Cider Sunday and Thurston County Through the Decades
Annual Event in the Falls Park Once Again a Great Success
There have been times in past years when the “Cider Sunday” living history event in the park was cold and windy with the rain falling sideways. It has been held the first Sunday in October for many years, rain or shine, and this year the sun shown brightly and the turnout was large.
The Tumwater Historical Association sponsors the event each year in cooperation with the Tumwater Middle School “Homesteaders Program.” The eighth graders, in costume, spend the day demonstrating apple cider pressing while their parents help out with an apple-oriented bake sale. The event over the years has expanded to include many Thurston County history groups in a bi-annual event called “Thurston County Through the Decades” with hands-on activities and displays portraying a varying 25-year period of local history (this year was 1875 to 1900). The hands-on activities included rope making, basket weaving, and grinding grain into flour using a mortar and pestle. This is also the time of year that the salmon are making their annual journey upstream to spawn, so the salmon people and Stream Team folks are also working with the fish at the park at the facility at the top of the fish ladders. The weather, the aroma of Barb’s BBQ, the pioneer music background, and the many people and activities made this year’s event exceptional.
This year the groups and organizations participating were: the Washington State Archives and the State Library, Daughters of the Pioneers, Crosby House re-enactors, Thurston County Historic Commission, Lacey Museum, Lacey Historical Society, Olympia Historical Society/Bigelow House, St. Martin’s University, the Old Brewhouse Foundation, Thurston County Fair Board, the Homestead Quilters of THA, Otis Curry Blacksmithing, and special thanks to Dave Shade and Garth Johnson for the rope making and Connie Barclay for the basket making.
Also the Olympia Tumwater Foundation (the host group that owns and operates the Falls Park) was well represented with their history program led by Karen Johnson. Their booth included displays about the Capital Brewing Company history, Tumwater’s early history, the history of the oyster industry and the hands-on demonstration of grinding wheat grain into flour. Also a guided Riverwalk history tour was led at noon by Public History Manager, Don Trosper along the historic Deschutes River and the trail that leads to the focal point of the lower falls.
This is a tremendous family event each year here in Tumwater, always held the first Sunday of October. Add it to your annual calendar!
Many thanks to all the families who stopped by the grain-grinding booth! I was amazed at the lengthy attention span of the kids, and how much they enjoyed working.