We keep track of our past events here.
In honor of Archaeology Awareness Month, Fort Walla Walla Museum will be presenting an afternoon of hands-on experience for children to work as archaeologists. The recommended age range for this camp is 9 through 11. Participants will cycle through a series of stations designed to teach kids how to think and work like real archaeologists.
Archaeology Kids Camp is sponsored in part by the Yancey P. Winans Trust.
Lyman Persico, Assistant Professor of Geomorphology at Whitman College, will be giving a talk about the geologic history of one of our national treasures--Yellowstone National Park.
Yellowstone means many things to many people. Towering geysers, bison, super volcanoes, waterfalls, and wolves are all images that are conjured when thinking about Yellowstone. But what really is Yellowstone and what makes it special? In this presentation, Lyman Persico will describe the unique geologic circumstances that have set the stage for Yellowstone and discuss how the geology, biology, and climate of Yellowstone are intimately connected. Finally, he will end with a discussion of what climate change means for the world’s first National Park.
This discussion is free and open to the public.
Members of the public interested in attending should get in touch with their local Living History or WWHAC member for an invitation to this event. This will help our offsite coordinator with a final head count.
The Living History Cemetery tour is an offsite excursion through Mountain View Cemetery (2120 S 2nd Ave, Walla Walla).
Those interested in attending the tour will meet at 2:00 pm at the Plaza Baker Boyer Bank parking lot (1530 Plaza Way, Walla Walla). Living History members will escort Walla Walla Historic Auto Club and others to Mountain View at 2:30 pm.
Guests will be given a handout with explanations of gravestone marker styles and their meanings along with an interment list for the Bowlus Cemetery. A docent will give a presentation at the Baker Circle.
After the tour, the group will meet at Tietan Park to share a light meal.
This cemetery tour is free, courtesy of the Walla Walla Historic Auto Club. Guests will need to provide their own transportation. Please bring a lawn chair and beverage of choice.
Michael McCarthy was a soldier stationed at Fort Walla Walla with the 1st U.S. Calvary. As a Sergeant during the Nez Perce War in 1877, he was involved in the fierce struggle at Whitebird Canyon, the first major encounter of the war, near Lewiston where the cavalry lost 34 men. He was later awarded a Congressional Medal of Honor for his heroism in saving many troopers’ lives during that battle, and retired in Walla Walla as a colonel.
Michael McCarthy is portrayed by Bob Bennett.
Fort Walla Walla Museum is happy to welcome back the American Truck Historical Society for a large scale car show. Organized by the Blue Mountain Chapter of the ATHS, we anticipate a great turn out of vehicles and visitors alike.
James McAuliff came to the Walla Walla valley at the end of the Mexican-American war. For valor shown in the 1855 Battle of Walla Walla, he was promoted to the rank of captain in the Oregon Volunteers. A successful merchant, farmer, and sawmill owner, he was elected mayor eleven times and became known as the town's most beloved citizen. In the years surrounding the vigilante activity in Walla Walla, he served as sheriff and member of the territorial legislature.
James McAuliff is portrayed by Clark Colahan.
Jake Klicker came from Buffalo, NY to Sprague, Washington Territory while working for the Northern Pacific Railroad from 1872–1882. Jake arrived in Walla Walla that same year. In his spare time, he and his brothers homesteaded what would later be called Klicker Mountain. He married Almina Ross Garland in 1893 and opened a hotel and bottling works. Almina began raising strawberries, which is still in operation to this day. Jake and Almina’s ventures are somewhat typical of families setting out to make a living in the frontier west.
Jake Klicker is portrayed by Ron Klicker.
Rook’s Park in Walla Walla is a beautiful and peaceful spot for residents and visitors to spend quiet time or have family reunions. But, have you ever wondered why there is a Navy anchor in the memorial of an Army Corps of Engineers park? Do you know the story of how this park got its name?
Join Gary Lentz, retired Washington State Park Ranger, who will explain all in his presentation, “WHISPERS FROM THE GHOST - The Story of Captain Albert H. Rooks, the U.S.S. Houston, and Her Crew.” The USS Houston, under command of Capt. Rooks, fought a valiant battle against overwhelming odds before being sunk in the Sunda Strait early in 1942. Survivors were sent to Japanese prison camps and forced to work in the jungles of Burma building a railroad. Two of the survivors lived in Walla Walla and vicinity after the war. You are invited to find out more about Captain Albert Rooks, the USS Houston, and why the park is named as it is, in this Museum After Hours presentation.
