Fort Nisqually is a living history museum located in Tacoma, Washington, USA.
19th century history Edit
Fort Nisqually was the first European trading post on the Puget Sound. The vast British fur trading enterprise, known as the Hudson's Bay Company (HBC), established the fort in 1833. It was located on the plains around the Nisqually River Delta near the present town of Dupont, Washington.
Fort Nisqually was operated and served by Scottish gentlemen, Native Americans, Kanakas (Hawaiians), French-Canadians, West Indians, Englishmen and American settlers. Fort Nisqually grew from an obscure trading post to major international trading establishment. The forts main export was beaver pelts that could be used for making a beaver pelt top hat. Along with the Puget Sound Agricultural Company, a subsidiary of HBC, Fort Nisqually also started to export livestock and crops for local consumption and export to Russian America, Hawaii, Spanish California, Europe and Asia.
Fort Nisqually was never a military outpost and only one small military engagement is ever recorded in the fort's history. Nevertheless, American and British military forces occasionally visited the fort. The 1846 treaty between the United States and Great Britain established the border between Canada and the United States at the 49th parallel. This left Fort Nisqually on American soil. With the fur trade in decline and increasing harassment from American, settlers, tax collectors, and revenue agents. In 1869, Fort Nisqually closed and the United States paid the HBC $460,000 for its land.
In the 1930's, Fort Nisqually was rebuilt in its current location in Point Defiance Park in Tacoma, Washington. The restoration was part of President Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal program to provide jobs to the Depression stricken nation. Only two buildings, the granary and factor's house, were able to withstand the years of neglect and decay.
Fort Nisqually Today Edit
Today, Fort Nisqually is run by many well-trained employees and volunteers. Fort Nisqually's most recent improvement was the historical restoration of the factor's house which was previously a gift shop and employee offices. The fort is managed by Melissa McGinnis.
- Fort Nisqually-Official site of Fort Nisqually