1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Olympia (Washington)

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OLYMPIA, the capital of the state of Washington, U.S.A., and the county-seat of Thurston county, on the Des Chutes river and Budd's Inlet, at the head of Puget Sound, about 50 m. S.S.W. of Seattle. Pop. (1890) 4698; (1900) 3863, of whom 591 were foreign-born; (state estimate, 1905) 8000. It is served by the Northern Pacific and the Port Townsend Southern railways, and by steamboat lines to other ports on the Sound and along the Pacific coast. Budd's Inlet is spanned here by a wagon bridge and a railway bridge. Among the prominent buildings are the Capitol, which is constructed of native sandstone and stands in a park of considerable beauty, the county court-house, St Peter's hospital, the governor's mansion and the city hall. The state library is housed in the Capitol. At Tumwater, the oldest settlement (1845) on Puget Sound, about 2 m. S. of Olympia, are the Tumwater Falls of the Des Chutes, which provide good water power. The city's chief industry is the cutting, sawing and dressing of lumber obtained from the neighbouring forests. Olympia oysters are widely known in the Pacific coast region; they are obtained chiefly from Oyster Bay, Skookum Bay, North Bay and South Bay, all near Olympia. Olympia was laid out in 1851, became the capital of Washington in 1853, and was chartered as a city in 1859.