“Rename Thurston County? Why not?”
“A good summary of the history behind Thurston County’s name and the problems with Samuel Thurston can be found in Emmett O’Connell’s 2011 Olympia Time blog post titled, “Why do we still call it Thurston County?” The interest in changing the name has grown with time. FOX-13 Seattle published a story about the idea of a name change earlier this year, with a headline typical of Fox News: “Should Thurston County be ‘cancelled?’” It notes the Change.org petition created by activist Ben Corey titled “Thurston County Must Be Renamed”, which currently has more 1,000 signatures.
“I talked to Ben Corey about his petition. He said he was motivated by Thurston’s advocacy of black exclusion laws, but also by a history of the Chinook people that credited Thurston with blocking any federal recognition of the Chinook Tribe. He’s been happy with the response to his petition, and said the FOX-13 story added a couple hundred more signatures. I asked him where he saw this headed. “I’ve reached out to Nisqually Tribes, reached out to legislative district organizations. I’ve had conversations, but it didn’t go anywhere. I talked to a Tumwater City Council person who was receptive. People might want to do a ballot measure, or do some canvassing.”
“So should Thurston County change its name? Why not? I argue that it should be seriously considered.