As always, Museum After Hours presentations are free to the public.
Andrew Pambrun was born at Cumberland House near the mouth of the Sasketchewan River in 1821. He attended school at Fort Vancouver in 1832 and then at Red River School in Manitoba where he stayed and taught for six years. Andrew returned to Oregon in 1850 and later worked for Hudson's Bay Co. at Fort Walla Walla. From 1855 to 1858 he served as an aide to territorial governor Isaac Stevens and was of great service during the negotiation of the Treaties of 1855. Pambrun continued to live in the Walla Walla area until his death.
Andrew is portrayed by his great grandson, Sam Pambrun, local historian, teacher and past president of the Umatilla Historical Society. The Pambrun family has lived in this area continuously since the 1830s.
Sam Black was the master of Fort Nez Perce at the mouth of the Walla Walla River from 1825 to 1830. He was 46 years old when he assumed charge of the Walla Walla post. He first came to North America from Scotland around 1810 and eventually went to work for the North West Company.
When the Hudson’s Bay and North West Companies merged in 1821, changing the post’s name to Fort Walla Walla, Black was not immediately rehired. He was eventually brought back on as a clerk. Because of him, we have a “vocabulary” of the Cayuse language that was the beginning of all later efforts to revive an extinct language; historians and anthropologists also gleaned other cultural and ethnographic information about regional Indian people from Black’s writings.
Sam Black is portrayed by Tom Williams.
August 18 is the anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution, guaranteeing American women the right to vote. The road to achieving voting rights was a long and difficult one. Nationally, women began organizing in the mid-1800s into suffrage groups that spoke out publicly, wrote letters and lobbied legislators, and engaged in acts of civil disobedience for many years before results were gained.
A Constitutional amendment was first introduced in 1878. In the meantime, some groups worked for passing suffrage rights in individual states. Washington Territory almost became the first to pass women’s suffrage in 1854, the proposal losing by one vote. To squash the movement, the Territorial Legislature decreed that "no female shall have the right of ballot or vote."
In 1910, the Washington State Constitution was permanently amended to grant women the right to vote. The House of Representatives passed the amendment on May 21, 1919, and the Senate followed two weeks later. The final barricade fell as Tennessee became the 36th state to ratify the amendment on August 18, 1920, completing the requirement of three-fourths of the states. The 19th amendment was officially certified on August 26, 1920, forever altering America’s political landscape.
This discussion on the role of women will feature the full company.
It's time once again for you to get out your parasol and loafers and come down to Fort Walla Walla Museum’s annual Ice Cream Social! Along with our yearly promise of ice cream and Klicker’s strawberry toppings with paid admission, there will be entertainment and fun for the whole family!
Fred Stine invites guests to an open discussion about the provision of the 1863 Nez Perce Treaty. Mr. Stine represents one of Walla Walla's best “rags to riches” stories. He arrived in Walla Walla in 1862 with no more than the clothes on his back and 75 cents in his pocket, but he eventually built the largest brick hotel in the Washington Territory. After Stine’s arrival, he quickly went about earning the trust of local residents who lent him sufficient funds to set up a lucrative blacksmith shop serving the needs of miners making their way to Idaho’s gold fields, pioneers from the Oregon Trail, and the military at Fort Walla Walla. With the fortune he made, Stine not only retired his debts in a few short months but soon amassed enough to construct the Stine House in 1872, the largest brick hotel in the region.
Fred Stine is portrayed by Touchet agribusinessman Charles Saranto.
Mr. Pambrun will speak from the Metis or French Canadian perspective on the Battle of Walla Walla fought at Frenchtown. This will include the Oregon Mounted Volunteers, the schism between the OMV and the US Army, violation of the Treaty of 1855 terms and conditions, the removal of French Canadians from the Walla Walla Valley, and the awarding of land in the Washington Territory by an Oregon Territory Governor.
