sold to the Olympia Light and Power Company, who wanted to turn the line into an electric street railway.
- The large stone courthouse was built (now the Old Capitol Building), facing Sylvester Park.
- The legislature officially made “Bucoda” the name of the town, rather than “Seatco”, which earlier settlers preferred (See 1852).
- Olympia sent a new fire steam pumper to Seattle, by way of a steamer,to aid that city when the great fire threatened to consume it. They then gave $500 to Seattle to aid in their recovery. Though grumbling took place in Olympia, Seattle, feeling indebted, gave her support to Olympia as the site of the State Capitol.
- Olympia’s Popultation was 4,698.
- Vote on the Capitol Site:
Ellensburg.................... 7,722 votes
North Yakima.............. 6,276 votes
- In the spring, the Olympia Post Office was located in the Reed Building [still locted on the northeast corner of Legion Way and Franklin Street]. It was a new building, and was a modern post office with post boxes. Carrier delivery was now in demand, forcing buildings and homes to be given street addresses, and marked.
- Construction of the [Old] Capitol Building began in Thurston County Court House (cost = $125,000), but the cost was too much for the county’s coffers, so it was willing to sell the courthouse to the state to become Washington’s Capitol.
- Postmaster Milroy asked for three mail carriers and one substitute. Irving Young, Arthur Bedford, Carey Jones, and Clark Savidge were hired. Mail boxes were put out on corners for the first time.
- Olympia Light and Power began the first electric street cars to serve the city. The passengers on the first run were: George D. Shannon, Robert Frost, George L. Sickles, Thomas Henderson Boyd, C. T. Whitney, A. S. Gills, and L. B. Faulkner. The line was extended from Maple Park to Tumwater, near the lower falls of the Deschutes River.
- The Olympia High School News, predecessor of The Olympus, began publication.
- A bill sponsored by Theodore Mentzer of Tenino became law. It created a State Capitol Commission, which was authorized to sell 132,000 acres of timber land for financing the construction of permanent capitol buildings. Ernest Flagg, of New York, sent designs along with 185 others. His was selected. (The foundation was laid in 1895, but nothing else happened for 20 years, as the State couldn’t find buyers for the timber it had for sale to finance the buildings).
- The federal government began to dredge the harbor confining silt behind bulkheads, which allowed Olympia to become a major port on the Sound.
- The beginning of an industrial district occurred.
- C. B. Mann was elected Mayor of Olympia.
- Mark Twain lectured in Olympia. He spent Sunday, August 11th with Livy, his wife, and Clara his daughter at the Olympia Hotel. It is reported he did not get out of his long, woolen nightshirt all day. He went from Olympia to appear in Tacoma and Seattle. Mark Twain Breakfasts in Olympia, August 11, 1895
- The Capital Brewing Company [later Olympia Brewery] was established. Leopold Schmidt was its founder. He and P. M. Troy (father of later State Attorney General, Smith Troy) saved the land, on which now is the site of Priest Point Park, from speculators, and built the Swiss Chalet there.
- The Weekly Capital began printing (until 1901)
- The Olympia Chronicle began publishing (until 1927)
- The federal census gave Olympia’s population as 3,863 , a drop -- the first to occur since the California gold rush.
- The Anti-Imperialist was published this year.
- Governor Rogers proposed building an annex on the [Old] Capitol Building. (It was done in 1905 at a cost of $500,000) [ Note: Though the two sections of the building are exactly done in the same architectural style,one can see which was the annex, and which was the original building. The reason. The orginal part -- to the west, was built of Tenino Sandstone, a slightly grayer color. The addition -- to the east, was built of Wilkeson Sandstone (from a pit near Mt. Rainier), and is has a slightly redder hue.]
- Olympia held its first horse and automobile show, managed by Charles Hartwell. Some exhibitors were auto owners: Dr. Wayne Bridgeford, Dr.G. W. Ingham, Otis Duby, C. J. Lord, and E. N. Steele.
