Fort Steilacoom hosts April talk about Mountain Artillery in the Pacific Northwest

Join us for a member’s speaker series 2pm on Sunday, April 25, 2021 as Colonel (Retired) Paul R. Rosewitz, a military historian, discusses the artillery used by the regular army stationed at Fort Steilacoom and around the American West.  

Paul Rowewitz photo
Military Historian Col. (Ret.) Paul Rosewitz

As the U.S. Army sought to standardize its System of Land Artillery in the 1830s, the Army quickly realized Mountain Artillery should be included in the inventory as it moved ever westward and over the various mountain ranges of the expanding United States. Col. Rosewitz will explain the development and employment of U.S. Mountain Artillery from its French origins and how its use quickly transformed from traditional mountain warfare to employment in a variety of environments in all the major conflicts from the 1830s to the 1870s and its final phased retirement in the 1890s.

Members will receive the Zoom link to the presentation prior to the event. To become a member for a reasonable donation, visit https://historicfortsteilacoom.org/membership/

Fort Steilacoom in Lakewood occupies an important position in the history of early America and the Pacific Northwest. The fort played a significant role in the settling of Washington Territory. Beginning with its establishment in 1849 and ending with its closure in 1868, Fort Steilacoom served as a beacon of American power and promise, promoting the migration of settlers to Washington & securing American interest in the region.  Historic Fort Steilacoom Association is a non-profit organization and all donations are tax deductible.  The Historic Fort Steilacoom Association’s mission is: Sharing and preserving the first U.S. Army Post in the Puget Sound Region with area guests.

The photo of the firing Howitzer is from our sister U.S. fort, Fort Vancouver.

July Talk: The Myth of the M1855 Rifle Musket: Weapons of the Coeur d’Alene War of 1858

Three talks focus on Women’s History Month in March

The lives of 19th Century women in the Pacific Northwest will be celebrated in March as Historic Fort Steilacoom in Lakewood marks Women’s History Month.

The programs on three consecutive Saturdays, March 13, 20 and 27, focus on

  • The role of the laundress at military posts such as Fort Steilacoom, the first official U.S. presence in Puget Sound.
  • The day-to-day lives of women. 
  • The lives of women who could be found in Pierce County in 1850.

There is a charge for the virtual programs; the fort’s privately managed four buildings are 165 years old and require considerable care so all support is much appreciated. 

All events start at 2pm:

March 13:  Airing Your Dirty Laundry

Historical Interpreter and Museum Professional Peggy Barchi presents “Airing Your Dirty Laundry.” Learn about the daily grind that army laundresses endured and the skills it took to be one. Get your ticket here. 

March 20: In Her Shoes: Tracing the Footsteps of Pierce County Women in the mid-1800s

Public Historian Claire Keller-Scholz presents “In Her Shoes: Tracing the Footsteps of Pierce County Women in the mid-1800s.” Learn about the women and girls who lived on the Puget womenSound around 1850. Get your ticket here. 

March 27: Women’s Work in Washington Territory

Tacoma Historical Society’s Curator, Elizabeth Korsmo, presents “Women’s Work in Washington Territory.” Learn about the day-to-day lives of women in the 1850’s to 1860’s. Get your ticket here. 

Fort Steilacoom played a significant role in the settling of Washington Territory. Beginning with its construction in 1849 and ending with its closure in 1868, Fort Steilacoom served as a beacon of American power and promise, promoting the migration of settlers to Washington Territory and securing American interest in the region. 

The mission of the nonprofit Historic Fort Steilacoom Association is to share and preserve the first U.S. Army post in Puget Sound. The four surviving buildings are currently closed to tours but reopening is expected this spring.

For more information, visit https://historicfortsteilacoom.org.

Historic Fort Steilacoom is located on the grounds of Western State Hospital at 9601 Steilacoom Blvd SW, Lakewood, WA 98498