Washington, The Evergreen State

Washington, The Evergreen State

by Sandra Merville Hart

Washington’s nickname is the Evergreen State for the beautiful, forested lands.

Washington is the only state named after a president.

The early history of Washington

Several expeditions searched for the Northwest Passage (a waterway connecting the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean) in the early part of the 19th century. They didn’t find the passage but they did find abundant animals that drew fur trappers to the area. They also found Native Americans—Nez Perce, Yakima, and Cayuse.

The United States and Britain claimed this area, then known as the Oregon Territory. The two countries divided the area.

Washington Territory

Settlers living north of the Columbia River petitioned Congress to create a new section of the Oregon Territory in 1851. Those pioneers called the new area Columbia Territory.

Congress split the Oregon Territory but decided to name the new area “Washington Territory” after the first president.

Northern Pacific Railway

Completed on September 8, 1883, Northern Pacific Railway connected the Pacific Ocean shoreline to the Great Lakes region.

Washington becomes a state

Washington became the 42nd state on November 11, 1889.

Mount Rainier National Park

mount-rainier-140117_960_720Mount Rainier, at over 14,000 feet above sea level, is an active volcano. The park also has wildflower meadows, beautiful forests, and abundant wildlife.

Hiking, mountain climbing, bicycling, fishing, and camping are some of the many activities at the Washington park.

Mount St. Helens

Volcano Mount St. Helens erupted on May 18, 1980. Ash from the eruption turned the sky black. It blocked the sun for days.

mount-st-helens-51029_960_720Ash from this volcano fell around the world within two weeks.

Other fun facts about Washington

Head to Pierce County for the annual Daffodil Festival held each spring.

Seattle is named for Chief Seattle, a leader of the Suquamish tribe who was famous for his peacemaking.

Winthrop hosts snowshoe softball every winter.

The state capital is Olympia.

The state bird is the willow goldfinch.

The state flower is the Pacific rhododendron.



50 States Our America: Time for Kids, Time Inc. Books, 2017.

Balkan, Gabrielle. The 50 States, Wide Eyed Editions, 2015.

Cheney, Lynne. Our 50 States: A Family Adventure Across America, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2006.

Davis, Kenneth C. Don’t Know Much About The 50 States, HarperCollins Publishers, 2001.

Fast Facts About the 50 States. Children’s Press, 2010.

Keenan, Sheila. Greetings from the 50 States, Scholastic Inc., 2008.

“Mount Rainier,” National Park Service, 2019/01/13 https://www.nps.gov/mora/index.htm.


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