NEWS FROM THE FRONT
NEWS FROM THE FRONT
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 http://www.historicfortsteilacoom.org.
Join author Lorraine McConaghy at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 12, 2021, for an illustrated overview of the research for her book Free Boy and for a discussion of the people, events and ideas raised in the book.
Free Boy is the dual biography of Charles Mitchell, the enslaved boy who fled from Olympia in 1860, and his master James Tilton, Washington Territory’s surveyor general. In his flight from Olympia to Victoria, fugitive slave Mitchell was discovered on board the steamer Eliza Anderson at Seattle, by a U.S. Army squad from Fort Steilacoom hunting for Army deserters.
Dr. Lorraine McConaghy is a public historian who has devoted her professional life to researching and teaching Pacific Northwest history in a museum setting. She completed her doctorate in United States urban history at the University of Washington in 1993. She joined the staff of Seattle’s Museum of History & Industry in 1997 as the museum’s public historian and remained at MOHAI for more than twenty years. She is the author of Warship Under Sail, Free Boy: A True Story of Slave and Master, New Land North of the Columbia, and a forthcoming history of metropolitan Seattle. McConaghy has continued to teach at the University of Washington and through Humanities Washington, and received many awards, including national recognition from the National Council on Public History, the Oral History Association, and the Association for State and Local History. In Washington, she has been awarded the Robert Gray medal, the highest honor given by the Washington State Historical Society.
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. 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. 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.
For more information, visit https://historicfortsteilacoom.org.
Historic Fort Steilacoom
9601 Steilacoom Blvd SW
Lakewood WA 98498
For email or mailing address: Contact Us