Journey through time with Fort Nisqually Brigade Encampment

Journey back to the year 1855 when fur brigades from east of the Cascades camped at Fort Nisqually. On August...

Journey back to the year 1855 when fur brigades from east of the Cascades camped at Fort Nisqually. On August 7 and 8 volunteers in costume will recreate their arrival to this Hudson’s Bay Company post.

From 11 am to 5 pm each day visitors can enjoy the sights and sounds of the original fort. Watch as trappers pick up their Hudson’s Bay contracts for the next year. Enjoy entertainment such as fur trappers’ races, an elegant ladies’ tea, Punch and Judy puppet shows and dancing to the music of bagpipes.

All buildings will be open and re-enactors welcome the opportunity to explain how they cook, make fires, do beadwork and will be happy to answer visitors’ questions.

Visitors may participate in hands-on presentations during the popular “Engage for the Day” program. Upon learning new skills, such as fire starting with flint and steel, blacksmithing, or spinning wool, visitors are signed on as an honorary apprentice for the day with the Hudson’s Bay Company complete with a beaded necklace and official Hudson’s Bay contract.

A must-see while at the fort is the new temporary exhibit “Lock, Stock and Barrel: Fort Nisqually’s Trade Guns.” At this exhibit, which opens Aug. 7 and runs through Nov. 28, several fine examples of Northwest Trade Guns will be on display. For the two days during the Brigade Encampment this exhibit will feature a significant artifact from Washington State’s history, a pistol originally owned by Chief Leschi.

A prominent figure in the Puget Sound Indian War of 1855-56, Chief Leschi was convicted of murder and executed in 1858. Even at the time, his execution was widely seen as a miscarriage of justice. In recent years a re-creation of his trial with a modern jury exonerated Leschi. Just before being taken into custody, Leschi gave his pistol to a friend, “Tyee Dick.” The pistol descended through a local family with both Native and fur trade connections and has not been publicly displayed in many years. Fort Nisqually is proud to host this special exhibit featuring this significant artifact from Washington State’s history.

Admission is $8/adults; $7/seniors, active military, students; $5/Ages 13-17 and $4/Ages 4-12. For additional information, contact Fort Nisqually at (253) 591-5339, fortnisqually@tacomaparks.com or visit the Web site at http://www.fortnisqually.org .

Located in Tacoma’s Point Defiance Park, Fort Nisqually Living History Museum is a restoration of the Hudson’s Bay Company outpost on the Puget Sound where visitors can journey back in time to the mid-nineteenth century. Fort Nisqually Living History Museum is a facility of Metro Parks Tacoma.

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