Bulletin – 2/15/2020

February 15, 2020

This month is the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment to the US constitution, empowering women to vote! Join the League of Women Voters of Thurston County and the Olympia Historical Society and Bigelow House Museum at a special event on February 15 celebrating the centenary of this vital amendment. This event will be held at the Bigelow House Museum, 918 Glass Avenue NE, Olympia, from 1 to 3 PM. Admission is by donation. Both the 200th anniversary of suffragist Susan B. Anthony’s birth and the 100th anniversary of the League of Women Voters will also be marked by this event. The program begins at 1:30 PM, and visitors will enjoy displays, music, and refreshments. Historic costumes are encouraged! Susan B. Anthony visited the Bigelow House in 1871, and the League was formed on February 14, 1920. For more information, visit www.olympiahistory.org

In honor of Black History Month, Olympia Historical Society and Bigelow House Museum will co-sponsor a special program with the Olympia Heritage Commission titled Blacks in Thurston County: A Historical Perspective, presented by Dr. Thelma Jackson and Ed Echtle. This event is taking place on Saturday February 22, 2020 at 1:30 PM in Rooms 101-102 of the Olympia Center, 222 Columbia St. NW in Olympia. Free to the public! Information is available at www.olympiahistory.org.


George Washington and Centralia

George Washington was born in Virginia in 1817, the son of a black slave and a British woman. George’s mother left the boy with Anna and James Cochran/Cochrane, a white couple, who moved to Missouri with George, by way of Ohio. Washington’s business efforts in that area were impeded by the many racist laws then in place. Seeking greater liberty, George Washington moved west in 1850 via wagon train, eventually arriving in what would soon become the Washington Territory. In 1852, Washington opened a land claim in the Territory near the confluence of the Chehalis and Skookumchuck Rivers, where he would later establish the town of Centralia. Washington met and married Mary Jane Cooness/Cornie when in his 50’s, a widow of African American and Jewish ancestry. Realizing that their land’s location would be an important access point for the Northern Pacific Railroad between Kalama on the Columbia and Tacoma, the Washingtons endeavored to start a town on the site. On January 8, 1875, the family registered the plat for their town at the Lewis County courthouse in Chehalis, initially calling it “Centerville,” and later added more plats to increase the town’s size. The Washingtons donated space to their Baptist parish to construct a church and a cemetery, and also established a public square, now known as George Washington Park, located at 110 South Silver Street in Centralia. The town’s initial name of Centerville caused some confusion, since a town by that name already existed in Klickitat County, and the name was changed to Centralia in the early 1880’s. Centralia went on to be incorporated in 1886. When the Washington Territory became a state in 1889, Centralia had nearly 1,000 residents, a figure which more than tripled in the next two years. George’s wife Mary Jane Washington passed away in 1888. Washington remained an

active area civic leader, often cited for his willingness to help area residents in numerous ways, such as selling property for a small down payment, providing no-interest loans, and offering employment options when few were available. During the national economic downturn of 1893, George established private relief efforts for locals in need, frequently wagon trained into Oregon in order to bring back needed supplies ranging from rice and flour to sugar, and gave away bacon and lard he obtained in Chehalis. Washington did not evict residents for being late on mortgage payments, and bought up area properties which became available during the crash in order to increase the town’s size. By the end of the 19th century, Centralia began to recover economically, and though property values and residency had declined during the financial downturn, Centralia had about 1,600 residents in 1900. The town’s current population is estimated to be approximately 18,000. George Washington died on August 26, 1905, remaining active in local affairs up until his passing. He was 11 days short of his 88th birthday. The town of Centralia recognized George at the time of his death with a public funeral said to be the most attended in the city’s history. Washington’s service took place at the Baptist church he had helped establish, and he is buried in the Washington Lawn Cemetery, located at 706 West Pear Street in Centralia, which he had donated to the parish many years before.


· February 15, 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM. Olympia Historical Society and Bigelow House Museum (Olympia): 100th Anniversary of the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution.

Please join the Olympia Historical Society and Bigelow House Museum, and the Thurston County League of Women Voters, for a celebration of the centenary of the women’s vote. See the header at the top of the Bulletin for full details!

· February 15, 2:00 PM. Olympia Family Theater (Olympia): Starry Messenger.

This stirring adaptation of the Newbery Award-winning book is set in Copenhagen in 1943. Young Annemarie and her family face soldiers, interrogations, fierce dogs, personal danger, the loss of loved ones and face their darkest fears as they try to help their friend Ellen escape the Nazis across the ocean to safety in Sweden. Witness all the drama, adventure, and humor come to life on our stage that have made Number the Stars a national bestseller. Based on the Book by Lois Lowry, adapted by Dr. Douglas W. Larche & directed by Samantha Chandler. This show is recommended for ages 6 and over. For event Info, call (360) 570-1638 Admission is $20. The Olympia Family Theater is located at 612 4th Ave E, Olympia.

· February 15, 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM. Lemay Car Museum (Tacoma): Unguarded Art Auction.

Incarcerated artists in prisons across Washington are raising money for social justice causes and victims of domestic violence through the Unguarded Art Auction at LeMay Car Museum. Admission is $10 and includes parking, partial museum access, tapas, and one drink ticket.

Attendees will be able to bid on more than 200 pieces of inmate-made art, including paintings, sculptures and Native American beading. All proceeds will be split among the YWCAs of Pierce, Kitsap, Seattle, King and Snohomish counties. Sponsors for the event include United HealthCare Community Plan, Department of Corrections, Pierce County Community Partnership for Transition Services and Numbers2Names, and the Washington State Combined Fund Drive. For more information, visit https://doc.wa.gov/news/2020/01242020.htm The Lemay Car Museum is located at 2702 East D. Street, Tacoma.

