How the Son of a Slave Founded Centralia: Sound Effect, Episode 120.5
Washington State is, of course, named after founding father George Washington. But there’s another George Washington, also a founding father, who settled in a little corner of the territory with his wife Mary Jane nearly 150 years ago. There he founded a town called Centerville, later changed to Centralia.
What makes Washington an unusual pioneer-type is that he was African-American, born in Virginia to a white woman and a black slave.
Now, some 200 years later, George Washington has become a rallying point for a diverse group of Centralia residents, looking to steer their town through social and economic challenges.
In this Midweek installment of Sound Effect's podcast, KNKX's Ed Ronco joins host Gabriel Spitzer for a major update on this story, and some personal reflections on what it means to come from a town that has seen better days.
Note: This is part of an experiment with Sound Effect’s podcast: We will feed a condensed version of the full show on Saturdays, withholding an especially memorable story. Then we’ll hear that segment, and some of the story behind the story, in a new weekly podcast installment that will be in your feed on Wednesdays. You can still always catch the full, broadcast-style version of the show on the web site (at the bottom of the page).
We’d love to hear what you think of the new podcast format -- give your feedback in the comments below, or email SoundEffect@knkx.org.