(Editors note: Many people helped make Lacey what it has become. This is the story of a couple, Ann and Harvey Mayse and their contribution to this community)
Before he retired, Lt. Col. Harvey Mayse was the executive office at Ft. Lewis. After a long career in the military he and his wife Ann bought property at Beachcrest and began their involvement in Lacey.
Harvey had formed a loose group of military officers who pooled their money and purchased property and created businesses around Ft. Lewis. But, since Harvey lived in Lacey, he focused his attention locally.
Harvey’s biggest problem is that he could see the future, he could even step a foot into the future – – but he was never able to fully manage the future.
He understood the significance of Woodland Square to the future of Lacey and his investment group purchased the property. Development of the area fell to others, as Harvey’s investment group eventually sold the property – I assume for a profit.
He joined hands with Ron Rowe and Norm Krueger to form KMR, the company which developed Rowe Six. The complex was originally planned as a retail shopping center – – but economic conditions weren’t right and it eventually became an office center, with most buildings leased to various state agencies. (The property is now the home of the Lacey branch of South Puget Sound Community College).
Harvey turned his attention to technology and received the first contract to supply cable television service in Lacey. That too eventually fell into the hands of others.
He next turned his attention to banking and came up with the idea of a local bank to fund local projects and was the founder of Lacey Bank, Later First Community Bank and later Venture Bank. Operations of the bank were taken out of his hands early on. A stockholders fight saw him lose control of the bank’s future.
Harvey was a visionary but was unable to bring most of his visions to fruition. Nevertheless he saw a future for Lacey and set the stage for what was to come.
While Harvey was putting his visions into action, his wife Ann began her involvement in the Lacey community. She started a small business selling slightly used clothing but eventually gave it up for volunteer work.
Ann was deeply involved in the Lacey Chamber of Commerce as a volunteer and worked for years as the main source of volunteer activity for the chamber.
She was active in the local Republican Party – which still had some sway in the county. She served in some leadership capacities with the local GOP and attended at least one national convention.
But it was her involvement with the Lacey Civic Committee which cemented her reputation as a woman who could get things done.
The Lacey Civic Committee built the “Welcome to Lacey” sign and the Lacey Historical Museum. Ann’s involvement was important and significant and always behind the scenes. She never seemed to want attention and did her work softly and gently without a great deal of drama.
After Harvey died, Ann moved away to Texas to live with one of her sons, before returning back to Lacey where she passed away in 2014 – seldom recognized for her efforts to improve her community.