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Living History: William McBean, Hudson’s Bay Company Trader

  • Fort Walla Walla Museum 755 Northeast Myra Road Walla Walla, WA, 99362 United States (map)

William McBean was born in Canada in about 1807 and came to the Walla Walla region in 1846. He became chief factor in charge of the Hudson’s Bay Company fort at the time of the Whitman Massacre in 1847. He left Fort Walla Walla in 1855 during the Indian wars and later returned to the region with his Indian wife and children. McBean continued to reside in Walla Walla and was active in assisting various Catholic institutions until his death in 1892.

Several items owned by McBean, including a mule-ear chair and brand, are currently on display in the special exhibit Fantastic Finds: Treasures from the Archives.

A Living History performance at Fort Walla Walla Museum brings history to life with reenactors portraying real people from the area's past. This year’s schedule continues the company’s tradition of 2 pm presentations every Sunday from April through October, and also on Saturdays from June through August.