The ship was built (laid down) at the Union Iron Works, San Francisco, California and launched on November 5, 1892.
The Battle of Manila Bay resulted in the sinking or capture of the entire Spanish Pacific fleet.
The Cruiser Olympia Society merged with the Independence Seaport Museum in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on January 1, 1996, and the ship remains docked near the museum along with the submarine, U.S.S. Becuna.
Visitors may pay to take a self-guided tour of both the Olympia and the Becuna.