reenactor lighting candle in building

UPDATE: SOLD OUT. Enjoy an affordable family event for Dec. 11, 2021: Christmas at Fort Steilacoom 1863

Dec. 5 update: Tickets for this event have sold out except for a few individual slots. No tickets will be available at the door. Please considering visiting us on the first Sunday of a month, where you can learn about Washington Territory’s history and heritage. Get tickets here. 

Original post follows:

Join us at Historic Fort Steilacoom in Lakewood from 4 to 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 11,  2021, as living historians re-enact the Christmas of 1863, highlighting how the holiday season might have been celebrated in these buildings nearly 160 years ago.

Re-enactors will gather in candlelight to talk, sing, dance and dine as our predecessors did in these buildings nearly 160 years ago. Visitors from 2021 will walk past the scenes and witness them as if they are spirits from the future. 

1863 is remembered as being in the middle of the U.S. Civil War, which had ramifications in Washington Territory. However, Christmas at Fort Steilacoom was a period of celebration and enjoyment as men, women and children hosted and participated in social gatherings, exchanged gifts and communed with others.

Visitors must wear masks in compliance with state guidelines. Tickets are $5 for an adult and $3 for youth. A family of up to two adults and four youth pays $10. Because this event is a fundraiser to support maintenance of the aging buildings, discounts are not offered. Volunteers who come in direct contact will also wear masks, Living historians performing at the event will follow state performance guidelines allowing them to un-mask if appropriate vaccination and/or negative test
results are provided.

Because of space limitations with the pandemic, tickets should be purchased in advance through Eventbrite.  Tickets may be purchased at the door, but availability is not guaranteed. You can check the Fort’s Facebook page to learn if the event is sold out. 

Fort Steilacoom, the first U.S. Army post to be located in Puget Sound, is on the grounds of Western State Hospital at 9601 Steilacoom Blvd SW, Lakewood, 98498. GPS and map software often direct people to Fort Steilacoom Park; to reach the historic Port, be sure to type in the street address.

About Fort Steilacoom

Historic Fort Steilacoom Association is a non-profit organization. Fort Steilacoom is managed entirely by volunteers. There are no paid staff. Members of the association support the fort through donations and receive a newsletter three times a year about Pacific Northwest history. Marketing outreach is supported by a grant from the City of Lakewood’s lodging tax fund.

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 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 U.S. settlers to Washington and securing American interests in the region.  The Fort 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.

For more information, visit