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Civil Rights and Labor History Consortium / University of Washington

Olympia and Thurston County racial restrictive covenants

Restrictive covenants were one of the reasons that across many generations people of color found it difficult to live in Thurston County. In 1970, the census counted only 207 Black residents. Asians numbered only 620, while 582 Indigenous Americans remained on or near the county's two reservations. Overall, the county population was 98.2% white. These numbers speak to something other than racial segregation. Exclusion was the issue. And its history plays out today in homeownership rates, family wealth, and other effects of exclusion and inequality.

The links below lead to three resources featuring different kinds of maps, lists, and information showing the neighborhoods impacted by racial restrictive covenants and the history of segregation and exclusion.

1,600 plus restricted parcels

This map shows the exact location of more than 1,500 properties that carried racial and sometimes religious restrictions. Zoom to see addresses and restriction language.

Restricted subdivisions

This interactive map shows 35 subdivisons with known restrictions. Scroll the list, read the language of restrictions, learn the names of the developers.

Race and segregation maps

Here we map the neighborhood-by-neighborhood distributions of African Americans, Asian Americans, Indigenous Americans, Latinos, and Whites across four decades.