May 2024


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


The Olympia Tumwater foundation is a leading provider of high school scholarship in Thurston County. Over $2.4 million has been awarded to local students and schools.

The 2024 Scholarship Winners Selected

On May 17th, our scholarship committee conducted personal interviews with our scholarship finalists and selected 17 deserving winners. Our annual award ceremony will be held on Tuesday, May 28th, and the following students will be recognized for their achievements and awards

2024 Scholarship Winners

Rianna Slevin of Yelm High School

Cailyn Rosalin of Timberline High School

Kambree Degon of Timberline High School

Sky Lin of Olympia High School

Ella Cao of Olympia High School

Neta Keren of Olympia High School

Aurora Coakley of Olympia High School

Dasha Miltimore of Capital High Schol

Ella Reichert of Black Hills High School

Ella Bayer of Capital High School

Sienna Moore of Capital High School

Natalie Holder of Olympia High School

Kiana Nier of Yelm High School

Cole Wilson of Olympia High School

Quinlan Zimmerman of Tumwater High School

Madison Beck of Rochester High School

Nathan Rim of Timberline High School

Learn more

Welcome OTF's Newest Addition to the Team

Please join us in welcoming Erica Stock Williams to the Olympia Tumwater Foundation! Erica brings 20+ years of nonprofit fundraising and leadership experience to her role as Development Director. She will focus her initial efforts on launching a capital campaign to build a History and Nature Center, replacing our current Welcome Center and offices at Brewery Park overlooking Tumwater Falls. 

Learn more about Erica on our website.

Learn more

Riverwalk Tours are a great way to learn about Tumwater's history, and hear some great stories while enjoying a walk in nature.

Summer Riverwalk Tours Are Just Around the Corner!

Learn the history of Euro-American settlement along the Deschutes River – now the location of Brewery Park at Tumwater Falls – and the relationship between people and the river over the last two centuries, from trusted local guides.

Participants will meet the tour guide outside of the Olympia-Tumwater Foundation office at Brewery Park at Tumwater Falls.

Learn more

Welcome OTF's Newest Board Member!

Rikki Martinez was elected to the Olympia Tumwater Foundation board of directors in April. As a young professional, she can provide new perspectives on our strategy-making and fundraising process. Rikki received a scholarship from the foundation in 2015 and interned with us for 4 years during her college studies. She graduated from St. Martin’s University with an engineering degree in 2019 and is currently employed at SCJ Alliance. Welcome aboard Rikki!

Brewery Park at Tumwater Falls

New and Improved

On May 3rd we bid farewell to the sky-high speed bumps that plagued the park's main road and replaced them with gentler asphalt speed bumps (tell your suspension it's welcome).


Under an Angela J. Bowen Conservancy Foundation grant, we recently paved the steep walkway to the fish ladder and Oregon Trail Monument, eliminating a slip hazard. The trail was previously covered in gravel, which made it difficult for wheelchairs and scooters to navigate. The new asphalt will provide easy access for everyone who wants to observe the salmon in the fall or walk down to the footbridge.


Thank you to Quality Parking Lot Services for their great work on these projects!

Mayor of Tumwater Falls

When you visit Brewery Park at Tumwater Falls, one of the first things you'll see is Jose Guzman's smiling face. As the park caretaker, Jose maintains the trails and landscape and ensures facilities run smoothly. He also oversees the maintenance and grounds of the historic Schmidt House. Jose loves interacting with visitors and sharing the park's history and natural beauty. He has been with the foundation for over 12 years and is affectionately known as the "mayor of Tumwater Falls." If you run into Jose during a visit, be sure to ask him about his legendary appearance on America’s Funniest Home Videos.

Patrons of the Park

This month's patron of the park is not a zebra, but a doggy-visitor and his owner! This (very) furry patron's name is Kingston. He is an 11 year-old Malamute and Bernese Mountain Dog mix. His owner, Gabrielle, is new to the area and has been enjoying bringing Kingston to the park for his walks and playing in the water pools. Welcome to Tumwater, Gabrielle and Kingston!

Have You Checked Out the Gift Shop?

The Brewery Park gift shop is open M-F from 10-5, located in the park office! Come see an array of posters, apparel, and more! All proceeds benefit Brewery Park's maintenance and improvement fund.

Online Shop

The Schmidt House

Tour the Schmidt House

The next tour of the Schmidt House is scheduled for May 28th 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 Centennial Rose Garden Sign Gets a New Look

Centennial Rose Garden volunteer, Gary Ritchie, put in many hours of work cleaning and repainting the Centennial Rose Garden sign at the Schmidt House. The roses are just coming into bloom---stop by and see them (and the sign) any time!

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!

Learn more


Remembering Tammie Ensign

Tammie Ensign was a member of our Early Learning Committee from the start. She helped oversee the funding of hundreds of early learning grants from OTF, and touched many lives. Tammie passed away on May 8th, 2024, and will be deeply missed by all.

From The Curator

Bordeaux Log Pond ca 1940

The Mason County Logging Company was headquartered at Bordeaux, on the southeast edge of the Black Hills. In the log pond shown here around 1940, a logger wrestles a big log towards the mill.

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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