Olalla means "place of many berries" from the native Chinook word "olallie." Olalla Valley strawberry farms were an important source of strawberries for the Seattle markets, shipped over via the Mosquito Fleet.
In its heyday, Olalla was bigger than Port Orchard. The Strawberry Festival was reinvented in this community and it is home to the Ollalla Bluegrass, and beyond, Festival.
Logging, as in all of the area, was the economic mainstay after the Native American's left. In the 1880's Olalla was a port of entry. Boats were built, including the famed "Virginia V".Olalla has some small claim to fame as the location of an early
20th-century health retreat (Sanitarium) called Wilderness Heights
a.k.a. "Starvation Heights", The sanitarium was owned and operated by Dr. Linda Burfield Hazzard.
Dr. Hazzard's practice of starvation to cure one's ills resulted in the
death of a visiting English heiress in 1911, and the conviction of Dr.
Hazzard for her murder. The original bathtub where Hazzard performed
autopsies is still in the house, which has a family residing there.
However, she also maintains a strong following, in the US, Europe and
Australia, that testify to her fasting techniques as having cured them
of many ills and believe she was ahead of her time, both then and now,
in her methods.
Olalla author Gregg Olsen wrote about Starvation Heights in his award-winning book of the same name.
Today the area is a quiet hamlet with forested hills, small farms, and country roads.