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MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
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Washington Facts and Figures

Gleaned from the Historical Marker Database

 

on February 19, 2020

 
Image attributed to Chase & Sanborn Coffee Co.

 Washington State ranks 49th among states and provinces with markers in this database. Washington is a state in the United States of America located in the American West. It is also in the Northwest region. Washington State is some 71 thousand square miles in size with a population of around 7.6 million people. The state is divided into 39 counties and 34 of them have entries in this database. In Washington State we have discovered historical markers in 120 cities and towns lying in 133 different ZIP Codes.

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How many historical markers are there in Washington State? There are least 511 of them, by our count. We have cataloged 469 historical markers and 21 war memorialsóeach individually presented on 501 illustrated, annotated, and searchable pages of the Historical Marker Database. In addition, we are reasonably certain of another 42 historical markers in Washington State that we donít yet have, and instead show on our Want List. Our correspondents have been finding and adding hundreds of markers a month to the database from all over the world, so next time you visit this page you will probably find that the numbers here have changed.

The first Washington State marker in the database, Colville - Walla Walla Road, was added November 27, 2007. It was photographed near Hite in Spokane County and was erected in 1929. The last one added was submitted on January 5, 2020, and titled M-R Military Wagon Road. It is in Spokane Valley in Spokane County and had been erected in 1922. Keeping in mind that the erection date of many markers in the database is not known, one of the earliest historical markers we know of in Washington State was erected in 1905. More than one was erected that year. This one of them: Carson D. Boren, and one of our correspondents found it in Seattle in King County on October 9, 2011.

Washington State Historical Categories
99 • Settlements and Settlers
86 • Industry and Commerce
58 • Waterways and Vessels
55 • Notable Buildings
53 • Exploration
53 • Native Americans
39 • Man-Made Features
33 • Natural Features
26 • Air and Space
25 • Parks and Recreational Areas
    ... and more ...

Washingtonians donít want to forget their Settlements and Settlers history. How do we know? Because there are more historical markers in the database from Washington State about Settlements and Settlersó99 of themóthan about any other historical category. It is followed by Industry and Commerce with 86 markers.

The first marker added to the database with the Settlements and Settlers category was Wai-i-lat-pu, added November 28, 2007. It had been erected in Walla Walla in Walla Walla County. The last one submitted was submitted on December 5, 2019, and titled History of Camano/Camano City. It had been erected in Camano in Island County. The earliest marker erected with the Settlements and Settlers category that we have listed was erected in 1905. It was Carson D. Boren, found in Seattle in King County on October 9, 2011.

Counties, Cities and Towns

The Washington State county with the most historical markers listed in this database is King County, with 113 of them. It is followed by Clark County with 48 markers. The Seattle area of King County has the highest number of markers within its limits, 109. In Clark County the area with the most markers, 42, is Vancouver.

Historical Markers in These
Washington State Counties
113 • King County
48 • Clark County
44 • Pierce County
26 • Island County
21 • Kitsap County
21 • Skagit County
20 • Whatcom County
20 • Yakima County
18 • Jefferson County
17 • Thurston County
    ... and more ...

Checking the database for the city or town in Washington State with the most markers we again find Seattle at the top of the list with 109 markers in or near it. And Vancouver also shows up again in next place, with 42 markers. For the ZIP Code with the most markers itís 98104 at the top of the list with 51 markers in its delivery area. (ZIP Code 98104 is assigned to Seattle WA including the International, and Pioneer Square delivery areas.) It is followed by ZIP Code 98661 with 37 markers. (98661 is assigned to Vancouver WA.)

Historical Markers Near These
Washington State Cities and Towns
109 • Seattle
42 • Vancouver
21 • Port Gamble
18 • McChord AFB
16 • Anacortes
13 • Toppenish
12 • Coupeville
11 • Olympia
10 • Bellingham
8 • Ilwaco
    ... and more ...

Getting back to King County, the first marker added to the database from there, Smith Tower, was added September 16, 2009. It was erected in 1969 in Seattle. The last one submitted was uploaded on December 5, 2019, and is titled Seattle's Pioneers - The Maples and was erected in 1940, in Seattle. One of the earliest marker erected in King County that we have listed was erected in 1905. More than one was erected that year. This is one of them: Carson D. Boren, found in Seattle on October 9, 2011.

Latest entry from Washington State. Click to go there
By Wyndfire, January 1, 2020
Latest Entry from Washington State
“M-R Military Wagon Road”

And finally the first, last, and oldest markers from Vancouver. The first: The Reservation Monument, was added June 18, 2008. It had been erected in 1925. The last: An English Garden in the Wilderness added on February 10, 2018. The earliest marker erected was erected in 1925: The Reservation Monument, added on June 18, 2008.

Who Puts Up Historical Markers?

Washington State Department of Transportation is currently in charge of official historical markers found all over the state. You will also find official markers erected by the State Highway Commission, a predecessor. We have 26 of their markers in the database.

In addition, E Clampus Vitusónot government affiliatedóalso erected numerous historical markers in Washington State, and we have 29 of their Washington State markers in the database. Also, a number of counties have erected historical markers on their streets and roads and within their public areas, as have some cities and towns.

Latest entry from Washington State. Click to go there
By Cosmos Mariner, July 11, 2015
A Washington State Department of Transportation Historical Marker

Then there are federal government agencies that put up historical markers, especially in national parks and other areas under their jurisdiction. And finally, there are the numerous public and private organizations and individuals that erect markers. Some do this as a continual endeavor, and others once in a while, to mark something, someone, or someplace they find important or interesting. When one of our correspondents comes across one that satisfies our criteria, we add it to the database.

Off the Beaten Path

Youíll find that even the smallest, least populated, or most rural areas of Washington State have been marked with history. Check out Pend Oreille County, Lincoln County and Hood River County. We've only found one historical marker in each. Visiting one or more of these parts of Washington State might make for a pleasant road trip, and maybe youíll discover more historical markers while youíre there. If you do, perhaps youíll take the time to photograph them and, when you get home, become an HMdb correspondent by adding them to the database. Happy Hunting!

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