· February 20, 11:30 AM. Schmidt House (Tumwater): History Talks at Schmidt House

presents George Washington of Centralia.

Visit History Talks at Schmidt House for a discussion of the book George Washington of Centralia, presented by authors Brian Mittge and Kerry MacGregor Serl. Signed copies of their book will be available following the presentation. For more information about George

Washington and his role in the origin of Centralia, please see the header at the top of this Bulletin. Doors open at 11:30 AM on a first come, first seated basis and the doors close when the house reaches capacity. For more information, call 360-786-8117 or visit https://olytumfoundation.org/what-we-do/schmidt-house/ The Schmidt House is located just off Custer Way in Tumwater at 330 Schmidt Place.

· February 20, 3:00 PM. Washington State History Museum (Tacoma): Free Third Thursday!

On the Third Thursday of every month, admission to the Washington State History Museum is FREE OF CHARGE after 3:00 PM. For a list of upcoming events, visithttp://www.washingtonhistory.org/events.aspx?id=0 The Washington State History museum is located at 1911 Pacific Ave, Tacoma, (253) 272-3500.

· February 21, 4:30 AM – 6:30 PM. South Puget Sound Community College, Leonor R. Fuller Gallery (Olympia): Native American Art Exhibition Opening Reception.

SPSCC is pleased to welcome the Native American Art Exhibition back to the Leonor R. Fuller Gallery at the Kenneth J. Minnaert Center for the Arts. The exhibition will run from Feb. 18 – March 20, 2020, with the opening reception taking place Friday, Feb. 21, from 4:30 PM to 6:30 PM. This themed exhibition, shaped and selected by Native guest curators, engages viewers and the community celebrating the arts and culture of our Native community members. The exhibition will highlight work by adult and youth from local and regional tribes and Native artists from other locations who now live in the area. The exhibition is sponsored by the Nisqually Indian Tribe. The Gallery is open Monday through Friday from noon to 6:00 PM, excluding holidays. The Leonor R. Fuller Gallery at the Kenneth J. Minnaert Center for the Arts is located at 2011 Mottman Rd. SW, Olympia.

· February 21, 7:30 PM. University of Puget Sound Schneebeck Concert Hall (Tacoma): Puget Sound Jacobsen Series – The Legacy of George Walker.

Dr. Gregory Walker, violinist, joins University of Puget Sound music faculty for this celebration of music by his father, George Walker (1922–2018), the first African American to win the Pulitzer Prize for Music. Performed by Gwynne Brown, piano; Kim Davenport, piano; Alistair MacRae, cello; Dawn Padula, mezzo-soprano; Joyce Ramee, viola; Tanya Stambuk, piano; Joseph Williams, piano; Jinshil Yi, piano. This event is taking place at the University of Puget Sound Schneebeck Concert Hall, 1500 N Warner St, Tacoma.

· February 22, 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM. Fort Nisqually Living History Museum (Tacoma): Heritage Skills Workshop – Basketry.

Judy Bridges, a member of the Cowlitz Indian Tribe, will lead a hands-on workshop in which participants will learn the basics of plaiting, twining and coiling cedar. Judy is descended from five fur traders and their Native American wives. She took up basketry in the early 1990’s, studying with both native and non-native teachers. Judy has been teaching and demonstrating basketry for nearly two decades, using both traditional and modern materials. You are invited to bring your own sack lunch to this event. Admission is $65, open to those ages 16 and older. Pre-registration required, visit http://apm.activecommunities.com/metroparkstacoma/Activity_Search/9069 . For more

information contact (253) 404-3970. The Fort Nisqually Living History Museum is located at 5400 N. Pearl St., Tacoma.

· February 22, 1:30 PM. Olympia Historical Society and Bigelow House Museum (Olympia): Blacks in Thurston County.

Please join the Olympia Historical Society and Bigelow House Museum, and the Olympia Heritage Commission for a discussion of Black history in Thurston County. See the header at the top of the Bulletin for full details!

· February 24, 7:30 PM. Washington Center Main Stage (Olympia): Beatles Vs. Stones – A Musical Showdown.

Back by popular demand! Celebrate the history of rock ‘n roll by visiting the Main Stage for a Battle of the Bands. Two of the greatest groups of all time face off in a high-energy, adrenaline-pumping musical showdown. The Fab Four, represented by tribute band Abbey Road will engage in a barrage of hits against premier Rolling Stones tribute band Satisfaction. It’s a face-off you won’t want to miss! For more information, visit https://www.washingtoncenter.org/event/20-02-24-beatles-vs-stones/ The Washington Center Main Stage is located at 512 Washington St. SE , Olympia.

· February 26, 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM. Harbor History Museum (Gig Harbor) – Who Was Chief Seattle?

David Buerge, historian, teacher, writer, and author of fourteen books of history and biography, has been researching the pre- and early history of the City of Seattle since the mid-1970’s. A biographer and a historian to the Duwamish Tribe of Chief Seattle, David has spent more than 20 years exploring the man from a variety of sources to reveal a leader of epic character. His latest book, Chief Seattle and the Town that Took His Name, is the first biography of Chief Seattle intended for adults. Seattle wrote nothing down during his life, yet his words – both real and imagined – are known throughout the world. The result is a man made up of both historical and fictional aspects, from which conflicting messages can be gleaned. Visit the Harbor History Museum for an authoritative and insightful discussion of this fascinatingly significant leader.

Admission is free, but seats are limited; RSVPs are encouraged. To RSVP or for questions, contact operations@harborhistorymuseum.org or 253-858-6722. The Harbor History Museum is located at 4121 Harborview Drive, Gig Harbor.

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