Once a year, the Tacoma Historical Society, Tacoma Cemetery and the Fort Nisqually Living History Museum join forces to produce a Living History Tour. Each historical reenactor is from the Fort Nisqually Time Travelers and has assumed the role of a Tacoma citizen in the time period around World War I. This is the 7th tour and the first that I remember that photography was allowed as long as we waited until the end of each talk and didn’t bother the actors.
The list of those represented is here. Thanks to Tacoma Weekly!
- Alexander Baillie (with the golf club)- the founder of Tacoma Country & Golf Club. It isn’t often you actually see a twinkle in somebody’s eye! I loved the story about how he imported golf clubs from his beloved Scotland. When the port didn’t know what they were, he convinced the port officials that they were farming equipment so he had less of a tax burden.
- Annie Brown (white dress) – Annie and Oscar were the lighthouse keepers at Brown’s Point for many years. When she teared up talking about how she missed the lighthouse in her old age, I sniffed a little myself.
- Ada Bel Tutton Gifford (red dress) had a great hat, as she should since she owned a millinery shop on Broadway Avenue. I loved her pride in her accomplishments.
- Chester Thorne (arms to side), owner of Thornwood Castle and accomplished local businessman. He owned a yacht name the El Primero and President Taft was one of his more famous guests on it. He lost the yacht in a poker game.
- Peter Wallerich (hands folded in front), told some of his story in rhyme. He was responsible for the automotive industry situating on South Tacoma Way and bought the Northern Pacific Bank.
- Hugh and Mildred Wallace (couple) each told their stories of being part of high society. He was the ambassador to France and the French often honored him. She was the much loved daughter of a Chief Justice. They donated the clock tower chimes in Old City Hall to honor their daughter who died. Note to self, their house is still standing at 402 North J.
- W.F. Sheard (with chair) has a shop across the street from the Tacoma Hotel and was well known for his furs. He is also known for designing the gold bead sight used on Winchester rifles and for bringing the totem pole in Firemen’s Park to Tacoma.
I believe the tour is full for today, but you can contact the Tacoma Historical Society to double check. And make a note to go next year 🙂