Olympia Tumwater Foundation Offers Early Childhood Learning Grants – ThurstonTalk

The Olympia Tumwater Foundation has grants available to support early childhood education programs. The grants, which range from $250 to $3,000, were created to support innovative, sustainable classroom projects. Any Thurston County school district, nonprofit, early learning provider or collaboration of those groups may apply for the funding. The Olympia Tumwater Foundation has given over $90,000…

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Historian’s Conference Includes a Surprise

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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.

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Dorothy Wilhelm lecture brings standing room only crowd

 

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.

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Peter G. Schmidt Jr., grandson of Olympia brewery founder, dies at 94

Peter G. Schmidt Jr., grandson of the founder of the Olympia Brewery, died Feb. 4. He was 94.

Schmidt was born Dec. 3, 1921, in the historic Schmidt Mansion in Tumwater. He was the youngest of Peter Schmidt Sr.’s five children and the first boy.

Although he grew up with the brewery motto, “It’s the Water,” it wasn’t Tumwater’s artesian wells that attracted him as much as it was the saltwater nearby. When he was 12, he built his first sailboat on the shores of Budd Inlet, where his family had a summer camp. He remained passionately involved with maritime pursuits personally and professionally his whole life.

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Helping the Teachers Teach Local History

The Olympia Tumwater Foundation has been expanding its local history focus with the “Heritage Builders” program. A lot of work is taking place in the rich archives at the Schmidt House, the history talks and tours continue to attract more visitors and cultural tourists, local historians’ conferences are enhancing the ties of cooperation in the South Sound area, our new blog at www.olytumfoundation.org features many new articles, and our new 3-minute history videos “Talking Over Old Times” are available for viewing.

Something new was added on January 26 that not only builds upon our history program but also builds upon another important part of the foundation’s mission: education. For many years OTF has been the leading area scholarship provider to students. Now our history program has reached out to Thurston County fourth grade teachers

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History Talk on Naches Pass Sets Attendance Record

Jan Naches Pass Talk 2016

“We’ve been getting very nice press coverage for our free monthly history talks,” says Public History Manager of the Olympia Tumwater Foundation, Don Trosper, “but we were blown away by the record attendance here at the Schmidt House today.  As usual the speaker and topic were top of the line, but it was a very rainy, dark weekday that caused us to lower our expectations for the turnout.  We smashed our previous record of visitors for a single talk, breaking 100 for the first time. It was standing room only once the talk began.” 

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