Washington state parks feature a wide range of historic properties representing major themes of
state history. These properties connect visitors to our heritage in a meaningful way, providing
a tangible link to our past. The care of historic properties has been an integral part of the
State Parks' mission since the origin of the agency in 1913, and continues today. State Parks
manages more than 600 identified historic properties throughout the state, one of the largest
collections managed by a single agency in the state of Washington.
State Parks' historic properties represent major themes in the state's history, from pioneer
structures to the coastal defense fortifications to the parks developed by the Civilian Conservation
Corps (CCC). Many of these properties have been formally listed on the National Register of Historic
Places, yet there are many state parks with significant historic properties open to the public.
Early Settlement Heritage Sites
The picturesque buildings of Fort Simcoe, located within the tribal lands of the Yakama Nation, were
built in 1857 to help keep peace between settlers and Native peoples. Olmstead Place near Ellensburg
is an authentic early Washington farm with an original 1875 homestead cabin, a 1908 farmhouse and
historic barns and sheds. Other historic homes include the Rothschild House (Fort Worden) and the
John R. Jackson House (Lewis and Clark).
Several coastal military forts, most of them dating from the turn of the 20th century, now serve as
historic state parks. Fort Columbia and Fort Worden survive almost fully intact, but all - Fort Casey,
Fort Flagler, Fort Ebey, Manchester and Fort Canby at Cape Disappointment - have at least some original
structures and wonderful water views.
Civilian Conservation Corps
Washington State Parks benefited tremendously from the work of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC),
a federal relief program that put young men to work during the Great Depression. Many log-and-stone
bathhouses, picnic shelters and ranger's houses built by the CCC during the 1930s are still in active
use. Good examples can be seen at Deception Pass, Moran, Millersylvania and Riverside. A "Three Cs"
bathhouse at Deception Pass has been converted into a CCC interpretive center.