April 2024


The last month was full of exciting developments at the Olympia Tumwater Foundation! Read on to learn more.


Dr. Dale Croes (left) and expert Suquamish basketmaker Ed Carriere (right) work on a basketmaking project together in 2019.

May's History Talk: Generationally-Linked Archaeology in Our Region

Held On Thursday, May 2nd at Noon

Noted anthropologist and archaeologist Dr. Dale Croes has spent over 40 years studying Northwest Coast basketry and cordage. He and Salishan Master Basketmaker Ed Carriere have co-authored a book on Salish Sea basketry which traces the evolution of traditional Northwest Coast basketmaking from thousands of years ago to contemporary times. Dr. Croes will explain how basketry offers a tangible connection to the past.

History Talks are free to attend, and start at noon. Doors will open at 11:45am.

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(L) Shirley Stirling (left) and Linda McClendon (right) pose in their colonial garb in front of a DAR exhibit display. (R) Schmidt House curator, Karen Johnson (red shirt), speaks with DAR members and exhibit viewers!

An American Revolution Exhibit at the Schmidt House

This incredible experience comes to a close soon! April 17th is the last day to visit the exhibit. It is open this week only on the 17th from 10am-4pm.

In April, an exciting new exhibit about the American Revolution came to the Schmidt House. The exhibit was created by the American Battlefield Trust and the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution. We are pleased to be one of only three venues in western Washington hosting the exhibit in 2024. The exhibit will be ending on the 17th! Stop by the Schmidt House to see it before it's gone!

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2023 Top Scholarship Recipient Meridee Hill (left) and OTF Board President Lee Wojnar (right). Meridee received $15,000 with her Peter G. Schmidt Sr. Family Memorial Scholarship!

It's Scholarship Season!

With June rapidly approaching the OTF scholarship season has arrived! We award around 20 scholarships every year, each ranging from $5,000 to $15,000, to graduating seniors in Thurston County who plan to attend college within Washington state. Last year we gave out $140,000 between all of our awardees! Since our scholarship program began back in 1967 we have given over $2,400,000 away to students in our community.

We received 50 applications this year! Soon our scholarship committee will choose who continues on to personal interviews. After interviews are conducted and each candidate has been reviewed, we will announce our 2024 scholarship winners! Stay tuned for updates...

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Brewery Park at Tumwater Falls

Don't Miss Out On Spring Riverwalk Tours!

Sign up for a Riverwalk Tour in April or May! Tours will be held at 5pm on the following dates: April 16th (tomorrow!) and May 7th & 21st.

Tours depart from our park office at 110 Deschutes Parkway SW in Tumwater, and are sponsored by the City of Tumwater. Attendance is free and welcome to all ages.


Something Seems Fishy...

There are fish residents again in the Tumwater Falls Hatchery! These finned friends are just fry for now, but they are learning how to be grown up salmon. In the coming weeks they will be eating lots of fishy food and swimming in the holding pond to acclimate to the Deschutes River. Come say hi to these little guys in their pens behind the hatchery!

Spring Flowers Are Blooming in Tumwater Falls!

Come see a variety of blooming plants on your next visit to Brewery Park! We have many different colors of Rhododendron, native bushes and flowers, as well as blooming trees on display around the park.

The Schmidt House

Tour the Schmidt House

The next tour of the Schmidt House is scheduled for April 30th from 11am-12:30pm.

Join us for a guided tour of one of Tumwater’s most iconic homes, the Schmidt House, built in 1904 for Leopold Schmidt, founder of the Olympia Brewing Company and his family. Your Tour Guide will take you through four levels of the house from the basement (which houses our archives) to the top floor. Find yourself immersed in the rich history Tumwater has to offer. Doors will open at 10:45am. Please note: The first floor is ADA accessible, but the rest of the house requires climbing stairs.


The Grounds Are Open To Visitors!

Stop by the Schmidt House for a beautiful walk around the grounds. If you'd like to see the interior of the house, book a private tour with the Schmidt House Curator, Karen Johnson, or attend one of our scheduled house tours!

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Host Your Wedding at the Schmidt House

We are offering the Schmidt House as a wedding venue again in 2024! Limited bookings per year are available, so inquire as soon as possible to reserve your booking!

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From The Curator

Hamm's Beer Truck

In 1974, Olympia Brewing bought Hamm’s brewery in St. Paul, Minnesota. Shown here is a Ford truck owned by the Marnach Beverage Company, a Hamm’s distributor, in River Falls, Wisconsin.

Want to see more photos like this?

Explore the history of the Tumwater area through vintage photos! In 2020, OTF was awarded a grant from the Thurston County Historic Commission. This grant allowed OTF to digitize over 4,400 images from its collection. We are still actively adding more photos so make sure to check back regularly!

OTF Historic Photos Archive

Karen Johnson, Schmidt House Curator.

Don't forget to check out our website!

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110 Deschutes Parkway SW, Tumwater, WA 98501  •  +1 (360) 943-2550

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