Have You Visited These 5 Oldest Towns in Washington State?
Some of the oldest towns in Washington State are so old that they are technically older than the state. You might have visited these tiny cities without even realizing how old they actually are. Where are the oldest towns in Washington and when were they built?
What are the Oldest Towns in Washington State?
There are a ton of really cool old towns to visit in Washington, some are older than the state itself. Have you visited any of these old Washington towns? Here are the oldest 5 cities in our state.
The 5th Oldest Town in Washinton State
One of the oldest towns in Washington resides in Spokane County with only 278 people according to the 2021 census. Spangle, Washington was created in 1872 by a man with the same name, William Spangle. The city is famous for a rumor that Butch Casidy died there in 1937 but the rumor is not confirmed. When Mr. Spangle and his family first settled here, they planted a tree and later called it "Branchy." You can still visit Branchy in the center of Spangle's downtown.
The 4th Oldest Town in Washington State
Located in Kittitas County near Ellensburg, Thorp is the 4th oldest town in Washington State. Even smaller than the #5 city on the list, Thorp only had 317 people on the 2015 census. The town is named from the first white settler for the area named Fielden Mortimer Thorp according to Wikipedia. A great time to visit Thorp is during the Thorp Community Day that happens in October that celebrates the "autumn harvest."
The 3rd Oldest Town in Washington State
Langley is the 3rd oldest town in Washington State, founded sometime in the 1890's according to Wikipedia. In the 2010 census there were just over 1,000 people living in Langley which is located on the south side of Whidbey Island. One of the fun events held by the community is "Mystery Weekend" in February. It starts with a fake mystery story created and posted in a local paper. Then people are encouraged to solve it by finding community members playing characters in the story and following clues. They also have the Whales Festival is in April of every year, and they host a music festival in September.
The 2nd Oldest Town in Washington State
This town is also one of the smallest in Washington State with only 20 people that live there. Oysterville is located on the Long Beach Peninsula and was settled in 1841 but the city was founded in 1854. This was the original shellfish harvesting site for indigenous people that lived off the coast of Washington. Then the site was settled by a man called John Douglas who married an indigenous woman from the Chinook tribe. The area then became the center of oyster farming in the northwest, leading to the name Oysterville. If you love oysters and lots of quiet, then Oysterville is the place for you.
Where is the Oldest Town in Washington State?
The oldest town in Washington was created just before Oysterville in 1854, about 35 years before the state was even created. Washington became the 42nd state in the union on November 11, 1889. The oldest town in Washington is located on the Puget Sound with a small population of only 6,000 people.
What is the Name of the Oldest Town in Washington State?
The town is called Steilacoom and it is located west of Lakewood and south from Tacoma. It is also home to the first Protestant Church north of the Columbia River, the first jail, the first sawmill and the first public library. All of those facts are posted on the sign as you enter town. The name was taken from a native American word Scht’ləqʷəm meaning "little pink flower" according to Wikipedia. The city was first built with money from exporting lumber to California.
What is There to Do in Steilacoom?
Especially if you like to slow down and you love the ocean, this is the place for you to visit. There are no freeways in the city limits but there is history everywhere. It is home to not just 1, but 2 different historical museums. The waterfront is absolutely beautiful and is great for long walks along the shoreline. You can also take a short ferry to Anderson Island for another adventure. There are lots of hidden and amazing places to explore with tons of history all around in Steilacoom.