Carlyon Beach is named for Fred Carlyon (born June 10, 1865, died March 7, 1956), who settled in Olympia in 1883. He was a businessman and a photographer that also made his mark going north in the Alaska Gold Rush to operate a jewelry/watchmaking shop in Wrangell, Alaska. Following his return to Washington he developed a number of Olympia properties, including a racetrack and the Carlyon Beach Resort. The Carlyon Beach Resort and farm operated from 1927 to 1959. Carlyon Beach Resort was a favorite among salmon fisherman because of the large numbers of salmon attracted to the herring that spawned off the point. At its peak, sixty boats were available for rent on the property for 50 cents a day. The resort also featured cabins for rent, a bait store, and a farmhouse, which is now the Association clubhouse and offices. Fred’s sheep grazed on the land that is now the waterfront park.
Carlyon Beach Development Company recorded the plat of Carlyon Beach Homeowners Association (then called Carlyon Beach Country Club), Division 1 in October of 1959. Division 2 was recorded in September, 1960. Many people used their lot as a camping site, but slowly cabins and homes were built.
Our marina was completed in the 1970’s by visionary members volunteering to do what was needed to make it happen. Everyone pitched in to finance the work. Volunteers also put in countless hours building the Wanigan, keeping the bulkhead serviceable, donating their skills at welding, carpentry, dirt works, and anything else they could do to get things done.
At first the county allowed standard septic systems on the lots, but as the neighborhood grew changes were decreed by Thurston County. There was a building moratorium for a while until our Waste Water Treatment Plant was completed. This led to our current system, our Waste Water Treatment Plant with trucks pumping and transporting our liquids for treatment.
The County also watched over our ground water to evaluate what that put into Puget Sound. The solution they mandated to keeping oil and other contaminants from reaching the Sound are our Bio-Swales. It was a very costly system to install, but it filters the run-off through grasses and other natural filters before the water finds its way into either Totten Inlet or Squaxin Passage.
Our neighborhood is growing, changing, evolving. We are part of that change, living our history daily.