Thurston County Connection Newsletter
Thurston County Connection
Thurston County Connection
September, 2014
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Back-to-School Safety 101:

Hope for the Best…..Prepare for the Worst!

Telephone Alerts Available for Flooding Hazards

The War on Food Waste

Little Red School House Drive a Big Success!

A Herd of Folks at the Thurston County Fair

Making it in the Dry Years

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 Dim View (1881) of Olympia’s Future

From the Archives:

In its droll pessimism, the following comments written in 1881 by a school principal depart from the glowing boosterism of many pioneer letters of that time. Excerpts courtesy of

Olympia, Washington Territory
Oct. 10th, 1881

Dear Sir,
One great drawback is the lack of deep water; the larger vessels can come up only to what is known as the long wharf about four miles below the city.

There is very little business done in Olympia except a small retail trade; the business houses being, for the most part, very rude, unsubstantial structures built without any regard to appearances. The public schools are in a very bad condition, poor buildings, poor scholars, poor pay and consequently poor teachers (Yours truly being the present principal).

Land here can be bought at prices ranging all the way from one dollar per acre up to Ohio prices. It costs at least one hundred dollars per acre to clear the timbered land, so you can see that unless a man feels disposed to do the grubbing and chopping himself… a well cleared farm requires considerable ready cash. The prairie lands are of poor quality… I would say on the whole that West Washington is not now, neither will it ever be, an agricultural country.

Taxes are minimal—at least Gov. Newell says so—but I do not think that an Ohioan would agree with him.

A great many immigrants [are] coming to Washington Territory, but East Washington is getting the great majority of them and growing much more rapidly than West Washington. East W. already has the preponderance of power and I should not be surprised were the capital removed to that section within a very few years.

Respectfully yours,
A. L. Smith

By Keith Eisner

Fort Nisqually in about 1885. Fort Nisqually in about 1885.