Jul 29, 2014

THE LIST: The History Tour

Are you a history buff? Appreciate our local heritage? Want to learn something new about our area's roots? Come with Patch and go back to the future as we check out history museums.

THE LIST: The History Tour THE LIST: The History Tour

The past is a powerful thing.

The past teaches us appreciation for what came before and how it shaped our future. The past gives us many stories: survival, perseverance, innovation, controversy, strength and vision.

We are lucky to live where we do because history is built into the fabric of our communities. We are home to the fine state historical museum. This is terrific, however, we also have other smaller speciality historical museums as well. These too help tell the tale of who we are and how we came to be.

Ready for a tour? Let's go.

We'll begin with the obvious.


Washington State Historical Museum (Downtown Tacoma)

Why here: This beautiful museum next to stunning Union Station is one gem of a museum. Architecturally stunning, this venue offers interactive and high-tech displays and artifacts found nowhere else. It tells the rich history of Washington State from its very beginnings to its current iteration. A must see for the whole family and a great destination for out of town guests. Click on the link above to learn more about hours, prices, special exhibits, and parking.


Steilacoom Historical Museum (Steilacoom)

Why here: Did you know that Steilacoom is Washington State's oldest town? The local history museum celebrates that and more with three different sites for you to learn all about Steilacoom's early pioneer days. Besides the actual museum, you can tour the Orr Home and the Wagon Shop. Please see the link above for pricing, admission times, and special events.


Lakewood History Museum (Lakewood)

Why here: The City of Lakewood has its very own historical museum located in the Colonial Center. This museum features artifacts, photos, maps, documents and more that highlight the area's businesses, way of life, schools and pioneer past. The Lakewood Historical Society also hosts special events at the local library. Check out the website highlighted above for hours and events.


Harbor History Museum (Gig Harbor)

Why here:  This museum celebrates the Gig Harbor Peninsula and all its great history. On display are many interesting permanment galleries that are combined with different traveling exhibits. There is also an online exhibition, as well as a research room to explore old photos and documentation. Click on the link above to see what is currently on display, pricing and hours, and the upcoming special local events that benefit the museum.


The Working Waterfront Maritime Museum (Tacoma, Foss Waterway Seaport)

Why here: Boats and boating are a huge part of our area's local history. It provided a gateway for trade, transportation and many industries. Check out this museum to learn about all things nautical. Enjoy maritime history displays and the stunning views of the Foss Waterway where you can see boats in action. Try out the link above to see pricing, current exhibits, hours and other great spots to visit along the Foss Waterway to complete your experience.


Fort Nisqually Living History Museum (Tacoma, Point Defiance Park)

Why here:  Located in the heart of gorgeous Point Defiance Park, at this museum, staff re-enact the 19th century pioneer period. In period dress, staff explain and show demonstrations of how people lived in this area back in the time. See how these folks worked, lived, played, and survived. Some of the original structures from the period have been lovingly restored over the years and that you can tour firsthand. See the link above for hours, prices, special events, and educational programs.

Enjoy and savor, Patch readers.

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