Travel Guides Crafted by Experienced Archaeologists & Historians

Art, History & Archaeology Sites & Museums

The most northerly of the three coterminous states along the Pacific Coast, Washington is named for the country’s first president. Known for its dense rainforests and mountains, Washington was once inhabited predominantly by indigenous peoples like the Nez Percé, Chinook, and Coast Salish. Evidence for life before Europeans arrived has been revealed at the Ozette Site, a settlement preserved by an 18th-century mudslide. European fur traders and missionaries increasingly moved into the area in the 19th century, resulting in wars between settlers and indigenous groups and the ultimate forcing of many of the latter onto reservations. 1853 saw the formation of the Washington Territory, which then achieved statehood in 1889.

Archaeology & History Sites in Washington

Bainbridge Island Japanese American Exclusion Memorial

On March 30 1942, with only six day notice, the entire Japanese community on Bainbridge Island was taken by ferry and interned in camps at Manzanar in California and Minidoka in Idaho. The memorial, construction work on which began in 2008, is located near Eagle Harbour. the ferry port from which the 276 Japanese residents were forced to leave the island. The outdoor exhibition lists the names of all Bainbridge Island internees. Guided tours of the memorial site can be arranged, but are not essential.

Museums & Art Galleries in Washington

Fort Nisqually Living History Museum

Based in Tacoma, this living history museum immerses visitors in the life and times of Fort Nisqually to give an idea what life was like on the Puget Sound in 1855. The original Fort Nisqually was in what is now DuPont – the first globally connected settlement on the Puget Sound. The Hudson Bay Company established it as a fur trading port in 1833. But with the decline of fur trading activities, by the end of the 1830s activities shifted to commercial agriculture. In 1869 the British company sold the land to the US government and withdrew. The fort we see today was reconstructed in the 1930s, and preserves the the Factor’s House and Granary.