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.
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Tumwater Falls Park is funded by the non profit Olympia Tumwater Foundation and contributions from people like you. Click here for more information.
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 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.
The Olympia Tumwater Foundation will be there!!!
In a cooperative effort with the City of Tumwater, the Olympia Tumwater Foundation’s local history program partnered with Thurston Community Television (TCTV) to produce twenty, three minute videos focusing on Tumwater’s rich history.
Local historian and author, Don Trosper, hosts these short videos featuring music, historic photos, and compelling details about names you may hear and see around Tumwater today, like George Bush, Michael T. Simmons, the Crosby family, and more. Don says, “There is more than enough material to produce many more of these utilizing the rich resources of the foundation archives at the Schmidt House and the City of Tumwater files from Henderson House. It is great fun and will hopefully be helpful to students in history classes, local area residents and visitors from outside our local area.”
Click on the underlined links below to enjoy Don’s folksy interpretation of Tumwater’s past:
The History of the West Begins in the East
The Founders of Tumwater and their trip over the Oregon Trail. Why make such a trip?
Modern ever-blooming roses, while flowering throughout summer, tend to exhibit several cyclic seasonal peaks when most or all of the rose bushes are blooming at the same time. These peaks generally occur in early summer (June), mid-summer (mid- to late-July), and autumn (September-October). These are the most spectacular times to visit the Centennial Rose Garden.
The rose bushes in the Centennial Garden are now entering the spring peak of the annual blooming cycle. Most varieties are currently in full bloom and will remain so for several more days.
This Roman rose, Rosa gallica, is in bloom right now in the northwest corner of the Centennial Garden on the Schmidt House grounds. The individual flowers of Rosa gallica are deep red with bright yellow centers and are extremely fragrant.
Did you know that over 2,000 years ago the Romans grew and loved roses as much as we do today? These Roman roses were far different from those popular now – there were no “Hybrid Teas” or “Floribundas” during those ancient times; they were to arise literally thousands of years later in Europe. Roman roses were largely “species” or wild roses. But nonetheless they were delicate, lovely and exquisitely fragrant. Continue reading
Historian’s conference attendees at the Schmidt House.
Saturday, April 16th, was an absolutely beautiful day at the historic Schmidt House in Tumwater, a perfect day for the third biannual gathering of people from around Thurston County with a passion for local history. The “Heritage Builders” local history program of the Olympia Tumwater Foundation hosted this unique Local Historian’s Conference from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., organized and facilitated by Public History Manager, Don Trosper. The host group also included Curator Karen Johnson, Archivist Erin Whitesel-Jones, and later joined by the executive director of the foundation, John Freedman.
As John was giving his greetings to the assembled attendees, he was surprised by an unexpected presentation from the president of the South Sound Heritage Association, Drew Crooks. Continue reading
Over 100 people enjoyed a history talk by Dorothy Wilhelm, seen here at a previous presentation.
Dorothy Wilhelm, a popular newspaper columnist from DuPont, calls herself a “geriatric cheerleader,” and now we know why. She absolutely wowed the crowd at our February 18 monthly free history talk at the Schmidt House, where she presented stories from her upcoming History Press book tentatively titled Lost Stories from Washington History. Dorothy’s presentation for our “Heritage Builders” program dealt with legends and personal stories she has collected over many years. She has interviewed people all around western Washington for her award-winning TV series My Home Town, one episode of which covered our historic town of Tumwater. Continue reading