The Sunset Mine was the largest of the old mines and famed as a man-killer. Amos D. Gunn opened a tavern here in 1890, secured a post office the next year, and platted the town in 1893, naming it after Mount Index. Gunn’s name was given to adjacent Gunn Peak. Besides bornite (a high-grade copper ore), gold, silver, antimony, molybdenum, and several arsenates were found in the vicinity.
Points of Interest
Pioneer Park, which hosts the summer Index Arts Festival, features the saw used to cut granite at the Index Quarry in the early 1900s. This granite comprises Olympia’s Capitol steps.
Bush House Country Inn
The Bush House Country Inn (1898), Fifth St. and Index Ave. (some windows have been altered). Several U.S. presidents stayed at Bush House, including Teddy Roosevelt. Redman Hall and the Bush House are both listed as historic properties, the former on the National Register and the latter on the Washington Heritage Register. The town’s 500-foot cliffs, known as Index Town Wall are popular with rock climbers, and feature some of the most technical climbing in the state.