Millersylvania State Park
Millersylvania is an 842 acre (3.4 km²) park 10 miles (16 km) south of Olympia, Washington. The park has 6 miles (9.7 km) of trails (including the 1-mile (1.6 km) fitness trail), old-growth cedar and fir trees, and also features camping and 3,300 feet (1 km) of freshwater shoreline on Deep Lake.
Deep Lake is located in Section 3, Township 16N, Range 2W, Willamette.
According to the survey done by the State Department of Game in 1947, Deep Lake is 17 feet (5.2 m) deep at its deepest part. It covers an area of 66.2 acres (268,000 m2), and has a water volume of 771 acre feet (951,000 m3).
The first known name of the lake by white settlers was Deep Lake as noted in a land survey in 1855. However, the lake was referred to as CoKaine Lake in the late 19th century which could have been an early Native American name. For a period of time, the lake went under the name Drake Lake. The name Drake Lake name originated from the Lyman Darrow Drake Family that settled on the south side of the lake in 1872. The Drake Lake name was still commonly used up until the late 1920s as was evidenced by several US Geological Survey and Metsker Maps dated up to 1929. The Drake family sold their property in 1908.
The park was originally called "Miller's Glade" by the Miller family, who once owned the property. The family later changed the name to "Millersylvania," meaning "wooded glade." The park's 842 acres were homesteaded by Squire Lathum in 1855 before being sold to John Miller. Miller's family gave the property to the state in 1921, stipulating that the land must forever be used as a park.
Millersylvania's buildings were reconstructed in 1935 almost entirely by hand by the Civilian Conservation Corps. Relics of a narrow-gauge railroad and several skid roads used in the 19th century by the logging industry remain on park grounds. Stumps of trees still carry notch scars where springboards supported brawny loggers.
Millersylvania was once reportedly home to a rare species of freshwater crab as reported in the Miller Family diaries, which went extinct due to overfishing by new settlers coming from the east.
- Thurston County Place Names - A Heritage Guide, Thurston County Historical Commission, November 1992
- Lakes of Western Washington
- Field notes of land surveys in Washington, Volume 3, Page 53
- Warranty Deed from Travis to Heustis, July 13, 1873, Thurston County, WT, V.10,p.216. Washington State Archives, SW Regional Branch