OLYMPIA – On Tuesday, October 20, 2020, the Thurston County Board of Commissioners approved granting "Water, Woods & Prairies", a 290-page local history book with more than 250 photographs about the capital county of Washington, to the Olympia Historical Society & Bigelow House Museum, a non-profit organization. The non-profit will market, sell, and distribute copies of "Water, Woods & Prairies" to meet the organization's goal of promoting an interest in Thurston County history.
"Water, Woods & Prairies" was written by local historians and highlights the history of Thurston County, including thoroughly documented essays about Native Americans, maritime explorers, loggers, early settlers and farmers, as well as the story of the state capital and contemporary times. The book originated with the Thurston County Historic Commission and brought in the expertise of historians to create a comprehensive account of Thurston County's storied history.
The production of the book was funded by Thurston County to support the Historic Commission's mission of promoting and conducting public information, education, and interpretive programs pertaining to county history and county cultural resources.
"Water, Woods & Prairies represents years of volunteer effort and local knowledge," said Sandy Crowell, a member of the Historic Commission and one of the editors of the book.
Crowell was joined by members of the Historic Commission, the Olympia Historical Society, and other book contributors for a presentation to the Thurston County Board of Commissioners prior to the Board taking action. You can watch the presentation on the county's YouTube channel at: https://youtu.be/qlwuB9OcS2k?t=1299.
To learn more about "Water, Woods & Prairies", please visit the Olympia Historical Society website at: https://olympiahistory.org/. Other Thurston County non-profits with a mission in local history will be given the opportunity to distribute the books or use them to promote their mission.
Contributors to "Water, Woods & Prairies" include Gerry Alexander, Drew Crooks, Jennifer Crooks, Dr. James Hannum, Karen Johnson, Shanna Stevenson, Don Trosper, and the late Les Eldridge. Other contributors include co-editors Crowell and Shirley Stirling. Chris Colton provided copy-editing, while David Nicandri, former director of the Washington State Historical Museum and local county resident, introduced the work.