by Steven Gilbert | August 20th, 2012
The falls (above) of the Deschutes River at Tumwater Falls Park are a gorgeous attraction for visitors, but you may not know that they are also the site of the oldest American settlement in Puget Sound country. Founded in 1846, the historical site is just one factor that makes Tumwater one of the best places to live in Thurston County. The city borders our state’s capital and was the home of the famous Olympia Brewing Company from 1896 to the time of prohibition. When prohibition was over, a new brewery was built near the site of the original and was operated under SABMiller until closing in 2003.
The Chinook people are responsible for Tumwater’s name as it comes from a Chinook phrase that likened the repeating “thum” sound of the Deschutes falls to the beating of a heart.