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City (pop., 2000: 42,514), capital of Washington state, U.S. It lies at the southern end of Puget Sound, southwest of Tacoma. Originally called Smithfield, it was renamed for the nearby Olympic Mountains and incorporated as a city in 1859. It developed port facilities and a lumber-based economy, supplemented by oyster farming and other industries. Its harbour is the site of a large merchant reserve fleet. Located at the base of the Olympic Peninsula, it is the gateway to Olympic National Park.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Olympia, visit Britannica.com.