In 1853, William Hurst Rockfellow was the wagon master of a wagon train headed to southern Oregon near the present day city of Talent. He came north during the Gold Rush days in eastern Walla Walla County and operated the Rockfellow & Co. Pony Express, which ran between Walla Walla and the Boise Gold Basin in Idaho. While working as a prospector in Oregon, he, his brother Albert, and three other Jackson County, Oregon friends discovered the famous Rockfellow ledge of gold, now known as the Virtue Mine. He and his partners set up their stamp mill to extract the ore on Powder River, and eventually Baker City grew up around it. Meanwhile, William’s wife operated a boarding house in Walla Walla. One of his daughters, Alice, married Harvey Meacham, who owned the Meacham toll road that ran between Idaho and Oregon and a hotel near the summit of the Blue Mountains between La Grande and Pendleton, Oregon.
William Rockfellow is portrayed by his great grandson, Dick Phillips.
Pioneer missionaries Cushing and Myra Eells arrived in the Valley in 1838. They settled among the Spokane Indians until the tragedy at the Whitman's mission in 1847, when they moved to the Willamette Valley.
They returned to the Walla Walla Valley at the close of the Indian wars in 1859 to reclaim the mission grounds at Waiilatpu, the Whitman Mission site. There, Cushing decided to found an educational institution, the Whitman Seminary. In 1883 it became Whitman College as a result of the Eells efforts that continued throughout their lives.
Reverend Eells is portrayed by Whitman College Professor of Rogers Miles.
In 1853, William Hurst Rockfellow was the wagon master of a wagon train headed to southern Oregon near the present day city of Talent. He came north during the Gold Rush days in eastern Walla Walla County and operated the Rockfellow & Co. Pony Express, which ran between Walla Walla and the Boise Gold Basin in Idaho. While working as a prospector in Oregon, he, his brother Alfred, and three other Jackson County, Oregon friends discovered the famous Rockfellow ledge of gold, now known as the Virtue Mine. He and his partners set up their stamp mill to extract the ore on Powder River, and eventually Baker City grew up around it. Meanwhile, William’s wife operated a boarding house in Walla Walla. One of his daughters, Alice, married Harvey Meacham, who owned the Meacham toll road that ran between Idaho and Oregon and a hotel near the summit of the Blue Mountains between La Grande and Pendleton, Oregon.
William Rockfellow is portrayed by his great grandson, Dick Phillips.
Fred Stein invites you to an open discussion about old Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce Indians and the non-signers of the 1863 Treaty. Individuals with interest or information on this topic are encouraged to attend and share.
Mr. Stine represents one of Walla Walla's best “rags to riches” stories. He arrived in Walla Walla in 1862 with no more than the clothes on his back and 75 cents in his pocket, but he eventually built the largest brick hotel in the Washington Territory. After Stine’s arrival, he quickly went about earning the trust of local residents who lent him sufficient funds to set up a lucrative blacksmith shop serving the needs of miners making their way to Idaho’s gold fields, pioneers from the Oregon Trail, and the military at Fort Walla Walla. With the fortune he made, Stine not only retired his debts in a few short months but soon amassed enough to construct the Stine House in 1872, the largest brick hotel in the region.
Fred Stine is portrayed by Touchet agribusinessman Charles Saranto.
Music was the lifeblood of entertainment in the 19th century. When the work was done, musical instruments were brought out and a songfest began. Traveling musicians were highly celebrated and well-attended. You can enjoy the feel of those bygone days with popular 19th century music played by the Museum's own Oregon Trail Band.
As part of a special Living History program, the Oregon Trail Band will perform at 1:30 pm, preceding the day's Living History performance. The Oregon Trail Band is made up of musicians Bob Bohlman, Jerry Wilson, and Lon Ferguson.
Frenchtown was located roughly between Touchet and College Place where French-Canadians, often with their Indian wives, settled after working for the Hudson’s Bay Company at Fort Nez Perce, later known as Fort Walla Walla, a trading post established in 1818 at Wallula. The Frenchtown settlement began about 1823, and by the time the Whitmans arrived in 1836, numbered more than a dozen cabins.
In December of 1855, following the Walla Walla Treaty Council in June, the four-day Battle of Frenchtown, also called the Battle of Walla Walla, took place in the area. The fighting resulted in the killing of Walla Walla Chief Peopeomoxmox and an end to Indian control of the Walla Walla Valley. In 1876, the St. Rose of Lima Mission and cemetery were established on a portion of the battlefield nearby.
The ensemble will feature Rich Monacelli as Hudson Bay Chief Trader William McBean, Sam Pambrun as Hudson Bay Factor Andrew Pambrun, Jeannot Poirot as Father J.B.A. Brouillet, Jean-Paul Grimaud as Louis Tellier and Tom Williams as Sam Black.
