Panel OKs naming marsh near Granite Falls for Everett teacher

GRANITE FALLS — A nameless marsh near Granite Falls is a step closer to having a name.

On Tuesday, the state Committee on Geographic Names approved a proposal to name the hidden eight-acre wetland Holland Marsh, after the late Everett teacher and forester Andy Holland.

The marsh is secluded from public view on a private tree farm, a few miles south of Granite Falls. Andy Holland’s nephew, Chuck, maintains it.

Chuck Holland had the idea to name the marsh as a kind of homage to his uncle who helped inspire generations of foresters at Everett Community College. Andy Holland was also a fire lookout who wrote the book “Switchbacks,” detailing his experiences in the mountains. He died in 2008 at the age of 97.

The committee also approved names for three other geographic features in San Juan and Thurston counties.

Andy Holland

That includes a proposal to rename a channel between Shaw and Orcas islands after Henry Cayou, a Lummi Nation tribal member who was a commercial fishermen and a county commissioner. That waterway is currently named after Gen. William Harney, who is best known for nearly starting the San Juan Islands “Pig War” between the United States and England in 1859.

“Harney killed an enslaved Black woman in 1834 and commanded the killing of Indigenous women and children during the 1855 Battle of Ash Hollow, among other ignominious acts,” a news release from the Department of Natural Resources says.

Another proposal in the same county would give an island the moniker Basket Island. At low tide it connects with nearby Picnic Island.

The last idea, in Thurston County, would correct the spelling of Chain Hill just north of Tenino. According to a local historian, it’s supposed to be named after Charles Chaenn, a landowner who died in 1910.

Next, the approved proposals will go to the Board of Natural Resources, which acts as the state Board on Geographic Names. If they make it through that round, they’ll be added to the Washington Administrative Code.

For the final step, they would head to the US Board on Geographic Names for federal review.

Zachariah Bryan: 425-339-3431; [email protected] Twitter: @zachariahtb.