Visiting The Borst Home Museum In Centralia

A visit to Centralia isn’t complete without stopping by the Borst Home Museum where you can learn about the family who once lived there. The museum offers a peek into the region’s past. Centralia’s Borst Park has a number of historic structures including the Borst Home, One Room School House and the Block House.

historical photograph

History of the Borst House

All the way back in 1854, a man by the name of Joseph Borst married a young 16-year-old Mary Adeline Roundtree. They moved to Oregon and lived in a small cabin on Joseph’s farm. The following year of 1855 brought about a small, local war and Joseph and Mary Borst, temporarily moved.

When the war was finished, they returned to their home, and moved into a blockhouse, which is a small, singular building meant to keep enemies out in time of war. This, naturally, wasn’t a pleasing permanent solution, and for “reasons unknown,” Joseph began constructing his own home for his bride and self.

Borst Museum

Two years later, it was finished. A beautiful two story, with attic, mansion. At the time, it was “considered to be the finest house between Forts Steilacoom and Vancouver.”

Over 150 years later, this home is still standing. While it’s missing the huge barn, it’s still in decent shape despite being damaged throughout the years by natural rain, wind and snow storms.

According to the City of Centralia’s website, the reason that the home is still standing and in such good condition is due to the expensive and hardened wood from San Francisco.

Borst Museum


Open house events have been canceled for 2020 due to COVID-19.

Group and special tours are offered by appointment Monday through Friday from April through September. Tours are not currently being accepted due to COVID-19. To learn more contact Julie at the Parks & Recreation office at (360) 330-7668.

A visit to this well-loved, historical home is free, but donations are accepted.

Photos by: City of Centralia

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MacKenzie Passegger

MacKenzie Passegger is the face behind our various social media accounts, and also routinely writes articles on our blogs (that you’re hopefully enjoying). She's a Washington state native who found herself settling in Austria after bouncing around Europe. When her toddler isn’t keeping her on her toes, she enjoys cooking, craft beer & traveling back home. Being away from Washington allows her to have a different perspective and has deepened her love for the Evergreen State.

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