Time Traveler’s Guide: 7 Historical Places to Visit in Olympia, Washington

Olympia, Washington, USA is a city rich in history and culture, with a plethora of historical places that showcase its storied past.

From the iconic Washington State Capitol Building to the historic Olympia Brewery, visitors can explore a variety of sites that offer a glimpse into the city’s heritage.

Whether it’s strolling through the scenic Percival Landing or touring the Governor’s Mansion, there is no shortage of fascinating landmarks to discover in Olympia.

Join us on a journey through time as we explore the historic places that make Olympia a unique and vibrant destination.

1. George and Isabella Bush Homestead Historic Site


The George and Isabella Bush Homestead Historic Site is a significant historical place in Olympia, WA, USA. This site showcases the history of the first African American settlers in the region, George and Isabella Bush.

The homestead was established in the mid-1800s and served as a refuge for the Bush family during a time of racial discrimination and hardship.

The site includes a restored cabin, barn, and other outbuildings that offer a glimpse into the daily life of the Bush family. Visitors to the George and Isabella Bush Homestead Historic Site can learn about the challenges and triumphs of the early settlers in the area.


The site also offers educational programs and guided tours to help visitors better understand the history of this important place.

Rating: 10

Address: 1400 85th Ave SE, Olympia, WA 98501, United States

2. Bigelow House Museum, a historic house museum of the Olympia Historical Society


The Bigelow House Museum in Olympia, WA, USA is a historic house museum operated by the Olympia Historical Society.

This museum is located in a Carpenter Gothic-style home that dates back to the 1840s. Visitors to the Bigelow House Museum can explore the preserved furnishings and historic artifacts that offer a glimpse into life in Olympia during the 19th century.

The museum provides a unique opportunity to step back in time and learn about the early days of the city. The Carpenter Gothic-style architecture of the house adds to its charm and historical significance.


The intricate details and craftsmanship of the home showcase the design aesthetics of the mid-19th century. The museum is dedicated to preserving and sharing the history of Olympia and the surrounding area.

Rating: 9.2

Address: 918 Glass Ave NE, Olympia, WA 98506, United States

Website: olympiahistory.org

3. Byrd House


The Byrd House is a historical site located in Olympia, WA, USA. This house holds significant cultural and historical value in the community.

The exact origins of the Byrd House are uncertain, but it is believed to have been built in the late 19th or early 20th century. The architecture of the Byrd House reflects the style of the time period in which it was constructed.

The exterior features intricate detailing and a charming design that is reminiscent of a bygone era.

The interior of the house is equally impressive, with original woodwork and fixtures that have been preserved over the years. The Byrd House has been a part of the Olympia community for generations.

Rating: 8.6

Phone: +1 360-545-3479

Address: 1106 Olympia Ave NE, Olympia, WA 98506, United States

Website: olympiahistory.org

4. SS TJ Potter Historic Alleyway


SS TJ Potter Historic Alleyway is a hidden gem in Olympia, WA that holds a significant place in the city’s history.

This alleyway is named after the famous steamer ship SS TJ Potter, which played a crucial role in the development of the region. The alleyway is lined with historic buildings that date back to the late 19th century, giving visitors a glimpse into the past.

Walking through the alleyway, you can feel the sense of history that permeates the air. One of the highlights of the SS TJ Potter Historic Alleyway is the preserved facades of the old buildings, which have been lovingly restored to their former glory.


The architecture is a beautiful blend of Victorian and Gothic styles, showcasing the craftsmanship of the era.

Rating: 10

Address: Capitol Way S, Olympia, WA 98501, United States

5. Chambers Blockhouse


The Chambers Blockhouse in Olympia, WA, USA is a historical landmark that holds significant importance in the region’s past. This structure was built in the mid-19th century as a defense against potential attacks during the Indian Wars of that time.

The blockhouse was constructed using sturdy materials and strategic design to withstand any potential threats. The Chambers Blockhouse stands as a reminder of the challenging times faced by early settlers in the Olympia area.

It served as a place of refuge and protection for the community during times of conflict and uncertainty.


The blockhouse played a vital role in ensuring the safety and security of those who sought shelter within its walls. Visitors to the Chambers Blockhouse can experience a glimpse into the past and gain a deeper understanding of the challenges.

Rating: 8

Phone: +1 360-754-3355

Address: 6909 Rainier Rd SE, Olympia, WA 98513, United States

Website: co.thurston.wa.us

6. End of the Oregon Trail Historical Monument


The End of the Oregon Trail Historical Monument in Olympia, WA is a significant landmark that commemorates the end of the famous Oregon Trail.

This trail served as a crucial route for pioneers and settlers traveling from the eastern United States to the Pacific Northwest in the mid-19th century.

The monument stands as a tribute to the thousands of individuals and families who made the arduous journey along the Oregon Trail in search of new opportunities and a better life.

It serves as a reminder of the hardships and challenges faced by these early pioneers as they traversed rugged terrain and harsh weather conditions and encountered various obstacles along the way.

Visitors to the End of the Oregon Trail Historical Monument can explore exhibits and displays that highlight the history and significance of the Oregon Trail.

Rating: 3

Address: 117 Legion Way SE Suite 117, Olympia, WA 98501, United States

7. Old Capitol Building


Located in the heart of Olympia, Washington, the Old Capitol Building is a must-visit historical site for anyone interested in the state’s rich past.

Built in 1892, this iconic structure has earned the nickname “The Castle” for its grand and imposing architecture. Visitors can explore the Old Capitol Building and step back in time to experience what life was like in Washington’s early days.

The building served as the state’s capitol until 1928 when the current capitol building was constructed nearby.


Walking through the halls of the Old Capitol Building, visitors can marvel at the intricate details of the architecture, from the ornate columns to the stained glass windows.

Rating: 9.2

Phone: +1 360-725-6000

Address: 600 Washington St SE, Olympia, WA 98504, United States


Olympia, WA is home to a wealth of historical places that provide valuable insight into the city’s past. From the State Capitol building to the Olympic Flight Museum, each site offers a unique perspective on the history and culture of the area.

Visiting these historical places in Olympia is a great way to connect with the city’s heritage and gain a deeper appreciation for the community.

Whether you are a history buff or simply looking to learn more about the area, exploring these sites is a rewarding experience that should not be missed.

Photo of author

Alejandro Vidal

Welcome to Washington, DC! As a professional guide, I've led diverse groups to explore the city's historic sites, picturesque architecture, and landmarks. Discover where the nation's founders walked, visit renowned museums and galleries, and marvel at the National Cathedral. Enjoy tours of Old Town Alexandria, Mount Vernon, historic Georgetown, and romantic Annapolis. Experience Washington, DC, with our expert guides and uncover the fascinating history and culture of this great city. LinkedIn

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