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5 Facts About Washington's Capital: How Well Do You Know Olympia?

By    |   Friday, 03 April 2015 01:52 PM

Washington’s capital of Olympia may not rank as one of the largest cities in the state, but it is a vibrant part of the economy.

Here are five facts about Olympia:

1. Population: Olympia is unlike many other state capitals. For starters, it is not one of the most populated cities in the state. In many states, the capital city is usually in the top 10 cities. According to the state's Office of Financial Management, Olympia had an estimated population of just under 50,000 people. That ranks the city as 22nd, despite an increase of more than 4,000 people since 2010.

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2. Nirvana: Olympia's place in rock history will be forever ensured. Many people incorrectly believe Kurt Cobain was from Seattle and Nirvana was born there. In fact, Cobain was born in Aberdeen, Washington, according to The Guardian. This was a depressed logging town and most likely made an impact on the musician's life.

Cobain moved to Olympia, where he and fellow founding member Krist Novoselic founded the iconic band. Cobain did, however, die in Seattle, the result of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

3. Competition to Become the State Capitol: When the Washington Territory was formed in 1853, Olympia was immediately chosen to be the capital by Gov. Isaac Stevens. This happened even before the municipality was incorporated as a town, which did not happen until 1859, according to the city's website.

Despite the historical precedent, other cities challenged Olympia for the privilege of being the capital. Over the years, Vancouver, Steilacoom, Seattle, Port Townsend, and Tacoma all vied to become the territory’s and later, state's capital.

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4. Sister Cities: Olympia has two Sister Cities, both in Asia. The first is Yashiro Town, located in southern Japan. The town was renamed Kato in 2006. This agreement went into effect on April 22, 1981, according to the city's website. The second city is NanChang, located in southeastern China and has been in effect since August 2010.

5. The Port of Olympia:
The Port of Olympia is currently at the beginning of a major renovation plant with long-term implications to the community. The plan was adopted in November 2012 and is expected to take until 2025 to complete. As reported in the port's strategic plan, the city intends to accomplish numerous goals, including dredge, clean up and maintain authorized depths in lower Budd Inlet; increase rail activity at the Marine Terminal by 25 percent; and revitalize the East Bay District.

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Washington's capital of Olympia may not rank as one of the largest cities in the state, but it is a vibrant part of the economy.
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Friday, 03 April 2015 01:52 PM
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