van dorm sponsorNeighborhood Notes is a monthly series that focuses on a specific neighborhood in Thurston County.  We may talk about an influential person, a corner market, special place within the community, or meaningful event.  This channel is sponsored by Van Dorm Realty.

If you have a suggestion for an article, send us a note at submit@thurstontalk.com.

Neighborhood Notes

tenino quarry pool

Neighborhood Notes: Dive into Cool Water, Local History at Tenino Sandstone Quarry Swimming Pool

With summer in full swing in western Washington, many people are looking for places to relax and cool off. For those of us in...
stone city farm

Neighborhood Notes – Stone City Farm Makes Goat’s Milk Soap in Tenino

What do you get when you mix Nubian alpine and Nigerian goat milk? The simple answer is quality soap. Stone City Farm in Tenino...
The Sandstone Cafe

Neighborhood Notes: Tenino’s Sandstone Café Feeds a Community

Cheryl Pearce and her daughter Sandra have owned The Sandstone Café in downtown Tenino for ten years. The café is where people of Tenino come...
live aboard sailboat

Neighborhood Notes – The Extraordinary Life of Dan and Ann Dow

Every life is different. Some, however, are extraordinary. Ann and Dan Dow of Yelm, for example, decided to eschew a land-lubbing retirement and opt...
pantry olympia

Neighborhood Notes: Righteous Digestion at Pantry in Downtown Olympia

Honesty is proven most valuable through actions. These actions, seen in your neighbors, colleagues, and family, are positively contagious. Pantry, located in the 222...
Keith Phillips

Neighborhood Notes: Tenino Stone Cutter Keith Phillips Keeps History Alive

It is a cold and clear sunny day at what was once known as the Hercules Sandstone Quarry in Tenino, Washington.  Keith Phillips, stone...
santa tumwater

Neighborhood Notes – Santa Sightings around Olympia, Lacey, Tumwater and Thurston County

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Lights are twinkling and garland is strung in every window. While many adults are mesmerized by...
Christmas Tree Farms

Neighborhood Notes – Fresh Cut for Christmas: Thurston County Christmas Tree Farms

Despite my children’s insistence that we decorate for every holiday, I mostly hold out for Christmas. While there may be a few wooden turkeys...
tumwater halloween

Neighborhood Notes: Tumwater Couple Creates Trick-or-Treat Madness Each Halloween

When trick or treaters visit the Smolinsky Tumwater house, they have two choices: ring a bell at the end of the driveway and have...
food nook

Neighborhood Notes: The Food Nook – Olympia’s Tiniest Grocery Store Hides Out in Downtown

Tucked amid the concrete buildings of downtown Olympia is a pleasant green oasis. Across the street from the downtown Olympia branch of the Timberland...

Neighborhood Notes: Little General Moves to the Heart of Downtown Olympia

West Olympia has the Olympia Food Co-op, the east side of town supports the Puget Pantry, and the Capitol neighborhood has Spud’s and the...
mandala olympia

Neighborhood Notes – Natasha Olson’s Artwork Joins Olympia High School with Neighbors

Just around the corner from Olympia High School (OHS) is a large, beautiful mural with vibrant colors accomplished with superb technique by talented artists....
olympia history

Neighborhood Notes – Walk through Black Lake’s Historic Past

I have spent hundreds of hours wandering the Black Hills, paddling Black Lake, and driving and cycling Black Lake Boulevard, and to be honest,...

Neighborhood Notes: Contemporary Homesteading at Sweet River Farm

Melissa and Darric Lowery have turned their five acres in rural Thurston County into a bustling cottage industry. They breed and raise animals and...
governors house

Neighborhood Notes – Where Governors Have Lived around Olympia

Tucked into the back corner of the Capitol campus, the Governor’s Mansion is arguably the most grand home in Olympia. It was built in...
dupont forza

Neighborhood Notes – Discover Homemade Sweets and More at DuPont Forza

It was right before Christmas when the loyal patrons of the DuPont Forza found out it was closing its doors. I, along with many...
christmas tree lighting

Neighborhood Notes: Christmas Tree Lightings Across Thurston County

  The lighting of a Christmas tree bring so many warm memories into my mind. It is the official start of the holiday season. The...
decatur pathway park

Neighborhood Notes – Neighbors Turn Small Patch of Dirt into Decatur Pathway Park

  By Lynn West Over three hundred members of the South West Olympia Neighborhood Association (SWONA) celebrated their 25th anniversary at a party this past August. They...
Queen Bee Art Cottage

Neighborhood Notes – Get in Touch with Your Creative Side at Queen Bee Art...

  By Madeleine Elliott Hidden in the trees of Holiday Valley, the Queen Bee Art Cottage and Retreat is a place removed from noise and chaos....

Neighborhood Notes – Growing Food and Friendship at the Tenino FFA Community Garden

  By Lynn West When we first built our raised beds, neighbors stopped by to see what we were growing. Perhaps they envisioned receiving a nice...
south bay pub

Neighborhood Notes: Reconnect at the South Bay Pub and Eatery

  By Alyssa Ramsfield The neighborhoods that scatter across Olympia vary in size and population. Off the beaten path of bustling downtown, at the 3300 block...

