Throughout 2023 we’ll be exploring the origins of area place names. The family of George and Isabella Bush arrived in Thurston County in 1844, among the first non-Indigenous American settlers. Bush Prairie, five miles south of Olympia, is named for the family, as is Tumwater’s Bush Middle School. Pictured here is son William Owen Bush. He was a noted agriculturalist and legislator, the first mixed-race member of the Washington Legislature. Photograph selected and captioned by Deborah Ross on behalf of the Olympia Historical Society and Bigelow House Museum, olympiahistory.org.
Aldrich Photo, 1900, courtesy Washington State Historical Society, Capital Museum Collection