Thurston County Connection Newsletter
Thurston County Connection
Thurston County Connection
June, 2014
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Have a Fun and Safe, Boating Season!

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How much money did you throw in your garbage can today?

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 What’s in a Name?

From the Archives.

Most county residents have heard the story of where Tenino got its name (the figures 10-9-0 on a railroad survey stake), but where did Tono, Tumwater and Maytown get their names. Here are some explanations, courtesy of the Tacoma Public Library.

Bucoda is a combination of the first two letters of three last names: James Buckley, superintendent of Northern Pacific Railway; Samuel Colter, coal mine promoter, and John David, a Portland investor. Bucoda was originally named Seatco, an Indian name for ghost or devil.

Lacey was originally called Woodland until it was discovered that there was another Woodland in Cowlitz County. Its current name comes from O. C. Lacey, a local realtor and attorney.

Maytown was named by sawmill owner Isaam Noe for his home town in Kentucky. That’s one story. Another story: Joseph Shelley who platted the town site in 1910, reportedly said, “Well, it may become a town, and it may not, so I’ll call it Maytown.”

Rochester. When a post office was established in the area, it was known as Key, possibly referring to Gate City to the west. In 1904 the present name was adopted at the suggestion of John Nye in honor of his home town in England. For a short while, Rochester had been known as Moscow, so named by a Russian immigrant who also missed his home.

Tono, a former coal mining community, means “ton of coal.”

Tumwater, the first American settlement on Puget Sound, derives its name from Indian names for the falls on the Deschutes River: Tum Tom, Tum-chuck, Tum-wa-ta, and Spa-kwatl. Each word means strong water or water fall.

By Keith Eisner

The Bucoda town sign. The Bucoda town sign.