Early Black Settlers of Olympia, Jamestown S’Klallam Heritage Honored By Board of Natural Resources
News Date: 
February 5, 2019

Howard Point in Thurston County, Littleneck Beach in Blyn bear new names befitting their histories after board approval Tuesday

The state Board of Natural Resources, acting as the Washington State Committee on Geographic Names, approved place names for a point in Olympia and a beach in Blyn during its meeting Tuesday morning
Howard Point along East Bay in Olympia is now officially named for Alexander and Rebecca Howard, who moved to the area in 1859 and operated a prominent hotel in Olympia. The Howards, one of the first black families to settle in the area, are buried in the Masonic Cemetery in Olympia. The name “Howard Point” had been used in maps of the area in the late 1800s and early 1900s.
Littleneck Beach, near Blyn in Clallam County, is now officially named for the clams harvested there, after a proposal from the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe. The site was known as the “log yard” by local residents until the 1990s because a log rafting facility had been there. The Tribe began purchasing the land in the late 1990s and restored the area in 2004. The beach is one of the few native colonies of littleneck clams in Washington.
Both proposed name changes were passed through the seven-member State Committee on Geographic Names, which advises the board, in December.
Names approved by the committee are forwarded to the Board of Natural Resources (acting as the Washington State Board on Geographic Names) for final decision. Names approved by the Board are published in the Washington Administrative Code and forwarded to the United States Board on Geographic Names for federal consideration along with the state’s recommendations.
Web links
Summaries of both applications, including maps and comments submitted to the committee, are on the DNR website at dnr.wa.gov/about/boards-and-councils/board-natural-resources.
Washington State Committee on Geographic Names
The seven-member committee of volunteers advises the State Board on Geographic Names, which is authorized by state law to establish the official names for the lakes, mountains, streams, places, towns, and other geographic features. The committee, which meets at least twice a year, is chaired by a representative of Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz. The committee includes representatives of Washington State tribes, the State Librarian, and the director of the Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation, and three members from the public appointed by Franz.
About DNR
Administered by Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz, DNR manages more than 5.6 million acres of state-owned forest, range, commercial, agricultural, conservation, and aquatic lands. Of these, more than half are held in trust to produce income to support public schools and other essential services. State trust lands managed by DNR provide other public benefits, including outdoor recreation, habitat for native fish and wildlife, and watersheds for clean water.
Kenny Ocker
Communications Manager
Department of Natural Resources