Fort Nisqually Living History Museum, Tacoma

4.6
#7 of 10 in Museums in Tacoma
Fort Nisqually Living History Museum is located in Tacoma. See Fort Nisqually Living History Museum and all Tacoma has to offer by arranging your trip with our Tacoma trip planner .
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Fort Nisqually Living History Museum Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
98 reviews
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4.5
TripAdvisor
  • Visiting the Restored Fort is interesting, even if the living history museum is not being presented, but if you want to experience the living museum, check schedule ahead to make certain it will be op...  more »
  • A place to learn the history of the area. At certain times, they are historical reenactors demonstrating various aspects of life in the 1850s.  more »
  • I brought my nieces and nephews. They loved running though the campus, climbing the old staircases, dressing in period clothing and talking with the staff. It's an active, safe, and educational place ...  more »
Google
  • After visiting Fort Vancouver NHS, I became curious about the history of other Hudson's Bay Company forts within the PNW and how they related to each other. The NPS ranger on duty couldn't answer questions about the history of Fort Nisqually which must have been regionally connected. So I decided to research. Fort Nisqually was originally built near Dupont WA but is now located in Tacoma's Point Defiance Park as a "living history museum." Two original buildings were moved, the Fort Nisqually Granary and the Factor's House. The 1843 granary is Washington State's oldest building. These two surviving buildings are the only original Hudson Bay Company (HBC) buildings left within the United States. In 1824, the HBC built Fort Vancouver on the north side of the Columbia River. This site was selected because the HBC didn't know where the eventual boundary between the United States and England would be placed after negotiations. Thinking that it could be the Columbia River (not the 49th parallel), a north bank location was selected. In 1827, the HBC built Fort Langley along the Frasier River (now Canada). An overland route (called the Cowlitz Portage) was established to connect the two forts. But after men along this route were murdered, the HBC decided to establish a safer water-accessible mid-way fort. The site near Dupont was selected for various reasons. It allowed good ship anchorage, the nearby prairie lands were suitable for crops and animals, and the native population was friendly. Nisqually House was built in 1832. In 1833, construction of Fort Nisqually began. Its main export became beaver pelts. In 1846, a treaty between the United States and "British North America" established the border at the 49th parallel. Leaving Fort Nisqually on American lands, settlers claiming lands and raiding cattle became problematic during the 1850's. With the decline of the fur trade and continued "harassment," Fort Nisqually closed in 1869. As part of President Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal program during the depression, Fort Nisqually was moved to Point Defiance Park in 1933 (the 100th Anniversary). As much of the original fort was in decay, only two original buildings were relocated. The rest of the 'Fort Vancouver' was rebuilt through the WPA program. The current replica depicts Fort Nisqually in 1855.
  • A wee bit boring. But its historical, and if you're into that, its probably awesome. I do think its a great family activity though. Especially as a kid, who doesn't love forts.
  • Please note, the museum is closed Mondays and Tuesdays between October 1 and April 30; hours of operation are 11 am to 4 pm during those months. From May 1 through September 30, the museum operates from 11 am to 5 pm, seven days a week. This is a great museum, providing a unique look back into part of our Pacific Northwest history. It is a must-see for all, locals and visitors alike.
  • Making Bacon class was very interesting and the rewards of my labor tasted great 10 days later! I'll be making my own bacon from now on!
  • We explored around the living history museum and the store. Very friendly and welcoming staff that we chatted with. Can't wait to go back and see more of the characters in costume.
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