Imagine stepping out of the 21st century and into a time where life was simple. At Fort Walla Walla Museum’s two-day event of the summer, visitors will have the opportunity to turn back the clock and enter a world full of early pioneers, explorers and fur traders. At Fort Walla Walla Days, immerse yourself in our brilliant local history by stopping by our dress-up booth and putting on a calico dress or workman’s vest for the day. Take a stroll past the encampment of Lewis and Clark on their way back from their westward journey, or visit a group of old-west cowboys and miners as they park their carts and wagons for the day.
When you look around the Museum’s Pioneer Village, you will find it teeming with life. There will be smiths busy working in the blacksmith shop, leather workers at the harness shop, daughters of the pioneers taking up residence in one of the cabins, and an 1840s fur trader on horseback eager to show off his wares. The Erikson Family Band will delight with their classical instruments, and Bonnie Jo Hunt, a Standing Rock Sioux opera singer lauded for her beautiful voice, will treat guests to some of her favorite songs. Visitors will also be able to join Walla Walla’s first Mayor, E.B. Whitman in dancing to old-time reels with his wife, Maria.
When you need a break from the heat, head indoors to check out the Museum’s five exhibit halls. If you haven’t seen the new special exhibit on Latino folk art, featuring over 250 colorful items from seven Latin American countries, it’s well worth a visit. Additional galleries feature pioneer and early settler information, fort history, agricultural machinery, and a look at the history of the Washington State Penitentiary.
Food will be available to purchase from Dickey’s Barbecue Pit and reenactors will be on the grounds both days. There will also be heritage craft demonstrations and community booths set up. Visit fwwm.org to see a two-day schedule, which will be posted ahead of the event.
The Museum is open daily from 10 am to 5 pm during the spring and summer. Admission is free to museum members and children under 6, Tamástslikt Culture Institute Inwai Circle members, and CTUIR members with ID card; $3 for children ages 6-12; $7 for seniors (62 and older) and students; and $8 general admission. Membership includes free admission to more than 40 Living History performances and other benefits; prices begin at $28. For more information, contact Fort Walla Walla Museum at (509) 525-7703 or visit fwwm.org.