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Charles Tung, a leader of the local Chinese community, was born in San Francisco and moved to Walla Walla in 1880. Fluent in both English and Chinese, Tung often acted as a translator for many local Chinese people. His stories of life in Walla Walla as a Chinese merchant are fascinating. Walla Walla was like many communities in the United States of the late 1800s that placed numerous restrictions on its Chinese population. Tung’s accounts are filled with a perspective from those difficult days.
Tung owned the Kwong Chung Sing Company, importing Chinese silk, porcelain, and tea to Walla Walla. He acted as secretary-treasurer of the Chinese operated Pacific Enterprise Corporation that built a two-story structure at Fifth and Rose Streets in 1911.
In 1930, Tung departed the United States for China to enroll his daughter in Chinese schools and did not return until 1939 because of the war in that country. While in China, he operated a bank in Canton province.
Charles Tung is portrayed by fifth generation Walla Wallan Galen Tom.
Food preservation is an important skill people needed in the past. Fred Stine will bring the ingredients and the knowledge to show visitors how to make dill pickles. 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.
In the 1890s the transcontinental railroad was completed, and the U.S. no longer needed the thousands of Chinese workers who had helped build it. They had gone from providing a valuable service in the westward expansion to competing with “native sons” for jobs and depressing the wages. The climate in the U.S., never friendly to the Chinese, was becoming downright hostile. Crimes against Chinese people were not prosecuted. The Chinese Exclusion Act, signed into law by President Chester Arthur on May 6, 1882, and other laws like it, were promulgated, prohibiting Chinese immigrants from becoming citizens or owning land. It also blocked further immigration. Although widespread dislike for the Chinese persisted well after the Exclusion Act was enacted, some capitalists and entrepreneurs resisted their exclusion because the Chinese accepted lower wages.
Many Chinese settled in Pendleton and found manual labor around town. One Chinaman was Hop Sing, who opened a laundry and bathhouse down in the basement of a building. Hop Sing ran an advertisement in the Pendleton Tribune dated Aug. 21, 1885. The ad read in part, “Hop Sing Laundry #17 Garden St., Oregon. Clothes washed & ironed, cheaper than cheapest. Satisfaction guaranteed.” He picked up laundry from Pendleton customers with a yoke, wrote on rice paper, used lye soap to clean the laundry, and wrapped the clean laundry in paper and twine to deliver back to his customers. Because Pendleton has a high water table, he had a fresh water well. He offered baths to cowboys and sheep herders, many in extreme need of a bath. The first bath was 10 cents, and each succeeding bath was 1 cent less, still using the original water. Hop Sing ran this business successfully for almost 40 years.
Hop Sing is part of the Pendleton Underground Comes Alive Tour, and has been portrayed by City Council member Myron Huie for the last 13 years.
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.
Jean Baptiste Charbonneau was the son of Sacagawea, of Shoshone and French-Canadian heritage. At 7 months old, he accompanied Lewis & Clark and the Corps of Discovery to the Pacific in 1805. When the expedition returned the following summer, he was toddling and quickly becoming the expedition’s pompous “little dancing boy,” in Capt. William Clark’s words.
After the expedition, Clark adopted Charbonneau and took him to St. Louis, were he was educated in the finest European tradition. At 18, he accompanied Prince Paul Wilhelm to Germany and spent six years enjoying the royal lifestyle and becoming fluent in four languages.
Back in the American West in 1819, Charbonneau became an explorer and guide, a fur trapper and trader, a military scout, and gold prospector. At one time, he served as mayor of Mission San Luis Rey de Francia, in what’s now Oceanside, Calif.
Jean Baptiste "Pomp" Charbonneau is portrayed by acclaimed first-person interpreter Garry Bush.
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 several Frenchtown residents and Hudson's Bay Company employees.
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.
Randall Melton, collection curator at Tamástslikt Cultural Institute, will be giving a fascinating Museum After Hours presentation on Thursday, July 26.
Melton will share some images and objects from the upcoming Tamástslikt exhibit “Beautiful Games: American Indian Sport and Art,” and discuss the importance of sports in the tribal community. Sports have long been an important part of life in American Indian tribal communities. Lacrosse and surfing are attributed to indigenous peoples.
In modern times, Native athletes quickly gravitated to sports like baseball, basketball, football and rodeo, and many American Indians have excelled in modern sports. Competing in sports in tribal communities teaches cooperation, consensus, compromise and teamwork, all of which are pillars of indigenous societies. The exhibit, “Beautiful Games: American Indian Sport and Art,” features artwork, artifacts, history and discussions about sports and its role in tribal life. Some of the highlights from the exhibit include three medals and two Letterman certificates that were presented to Native American athlete and gold medalist Jim Thorpe between 1908 and 1912.
Museum After Hours is a free monthly lecture series that is open to the public. The presentation will begin at 5 pm in the museum's Entrance Building.
