Tumwater Park: An Early Version of Northwest Trek


Elk by upper Tumwater Falls in this colorized postcard from the early 1900’s

The Washington Standard newspaper reported in its November 12, 1897 edition that “It’s raining pitchforks with saw logs for handles and the tines downward.” In other words, the weather was typically wet for that time of year in our part of the country. What caught my eye though in that issue of the paper was a reference to Tumwater: “Tumwater Park received an unexpected accession to its population the other day, in the shape of a baby elk, which was born in the park from a captive elk.” Keep in mind that this was around 65 years before our modern day Tumwater Falls Park was constructed on the same site in 1962 in time for the Seattle World’s Fair. Continue reading

Treasures Found in the State Archives

tracey blog

Tracey Rebstock and Don Trosper

The New Season of Monthly History Talks Kicks Off with Tracy Rebstock

We all have archives and perhaps haven’t even thought about it.  Personal papers, family photo albums, scrapbooks and meaningful artifacts from your past are all part of your personal archives.  While they may not be in a good state of organization, they are still treasures.  We here at the Olympia Tumwater Foundation have some very nice archives that are an important part of our community history.  We are working hard on a project to organize and digitize them to make them accessible to researchers.  It only seemed appropriate that we begin our new season of free monthly history talks here at the historic Schmidt House with an expert in archives, which we did on Thursday, October 15th at noon with guest speaker Tracy Rebstock. Continue reading

Oly Saves the Day in Death Valley

illustration for Oly - Death Valley

From It’s the Water News, November 1971

Dear Folks,

I am nigh on to 70 years old and just returned from a trip which included parts of the Nevada and California deserts—no air conditioner and incredible temperatures of 105 degrees. I was accompanied by my little toy Pomeranian dog, Suzie, who was obviously about to succumb to the relentless heat—and so was I. Continue reading