Sculptor Jim Stafford works on a  six-foot tall sculpture of Centralia’s founder, George Washington, in his shop in Adna, WA. Shot Wednesday, September 27, 2017.

Centralia is raising money to build a statue to honor its founder, a black son of a slave named George Washington. This is the 200th year of his birth, and the city wants to find a new way to honor him. There is a park with a mural of George Washington, and his gravesite is in town. It is not lost on at least some of the people in town that in the era of Charlottesville, at a time of some racial divide and when cities are tearing down Confederate statues, Centralia is doing the opposite.
Jim Stafford, a Lewis County sculptor, adds detail to the model of George Washington, Centralia’s founder. (Ellen M. Banner / The Seattle Times)

As Confederate statues fall, this Washington town is creating a monument to its black founder

The plan to honor Centralia's founder with a statue preceded the events in Charlottesville, but once those images of hate erupted, the project to honor this son of a slave took on new meaning. "This is relevant to our country," said Max Vogt, a local real-estate agent.  VIEW

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