Olympia, Washington - Facts & Figures
The site of Olympia has been home to Lushootseed-speaking peoples for thousands of years, including Squaxin, Nisqually, Puyallup, Chehalis, Suquamish, and Duwamish. The first recorded visit by Europeans was in 1792 when Peter Puget and a crew from the British Vancouver Expedition charted the site. In 1846, Edmund Sylvester and Levi Smith jointly claimed the land that now comprises downtown, Olympia. In 1851, the U.S. Congress established the Customs District of Puget Sound for Washington Territory and Olympia became the home of the customs house. Its population steadily expanded from Oregon Trail immigrants. In 1850, the town settled on the name Olympia, at the suggestion of local resident Colonel Isaac N. Ebey, due to its view of the Olympic Mountains to the Northwest. The area began to be served by a small fleet of steamboats known as the Puget Sound Mosquito Fleet. In 1896, Olympia became the home of the Olympia Brewing Company, which brewed Olympia Beer until 2003. The 1949 Olympia earthquake damaged many historic buildings beyond repair, and they were demolished. Parts of the city also suffered damage from earthquakes in 1965 and 2001. In 1967, the state legislature approved the creation of The Evergreen State College in Olympia. Since 1984, Olympia has also been home to the South Puget Sound Community College.
Olympia has become a hub for artists and musicians and has been named one of the best college towns in the nation for its vibrant downtown and access to outdoor activities.
- Population: 50,302
- Industries: Agribusiness, Education
- Area Codes: 360
- ZIP Codes: 98501-98599
- Surrounding Cities: Tumwater, WA , Lacey, WA , Shelton, WA , Lakewood, WA , University Place, WA