History by Students, for Students


ProjectWA helps highlight some of the lesser known aspects of Washington State history by crowdsourcing history from across the state to live in a smartphone app. In 2016, students from Lopez Island Middle School researched and documented the people, places and events they viewed as the most interesting and personally meaningful in Washington State history. That information now resides in a mobile app, Washington State Insider, created by the students using the 468 Field Trip platform from 468 Communications. The app – available now for Android phones and iPhones – is free for anybody to download.

Educators interested in incorporating ProjectWA into their history classes should contact Tim Fry (tim@468communications.com).


Rewarding Exploration

Users of the app can collect points every time they physically visit a place that’s listed in the app. They can then redeem those points for discounted admission to the Washington State History Museum in Tacoma, Washington.

Preserving Historic Places

One goal of the Washington State Insider app is to raise awareness of often overlooked places in our state history. To that end, the Lopez students chose several of the state’s Most Endangered Historic Places to be highlighted in the app. For their final project, each student chose an endangered property on which to write a more in-depth blog entry for this site.

ProjectWA Summer Tour

In the summer of 2016, Tim Fry, who led the students through this quest and developed the Washington State Insider app, hit the road to visit the students’ locations and build on what they’d created. Tim and his family traveled more than 2000 miles around Washington State in a ProjectWA-branded RV on their own history quest. Along the way, Tim posted stories to this site and added more historic locations to the Washington State Insider app. Follow their journey on this blog and on Instagram.

Contribute to History

Museums or other organizations interested in incorporating their locations into Washington State Insider should contact Tim Fry (tim@468communications.com).


The ProjectWA Road Team: Tim, Kristine, Henry and Ruby. 


35 thoughts on “History by Students, for Students

  1. This is a fantastic project! I just downloaded both Apps and they look incredible. I recently moved to the state and I will be using them as guides to learning more about my new home.

    I would like to stop in to learn more and to see how we can get more people involved. Great work by everyone: STUDENTS, teachers, community members and family.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a creative and educational project! A great roadmap of Wa. State! Congratulations to Project Wa. And the Fry Family!


  3. When you are finished with Washington head on up to Alaska I would love something like this for our state!


  4. Place names along Interstate 5, from Vancouver WA to Vancouver BC. I’m always curious about the history of the place names I read as I’m driving north or south.


    1. Great idea, Cheryl. There’s one Interstate 5 place name in the Washington State Insider app already. But it’s not about the origin of the place – it’s about an indie band that derived it’s name from that place, well road. Sleater-Kinney, an indie grrrl band that used to practice on Sleater-Kinney Road in Lacey, WA, named their band after the Road (Exit 108 on I5). Give me the name of another place, and we’ll research its historical significance and put it in the app.


    1. Daniela – We added Beacon Rock to the Washington State Insider app and credited you. Thanks for the suggestion! Team ProjectWA will be in the area this week – We plan to climb to the top!


  5. The Mercantile Pasco WA. (Tried Cities) is historical because it began as a small ” road side produce farmer’s market. Fresh Wa. State Veggies. It is now a “must stop” for travelling throughTri Cities. The Mercantile has everything from “fruits to nuts” Oh And everything in-between A fun stop including antiques and lunch if wanted!


  6. Tim and Kristine this is awesome. Kelley and I could of used it in Wenatchee last weekend. This will be great for us Harley Riders on the road, places to set rides to. Super excited to share with Lone Wolf Harley riders.
    Great job!
    Lisa Fry Warner


    1. Thanks for this suggested, Duane. We added this great museum to the Washington State Insider app and credited you with the suggestion. Check it out.


  7. Rocky Reach Dam is great place to visit! There is a fish ladder viewing window, historical museum with a lot of hand-ons activities, and a park with a PUD’s emblem made all out of flowers! I remember going there for field trips when I was in elementary school. Now my grandchildren are going on those field trips.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Shawn – Thanks for the great suggestion. We’ve added the Octagon House to the Washington State Insider app, crediting you for the idea. Check it out.


  8. What a great project! I would like to encourage you to visit the Hanford Reach National Monument , the last free-flowing section of the Columbia River and 196,000 acres of land, originally designated as the “buffer zone” around the super-secret Manhattan Project-Hanford Engineer Works. The historic B Reactor on the Manhattan Project site is now part of the Manhattan Project National Historic Park. The best introduction to these and other stories is to visit the REACH Museum at 1943 Columbia Park Trail in Richland!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Lisa,

      The ProjectWA team checked out The Reach Museum on Friday. What an awesome education. Thank you for the suggestion. We added the museum to the Washington State Insider app and credited you with the suggestion.


  9. Between Palouse Falls and Lyon’s Ferry State Park is an amazing piece of history that most people in the area don’t even know about, Marmes Rockshelter. It is where they discovered bones of a man from 12,000 years ago, the oldest human remains found in North America. The site was flooded on the completion of the nearby dam and no one has gone back to finish the find. It was national news when they were trying to save it from being flooded and people came from all over to watch the dig.


  10. Interesting project! The Walla Walla area has been called the Cradle of Northwest History for a century. Fort Walla Walla Museum is the primary caretaker of the artifacts and stories from this region.

    Liked by 1 person

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