Interesting Facts About Washington
Washington was admitted to statehood as the 42nd state on 11/11/1889. Being the only state named after a United States president, Washington also recognizes the president on their state flag and state ship. From the Walla Walla Sweet Onion being their state vegetable to the Columbia Mammoth being their state fossil, there are many interesting facts about the state of Washington.
1. Seattle is the largest city in Washington. In 1962, Seattle hosted the World’s Fair.
2. The capitol building in Olympia, was the last one built with a rotunda.
3. Washington is home to Boeing, the world’s largest aircraft maker.
4. The world’s largest building resides in Evert, WA. It is home to Boeing’s final assembly plant.
5. Zillah, WA is home to the oldest operating gas station in the United States.
6. On May 18, 1980, the northeast face of Mount St. Helens exploded outward, destroying a large part of the top of the volcano, resulting in 57 deaths, and billions of dollars in damage. Mt. St. Helen’s lost 1,131 feet of elevation in the eruption and spewed forth about one cubic mile of dust, ash, and debris. The blast leveled over four billion feet of timber — enough to build 150,000 homes.
7. Seattle’s houseboat population is the largest east of the Orient.
8. The world’s first soft-serve ice cream machine was located in an Olympia, WA Dairy Queen.
9. Washington was nicknamed “The Evergreen State” by C.T. Conover, pioneer Seattle realtor and historian, for its abundant evergreen forests.
10. More apples grow in Washington that any other state in the union.
11. The Mercer Island Floating Bridge, I-90, was the first floating bridge in the world when it was built in 1950.
12. The Farmer’s Market at Pike Place Market in Seattle, since 1907, is the longest continuously operating farmer’s market in the US.
13. The world’s largest frying pan can be found in Long Beach, Washington.
14. The longest floating bridge in the world, the Governor Albert D. Rosellini Bridge, connects Seattle and Medina across Lake Washington.
15. The United States wealthiest man, Bill Gates, resides in Washington.
16. Washington is home to many innovative Internet companies, including Amazon.com, Classmates.com, Whitepages.com, and Marchex.
17. Pickle-ball, Cranium, and Pictionary were all invented in Washington.
18. In the early 60′s, a Seattle architect designed the first revolving restaurant in the United States – SkyCity. This tourist attraction is part of the Space Needle. Visitors can get a view of the area up high and also dine on topnotch food.
19. The first settlement in Washington, New Market, was established in 1846. Today it is known as Tumwater.
20. There are over 8,000 lakes and 40,000 miles of rivers and streams in Washington.
21. The first general strike in the nation was in Seattle in 1919 – it lasted five days, February 6-11, as 60,000 shipyard workers walked off their jobs.
22. Up to 5,000 wild horses roam the Yakima Indian Reservation of Washington.
23. At low tide, there can be up to 786 islands in the Puget Sound of Washington. The Puget Sound serves many of the state’s islands through the largest ferry fleet in the United States. The Washington State Ferry System in the state’s number one tourist attraction.
24. Snoqualmie Falls plunges 100 feet further than Niagara Falls.
25. Seattle was the first city in the US to play a Beatles song on the radio.
26. membership is among the lowest of all states in Washington. The percentage of non-religious people is the highest of any state.
27. The forests of the Olympic Peninsula are among the rainiest places in the world.
28. Washington’s Grand Coulee Dam is the largest dam in the United States.
29. In Washington it is illegal to purchase mattresses or buy any meat on a Sunday.
30. The TV show, Twin Peaks was based in Washington state. Many scenes were filmed in the little towns of North Bend and Snoqualmie. You can still visit Double R Diner now know as Twede’s Cafe for a slice of cherry pie and a damn fine cup of coffee.
31. In 1947 on July 4, an off-duty U.S. Coast Guard Yeoman, Frank Ryman, took the first photograph of an alleged flying saucer from the yard of his home in Lake City, WA.
32. The first mall in the United States, Northgate Center, was built in 1950. It was also the first mall to have public restrooms.
33. The world’s first espresso cart was established below the Seattle Monorail terminal at Westlake Center in 1980.
34. Harbor Island, WA is the largest manmade island in the union.
35. Washington’s Ginkgo Petrified Forest is one of the largest petrified forests in the world. Petrified wood is the state gem.
36. Starbucks, the biggest coffee chain in the world was founded in Seattle.
What other interesting facts about Washington do you know?
All photography by Kimmy Hayes © 2014.