Caroline Maxson Wood came to the Walla Walla Valley by wagon train in 1859 with her husband, J. Franklin Wood, her parents, Stephen and Lois Maxson, and her three siblings. They settled in the Russell Creek area. Stephen Maxson later brought the first piano to the valley via Cape Horn for his daughter, who became a teacher in the Walla Walla schools and eventually a music teacher at Walla Walla College. Her husband served as superintendent of the Walla Walla school district and was one of the first Seventh-day Adventist evangelists in the area. Caroline Wood is portrayed by Gladys Wentland.
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 Sandra Ehrhardt.
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.
If you are interested in how inhabitants of the distant past lived in the Walla Walla Valley, appreciate the character an old house gives to your neighborhood, or enjoy window shopping and dining in downtown Walla Walla, you will want to attend this public meeting to provide your opinions and ideas for a new Washington State Historic Preservation Plan.
The Washington State Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation (DAHP) is working to update its current preservation plan for implementation in 2019. Your help is sought to define strategies and tasks for the state to better protect archaeological sites and landscapes, plus historic buildings and districts.
Join us in the Grand Hall at Fort Walla Walla Museum on Thursday, July 19 from 5:30-7:00 p.m. DAHP staff will be on hand to discuss current preservation efforts and gain your feedback. The meeting will include small group discussions and brainstorming.
For more information about the meeting contact Greg Griffith at DAHP at 360-586-3073 or email@example.com.
Fred 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.
Henry Meiners, along with his siblings and parents, arrived in Walla Walla by railroad boxcar in 1884. They were traveling from Illinois where their family owned farmland.
Henry Meiners is portrayed by his great-grandson and Living History newcomer Harris Gwinn. Harris has already made an impact as the memorable “man on the horse” who narrated the events of the pioneer wedding at Fort Walla Walla Days in June. He also manned the harness maker’s shop in the village with a leather working demo. Aside from being a leather worker, Harris is also an experienced blacksmith. He has extensively researched his Bundy, Stovall, Gwinn, and Meiners family history. He will be talking about farming, ranching, blacksmith skills, and rural childhood in his very first solo performance at the old fort.
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 by Coffey Communications and Columbia REA.
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.
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 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.
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.
Open Rehearsals at the Walla Walla Chamber Music Festival are free, informal, and informative ways to hear classical music. Join us in the Grand Hall of Fort Walla Walla Museum for this free chamber rehearsal featuring a modern work for eight violins called Gran Turismo.
The subject for this discussion is the Brodeck & Co. Photograph Gallery. Henry H. Brodeck announced the opening of his business in September of 1878 and the business continued, even after his death in 1886, to about 1892 or 1893. His wife, Amelia, son, David, and brother, Albert, all ran the business at some point. Other known photographers, artists and retouchers included John R. Cawthon, Ernest H. Price, Benjamin Taliaferro, H. Schemel, W. B. Smith and Martin Wagner.
Who among this group eventually became an Episcopal priest? Who had a half-sister named “Mademoiselle Fanny,” who was an actress, danseuse and singer on the French stage in San Francisco? Whose father died in a Civil War prisoner of war camp? Who did some early photography in Alaska? Who was five feet, four inches tall, with a high forehead, straight nose, broad chin, long face and dark complexion and wore a mustache? Who came to be involved with mining and banking interests? Whose father was a Judge and the Indian Agent for the Umatilla Indian Reservation?
Museum After Hours is a free monthly lecture series that is open to the public. The presentation will begin at 5 pm in the Museum's Entrance Building.
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 Roger Miles.
Join us to meet Washington Territory's first governor Isaac Stevens, who served from 1853 to 1857. Stevens was a very controversial figure during his lifetime as well as after. According to one historian, Kent Richards, “Isaac Stevens was most often the center of activity, providing leadership, spewing out orders and ideas, or creating controversy. He was a man either loved or hated.”
During his tenure as territorial governor, he believed that he could successfully quell the problems between the white settlers and the Indian people by negotiating treaties. The Treaties of 1855 with the Yakama, Umatilla, Nez Perce, Walla Walla and Cayuse Indians were negotiated in Walla Walla. These treaties established many important rights for Indian people and helped them maintain their traditions and culture. In addition they led to the territory outside of reservations being populated by white settlers from the eastern part of the United States.
Governor Stevens is portrayed by Ron Klicker.
Let kids see, learn, and explore at the Museum this summer with the Explorers Kids Camp! This fun and educational day camp features guided activity stations that allow children ages 9 through 11 to discover their inner explorers.
Explorers Kids Camp is sponsored by Coffey Communications and Columbia REA.
Join us for a family-oriented, two-day event commemorating Walla Walla Valley regional heritage with historic reenactors, live demonstrations, music, dancing, children’s pioneer games, food, and more.