- Charles Hartwell scheduled an auto race with two entry classes -- Large cars raced from Olympia to Yelm and back by way of Tenino and Tumwater. Smaller cars made a round-trip to Nisqually and back via Lacey. Few cars finished the race.
- The Olympia House, the pride of Olympia as one of the finest hotels on the West Coast, burned to the ground. [It was a masterpiece of Victorian architecture built on the site of the Old Federal Building on Main Street. It boasted the first electric lights in Olympia.]
- The [Old] Capitol building was finished for State use.
- Pioneer Daniel R. Bigelow died. He was interred in Forest Cemetery on Pacific Avenue just east of Olympia.
- There were 763 autos known of record in the State of Washington. (The first license plates were issued in 1916 to 70,032 car owners, making it necessary for the State to set up a license department in 1921).
- The Woman’s Club was built at 10th and Franklin, and still meets there.
- The Washington Saturday Review was published from 1909-1910
- The Parker and Coulter Building (Goldbar Restaurant), in which the first legislature was held, was torn down. [Models of the first capitals now located in the State Museum were made from this lumber from this building]
- The propeller steamer, Nisqually, arrived in Olympia on her maiden trip. She was assigned the Tacoma-Olympia route, and could make the run in two hours, even against the tide. [She continued until 1917, when steam boats became extinct due to increase use of the highway systems. Other steamers running at this time were: The Grayhound, Multnomah,The Flyer, Magnolia, Sol G. Simpson, City of Shelton, Mizpah, and Willie.
- The Washington Territorial Capitol building was demolished. It had been used from 1856 to 1901. It was a 40’ x 68’ two-story building. [It was sited between the present Legislative and Insurance buildings, facing North.] The first floor contained the House of Representative Chambers and two small committee rooms. The Council met on the second floor, which also had two committee rooms and the one-room Territorial Library.
- Six newspapers were printed in Olympia this year: The Chronical, The Independent, The Olympian, The Recorder, TheWashington Standard, and The State Capitol Record, a Legislative Digest.
- Due to the expansion of downtown, the whole of Chinatown was moved from its location on the SE corner of 5th and Columbia Streets, to its final location on the northwest corner of 5th and Water Streets.
- The [old] post office was occupied. [It is known as “The Federal Building”, and was restored in 1999-2000 for use as a state office.]
- Olympia Power and Light Company began the Motor Bus Traction Company feeder service. It featured a 35 Horsepower Overland “Auto Bus”, It met the electric trolleys at Central Street, which was now the terminus of the East Side Line, and shuttled passengers to Lacey and other points.
- The Federal Census gave Olympia’s population as 7,795.
- The Olympia harbor was dredged of mud and silt. The Japanese Steamer, Milan Maru, entered the “new” Port of Olympia, and began loading lumber for the Orient. This year marked the beginning of deep sea ships.
- The present Capitol buildings were completed at a cost of $7 million.
The Olympia Airport was acquired, and the first planes arrived.
Fire destroyed the clock towers on the [Old] Capitol Building.
The Federal Census gave Olympia’s population as 11, 733.
Sam Fun Locke, the business leader of the local Chinese community, passed away. His funeral is attended by many surviving pioneers from the area
The Federal Census gave Olympia,s population as 13,254
- A massive earthquake toppled the towers of the Old Capitol Building.
- Falling debris onto 4th and State Avenues allowed only one-way traffic, which never was changed after that. In Olympia three deaths were attributed to this disaster. It also changed the architecture of many of Olympia’s commercial building’s buildings.
- Amanda Benek Smith first woman mayor of Olympia elected
- All agencies of the State of Washington were not allowed outside the Olympia-Tumwater-Lacey area after this year. Many moved from as far away as Seattle, back to Olympia. Now all of state government was in Olympia 105 years after Isaac Stevens had given Olympia temporary status.
Content updated: October 26, 2003