Neighborhood Notes – Behind Chris Hamilton’s Lens

  By Kate Scriven With beautiful images posted to ThurstonTalk.com's social media page, Chris Hamilton has quickly developed a devoted fan base. He captures sunsets, Orcas,...

Neighborhood Notes – Eastside Cooperative Preschool Bids Fond Farewell to Teacher Norma Larson

  By Katie Doolittle Snack time for Red Class at Eastside Cooperative Preschool: adults and children sit family-style around a large table. The two-year-old students pour...

Neighborhood Notes – Steamboat Annie’s Provides a “Heartwarming Homecoming” for New Owners Todd and...

  By Kelli Samson A building owned by my grandparents, Jessie and Daryl Duerr, became Steamboat Annie’s back when I was a pre-teen in the 1980’s. Picture...
olympia christmas tree

Neighborhood Notes: Cetak Family Christmas Tree Farm Creates Holiday Traditions

  By Melanie Kallas Ricklefs I step out of the car at the Cetak Family Christmas Tree Farm and am enveloped by the serenity that always...

Neighborhood Notes – An Update on the Transformation of the Park at Harrison and...

  By Lindsey Surrell Its history you might already know: an abandoned building torn down and a community rising up to fight against a convenience shop,...
olympia farm stand

Neighborhood Notes: Piece by Piece Farm Feeds South Bay Families

  At Piece by Piece Farm, Kelly Battershell and Laura Mosher grow so much more than high-quality produce. They also grow a sense of community. My...
page st. cafe

Neighborhood Notes: Page St. Cafe Serves Up Comfort Food Done Right

  By Giovanna Marcus Joel Hart invites me back into the kitchen at the Page St. Cafe. He’s making béchamel sauce, the decadent mother sauce for...

Neighborhood Notes – New Vet Continues a 34-Year Tradition of Service to Pets at...

  By Gale Hemmann As any animal lover can tell you, a good veterinary clinic is about much more than medicine. Yes, a veterinarian provides critical...
high steel bridge shelton

Neighborhood Notes: Test Your Mettle on the High Steel Bridge

  By Eric Wilson-Edge So here I am, on my stomach, peering over into the abyss. Below, the Skokomish river moves quietly through a path carved...

Neighborhood Notes – Woodard Lane Cohousing

  By Eric Wilson-Edge The first thing I notice is the father and son playing basketball.  The boy is little and the ball doesn’t quite reach...
steamboat island

Neighborhood Notes – Exploring the Best of Both Worlds on Steamboat Island

  By Gale Hemmann Bird watching, burgers and walks in the park. The Steamboat Island area, on the west edge of Olympia, has it all. It’s...

Neighborhood Notes – San Francisco Street Bakery is an Olympia Institution

  By Katie Doolittle Mid-morning at the San Francisco Street Bakery smells like hot coffee and freshly baked bread. I’m standing in line with a conservatively...
little free library

Neighborhood Notes – Little Free Library Creates Community

  By Eric Wilson-Edge It’s no secret, we live in a digital age. Our reliance on computers and smart phones has changed the way we interact...
airstream park washington

Neighborhood Notes – Airstream, an American Icon, Lives on in Thurston County

  By Carolyn White Airstream – the name evokes images of travel and on-the-road adventure. You have probably seen these gleaming aluminum beauties travelling along the...
oly lightstravaganza

Neighborhood Notes – Tour 6 Amazing Christmas Light Displays around Olympia

  By Eric Wilson-Edge To a certain extent being an adult means practicing restraint. That’s one of the great things about Christmas. We can cut loose...
oyster bay history

Neighborhood Notes – Franks House, Oyster Bay Historical Landmark and Thurston County Jewel

  By Natasha Ashenhurst The first time it happened, Kelly O’Sullivan didn’t think too much about it, but the second and third times she knew it...
tiny house plans

Neighborhood Notes: Tiny Houses

  By Eric Sims-Brown Brittany Yunker tells me a story.  She’s driving through a neighborhood with a thirteen foot pole attached to car.  Sometimes she’s not...
olympia houseboat

Neighborhood Notes: Making Waves – Houseboat Living In Olympia

  By Eric Sims-Brown This is just so cool.  My mouth is open.  My eyes are wide.  I’m living in my head, imagining all the adventures....
spuds produce

Neighborhood Notes – Spud’s Produce Market, Promoter of Local Foods, Celebrates First Year

  By Jennifer Crain Lucky for the residents of the Wildwood neighborhood in southeast Olympia, Dave and Karissa Jekel are tenacious. When Dave spotted a small “For...
northeast olympia

Neighborhood Notes – Northeast Olympia Jives With Song, Garden, Spirit

  By SarahJoy Smith Olympia is one cool place to live. As a non-native it has been very impressive to see the commitment to community shared...
boston harbor olympia

Neighborhood Notes: Boston Harbor – A Close Knit Community With A Long, Storied Past

  By Kate Scriven I live in Boston Harbor.  However, I could just as easily be living in Doffelmeyer Point, Harriman City, or Port Olympic as...