As if there weren’t enough history already at Fort Nisqually, the historical open-air museum at Tacoma’s Point Defiance Park now has live artisans every weekend in summer. They’ll be demonstrating and displaying 19th-century craftforms like blacksmithing and puppetry in a cool program called “Crafts of the Past.”
One month into the program and there’s been a lot to see already – but luckily for us, many of the artisans are returning in late July and August. They’ll be at their posts all day on Saturdays and Sundays, showing what they do and helping others do the same (except for the blacksmith, for safety reasons). It all helps kids and adults alike have a new appreciation for Tacoma’s settler period.
Here’s the schedule:
July 28-29: Blacksmithing by Ray Baker and John Simpkins
Aug. 4-5: Native American beadwork by Chuck Larsen
Aug. 11-12: Punch and Judy puppetry by Kelsey Sample
Aug. 18-19: Native American basketry by Judy Bridges
Aug. 25-26: Textile art by Mickey Pederson and Heather Kibbey
Sept. 1-2: Horn making and scrimshaw by Rich Repp
“Crafts of the Past” comes courtesy of funding from the Tacoma Arts Commission and the Greater Tacoma Community Foundation.
Fort Nisqually Living History Museum is open 11 a.m.-5 p.m. daily during summer. “Crafts of the Past” is free with admission, which is $6.50 adults/$5 seniors, military and student/$4 youth/free ages three and under. The Fort is found on Five Mile Drive inside Point Defiance Park, 5400 N. Pearl St., Tacoma. There’s a free shuttle from the new park visitor’s center just inside the entrance, where you can also pick up a two-for-one admission. 253-591-5339, fortnisqually.org