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Thurston County celebrates Black History Month –
Early settler George Bush honored with new Capitol Monument!

New Capitol Monument Honors Pioneer George Bush and Family
“Within view of the Butternut tree grown from Bush family stock, the monument sits on the lawn just south of the General Administration and Helen Sommers buildings,” by Thurston Talk. Photo courtesy: Washington State Department of Enterprise Services

Black History Month from Experience Oly & Beyond

“Celebrating Black History month gives us opportunities to learn more about local Black leaders, history, and events taking place within our region. In this month’s newsletter, we’re highlighting the pioneering spirit of one of our region’s most benevolent settlers, George Bush. If you’re planning a trip to the Capitol Campus, you won’t want to miss the new monument honoring his pioneer family.” 

George Bush – One of Washington’s Most Important Homesteaders

“The pioneering spirit of settlers in our region was fueled not only by opportunity and wide open spaces, but by the generosity and hospitality of men like George Bush—a Black pioneer who fled violent discrimination in Missouri and Oregon before crossing the Columbia River and settling in Washington. Bush headed west with Michael Simmons, leading a thirty-two-person party along the Oregon Trail. After spending the winter near Oregon City they continued north after facing government-sanctioned violence, arriving at the southern edge of Puget Sound. There they founded Tumwater, and George and his family farmed, built a sawmill, and started a small logging operation.”

Bush was legendary for his hospitality, welcoming travelers and settlers with food and a place to stay. He gave away almost his entire harvest during the famine of 1852, saving the lives of those who needed help and assistance. He contributed immensely towards the settlement of this territory, and a monument to his accomplishments can be visited today at the Capitol Campus in Olympia. (painting by Jacob Lawrence)

Posted by Steve on February 16, 2022 at 12:31 am | Permalink

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