Keeping Our Heritage Alive

We connect the future, through the present, with the past. Since 1948, the North Olympic History Center (formerly Clallam County Historical Society), has been dedicated to keeping the history of the North Olympic Peninsula alive. The Center operates three facilities: a research library, an active artifact collection pertaining to Clallam County, and the historic Lincoln School which is currently being restored.

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History Tales to feature John McNutt and Port Angeles "'Smokers"

John McNutt will talk about some of the early days of boxing in Port Angeles and Clallam County on Sunday, November 3, at 2:30 p.m. The North Olympic History Center/Clallam County Historical Society’s History Tales presentations are at the First United Methodist Church, 110 E. Seventh St. The program will be in the social hall; parking and entry are on Laurel Street.

McNutt will center his talk on one boxer in particular, “Battling Danny Mathews.”

Until early 1933 prize-fighting was illegal in Washington. But State law allowed private clubs to have “sparring or fencing for exercise” (boxing) among its members. That is why most early fights were held at the American Legion, Eagles, Elks, and private athletic clubs.

These events were called “smokers.” The name may have come from all the dense tobacco smoke swirling around the ring. Smokers were a mix of boxing and local social event.

Some local boxers went beyond “smokers” to become professional boxers.

McNutt is a descendant of pioneer families and is President of the North Olympic History Center’s board of directors.

History Tales is free and open to the public. For more information, call the North Olympic History Center’s office at 360-452-2662 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Art as Artifact - Continued

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The open house art exhibit today, Sunday June 2, at the old Lincoln School in Port Angeles was quite spectacular. Sorry you missed it. But.... you have another opportunity!

The exhibit may still be viewed through the month of June by making arrangements with the History Center by calling (360) 452-2662.

Admission is by donation.


Your Historical Society Connects You

Your Historical Society connects you:

  • To the rich history of Clallam County with educational programs like History Tales and other events
  • Honors personal histories by collecting, preserving, and sharing
  • Makes history a family affair with the Hands on History Program for students in grades 6 - 12
  • Helps you find the answers to your questions with a staffed Research Library
  • Makes history accessible with programs featuring the collectoin's artifacts

Join us and get connected! 


Hands On History: Student Research Papers

Students Teach the Community About Clallam County History

Hands on History is a program of the North Olympic History Center begun in  2017. Students in grades 6 through 12 research a submit of Clallam County history, submit a written paper, prepare a visual display about their subject, and make a public presentation. Students become the teachers of our county's history!

Scholarships are awarded for the best work in junior and senior categories each year. Students consistently tell us that they enjoy the program for their own personal interest and growth through the experience.

We are extremely proud of these young people for their hard work and for their interest in keeping local history alive!

Follow the links below to read the papers presented by these students:

pdfWhen War Put Clallam County to Work, Aiden Gale, 2019

pdfSkiing at Deer Park and Hurricane Ridge, Peter Zalenka, 2019

pdfLake Crescent Ferries, Peter Zalenka.pdf, 2018

pdfLake Ozette, by Emaleigh Smith. 2018

pdfMinerva Troy, byCecilia Estrada Elena.pdf, 2018

pdfThe_Manis Mastodon Site, Raven Taylor.pdf, 2018

pdfUnleashing the Beast, Talia Anderson, Abby Sanders, anclad Maizie Tucker.pdf, 2018

As part of their research project and presentation "Unleashing the Beast - The Elwha River Restoration Project", Talia Anderson, Abby Sanders and Maizie Tucker also produced a video which can be seen here: The Elwha: A Fight for Cultural and Scientific Rights, 2018