Lettice Millican was born in 1830, the oldest of 12 children. In 1843 her family headed west with a wagon train carrying 1,000 settlers. After her family settled in the Willamette Valley, she married Ransom Clark, who in 1855 obtained a 640 acre donation claim along Yellowhawk Creek.
Lettice and her husband came to Walla Walla to prove up their claim in 1855, but were driven out by the Indian War of that year. Ransom Clark died in Portland in 1859, and Lettice returned to Walla Walla the same year to complete their cabin, which is now located in the Museum’s Pioneer Village. She was the first white woman to reside in the Walla Walla Valley after the Whitman tragedy, later marrying mill owner Almos Reynolds, and becoming a public benefactor who made substantial gifts to Whitman College.
Lettice Millican Clark Reynolds is portrayed by Linda Hintz.
Better known as Dutch Jo, Josephine Wolfe was a competent businesswoman who took pride in performing an important service in her community. She came to Walla Walla around 1860 and ran two upscale establishments for gentlemen. She insisted on a high degree of decorum from her employees, and she provided them with regular health checkups as well as good clothing that was fashionable and not too revealing. She was also a benefactress in the community, particularly to the local fire department. She paid for the fire fighter's statue at Mountain View Cemetery, where she and several of her employees are also buried. A copy of the statue is located at Crawford Park on Main Street next to the Farmer’s Market, which is in the vicinity of one of her former establishments.
Josephine Wolfe is portrayed by Lois Hahn, a retired school teacher.
Rev. James H. Wilbur was a pioneer Methodist preacher, teacher, and Indian agent. “Father Wilbur,” as he was most often called, will focus on his 22 years of work on the Yakama Indian Reservation at Ft. Simcoe. Originally assigned and hired by the Indian agent to begin a school there, he twice complained in person to President Lincoln about treatment of tribal members by Indian agents and their cronies. During his second visit to Washington, D.C. in 1864, Lincoln appointed him Indian agent, a role he kept for most of the next eighteen years.
Wilbur’s presentation will reflect on more recent news he has learned from a conversation with a professor of cultural anthropology – a field that did not exist in Wilbur’s time. He has also learned of an official apology written two decades ago by church leaders, which acknowledged damage done by missionaries in destroying tribal cultures.
James Wilbur is portrayed by Chuck Hindman.
Suzanne Cayouse Dauphin was born in 1825 in the land of the Cayuse, one of this region’s homeland tribes. In 1840 she married Mathieu Dauphin, a free trapper of St. Louis, Missouri. Mathieu and Suzanne traveled to Fort Hall in Utah Territory (near present day Pocatello, Idaho). The first two of their seven children were born there. Subsequent travels took them to the California gold fields in the Yuba River area and French Prairie on Pudding River near Gervais, in Wasco County, Oregon, before finally homesteading near Frenchtown, a French Metís community located just west of Walla Walla. Their 160 acre donation claim encompassed the present town of Lowden. Mathieu died in 1867 and was buried north of the family home on their land claim. Upon his death, Suzanne became one of the first Indian land title holders in the Northwest. Suzanne died in 1876 and was buried in St. Rose of Lima cemetery at Frenchtown.
Suzanne Cayouse Dauphin is portrayed by Judith Fortney.
The Pacific Northwest – Two Centuries of Contest and Exclusion
Historian, writer, and educator David J. Jepsen will discuss his new book Contested Boundaries: a New Pacific Northwest History. The first regional textbook published in thirty years includes a collection of stories about people contesting the political, economic, and social barriers that blocked their path to equality over the last two centuries. The narrative traces the experiences of Native Peoples, African Americans, Asians, and other immigrants across the centuries as they struggled to hurdle one boundary after another during settlement, industrialization, economic calamity, world war and globalization.
Museum After Hours is a free monthly lecture series that is open to the public. The presentation will begin at 5 pm in the Museum's Entrance Building.
Join local author Bob Freeman as he presents on events and life in Walla Walla during the Great Depression and stories from the 1930s. From elementary school to skiing to the Wa-Hi yell club to objects that are now obsolete and places that no longer exist, the audience will get a taste of the hardships and sacrifices that formed the values of the Greatest Generation.
Meet Isabella Potts Kirkman, the girl who grew up on a flax farm in Ballybay, Ireland and traveled to America to join her sisters in California. Was she an indentured servant? A mail order bride? Isabella will tell all: her humble origins in Ireland, her journey to the New World--even a family scandal! In 1867 she married William Kirkman—the cattleman, farmer and entrepreneur. She’ll share her struggles in the rough and tumble mining towns of Idaho, where William continued his interest in the cattle business until they moved to Walla Walla. Isabella will recount incidents of her life as a society matron here, where with the help of her Chinese domestic, she and William raised their children and entertained the Who’s Who of Walla Walla. Her home is now known as Kirkman House Museum, an elegant brick home built in the Italianate Victorian style.
Isabella Kirkman is portrayed by Kirkman House Board Member Susan Monahan.