Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Generations Removed From Mary Borst Gather in Centralia Saturday


Joseph and Mary (Roundtree) Borst, the builders of the Borst Home, a historic centerpiece of Fort Borst Park in Centralia, have long been celebrated by local historians for their influence on the Centralia community.

Last year, a replica church was built beside the Borst Home museum in honor of the family, thanks to the City of Centralia and historian Jean Bluhm. Bluhm has long been a living history reenactor, dressing as Mary Borst herself.

On Saturday, Bluhm invited descendants of Mary and Joseph Borst to the church and museum for a family reunion of sorts. They were given a private tour of the Borst campus before it was unlocked for an open house in the afternoon.

“Although there are many Borst descendants, only one family comes directly from the Joseph and Mary Roundtree Borst line,” Bluhm said.

The historic couple’s fourth child, Frank James Borst, married a woman named Vera Peet and had two children. The duo’s eldest, Dorothy Borst, married a man named Ted Gerhard. Ted and Dorothy had ten children. This generation was present on Saturday. Greg Gerhard, their third child, has helped Bluhm in her historical documentation of the Borst family.

The Gerhards — fourth generation Borst descendants — were also joined by their spouses and two subsequent generations, bringing the group to 23 descendants.

“It was a glorious day and God was so good to give me the strength to even be there and enjoy it,” Bluhm said.

To learn more about the museum, visit its Facebook page, titled “Historic Borst Home Museum.”