Community Supports Restoration of Olympia’s Sherwood Press

In 1940, Jocelyn Dohm opened the Sherwood Press, housed in a one-room building overlooking Capitol Lake in Olympia. Fresh out of the University of Washington, Dohm founded the print shop with her friend Betty Fultz.

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Jocelyn Dohm working the press. Photos by Karen Miller

Located in a 400-square-foot building, the press still operates in the small building with some of Dohm’s original equipment. Dohm operated the press for 63 years. The press is now run by Jami Heinricher, who inherited it when Dohm died in 2003.

The Sherwood Press prints labels, business cards, wedding invitations, birth announcements, and more. Heinricher’s work can be seen on the labels of Olympia Coffee Roasting bags. Heinricher isn’t alone at the press, she often has a person or two to help out and recently had a part-time employee.

The aging Sherwood Press building is now in need of repair. The 8-foot-tall window frame is beginning to rot, and the wall below is rotting, too. Replacing the window requires removing and then reframing the original glass due to the historic nature of the building.

A tree, nicknamed “The Nutcracker,” is starting to crush the side of the building with its roots. The rotten siding needs replacing and painting. The soil inundation around the building needs to be excavated. So far, thanks to IndieGoGo, the community has raised money to fix the window and wall, as well as remove “The Nutcracker.”

Back in 1989, Heinricher visited the shop at the urging of a friend and after seeing some of Dohm’s work. It only took a few hours before Heinricher was sold on the press.

“I just instantly fell in love with her and the place,” Heinricher said.

She began coming by to volunteer, spending a few hours a week “just doing the most meaningless things and talking.”

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Jami Heinricher creates cards at the Sherwood Press

“After eight years, I told her I could see myself as her successor,” said Heinricher.

Heinricher is now in her 12th year at the helm of the press, and she’s hoping the money raised, a goal of $19,000, will help the press mark its 100th birthday in 2040.

The official campaign has ended, but is still available on IndieGoGo for more donations, now classified as an In Demand campaign. Available perks include unique printed items such as posters, tote bags, and postcards.

For more, visit The Sherwood Press on Facebook and at its official website.

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is a staff writer at South Sound magazine. Email her.
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