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Thurston County

Thurston County is named Samuel R Thurston, who was Oregon’s first territorial delegate to Congress.


Surrounding County Courthouses: 

N – Mason County and Pierce County

E – Pierce County

S – Lewis County

W – Grays Harbor County


Created:  January 12, 1852                    Map of Washington highlighting Thurston County

County Seat: 

Olympia  1852 – present


County Courthouse – Olympia 


Location:  2000 Lakeridge Drive SW / Lakeridge Way SW

Built:  1975 – 1977

Style:  Modern

Architect:  MSGS of Olympia – building #1

Bennett, Johnson, Slenes & Smith (BJSS) of Olympia – building #3

Contractor:  Jones and Roberts of Olympia


Description:  The building faces northwest and consists of two story concrete and glass structures. There is a three building complex situate on Mottman Hill and designed with a panoramic view of Puget Sound. The main entrance is at the northwest corner. The building is low and descends to different stories as it goes downwards from the crest of the hill. The building is constructed of sand colored brick, iron supports and glass windows. Building 1 is administration, 2 is the County Superior Court, Clerk and Prosecuting Attorney and 3 is Sherriff and the County District Court.


See:  Located in the county is the Washington Supreme Court.


Old County Courthouse – Olympia 



Location:  1100 Capital Way / 11th Avenue SE

Built:  1929 – 1930

Style:  Art Deco

Architect:  Joseph Wohleb of Oympia

Contractor:  Walter Boyer of Yakima


Description:  The building faces west and is a four story concrete and stone structure. The building is located on landscaped grounds in the center of Olympia and is constructed with Tenino sandstone from the south end of Thurston County. The building is “H” shaped with raised basement. The roof line is flat. The building houses the Washington State Attorney General’s Office. The building served as the courthouse from 1927 to 1977.


Note:  Most of the labor was hired through the local trades council and local materials were used.


See:  The architect Joseph Henry Wohleb also designed the courthouse in Mason County.


See:  National Register of Historic Places – Old Thurston County Courthouse


Old County Courthouse – Olympia 



Location:  600 Washington Street SE / 7th Avenue

Built:  1890 – 1892

Style:  Romanesque Revival

Architect:  W A Ritchie

Contractor:  Rigby & Evans


Description:  The building faces west and is a three story stone structure. The building faces west onto Sylvester. The building was built of Chuckanut sandstone. The building was originally topped by eight turrets and a central eight-sided clock tower. The rounded arches and massive stone bulk are typical of the Romanesque Revival style. The building served as the courthouse until 1901 and as the second State Capitol in 1901 until 1927. In 1901 a wing was added to the east side. In 1928. A fire destroyed the central clock tower and many of the turrets were damaged by the earthquake of 1949. The architect was W A Ritchie and the contractor was Rigby & Evans. The building still houses state departments and the Office of the Superintendent of Instruction. The building was renovated in 1983. The architect was Tonkin / Greissinger / Cuykenadale / Isles / Architects and the contractor was Atlas Construction Company and Gilbert H Moen Company.


History:  The county was created in 1852 and Olympia was selected as the county seat. The county leased office space. The first courthouse was the Puget Sound Wesleyan Institute at 200 Union Avenue SE built in 1858 and purchased in 1862 for $1,000. The building was renovated by Benjamin Harned. The second courthouse was Columbia Hall (Olympia Town Hall) at 210 4th Avenue E which was used in 1869. In 1875, the third courthouse was a school at 270 Legion Way. The fourth courthouse, which is still standing, was occupied from 1892 to 1901 until sold to the state. The fifth courthouse was the McKenny Block at 407 Capitol Way and 4th Avenue occupied until the sixth courthouse was designed by Saunders & Lawton and constructed by Charles Patnude in 1901 to 1902 at 202 4th Avenue E. The courthouse served until 1930 and was demolished in 1934. The seventh courthouse was constructed in 1929 to 1930 at a cost of $350,000 and is still standing. The eighth and present courthouse was constructed in 1975 to 1977.



County Courthouse – Olympia



















































Courthouse 1852 – 1871



Courthouse 1874 – 1892



Courthouse 1901 – 1930

Photos taken 2016