soldiers gathered under a tent

Fort Steilacoom museum reopens after being closed due to pandemic

Come see us! Historic Fort Steilacoom in Lakewood will reopen at least one weekend a month this summer so visitors can walk through and tour four buildings that witnessed key events in the early U.S. settlement of Washington Territory.

Fort Steilacoom is a history museum where guests of all ages can explore military life of enlisted soldiers, officers, the families of soldiers, civilians that worked for the garrison and those that visited from the community. Soldiers from the fort went on to serve in the U.S. Civil War.

The three cottages and interpretive center that remain from the original complex will be open for tours from 1 to 4 p.m. on the first Sunday of the month, starting June 6; or, in case the first Sunday is a holiday, the second Sunday of the month. The exact dates are June 6, July 11, Aug. 1, Sept. 12, Oct. 3 and Nov. 7, 2021.

There are some changes because of the pandemic. The museum will have more volunteers and tour guides than usual to keep groups small, and visitors will be required to register in advance so the museum can keep capacity at safe levels. People can sign up and pre-pay for tours at

Fort Steilacoom occupies an important position in the history of the Pacific Northwest. The fort played a significant role in the settling of Washington Territory. Fort Steilacoom served as a beacon of American power and promise, promoting the migration of settlers to Washington and securing United States interests in the region. 

From the U.S. Army’s arrival in 1849 until its departure in 1868, many soldiers and civilians brought the post to life with their daily tasks and calls to duty. As you tour the four remaining buildings, museum interpreters will help you connect with those that came before us and their everyday lives

For more information, visit, call 253-756-3928,  or connect with the fort at

Historic Fort Steilacoom is located on the grounds of Western State Hospital at:

9601 Steilacoom Blvd SW, Lakewood, WA 98498