LACEY MUSEUM Museum Musings · Lacey Museum 829 Lacey Street SE Lacey, WA 98503 Lacey area in all...
Look on just about any map of mid- 20th century Lacey and you’ll notice that Pattison Lake is labeled as Pat- terson Lake. Talk to anyone who grew up here and chances are they may insist that Patterson Lake is the only right way to call it. So what gives? This was the question re- cently posed by a resident, so we looked into it. The area was settled by James and Jane Wiley Pattison (above with granddaughter Cora) who crossed the Oregon Trail in 1849 and took out a donation land claim on the southwestern side of the lake. A surveyor from the early 1850s made a spelling error on the documentation changing Pattison to Patterson. So...basic human error. But when does the mistake become reality? How long before it’s too late to right the wrong? This is exactly the matter that came before the U.S. Board of Geographic Names in 1978 when Deloris Downing, a Pattison family descendent, wrote a letter asking the U.S. government to consider officially naming the body of water Pattison Lake as it should have been all those many years ago. “It may seem a trifle thing now,” she wrote, “[but] you can see it means a lot to us.” The matter was referred to the Washington State Board on Geographic Names which held a public meeting on the issue December 8, 1978 at the Washing- ton State Historical Society. Letters were sent to the board expressing both sides of the issue. Descendants agreed with Melville Pattison who wrote: “We as Oregon Pattisons are delighted to learn that the lake...will possibly be changed back to the original name given to it by my great grand- parents so long ago.” Others who had only known it as Patterson agreed with Theodore Torve who said, “Obviously, one can sympathize with the errors of a Patterson Lake or Pattison Lake? founder that [the lake] should have borne the name of the per- sons at the time [who] would obviously deserve such recogni- tion. However, that seems to have been a problem that should have been taken care of back in the 1850s and not today when the name is so widely accepted and utilized in all official docu- ments, maps and recordations.” The Department of Natural Resources made known that they would go with the majority of public opinion. Unable to locate any documentation of that December 8th meeting, one can only conclude that many people in favor of Pattison showed up to share their views. In any case, Mrs. Downing received a letter on February 27, 1979 informing her that her request had been approved. Pattison Lake it re- mains. INSIDE THIS ISSUE: Honoring Kristina Trebil 2 Meet Educator Marisa Merkel 2 Midsummers Ice Cream? 2 New Acquisition Spotlight 3 Upcoming Events 3 New Website Content 4 LACEY MUSEUM Museum Musings SUMMER 2018 VOLUME 5, ISSUE 1 Save these dates! JULY is Lacey History Month! Story time at the Museum Saturday, July 21, Noon Historic Walking Tour Saturday, August 4, 10 am Lacey Museum Lacey Historical Society Annual Meeting Thursday, September 27 Lacey Community Center Detail, map of Lacey area lakes, c. 1960
LACEY MUSEUM Museum Musings · Lacey Museum 829 Lacey Street SE Lacey, WA 98503 Lacey area in all periods of its development. Open Thursday & Friday 11 am - 3 pm Saturday 10 am -