Replica Pioneer Church Opens at Borst Home Museum


Attendees braved the pouring rain Saturday for the grand opening of the Replica Pioneer Church at the Borst Home Museum in Centralia.

The project began in 2017 when facilitator Jean Bluhm said she felt a call from God to spearhead a community-wide effort to build the church, which is a replica of the church built by Mary Borst’s parents, founding members of Centralia, in the 1860s.

Bluhm plays Borst in living history reenactments. As celebratory fiddles and bagpipes were played and the ribbon was cut Saturday, Bluhm stood on the steps of the church fully decked in her historic costume.

Bluhm told Julie McDonald in a previous column for The Chronicle the project took work by countless donors, intervention by the City of Centralia and abounding miracles.

The space will now be available to rent from the city for weddings and other events.

Here is a list of major donors to the project:

• Brad Davis Construction cut out the foundation

• Lincoln Creek Lumber donated material for footings

• Virgil Bluhm, original project chairman

• Kevin Bluhm of Bluhm Associates surveyed

• Todd Ekberg donated half his bill for pumper truck cement

• Roofing material and installation, Centralia Foundation

• Flooring and installation by John and Sybil Kuhn

• Marcy Anholt stained glass window, see Anholt’s studio during ARTrails this weekend

• Thomas Evans designed, built and installed the steeple

• The City of Centralia finished the inside

• Jonathan & Jason Curfman, cross on the steeple

• George Andrews, architect

• Spectrum Painting donated paint and stain for inside and outside building and completed the painting

• Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints Centralia Stake, Al Plank and his crew built rafters, porch, handicapped walk, siding, changed back door, leveled foundation, building much of the church

• Chehalis Westminster Presbyterian Church Bible Study put up the walls

• Beverly and John York donated fixtures inside and out