Voices from the Past Visit Tumwater’s Three Historic Homes on September 9

On Sunday, September 9, three talented living history re-enactors will give performances at the historic homes located in Tumwater’s Historic District. Staggered start times will allow the public to hear all three presentations.


Beginning at the Schmidt House at 1 p.m., storyteller Kristin Alana will portray Rebecca Groundage Howard, an African-American woman who operated the Pacific House, a restaurant and hotel in Olympia in the 1860s and ‘70s. Alana brings this little-known but memorable character to life: Howard was ahead of her time in becoming a prominent and successful businesswoman in Thurston County.


At 2 p.m. at the Crosby House, reenactor Karen Haas will portray Thea Foss, who bought a used rowboat in Tacoma and built a maritime empire on Puget Sound. Foss, a Norwegian immigrant, took her place in a “man’s world,” and added her experience to the rich blend that is Washington. Haas portrays Thea in 1912, the year of the first Foss tugboat.


At 2:45 p.m. at the Henderson House, long-time reenactor Ray Egan portrays one of his favorite historic personalities, Ezra Meeker. Meeker’s reminiscence begins with his first experiences working with oxen. The presentation continues with a discussion of what oxen are and are not, and why they were vitally important on the Oregon Trail.


All three houses will be open for tours before and after the performances. In addition, the Centennial Rose Garden at the Schmidt House will be open to visitors.


The Tumwater Register of Historic Places recognizes all three homes as Historic Places, as does the National Register of Historic Places.


WHAT— Voices from the Past—Heritage Day at the Tumwater Historic District

WHEN— Sunday, September 9, 2018, 1 to 4 p.m.

WHERE— Henderson House (602 Deschutes Way SW), Crosby House (702 Deschutes Way SW), and Schmidt House (330 Schmidt Place SW)

COST— Free (but donations are gratefully accepted!)

FOR MORE INFO— Contact Karen Johnson at karen@olytumfoundation.org or 360-890-2299

SPONSORED BY— City of Tumwater, and the Olympia Tumwater Foundation.


The Olympia Tumwater Foundation is a 501(c)(3) public charity. All contributions are tax-deductible to the extent provided by law.

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