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Olsen Family Papers
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Olsen Family Papers

  • UA 8.6.3
  • Record group
  • 1947 - 1964

In the summer of 1947, Robert Olsen joined the faculty of Pacific Lutheran College as a Professor of Chemistry. He and his wife Josephine (“Jo”), along with sons Richard, Robert Jr., James, and Paul moved to Tacoma from Detroit, Michigan. While in Tacoma, the family expanded to include Ruth (1951) and Timothy (1953). Professor Olsen retired from PLU in 1976.

Shortly after the Olsen family relocated to Tacoma, Professor Olsen took a series of Kodachrome slide photographs of the campus and surrounding area. Jo Olsen wrote a script to accompany the slides describing their content and providing details about the family’s new home and community. The slides and script were sent to the family’s former congregation in Detroit to be viewed as a tour of the area. The slides have been digitized and the caption written by Jo Olsen has been included with each image.

The Olsen Times was a newspaper started by 10-year-old James B. Olsen in 1951, covering family and community news. The paper was distributed to family and friends across the country. The Olsen Times was published weekly from 1951-1954 and monthly from 1954-1956. It was followed or supplemented by The Olsen Times Bulletin (1958, 1960, 1961), The Olsen News (1951-1957), and family letters (1961, 1964).

Olsen Family

Campus Photo Tour

Includes a series of photographic slides (taken by Professor Robert Olsen) and an accompanying handwritten script (written by Jo Olsen). The numbered captions on the script correspond to the numbers identified on the slide frame.

Slide 2

"A view of the steps shows the 4 Olsen boys. Also a holly tree. The berries stay that bright red for months."

Slide 3

"The house is President Eastvold's home. It is across Park Avenue from Trinity Church. It faces the campus (across Wheeler Street, which then ran thru the campus) and this is the front."

Slide 4

"We walk along the west side of Park Avenue, along the front of the campus. This sign is at the main entrance and the bldg. is the Main Bldg., a 6-story bldg. erected in 1894, by sturdy Norwegian Pioneers with vision. In the earlier days students + faculty lived, ate, attended classes + all, in this bldg. Now it is classrooms, offices, and girls' dormitory."

Slide 5

"The next view shows the NE corner, also the Library + the old Chapel Bldg."

Slide 1

"We will start our tour of the campus of Pacific Lutheran College at Trinity Church, which is across Park Avenue from the campus. Dr. Ernest B. Steen is the pastor."

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