In 1850, Edmund Sylvester donated the land which is now known as Sylvester Park to the city of Olympia as a town square for perpetual public use. While the face of the park has changed over the past 150 years, it has served as a public park since Mr. Sylvester’s original plat of the city. The park was deeded to the state of Washington in 1905 when the grand stone building across Washington Street became the State Capitol Building.
The park is now listed on the national, state, and local registers of historic places. The park is by no means a static showpiece of the past. It continues to serve its vibrant, traditional purpose as a central downtown gathering place for political and cultural interests, both statewide and local, and a peaceful green haven in an urban setting
JOHN RANKIN ROGERS
Philosopher and statesman. Author of the Barefoot School Boy Law, which gives to every poor son of this Commonwealth a fair education. Governor Rogers’ favorite motto — “I would make it impossible for the covetous and avaricious to utterly impoverish the poor. The rich can take care of themselves.”
MARKING THE END OF THE OREGON TRAIL
• National Historic Trail
Marking the end of the Oregon Trail (1844)
OLD CAPITOL BUILDING
The Old Capitol Building housed state government from 1905 to 1928. Originally built as the Thurston Co. Courthouse in 1892 it was purchased and enlarged by the state in 1901. The building was restored in 1983.