dancing at re-enactment

The lives of 19th Century women in the Pacific Northwest will be celebrated in March as Historic Fort Steilacoom in Lakewood marks Women’s History Month.

The programs on three consecutive Saturdays, March 13, 20 and 27, will focus on

  • The role of the laundress at military posts such as Fort Steilacoom, the first official U.S. presence in Puget Sound.
  • The day-to-day lives of women. 
  • The lives of women who could be found in Pierce County in 1850.

There is a charge for the virtual programs; the fort’s privately managed four buildings are 165 years old and require considerable care. 

All events start at 2pm:

March 13:  Airing Your Dirty Laundry

Historical Interpreter and Museum Professional Peggy Barchi presents “Airing Your Dirty Laundry.”Learn about the daily grind that army laundresses endured and the skills it took

to be one. Get your ticket here. 

March 20: In Her Shoes: Tracing the Footsteps of Pierce County Women in the mid-1800s

Public Historian Claire Keller-Scholz presents “In Her Shoes: Tracing the Footsteps of Pierce County Women in the mid-1800s.” Learn about the women and girls who

lived on the Puget Sound around 1850. Get your ticket here. 

March 27: Women’s Work in Washington Territory

Tacoma Historical Society’s Curator, Elizabeth Korsmo, presents “Women’s Work in Washington Territory.” Learn about the day-to-day lives of women in the 1850’s to 1860’s. Get your ticket here. 

Fort Steilacoom 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 settlers to Washington Territory and securing American interest in the region. 

The mission of the nonprofit Historic Fort Steilacoom Association is to share and preserve the first U.S. Army post in Puget Sound. The four surviving buildings are currently closed to tours but reopening is expected this spring.

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