Thurston County (pop. 252,264), one of two Thurston counties in the U.S., is north of Lewis County. It was named for Samuel R. Thurston, the Oregon Territory’s first delegate to Congress.
The city of Olympia (pop. 46,478) is both the county seat of Thurston County and the capital of Washington.
The Old State Capitol, which served as Washington’s capitol building from 1905 to 1928 (and previously as the county courthouse), is now the office of the state Superintendent of Public Instruction.
Capitol Lake is an artificial lake in Olympia, just west of the Capitol.
The Capitol Theater, built in 1924, is now operated by the Olympia Film Society.
Olympia has an annual Earth Day celebration called The Procession of the Species. The parade has a variety of animal themes and does not allow live pets, motorized vehicles, or words.
The Evergreen State College is a public liberal arts college in Olympia. Founded in 1967, it has about 4,500 students.
Just south of Olympia, the city of Tumwater (pop. 17,371) was the longtime home of the Olympic Brewery, along Interstate 5. Brewery operations at the plant ended in 2003.
Mima Mounds Natural Area Preserve is southwest of Olympia. Mima mounds are low, circular mounds of undermined origin.
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