Throughout 2023 we’ll be exploring the origins of area place names. French Road in northwest Olympia is named for Charlotte Emily Olney French and her husband George French. Charlotte, pictured here, came to this area in the 1850s. An ardent supporter of female voting rights, Charlotte was one of the first women to vote in Washington Territory. After a series of reversals, female suffrage wasn’t permanently granted in Washington State until 1910, 10 years before the ratification of the 19th Constitutional amendment. Photograph selected and captioned by Deborah Ross on behalf of the Olympia Historical Society and Bigelow House Museum, olympiahistory.org.
Photo Courtesy Thurston County Historic Commission