History of the Olympia Tumwater Foundation

See OTF History Through Photos

Explore the history of the Tumwater area and the Olympia Tumwater Foundation 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 adding more photos as we digitize more of our archives. Collections of photos are organized by time period and subject, including photos of the iconic Olympia Brewing Company from its inception to the early 2000s.

Our Story

The 1950s: the Beginning

The Olympia Tumwater Foundation (OTF) was established in 1950 by the Schmidt family as a 501(c)(3) non-profit entity. OTF’s first major project was constructing a replica of the Tivoli Fountain on the Capitol Campus. A substantial amount of money for this project was contributed by the employees of the Olympia Brewing Company.

The 1960s: Brewery Park is Established

In 1962, OTF built Brewery Park at Tumwater Falls (then Tumwater Falls Park) for the public to enjoy. In 1967, the first scholarship was awarded to a high school senior, starting our decades-long Education Program.

The 1980s-2000s: a Change of Ownership

In 1983, when the brewery was sold to the Pabst Brewing Company, the Schmidt House was donated to OTF. Since 2003, we have been the stewards of the Olympia Brewing Company corporate archives and the Schmidt family papers, which are kept at the Schmidt House.

2023: Our Mission Today Honors Our Past

(Left) OTF board president, Peter G. Schmidt, and Washington State governor, Arthur B. Langlie, at the 1953 dedication of the Tivoli Fountain. (Right) Current OTF board president, Lee Wojnar, and Washington State governor, Jay Inslee, at the 2017 rededication of the Tivoli Fountain.

We take pride in honoring what the Olympia Brewery and Schmidt family did for our community. Today, OTF: maintains Brewery Park as a relaxing and restorative natural area; offers the beautiful Schmidt House grounds for weddings, events, and history research; and provides financial opportunities for high school seniors and local educators.

Support our programs

Created by the Olympia Brewing Company to conduct their philanthropic efforts, our organization aims to enrich our local community through a variety of programs.