Welcome to The Schmidt House

Discover the Schmidt House

In 1983, OTF acquired Tumwater’s elegant Schmidt House, built in 1904 for Olympia Brewing Company founder Leopold Schmidt and his wife Johanna. The home is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Tumwater Register of Historic Places and is within the Tumwater Historic District. The picturesque grounds are graced with native gardens, reflective pool and graceful statues brought back from Europe by Leopold Schmidt. The house was designed for the Schmidt family by Seattle architect C. Alfred Breitung, a protégé of Leopold Schmidt.

The historic house contains the extensive Olympia Brewing Co. archives, our history program offices, and is available for tours and event rentals. The grounds also feature the Centennial Rose Garden cared for by Schmidt House volunteers.

Open Daylight Hours

The grounds, including the exterior of the home, and the Centennial Rose Garden, are open daily during daylight hours. Visitors are welcome to explore and enjoy the beautiful property for free. Since the Schmidt House is used to store our archives, we offer guided tours of the house instead of allowing free-range exploration.

Walking Conditions

The grounds around the property are flat, and easy to navigate. They consist of lawn, gravel, and concrete pathways. The interior of the Schmidt House does have some staircases which may be strenuous for some.

ADA Accessibility

The property grounds have paved sidewalks which are ADA-accessible. There is an ADA-compliant lift on the West-end of the porch, and an ADA-accessible bathroom in the garage.

House Tours

Guided tours of the interior of the Schmidt House are available for free! We have partnered with the City of Tumwater to allow for easy tour registration through their Parks & Recreation activities portal. Choose from a variety of tour dates/times in their registration catalog.

Renting the House

We do offer the Schmidt House as a rental venue for specific events, such as weddings. Please contact our curator, Karen Johnson, or read more on our rental information page.

The Historic Schmidt House

A historical marker, “A House Called Three Meter,” stands just outside the front gate of the Schmidt House grounds and provides a detailed history on the home and family who had lived there. Although the origin of this nickname is a bit fuzzy, the prevailing theory is that the name came from 203 Meter Hill, a strategic site in the Japanese-Russian war of 1904-05. The name was shortened and applied to the Schmidt home, due to its location overlooking the brewery and river.

 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. See more historic photos of the Schmidt House in the “Schmidt Family & Schmidt House” album!

The Schmidt House property was donated to OTF in 1983, which continues to own and maintain the house today. The Schmidt House is now listed on the local, state, and National Registers of Historic Places, and relies on the foundation for maintenance.

Contrary to common perception, the Schmidt House is not city-owned, but is non-profit-owned and managed. We count on your donations to enhance and sustain the Schmidt House property and programs!

Make a Contribution

Take A Digital Tour

About the Digital Schmidt House Tour:

In this 3D virtual tour of the Schmidt House, you’ll get to see and learn about the entire house and many of its artifacts—through your cursor!

During the winter of 2022-23, the Schmidt House added a wheelchair lift, making the first floor of the house ADA-accessible. An ADA-accessible restroom was also installed in our existing garage. However, we wanted to ensure that the rest of the house (two upper floors and the basement) is also accessible to the public, should they be unable to negotiate the many stairs during an in-person tour. We now offer a 3D virtual video tour of the Schmidt House, so that anyone anywhere can tour the house, regardless of mobility issues.

We hope you enjoy this virtual tour. 

Many thanks to the following for making this project possible:

How to Navigate:

To move through the house simply click on an area of the room. To look around, left-click on the screen and drag any direction. Hover over the points of interest to learn about features of the house, historical facts, or interesting items. Zoom in and out by scrolling with your mouse.

On the bottom left-side of the window find the floor plan, floor selector, and more options. On the bottom right-side of the window find the share, view in VR, and view in fullscreen options.

Our History Program

In 2010, we established our History Program. Our mainstays are regular Schmidt House tours, History Talks by local experts, and seasonal (spring & summer) guided riverwalk tours of Brewery Park at Tumwater Falls. We are constantly improving and adding to our program offerings, so check our calendar for upcoming events!

2023-24 History Talks

2024 Schmidt House History Talks are currently scheduled through June, and after a summer hiatus, will resume in the fall. These free hour-long talks on social or natural history, each presented by a recognized expert, are held on the first Thursday of the month. All talks will be at noon in the Schmidt House. Make sure you don’t miss out on these presentations. First come, first seated until capacity is reached. 

Rent the Schmidt House For Your Private Event

We do rent the Schmidt House as a venue for private events, such as weddings, a limited amount of times per season. The house itself is incredibly elegant, historic, and spacious. The grounds are stately and provide lovely scenery. We do provide certain amenities, such as chairs, tables, etc. Check out our Rental Information page for more information about rates and amenities!

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I view the space before renting for an event?

Call (360) 890-2299 or email kjohnson@olytumfoundation.org to schedule a time.

Can I use my choice of caterer for my event?


Is the house ADA accessible?

Partially. In 2023, an ADA-accessible bathroom was completed as well as a lift to the main first floor. The basement, second, and third floors remain accessible only to those who can climb stairs.

Directions to the Schmidt House


I-5 South / Take 2nd Avenue Exit 103 / At stop sign go straight / At light take left onto Custer Way / Take first left onto Schmidt Place. The Schmidt House is straight ahead behind the iron fence. Parking is to the right of the home.


I-5 North / Take Deschutes Way Exit 103 / Turn right onto Deschutes Way / At light turn left onto Capitol Boulevard / At light turn left onto Custer Way / Take first right onto Schmidt Place. The Schmidt House is straight ahead behind the iron fence. Parking is to the right of the home.

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