We're back! Are you ready to head up the stairs. This is my
favorite part of the house. You can really get a feel for the
family upstairs. You left your flip flops at home right?!
Before we head up, look here on the banister. The E that I
told you about earlier is right here. Most likely carved in by
daughter Eva. Don't you just LOVE that! I know when I was
little I wrote my name on the backside of the chimney wall!
Now just so you can visualize your way around, because I
know I like to do that to get the full picture, I've sketched up
another floor plan for you.
When we come to the top of the stairs, we are going to take
a right, into the "Boys" room.
This room was used for guests until Harbin got old enough
to be moved out of the nursery. If you look in the bottom
right corner you can see the stairs to the 3rd floor attic.
The bedroom furniture is original to the Borst House, from
what time period, they didn't day.
The picture on the dresses is of Allen Borst, the youngest son.
He had this room after his big brother Harbin. There was a
14 year age difference between them, so I imagine that if
they had to share, it wasn't for long.
The stairs to the attic. Travelers that needed a place to stay
were welcomed in and stayed up here. We were not allowed
to go up, but the guide said that it was huge, but only had
floorboards laid out in part of it.
An old Bible, I thought this made a pretty picture. I don't think
this is original to the house as there was no label saying that
This tiny room here was either used as the schoolroom or as
the live-in teacher's bedroom. Since the Borsts had so many
children and had the extra room, a schoolteacher would
sometimes live with them. Rumor has it that they didn't
last long and frequently left to marry!
The beautiful built in cabinet in the upstairs hallway matches
the wood banister and contains many old and original pieces.
A brass candle stick and hand dipped candle original to the
house, circa 1870.
A slate the Borst children used for schoolwork.
A bottle of cologne purchased by Joseph in 1895. The cabinet
also holds a powder horn that belonged to Mary's father and
baskets woven from the Chehalis Indians. Some of which are
woven so tightly that you could carry water in them or use
them to cook in. I somehow missed taking pictures of them.
Let's head down the hallway to the Master bedroom shall we...
Down the landing, the wall holds family pictures.
The head of the family, Joseph Borst, seated at a writing table
writing in a journal.
Family portrait, circa 1872. Front Row: Ada, Joseph and Mary
Back Row: Harbin and Eva
Little Allen, the baby of the family
Eva Borst McElfresh and her husband Crate (Socrates)
Mary Adeline Roundtree Borst
Mary Adeline Roundtree Borst
McElfresh. They had one daughter that died as an infant.
Harbin and Olive Ready Borst prepare to have their wedding
portrait taken in the fall of 1880. They had 4 children.
Harbin passed away in 1918 at the age of 59.
Eva and Ada, in a picture taken near the blockhouse during
an early SW Washington Pioneer Picnic. Eva would live until
1944, when she died at the age of 88. Ada died around the
the same time at the age of 86 or 87.
* Allen married Lucinda Overacker and had 3 children. He
lived to the age of 63, he died in 1936.
The master bedroom, with furniture that Joseph purchased
Uh oh, who's THAT! Oops, just me!
Now who's in THAT mirror? Just my Mom!
Do you think the ladies actually read these little books? I bet
they did, they were probably like our magazines.
I just thought this was beautiful!
A place of sweetness and much sadness. There were 5 babies
that lived in this little room all too briefly, before they died.
Allen was the only baby born in the house that grew to adult-
Beaver top hat and case used by Joseph, circa 1875.
Let's go back across the hall to the "Girl's" room. This door
here leads to the upstairs balcony. There is a sofa placed
in front of it to discourage people from going out there as it's
not safe. Lawsuit are not wanted, I'm sure.
The beautiful doorknob.
The painted wooden floorboards in the hallway.
There were 6 maple spool beds made with ropes stretching
the frames when the family moved into their newly finished
home. These beds were turned out by hand powered lathes.
Bed springs of this type were the origin of the saying "Sleep
tight!" To assure the sleeper of a comfortable bed, the rope
springs would have to be tightened to prevent sag. They
were used with straw mattresses topped with feather beds.
The pattern on this quilt is the "Bow Tie".
The Pattern here is called the "Double Wedding Ring".
That's all of the rooms upstairs! Let's head back downstairs,
Now hold tightly to the banister on the way down, these
stairs are STEEP.
After the two oldest children were married, in 1880, and
Ada was away at nursing school, Mary and Joseph moved
into town. They lived in a house built out of lumber reclaimed
from an old home they bought that used to be across the
river from their farmhouse. They rented out the farm and
the big white house.
In October 1885, Joseph died on one of his many trips to
Ellensburg and Mary moved back to the farm. After a few
years, she decided the work of the farm was too much for
her and she had another house with a big white windmill in
the front yard built for herself. She moved into town for the
last time in 1887, and the farm was rented to various people
before she died. Mary Adeline Roundtree Borst, passed
away on February 20, 1920 in her home. She was 83 years
When the will was read, the property was divided amongst
the heirs. In 1921 Allen Borst, the youngest of the children,
donated a portion of the land to the city. Allen's son, Richard
lived in the home after he graduated high school and Allen
moved there after he retired. When Allen died, his son
Joseph inherited the house. He sold the house and the
ajoining land to the city of Centralia in the 1950's because
he lived too far away to care for it.
The house continued to be lived in by park attendants and
their families, with several more babies being born in the
house. One family was so large, the downstairs parlor was
turned into the master bedroom for a time. In 1984, all of
this came to an end when the house was restored. Allen's
son Richard also sold some of the homes original furniture,
and it was placed back where it had once been, so many
The home has never been lived in again, but continues to
graciously receive the many guests that walk through the
It has been a pleasure to share this loveleigh old farmhouse
with you. I hope you enjoyed your visit. Thank you for
letting me take you on this tour, I hope you enjoyed it as
much as I did.
Goodbye until tomorrow, when we'll head over the grass and
through the garden to the replica of the little one-room
Schoolhouse, where we will make our very last stop before
we complete our tour.
* If you have missed any posts or wish to revisit one, click
on the links provided on my left sidebar
*All of the old black and white photos are courtesy of the
Lewis County Historical Museum
* All historical information is courtesy of the Centralia Parks
and Recreation Department and Jean Hilts Bluhm, the author
of "The Mary Borst Story".