Television show “The Voice” films in Tumwater Falls Park

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Earlier this summer, a production crew from NBC filmed local musician Ethan Tucker in Tumwater Falls Park for the television show “The Voice”

Ethan Tucker may only be in his early 20s but the self-starting Olympia native has already made a name for himself, impressing some of the more respected veteran artists in today’s music world. Performing and recording since the age of 16, Tucker has honed his unique blend of acoustic-roots, soul, blues, and reggae, slowly building a dedicated and ever-growing audience, and making friends with some significant musicians in the process.

Ethan chose country music artist Blake Shelton as his coach after his succesful audition on the September 20, 2016 “The Voice” broadcast.

This week’s (September 20) “Blind Auditions” episodes of “The Voice” were prerecorded in Los Angeles, as was the coming “Battles” episode that will feature Tucker in October. If he makes it far enough, he will sing live on national television during the final “Live Shows” competition, which will include voting by the TV audience.

Good luck Ethan!

Click here to watch Ethan’s audition:  The Voice

Fall Chinook salmon putting on a show in Tumwater Falls Park

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Now is the time to visit Tumwater Falls Park where Chinook salmon are showing up in impressive numbers in their annual migration upstream. Each fall, the Park welcomes thousands of visitors and schoolchildren to see salmon in their natural habitat, slowly making their way to the Tumwater Falls Hatchery. Come be enthralled by the cascading waterfalls, learn the life cycle of the majestic salmon, or just spend an afternoon relaxing on the grass.

 

Tumwater Falls Park is funded by the non profit Olympia Tumwater Foundation and contributions from people like you. Click here for more information.

Model Ship Returns to the Schmidt House After 50+ Years Absence

 

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The “Kearsarge” as it looks now.

In June 1896, Scientific American magazine published an article titled “The New Double-Deck-Turret Battleship Kearsarge.” The article described the dimensions and armaments of a new class of U.S. battleships, and included an artist’s rendering and a deck plan of the ship.

Peter G. Schmidt, just sixteen at the time, was intrigued by the new battleship design—so much so, that he decided to build a scale model of the ship. Unlike today, though, he couldn’t go down to the local hobby shop and buy a kit. Instead, he studied the plan, the picture, and the text, and built his own model—entirely from scratch. Continue reading

Fragrant hybrid tea roses in the Centennial Garden

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What could be more disappointing than poking your nose down into a sumptuous rose, taking a deep sniff, and coming up empty? No fragrance!  – You might as well be growing dahlias (no offense to you dahlia growers).

When people learn that you have been growing roses for 30 years, as I have, they often comment: “…these modern roses are not as fragrant as the roses I remember when I was young”. Any honest Rosarian will have to admit that there is some truth to this statement. The Old Garden Roses, the ones your grandmother nurtured in her garden, possessed an overpowering fragrance. This fragrance to die for was part of their immense charm. In fact in olden times roses, and the valuable perfume they contained, were often important objects of commerce and even conflicts such as the “War of the Roses” in 15th century England. Continue reading

WSU Grad Student Finds Liquid Gold in Foundation Archives

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WSU grad student Megan Ockerman holds original advertising artwork from the Olympia Brewing Company.

Finding a thesis subject for a master’s degree in History can be a daunting task. Professors prefer subjects that are interesting, previously unresearched, yet with plenty of research material available, and open to new interpretations. Olympia resident Megan Ockerman, who already has her bachelor’s degree in History, had been thinking of doing her thesis work on 1940s residential architecture in the Tri-Cities area and how it was affected by the “company town” atmosphere of the Hanford nuclear plant. However, she wasn’t entirely sold on that idea.
In a Pacific Northwest History class at WSU, a guest speaker talked about hops—history, culture, processing, all related to brewing beer. The speaker also showed an old photograph of Native Americans picking hops in the Nisqually Valley area. Megan’s curiosity was piqued, and over spring break, she delved into Northwest hop history on her own, but found little information.
Serendipity soon came into play. Megan grew up surrounded by Olympia Beer memorabilia, as her father has been collecting it for years. At some point, her interest in the history of hops clicked with her family’s interest in Oly, and a new idea for her thesis was born.
Although Megan was excited about her potential thesis subject, she wasn’t sure about finding enough resources to provide background material. But her Eureka! moment came when she found out about the extensive archives of brewery records at the Olympia Tumwater Foundation. With a few emails to curator Karen Johnson, Megan was convinced that researching the entire history of the Olympia Brewing Company would make a great thesis. Her WSU advisors agreed.
Megan is more than enthusiastic about her subject, and has spent a good part of her summer vacation here in the basement of the Schmidt House, poring over old records from the earliest days of the brewery. After collecting material here, she will return to Pullman and spend much of this winter and next spring writing her thesis, which she’ll defend in April 2017. If all goes well, she plans on turning her thesis into a book. Then she’ll go about finding a paying job in the history field.
We wish Megan the best of luck in her thesis pursuit, and look forward to working with her in the future.