The Stone City is building on its rocky foundation.
The City of Tenino announced Thursday it has entered into a lease agreement with the Tenino Stone Carvers to occupy a portion of a city-owned Public Works building for the Stone Carvers’ commercial operations.
The Tenino Stone Carvers has been working with the PARC Foundation of Thurston County to formalize the Stone Carvers as a nonprofit organization with the purposes to preserve and share the history of stone carving in Tenino as well as train future Stone Carvers, according to a news release from the city.
“Stone Carving is once again a viable industry in Tenino and we are excited to see the Tenino Stone Carvers formalize themselves as an organization and have them be involved in promoting Stone Carving and Tenino,” Tenino Mayor Wayne Fournier said in the release. “Tenino is one of the few places in the U.S. where you can learn the skills of the trade. This is another addition to our Tenino Creative District as we focus on our effort to utilize all the facilities we have to meet our vision of building a thriving community.”
Jessica Reeves-Rush, a specialist with the City of Tenino, said the project supports history and culture and promotes commercial activity and tourism while providing training and teaching
“The public will still be able to watch demonstrations at the Stone Shed, but most serious work and teaching will take place at the new workshop,” Reeves-Rush said.
Tenino has a rich history when it comes to stone carving.
The industry is credited with making Tenino a boom town in the 1890s, boosting the population from 75 to more than 1,000, according to a handout from the city.