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First maritime heritage area set for Thurston County

The Maritime Washing National Heritage Area will be the first national heritage area dedicated to maritime history.
Credit: JOLT Staff photo via Zoom

Thurston County to be part of the site of first maritime heritage area designation

Fundraising continues to restore the Parthia tug boat

From The JOLT News:

The country’s first national heritage area focused on maritime history is set to open by 2023, according to maritime historian Chuck Fowler from the South Sound Maritime Heritage Association (SSMHA).

Fowler presented an update on August 8 to the Port of Olympia Commission on the work being done to establish the national heritage area in conjunction with a fundraising campaign to restore and exhibit the historic tugboat Parthia.

The national heritage area was designated by Congress in 2019. It covers 3,000 miles of coastline starting from Grays Harbor County, going all the way through Puget Sound, and ending at Blaine on the Canadian border. The area includes 18 federally recognized tribes, 13 counties, 32 incorporated cities, and 30 port districts. Out of the 55 national heritage areas in the United States, this is the first and only one focused on maritime history.


The nonprofit Washington Trust for Historic Preservation is organizing the heritage area, submitting a management plan as required by the National Park Service and expect to open by the beginning of 2023, according to Fowler.

History Press will also publish guidebook titled “Exploring Maritime Washington” next spring in time for the opening of the heritage area.

There will also be a heritage tugboat walk going from the tugboat Sand Man at Percival Landing to Parthia which will be exhibited in a pavilion across Olympia’s farmer’s market.

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Posted by Steve on August 11, 2022 at 12:01 am | Permalink

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