Facts About Olympia, Washington

  • Named for the neighboring Olympic Mountains, Olympia was incorporated as a town in 1859, and as a city in 1882. According to the 2010 Census, Olympia was the 24th largest city in the state of Washington, and 750th in the USA
  • Washington became an official U.S. state in 1889, and the rivalry between two other cities (Ellensburg and North Yakima) split citizen votes, enabling Olympia to remain the capital
  • As the largest city and the seat for Thurston County, Olympia is only the 24th largest city in the state and 750th in the U.S.
  • The state fruit is the apple; the state vegetable is the Walla Walla sweet onion; the state dance is the square dance; the state insect is the green darner dragonfly
  • Water from artesian wells in Olympia have long been called the reason for great tasting coffee
  • Washington State Patrol is responsible for security and law enforcement on the Capitol grounds as they are outside the normal jurisdiction of Olympia and Thurston County
  • The Legislative Building, aka the Capitol, has a dome that is 287 feet high, the tallest self-supporting masonry dome in the U.S., and the fifth tallest in the world
  • Some coffee houses in Olympia include Burial Grounds Coffee, Mud Bay Coffee Company, Dancing Goats Espresso Bar, Sizizis, Bar Francis, Maxim, Girls Espresso
  • The nose on the brass bust of George Washington in the Legislative Building has become shiny from visitors rubbing the nose, thinking that will bring them good luck
  • 9.5% of the surface area of the city of Olympia is water
  • Several monuments on the Capitol grounds include those dedicated to World War I, World War II, Korean Conflict, and a POW-MIA memorial

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