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Thurston County is one of Washington State's most historic regions, with a rich and diverse history that has seen it shape the Pacific Northwest in many ways. Let's take a closer look at 7 interesting facts about the county's past.

1. The County is Named after a Pioneer Lawyer

Thurston County is named after Samuel R. Thurston, an early pioneer in the region and one of its first lawyers. Thurston was a prominent figure in the Pacific Northwest during the 1840s and 1850s and played a vital role in shaping Washington State's legal and political landscape.

2. Home to a Famous Waterfall

Tumwater Falls, located near the County's center, is one of the most stunning natural features in Thurston County and draws tourists from far and wide. The falls are named after the nearby community of Tumwater, which is also home to the oldest brewery in the state.

3. The County was Almost the State Capital

When Washington State was being formed in the 1800s, Thurston County was initially chosen to be the state capital. However, this decision was later overturned, and the honor went to Olympia, the county seat of Thurston.

4. A Home to the State Capitol Building

The State Capitol Building is located in Olympia, the county seat of Thurston. The building was completed in 1928 and is home to the governor's office, the legislature, and various other government offices.

5. Civil Rights History

Thurston County has a rich history of civil rights activism and played a significant role in the nation's civil rights movement. The county was home to many advocacy groups, including the Black Panthers and the American Indian Movement.

6. Historical Tribes

The area was originally home to Native American tribes, including the Nisqually, Squaxin, and Chehalis tribes. These tribes left a significant impact on the region and its history and have worked to preserve and protect their heritage in the years since.

7. Military Influence

Thurston County has played a crucial role in the Pacific Northwest's military history, having been home to numerous military bases throughout the years. The Joint Base Lewis-McChord, located in Pierce and Thurston counties, is one of the largest military installations in the United States and serves as a significant economic influence on the region.

In conclusion, Thurston County has played an integral role in the development of Washington State and the Pacific Northwest over the years. The county's rich history and culture have left a lasting impact and continue to shape the region to this day.

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