Early blacksmith, hotel owner to be portrayed at museum

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Charles Sarranto will portray pioneer Fred Stine in a Living History presentation at Fort Walla Walla Museum, 755 Myra Road, at 2 p.m. Sunday.

Stine arrived in Walla Walla in 1862, the year the community organized itself into a city, with no more than the clothes on his back and 75 cents to his name.

He quickly earned the trust of local residents who lent him sufficient funds to set up a blacksmith shop serving the needs of miners making their way to Idaho's gold fields, pioneers from the Oregon Trail and the military at Fort Walla Walla.

Stine not only retired his debts in a few short months, but soon amassed enough to construct the largest brick hotel in the region in 1872.

The hotel hosted a dinner for President Rutherford B. Hayes and Gen. William T. Sherman. When much of the hotel burned in 1892, Stine sold the property to George Dacres, who rebuilt it as the Hotel Dacres.

Museum hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily through Oct. 31. Admission is free to members and children under 6, $3 for children ages 6-12, $6 for seniors 62 and older and students, and $7 general admission. Membership includes free admission to more than 40 Living History performances and other benefits, beginning at $25.

For more information, contact Fort Walla Walla Museum at 509-525-7703 or e-mail info@fortwallawallamuseum.org.

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