Centralia, the midpoint between the hustle and bustle of city life, is your first stop from the north as you enter into Lewis County. Full of history, Centralia’s self-guided walking tour offers a glimpse into what makes this city important in Washington State’s history.
It’s not so much a road trip as it is a journey that allows you to take some time and just simply enjoy the architecture, but this tour will lead your feet along the brick-laid streets as you gaze upon the different styles of construction that span many decades. Your travels will take you through close to 100 years of historical structures, with some dating back to the late 19th century.
Check out our list of properties on the National Register of Historic Places before you go, and take note of the places you wish to see.
After you have experienced downtown and the buildings that lie along its main corridor, take some time to rest for a bit. Stop in and have lunch while your feet take a breather. Centralia is diverse in their choices of cuisine, no matter what your palate is craving. Finish your pit stop off with a cup of coffee roasted in-house, or a sweet treat at somewhere such as Holley’s Place or Dawn’s Delectables.
Now that you are fueled up and ready to put those tennis shoes in motion, it is time to take off to explore the residential portion of the tour. You may choose to relocate your mode of transportation to a more central location along the historic homes. Homes that you will see range from the founder of Centralia, George Washington to F.B. Hubbard, one of the many lumbermen of historic Centralia.
Though most of the history is along the downtown area and surrounding residential neighborhoods, you can’t leave without a visit to Fort Borst Park and Borst Home. The Borst Home, the pioneer home of Joseph and Mary Borst, is located on the banks of the Chehalis River. While you’re there, you can also enjoy a walk along the Smooth Mile Trail at Fort Borst Park, one of Lewis County’s newest recreational trails that passes right by the Borst Home.