Throughout 2023 we’ll be exploring the origins of area place names. Ward Lake, in southeast Olympia, is named for Ira Ward, Jr., pictured here, and Jane (Stimson or Simpson) Ward. They were very early settlers in Thurston County. Ira Ward erected the first sawmill on the nearby Deschutes River, in what is now Tumwater. He was a member of the first territorial legislature. Image selected and captioned by Deborah Ross on behalf of the Olympia Historical Society, olympiahistory.org.
Undated portrait, courtesy State Capital Museum collection, Washington State Historical Society