Tumwater, Washington

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Tumwater is a city in Thurston County, Washington, United States. It lies near where the Deschutes River enters Budd Inlet, the southernmost point of Puget Sound. The population was 12,698 at the 2000 census. Thurston County, which includes the cities of Lacey, Olympia and Tumwater, has a population of 224,100.

Contents

History

Tumwater was founded next to the falls of the Deschutes River at the south end of Puget Sound as New Market in 1846 by a group of pioneers led by Michael Simmons and George Bush. It was the first American settlement on Puget Sound. These early settlers were attracted by the water-power potential from the falls, the easy access to Budd Inlet for shipping, and the open prairie land in the area for cattle grazing.

A major factor driving the Simmons-Bush Party to locate north of the Columbia River beyond Oregon Territory is that the American settlers in Oregon prohibited settlement by non-whites to avoid the contentious slavery issue. Bush, a mulatto, was not allowed to own land under Oregon law. Later, when the area north of the Columbia became part of US Territory, white settlers petitioned Congress to grant Bush title to his land, which was approved.

The name was changed to Tumwater borrowing from a Chinook Jargon phrase tumtum chuck meaning "waterfall" or "rapids" (literally "heartbeat water"). Despite its early settlement date, Tumwater wasn't officially incorporated until November 12, 1875.

For many years Tumwater was well known regionally as the home of the Olympia Brewing Company. The company began producing beer in 1896 at a site along the Deschutes River and continued until Prohibition. After Prohibition ended, a new brewery was erected just upstream from the original site. This brewery was eventually purchased by SABMiller and closed on July 1, 2003.

Geography

Tumwater is located at 47°0′28″N 122°54′40″W / 47.00778°N 122.91111°W / 47.00778; -122.91111 (47.007768, -122.911074).[4] The city that borders Tumwater is Olympia.

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