Centralia, Washington - Home
News Calendar Emergency Information Site Map Advanced Search
Home About Centralia City Council Departments Economic Development Visitors Residents
 
Back to Parks and Recreation
LINE

Mission Statement
LINE
Parks Board
LINE
Athletic Complex Event Calendar
LINE
How to Register
LINE
Register for Parks and Recreation Programs
LINE
Community Sponsored Sports and Enrichment
LINE
City Parks and Trails
LINE
Pearl Street Memorial Plaza
LINE
Rent Park Facilities
LINE
Sports Field Use Information
LINE
Borst Home and Historic Parks Facilities
LINE
*Block House
*
*Borst Home
*
*June 2011 - School Tours and More
*
*One Room School
LINE
Special Events
LINE
Park Applications, Documents, and Maps
LINE
Sports Complex at Borst Park
LINE
Volunteer Opportunities
LINE
Frequently Asked Questions
LINE
Parks and Recreation Staff
LINE
Friends of Seminary Hill
LINE
Rainout Information
LINE

118 W. Maple
Centralia, WA 98531
Phone: 360-330-7688
Email: 
Hours: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday - Friday
  Borst Home

1
Historic Borst Home
Borst Home Group Tour Information (Click here)

The home is open on the second Saturday of the month from 1:30 - 3:30 p.m., April through October, as well as July 4, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
 
To view the 2018 schedule, please click here.
 
We have special events planned for every Open House Date! To see the Special Events calendar, please click here.

Group tours are offered by appointment (three weeks notice, please) Monday through Friday. Phone (360) 330-7662. 

If you can't join us in person to tour the Historic Borst Home, you can take a 'virtual tour' by accessing the website below. Sares Loveleigh created this tour in 2009, and makes it available through her blog: "Loveleigh Treasures". 

Directions
Take exit 82 off of I-5 in Centralia. Head west on Harrison Ave. Turn left on Johnson Road, go past the middle school and swimming pool. Follow the signs to the Borst Home.

Borst Home History
In 1854 Joseph Borst married sixteen-year-old Mary Adeline Roundtree. Her family had come west from Illinois in 1852 to settle in Oregon County. Joseph and Mary started their life together in a small cabin on Joseph’s farm. When a war broke out in 1855, with some local Indians, the Borsts and many other settlers moved into quarters in the stockade at Fort Hennes, a local fort that has since been destroyed. After the war, the Borsts returned to their land and moved into the blockhouse that had been built during the war. Around 1860 or before (the exact year is not known), Joseph Borst started construction on the house Mary wanted so badly. Some say the house was built for Mary because of the numerous times the family had to move and the harsh conditions under which she had to live. Others say it was because of a promise Joseph had made in order to get her to marry him. Whatever the reason, the house was built and its construction took two years. This is the Borst Home that still stands, over one-hundred and fifty years later. More than a century ago residents of the area took pride in the stately white mansion which stood on the banks of the Chehalis River near Centralia. It was said Ulysses S. Grant had once stopped to visit there. The great white house with green shutters and a balcony, built in the early 1860s, was the pioneer home of Joseph Borst. It was considered to be the finest house between Forts Steilacoom and Vancouver. At the time, Borst said the house and barn were so well built they would last for 80 years. Approximately 150 years later, the house is still standing and shows every indication of remaining there for another 100 years. Gone, however, is the large barn, into which one could drive a team and wagon, turn around, and drive out again without stopping. The aging structure was damaged in the 1962 windstorm which struck the Pacific Northwest. The reason for the house holding up so well is its construction. The lumber had to be hauled by horse and wagon from Tumwater and the casings and hardware shipped by boat from San Francisco. The lumber was dried and seasoned for about a year. To harden the wood and make the joints and corners waterproof, the ends of every board were dipped in white lead before being put up. The house was built by plank construction, which was very unusual, rather than the box construction typical to the times. Every board was held in place with wooden pegs. A local Danish man painted all the woodwork and made it look grained by wiping it with rags. For the huge soapstone fireplace, Joseph found a special type of stone which, when quarried, was as pliable as hard clay and could be smoothed with a plane. The air and the fire hardened the stone so it wouldn’t crack. The furniture was handmade by another local man. There were six maple spool beds, and Mary had a special rocking chair made just for her. It was quite a home for those days. In 1921 the City acquired the Borst Home for $20,000.and later obtained surrounding 101 acres. The Borst name also lends itself to an adjoining park, arboretum, one room schoolhouse replica, and heirloom garden. This park contains, among other things, the old Fort Borst blockhouse, (a military structure erected in 1856), in which the Borsts lived for a period following the Indian Wars.

Please check the City's calendar for Open House dates so that you can tour this lovely, historic home.



 

Our Historic Preservation Facebook Page Our City of Centralia Facebook Page Our Borst Home Museum Facbook Page Centralia Police Department Facebook Page

printer friendly version Printer friendly version

If you have questions regarding the site, please contact the webmaster.
Terms of Use | Built using Project A's Site-in-a-Box ©2017
Version 5.12.7

 

 

 

HomeContact Us Centralia City Hall