Susan Monahan will be at the old fort treating Museum visitors to a riveting talk on the early hotels of Walla Walla—the refined, rowdy, and risqué. Some of Walla Walla’s hotels had distinctive architecture, some survived disasters, and some housed “working” ladies. Visitors will be enchanted by the history of some of our town’s earliest hotels, their celebrated guests, their fascinating stories, and their role in Walla Walla’s history.
Susan Monahan is a retired teacher of Deaf Education and Instructional Technology. She moved to Walla Walla in 2009 and fell in love with the local history while researching her 100-year-old home. She is a board member and docent at Kirkman House Museum and writes articles on historic buildings for the Union-Bulletin.
This Museum After Hours presentation is sponsored by Walla Walla Electric.
Sebastian Colon came to Walla Walla around 1872, one of the earliest Hispanic settlers to arrive in the valley. Born in Spain around 1831, Colon worked in the placer mines of California before coming to Walla Walla. Here he worked as a freight packer moving mail between Boise, Idaho, and Walla Walla. Later Colon opened a restaurant and was eventually nicknamed the “Tamale King of Walla Walla.”
Sebastian Colon is portrayed by Victor Trejo.
William McBean was born in Canada 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 1872.
Let kids see, learn, and explore at the Museum this summer with the Pioneer Kids Camp! This fun and educational day camp features guided activity stations that allow children ages 9 through 11 to experience life the pioneer way.
Pioneer Kids Camp is sponsored in part by Coffey Communications and the Yancey P. Winans Trust.
Ellen White is said to have experienced many visions. She will tell visitors about some of them and how they were accepted by the people back in her time. White was in the area for a camp meeting in 1879. Eight different miniatures will help illustrate the Seventh Day Adventist story and include a covered wagon representing the way Woods and Moorehouse arrived in the Walla Walla Valley, a store from that time period, the camp meeting scene, and the first Seventh-day Adventist church in the Northwest, which happens to be located in Walla Walla.
Ellen White is portrayed by Cleo Forgey.
Nelson G. Blalock was born in 1836. He graduated from Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1861 and worked as a surgeon during the Civil War. In 1873 he traveled by wagon from Illinois to Walla Walla, eventually becoming a family doctor here. In 53 years of practice he delivered 6,000 babies. He was involved in many other projects, including installing the first telephones in the state, establishing two large orchards, and pioneering arid land wheat farming.
Nelson Blalock is portrayed by Don Weaver.
William B. Phillips came to Walla Walla in 1860 and brought his family up from Salem Oregon in 1861. He opened a tin and stove shop on Main Street as well as Walla Walla’s first foundry. After a series of disastrous fires, he was appointed Fire Marshall and reorganized the fire department. Williams will be talking about early events and happenings in Walla Walla’s formative years.
William Phillips is portrayed by his great grandson, Dick Phillips.
In 1893, Burlingame arrived in Walla Walla to inspect the plans for an ambitious irrigation project and stayed to dig the ditch that bears his name today. The Burlingame Ditch turned more than 5,000 acres of sagebrush into productive farmland. More than one hundred years after its completion, the Burlingame Ditch still conveys water by gravity within its earthen banks.
Ed Burlingame is portrayed by Tom Williams.
Randall Melton, Collection Curator at Tamástslikt Cultural Institute, will be speaking about the foundation and growth of Tamástslikt Cultural Institute, their current plans to update displays and about the growth in economy and influence of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla while reflecting on the effects of historic trauma.
He will also talk about TCI's current temporary exhibit Celilo: Progress vs. Protest, which explores the myriad impacts of the placement of the Dalles Dam and the flooding of Celilo Falls.
Tamástslikt is in an incredibly poignant position to provide another voice and perspective to history and today’s world in general, and we hope you can join us for this presentation and discussion.
William was an ambitious, diligent and resourceful man and never let tragedy or setbacks keep him from his ultimate goal of prosperity. His saga begins in England and winds through Boston, San Francisco, Idaho, British Columbia, Australia, Hawaii, Seattle, and finally Walla Walla. Though he ultimately achieved his goals of a beautiful family and accumulating wealth and respect, it was a difficult road with many triumphs and misfortunes.
William Kirkman is portrayed by Kirkman House board member Rick Tuttle.