Blacksmithing, gold-panning, butter churning and fiddle playing – if you have a yen for the days of Job Carr and Tacoma’s beginnings, then take yourself to Old Town Park this Saturday to step back in time. The Job Carr Living History Festival re-enacts the pioneer days for one afternoon in the park adjacent to the Job Carr Cabin Museum – and it’s all free.
“It’s like the Job Carr Days back in 2004-05, only shorter,” says Kathy Westlin, program director at the Museum, which preserves the home and history of Tacoma’s first permanent non-native settler, Job Carr. The Festival is also costing the Museum a lot less than before, which is a good thing.
Activities include traditional games like gunny sack races, chores like butter churning and rub-board clothes washing, demonstrations of blacksmithing and old-fashioned outfits, and the opportunity to pan for gold. (Yes, really.) The folks from Gardensphere will explain pioneer gardening with the help of some chickens, and Celtic group Lark in the Dark, dulcimer player Debbie Birkey and the North Pine String Band will play pioneer-era fiddle music – bring a blanket to sit and listen.
There are some new things to see inside the Museum, too. A miniature covered wagon sits ready for kids to pack and unpack with items necessary for the Oregon Trail. There’ll be quilts hung as room dividers, and when you pull one aside, you’ll trigger audio of Job Carr’s own story emanating from his rocking chair figure.
The 2nd Annual Old Town Walking Tour will this year be combining with the Job Carr Festival. The 45-minute tours, led by historically-clad interpreters, take in sites important to the founding of Tacoma, ending with refreshments at Old St. Peter’s Church. Tours leave the park at 4 p.m., 4:30 p.m. and 5 p.m.; tickets cost $10 adults/$8 children 3-12/free for two and unders.
The Job Carr Historical Museum is open noon-4 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday, or by appointment. Free. 2350 N. 30th St., Tacoma. 253-627-5405, www.jobcarrmuseum.org