The Pioneer Association of the State of Washington and its predecessor organizations, the Society of Washington Territory Pioneers (established in King County circa 1871) and the Washington Pioneer Association (founded in 1883 in Olympia), included many of the earliest settlers in the state of Washington. The two organizations merged June 1, 1886, and filed articles of incorporation as the Pioneer Association of the State of Washington on December 5, 1895. This makes the Association the oldest historical incorporation of Washington State. Current members of the Association have provided evidence of their ancestry back to those pioneers who arrived in the region prior to statehood, November 11, 1889.
Pioneer Hall, shown in the photo above, is a depository and museum for historical memorabilia, photographs, books and other records primarily from the Washington Territory and early statehood period. It was constructed to provide a meeting place for the pioneers and their descendants and made possible by generous donations by three of Seattle’s earliest settlers --- Judge John J. McGilvra and his wife Elizabeth (Hills) McGilvra donated the land, and Sarah Loretta Denny left a $20,000 bequest for construction. The building was dedicated on June 7, 1910, as part of the proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Association. Speakers at the event included the builder, Mr. Gust Eckloff, former Civil War General J. B. Metcalfe, Professor Edmond S. Meany, the Honorable Thomas Burke, Mr. E. F. Blaine, and the Association President, Thomas W. Prosch.
Pioneer Hall is also home for the Daughters of the Pioneers, Seattle Chapter #1; the Fiske Genealogical Library; and the Colonial Dames of the State of Washington. We welcome visitors during regularly scheduled Open Houses --- click on the Events menu label for details. Also, private tours are possible --- click on the Contact menu label.
Membership in the Pioneer Association of the State of Washington is open to all --- see Online Join page. Benefits of membership include:
Cameraderie and fellowship.
Contributing towards the preservation of Pioneer Hall and it's contents.
Opportunities to add your family's history to the Association's permanent archive.
Access to resources from four library collections, including Fiske Genealogical Library.
Receipt of our quarterly Newsletter, Pioneer Presences and an online archive of past editions.
Voluntary exchange of information among members through a secure Surname Research function.
Dedicated to preserving family heritage and the history of Washington Territory and Washington State.