The phrase "It's the water," adopted by Tumwater's own Olympia Brewing Company, could have been coined for the town itself. In 1845, the first American settlers on Puget Sound founded a village at the falls of the Deschutes River, drawn by the river's potential for powering mills and factories. They christened the place New Market, though the town soon changed its name to Tumwater, a phrase meaning "noisy water" in the language used between settlers and Indians. Though the age of water power lasted only a few more decades, Tumwater later struck gold with a different sort of water: pure artesian springs that were perfect for brewing beer. The Olympia Brewing Company, built by German brewmaster Leopold Schmidt, produced its first beer in 1896. For more than a century, Schmidt's brewery dominated the little town at the falls. In spite of tremendous changes during the past few decades, modern Tumwater still takes pride in its Northwest pioneer heritage and its beer-brewing past.