Lacey was originally called Woodland after settlers Isaac and Catherine Wood, who claimed land there in 1853. The small settlements of Woodland and Chambers Creek consolidated into Lacey in the 1950s. Renamed for attorney and developer O.C. Lacey, the city of Lacey was officially incorporated on December 5, 1966. At the time, the main industries were cattle, milk, forest products, and retail. Lacey became a commuter town for Olympia, Fort Lewis and to some extent, Tacoma; in recent years, however, business developments, community groups, and population growth have led Lacey to develop into a city in its own right.
Lacey sported one of the Northwest’s first ever “indoor malls”, South Sound Center. It has since been partially demolished and turned into an outdoor shopping center. It now features a diverse array of businesses, ranging from retail to warehousing/distribution centers, a large retirement community, a major mushroom farm, and Weyerhaeuser’s corrugated container facility.
As Lacey continues to grow, many businesses continue to feed into the city. It now offers a Regal 16 Movie Theater, which is one of the largest theaters in the area. Other businesses that have recently come into Lacey include LA Fitness, Best Buy, Costco, The Home Depot, Lowe’s, Cabela’s and many strip malls and market squares. There is also speculation that NFL Washington Redskins Fullback Mike Sellers, a North Thurston High School alumni, may seek to build a multi-sport event center or football dome in Hawks Prairie, which could attract national competitions.