Historic Preservation

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 Washington State Parks' mission since the origin of the agency in 1913, and continues today. Washington 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.

Historic Properties
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).

Rothschild House
Coastal Fortifications
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 Fort Casey, Fort Flagler, Fort Ebey, Manchester, and Fort Canby at Cape Disappointment have at least some original structures and wonderful water views.

Bankhead Battery
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 C's" bathhouse at Deception Pass has been converted into a CCC interpretive center.
Miller Bath House