Welcome to the online copy of the Thurston County Historical Journal. The idea for a historical publication dedicated to recording and celebrating the history of Thurston County was first conceived by Charlie Roe of the Olympia Historical Society and Bigelow House Museum. A consortium of heritage groups in the county came together to discuss the publication. Eventually, the Olympia Tumwater Foundation volunteered to act as publisher, and various heritage groups and county/city government entities donated money to fund the publication.
The first issue was published in November 2016. Subsequent issues have been, and will continue to be, published about three times a year (depending on funding and availability of articles).
Paper copies of the Journal are available to members of participating heritage organizations, and are also offered at the Bigelow House Museum, the Crosby House Museum, and the Lacey Museum.
A digital version of each issue will be posted online one year after release of the paper copy.
The Journal welcomes factual articles dealing with any aspect of Thurston County history. Please contact the editor, Karen Johnson (360-890-2299, firstname.lastname@example.org), before submitting an article to determine its suitability for publication. Articles on previously unexplored topics, new interpretations of well-known topics, and personal recollections are preferred. Articles may range in length from 100 words to 10,000 words, and should include source notes and suggested illustrations.
We hope you enjoy reading these articles about Thurston County history.
Thurston County Historical Journal Index
This index includes all issues through December 2020.
In light of the COVID-19 emergency crisis, the editorial board of the Journal opted to make current editions available online. After the health crisis has passed, we will resume posting the Journal online one year after its publication date.
Number 13, December 2020
- An Olympia Urban Legend
- Changes in Thurston County’s Bird Populations During the Past Forty Years
- The Chambers Black Heart Cherry Tree: A Northwest Icon
- Water, Woods & Prairies: A Thurston County History Book
Number 12, August 2020
- The Lansdale Cranberry Marsh: An Agricultural Experiment in Thurston County
- Scoundrels: The Life of Susie Lewis
Number 11, April 2020
- Do you remember the Fleetwoods?
- World War II on the Homefront
- Stormy Behavior Costs Olympia Police Chief, Assistant Chief, Their Jobs
- A Wind Storm for the Ages
Number 10, December 2019
- The Old Settler
- Tragedy on Independence Creek
- The Spirit of Margaret McKenny: Loving the Natural World
Number 9, August 2019
- Thurston County Homefront During WWI
- Lingo From a Tin Pants Show
Number 8, April 2019
- Olympia Boys: Heroes of Audenarde Battle
- Tumwater Vigilantes
- Through the Lens at Michigan Hill
Number 7, December 2018
- The Trueman and Virginia Schmidt House: Ushering in Midcentury Style
- A Story of Unsuspected Success
- The Centennial Rose Garden: Remembering Our Washington State Centennial Celebration
- The Military Road in Thurston County
Number 6, August 2018
- Helen Shank, Children's Advocate
- Live Through This: From Priory to Punk Rock
Number 5, April 2018
- Shifting Patterns of Prejudice: The Story of a Native American House Post
- The Tumwater Hospital That Never Was
- Thurston County Pioneer, Teacher and Community Activist: The Life of Ada Sprague Mowell
- The Port Townsend Southern Railroad
- Early Washington Records from Oregon
Number 4, December 2017, part 1 ; part 2
- The Olympia Brewing Company's Wartime Tin Scrap Campaign
- Joseph Eberhardt and the Thurston County Blueberry Industry
- Hydroelectric Power on the Deschutes River
- Puget Sound
- 'Tis the Season: Holiday Newspaper Advertisements of 100 Years Ago
Number 3, August 2017, part 1 ; part 2
- Olympia: In the Eye of the European Beholder
- Maritime History of Olympia and South Puget Sound
- Mining Coal: An Important Thurston County Industry 100 Years Ago
Number 2, April 2017
- Pioneers of the Nisqually Valley
- Metamorphosis: The Transformation of Olympia from Frontier Village to Modern Town, 1889-1912
Number 1, November 2016
- The Genesis of the County Journal
- How the Northern Pacific Railroad Came to Thurston County
- Nancy Jim Parsons: The Life and Legacy of a Cowlitz-Nisqually Native American Basket Weaver
- A Perfect Day for Flying--Charles Lindbergh Soars Over Thurston County
- Happy Birthday, Lacey! A Photo Essay
Written permission is required to reproduce any part of this publication. Copyright 2016 by the Olympia Tumwater Foundation. All rights reserved.
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