Fort Steilacoom Park is topic of annual meeting Oct. 15

The Historic Fort Steilacoom Association will host its annual meeting online at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 15.

There will be a brief business meeting where members will elect officers to the board of directors. Then the gathering will quickly move to the topic, “The historic significance of Fort Steilacoom and Fort Steilacoom Park.”

The speaker will be Chris Staudinger, who offers lantern tours of Fort Steilacoom Park. Staudinger, the founder of Pretty Gritty Tours, brings the perspective of someone who has learned over time that the area around Fort Steilacoom and its namesake park is one of the most historically significant locations in Washington State.

Staudinger will talk about the importance of the Fort Steilacoom Historic District from the times that Indigenous peoples gathered there for thousands of years to its more recent history as the center of U.S. settlement and then a major mental hospital. “The way we as Washingtonians treat others and, in turn, determine our own humanity, as been forged on this site,” he said.

Call for volunteers: Would you like to get involved in local history?

The period during and after the pandemic mixed things up for volunteer organizations throughout Puget Sound and the nation. We have plenty of room for volunteers with a desire to get involved and to help the community. Here is a list of some volunteer opportunities with Fort Steilacoom:

We seek help with our website. There are so many resources we could share about history and our fort. If you have knowledge of WordPress and an interest in history, we’d love to speak with you.

We’re looking for a tour volunteer coordinator. We offer tours on the first Sunday of the month. We need a volunteer coordinator to email volunteers to remind them they’ve signed up, and thank them afterward. This role requires no knowledge of history.

We’re looking for a history story editor. Every year, we assemble six to eight stories about Pacific Northwest history for the newsletter we showed you above. We need someone to chase down leads and help writers decide when they should submit their stories and photos. You don’t have to edit the stories.

We’re looking for a monthly talks coordinator. In past years, we’ve welcomed guest speakers. You can see examples in this YouTube video about the wives of the officer who supervised construction of our buildings. . Or you can see another example in this video that talks about a little-known subject, Slavery in Washington Territory. Are you curious about topics? Do you like books about Pacific Northwest history? We’d love to talk to you.

We’re looking for members for our board of directors. If you have volunteered at the fort and want to help organize and conduct activities to preserve the buildings and share history, we’d like to hear from you. It does involve work. It does involve more than waiting for someone to tell you to do things. We’re looking for self-starters who “play well with others.”

Are you interested in being a board member, but have not volunteered here before? You could help build a unique community institution. Fort Steilacoom is an amazing opportunity to govern a ‘first fort’ – something that 49 other states put in the hands of government. We are also looking for potential board members who have a passion for building organizations – and have proven it during teamwork on other boards. If that’s you, please get in touch.

Interested? Email us.