Olympia is the capital of the U.S. state of Washington and the county seat and largest city of Thurston County. European settlers claimed the area in 1846, with the Treaty of Medicine Creek initiated in 1854, and the Treaty of Olympia initiated in January 1856.
Olympia was incorporated as a town on January 28, 1859, and as a city in 1882. The population was 46,479 as of the 2010 census, making it the 24th largest city in the state. The city borders Lacey to the east and Tumwater to the south. Olympia is a cultural center of the southern Puget Sound region. Olympia is located 60 miles (100 km) southwest of Seattle, the largest city in the state of Washington.
The site of Olympia had been home to Lushootseed-speaking peoples known as the Steh-Chass (or Stehchass, later part of the post-treaty Squaxin Island Tribe) for thousands of years. Other Native Americans regularly visited the head of Budd Inlet and the Steh-Chass including the other ancestor tribes of the Squaxin, as well as the Nisqually, Puyallup, Chehalis, Suquamish, and Duwamish. The first recorded Europeans came to Olympia in 1792. Peter Puget and a crew from the British Vancouver Expedition are said to have explored the site, but neither recorded any encounters with the resident Indigenous population here.