What Is Washington State's Oldest Town?

Washington State is full of history! If you’re a fan of old things, then you’ll love this blog post. We’re going to explore the oldest town in Washington State. Spoiler alert: it’s not Seattle!

Photo by Ben Soyka on Unsplash
Photo by Ben Soyka on Unsplash

Washington State is home to a lot of history. From the first people who lived here to the settlers who arrived in the 1800s, there are stories and artifacts from centuries past all around us.

Can You Name Washington State's Oldest Town?

But did you know that Washington also has a few towns that have been around since the very early days of settlement?

In fact, one town, in particular, lays claim to being the oldest in the state.

The town of Steilacoom is located in Pierce County, just south of Tacoma. It was officially incorporated in 1854, making it one of the first towns in Washington Territory.

By Joe Mabel, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=9831206
By Joe Mabel, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=9831206

Steilacoom has a rich history dating back to the early days of settlement in Washington. In 1847, it was the site of the Battle of Puget Sound, which was fought between American settlers and a coalition of indigenous tribes.

The settlers were victorious, and Steilacoom became an important center for trade and transportation in the region. In recent years, the town has become a popular bedroom community for Tacoma and Seattle, but it still retains its small-town charm.

Steilacoom Firsts According To Steliacoom's Town Homepage:

For a while there, it sure looked like Steilacoom would have a fighting chance to make its dreams come true. Steilacoom was the site of many firsts:

  • The first incorporated community in Washington Territory
  • The first brick building north of the Columbia River (which was also the first jail in Pierce County)
  • The first Protestant church building
  • The first school in Pierce County
  • The first official U.S. presence in Washington Territory (Fort Steilacoom, now located within the boundaries of Lakewood)
  • The first public lending library in Washington Territory
Photo by Ben Soyka on Unsplash
Photo by Ben Soyka on Unsplash

If you find yourself in Pierce County, be sure to swing by Steilacoom and explore a little bit of Washington's history!

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