Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Olympic Club History Pub

The School on the Hill: the History and Archaeology of Grace Seminary

Olympic Club - Olympic Club Theater

6 p.m. doors, 7 p.m. program

Free

All ages welcome

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Qualifies for “Attend a McMenamins History-Sponsored Event” Experience Stamp.

Why not stay the night too? Mention you’re attending the History Pub for 10% off your hotel room.

About The School on the Hill: the History and Archaeology of Grace Seminary

The School on the Hill: the History and Archaeology of Grace Seminary

Presented by David Ellis, principal archaeologist, Willamette Cultural Resources Associates

In the summer of 2017, construction for a new parking area at the Centralia Armory began encountering a variety of glass and ceramic artifacts. Recognizing the potential importance of the discovery, the construction was halted and the Washington Military Department contracted with Willamette Cultural Resources Associates to conduct systematic archaeological excavations at the location of the discovery. In addition to the excavations, we undertook extensive research on the history of current Armory area.

Seminary Hill is named for Grace Seminary, a Baptist school constructed on the hill 1889-1890. George and Jane Washington, the founders of Centralia, were instrumental in establishing Grace Seminary. Although developed by a Baptist organization, the school focused in art and music classes. Financial problems soon took their toll and the school closed in 1893-1894. The building sat vacant until 1905, when it was purchased by a local doctor and transformed into Centralia General Hospital, the city’s first hospital. The hospital operated for just 14 years before it closed. The Seminary building remained vacant until it was demolished in the early 1930s. The current Armory was constructed in the late 1930s.

The archaeological excavations recovered an extensive array of glass and ceramic artifacts associated with the Seminary and the hospital. Unfortunately, many of the items were badly fragmented and could be definitively associated with either the Seminary or hospital. A few artifacts could be identified as educational in function and therefore likely to be from the Seminary. More artifacts were clearly for medical use, and we encountered one small refuse pit full of hospital debris. Nonetheless, our fieldwork and research has offered glimpses into these important contributions to Centralia’s history.

About the Speaker:

David Ellis is principal archaeologist with Willamette Cultural Resources Associates in Portland. He has directed archaeological projects throughout the Pacific Northwest for over 40 years, from a 4,500-year-old prehistoric site on the Cowlitz River, to a 19th-century Chinese laundry in downtown Portland. David directed the excavations at the Seminary site and led the historical research.

About Olympic Club History Pub

Olympic Club History Pub

These monthly, free events are open to everyone interested in Oregon and Pacific Northwest history. Co-sponsored by like-minded historical and civic organizations, we bring you experts, scholars, first-person experiencers and historians who expound on topics from Lewis and Clark to shipwrecks, hop growing to women pioneers and far, far beyond. It's like being back in the classroom - except this time you get to settle into comfortable seats and enjoy a drink or two with dinner while you listen and learn.

This event is eligible for a History Pub Stamp