Upcoming talk: Life over the laundry kettles, the life of a frontier Army laundress

Join us for a member’s speaker series at 2 p.m. Pacific Time on Sunday, Nov. 21, 2021 as Elizabeth Clark talks about western military laundresses in the 1850s.  

What price for a clean shirt? The realities of military life can leave little time for the necessities, such as laundry, that were vital in keeping health and sanitation basics in check. Who handled the mundane, labor-intensive tasks of washing, mending, and keeping a military man’s wardrobe in order? What was life like on both sides of the laundry kettle?

Join us for a livestream and expand your understanding of life in the West of the 1850s through primary accounts and images, with ideas for incorporating the information into our interpretive efforts. 

Researcher Elizabeth Stewart Clark has focused on the mid-19th century since 1991 and enjoys bringing facts to life, helping others find their own connections to the past. She presents on a wide variety of topics for private, regional and national history conferences and serves as interpretive director for a history park outside Shelley, Idaho.

Her work in recreating mid-century material culture can be found at www.thesewingacademy.com. A daughter of the Pacific Northwest, with family ties dating back to 1843 in Oregon settlement, she now lives on the western slopes of the Rockies.  Join our community to watch the talk. Members of the Historic Fort Steilacoom Association will receive the Zoom link to the presentation prior to the event. Individual memberships are $15 to $20.  To become a member visit https://historicfortsteilacoom.org/membership/.  

Fort Steilacoom 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. Our association acknowledges the complex history of the Fort and its role in the colonization of the area. We are actively working to incorporate the diverse perspectives and experiences of all individuals and communities who interacted with the Fort. 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 Puget Sound with guests. 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