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

Washington Facts and Figures

Gleaned from the Historical Marker Database

 

on January 16, 2021

 
Image attributed to Chase & Sanborn Coffee Co.

 Washington State ranks 45th 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 35 of them have entries in this database. In Washington State we have discovered historical markers in 131 cities and towns lying in 146 different ZIP Codes.

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There are at least 633 historical markers in Washington State, by our count. We have cataloged 591 historical markers and 22 war memorials—each individually presented on 625 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 don’t 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 November 11, 2020, and titled Assistant Keeper's House. It is in Mukilteo in Snohomish County. 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 Topics
129 • Settlements and Settlers
107 • Industry and Commerce
84 • Native Americans
73 • Waterways and Vessels
72 • Exploration
63 • Notable Buildings
42 • Man-Made Features
40 • Natural Features
34 • Railroads and Streetcars
31 • Parks and Recreational Areas
    ... and others ...

Washingtonians don’t 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 Settlers—129 of them—than about any other historical topic. It is followed by Industry and Commerce with 107 markers.

The first marker added to the database with the Settlements and Settlers topic 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 November 6, 2020, and titled Mission House. It had been erected near Walla Walla in Walla Walla County. The earliest marker erected with the Settlements and Settlers topic that we have listed was erected in 1905. It is Carson D. Boren, found in Seattle in King County on October 9, 2011.

What is the most interesting historical marker in Washington State? What we know is that The Soviet Transpolar Flight of 1937 is the most viewed entry in the database from Washington State since it was added in 2008. It is located in Vancouver in Clark County. This year so far, the most viewed Washingtonian entry is located in Cheney in Spokane County. It is Lucy Friedlander Covington.

Counties, Cities and Towns

The Washington State county with the most historical markers listed in this database is King County, with 120 of them. It is followed by Pierce County with 53 markers. The Seattle area of King County has the highest number of markers within its limits, 112. In Pierce County the area with the most markers, 18, is McChord AFB.

Historical Markers in These
Washington State Counties
120 • King County
53 • Pierce County
49 • Clark County
36 • Spokane County
32 • Walla Walla County
26 • Island County
21 • Kitsap County
21 • Skagit County
20 • Klickitat County
20 • Whatcom County
    ... and others ...

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 112 markers in or near it. It is followed by Vancouver in Clark County with 43 markers. For the ZIP Code with the most markers it’s 98104 at the top of the list with 52 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 38 markers. (98661 is assigned to Vancouver WA.)

Historical Markers Near These
Washington State Cities and Towns
112 • Seattle
43 • Vancouver
30 • Spokane
26 • Walla Walla
21 • Port Gamble
18 • McChord AFB
17 • Dayton
16 • Anacortes
16 • Tacoma
13 • Toppenish
    ... and others ...

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 October 9, 2020, and is titled What do you need to rush for gold?, 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 Andrew Ruppenstein, October 24, 2016
Latest Entry from Washington State
“Assistant Keeper's House”

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: Pearson Airfield added on July 20, 2020. It had been erected in 2012. 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 27 of their markers in the database.

In addition, E Clampus Vitus—not government affiliated—also erected numerous historical markers in Washington State, and we have 30 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

You’ll 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 you’ll discover more historical markers while you’re there. If you do, perhaps you’ll 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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Jan. 16, 2021