Have You Visited These 5 Oldest Cities in Washington State?
Some of the oldest cities in Washington State are so old that they are technically older than the state. You may have visited these small towns without even realizing how old they are. Where are the oldest cities in Washington and when were they built?
What Are the Oldest Cities in Washington State?
There are a ton of really cool old towns to visit in Washington, some older than the state itself. Have you visited any of these old Washington towns? Here are the 5 oldest cities in our state.
Washington State’s 5th Oldest City
One of Washington’s oldest cities resides in Spokane County with only 278 residents according to the 2021 census. Spangle, Washington was established in 1872 by a man of the same name, William Spangle. The town is famous for a rumor that Butch Casidy died there in 1937 but the rumor is unconfirmed. 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 downtown Spangle.
Washington State’s 4th Oldest City
Located in Kittitas County near Ellensburg, Thorp is the 4th oldest city in Washington State. Even smaller than town #5 on the list, Thorp had only 317 people at the 2015 census. The town takes its name from the first white settler in the area named Fielden Mortimer Thorp according to Wikipedia. A good time to visit Thorp is during Thorp Community Day which takes place in October and celebrates the “fall harvest”.
The 3rd oldest city in Washington State
Langley is the 3rd oldest city in Washington State, founded in the 1890s according to Wikipedia. As of the 2010 census, just over 1,000 people lived in Langley, located south of Whidbey Island. One of the fun events organized by the community is “Mystery Weekend” in February. It begins with a mysterious fake story created and published in a local newspaper. Then people are encouraged to solve it by finding community members playing characters in the story and following clues. They also hold the whale festival in April each year and hold a music festival in September.
The 2nd oldest city in Washington State
This town is also one of the smallest in Washington State with only 20 people living there. Oysterville is located on the Long Beach Peninsula and was settled in 1841, but the town was founded in 1854. It was the first seashell harvesting site for the indigenous people who lived off 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, giving rise to the name Oysterville. If you like oysters and lots of quiet, then Oysterville is the place for you.
Where is the oldest city in Washington State?
Washington’s oldest city was established just before Oysterville in 1854, about 35 years before the state was even established. Washington became the 42nd state in the union on November 11, 1889. Washington’s oldest city is located on the Puget Sound with a small population of just 6,000 people.
What is the name of the oldest city in Washington State?
The town is called Steilacoom and is located west of Lakewood and south of 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 these facts are displayed on the sign as you enter the city. 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 to do in Steilacoom?
Especially if you like to slow down and love the ocean, this is the place for you to visit. There are no highways within the city limits, but there is history everywhere. It houses not only 1, but 2 different historical museums. The waterfront is absolutely stunning and is ideal for long walks along the shore. You can also take a short ferry to Anderson Island for another adventure. There are many hidden and amazing places to explore with tons of history all around Steilacoom.