Mountain man to visit Fort WW Museum

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Fort Walla Walla Museum, 755 Myra Road, presents a living history presentation, 2 p.m. April 10 in the pioneer village. Mountain man Joe Meek will be portrayed by Mike Bates.

Meek met Marcus and Narcissa Whitman at the 1836 Horse Creek rendezvous as the Whitmans made their way to Walla Walla and "took a fancy" to Narcissa. In 1840, as fur trapping waned, he and two other trappers brought the Whitmans' wagons to the mission at Waiilatpu west of Walla Walla. These were the first wagons ever to cross the Blue Mountains.

Meek went on to settle in the Willamette Valley but left his daughter Helen Mar with the Whitmans in the Walla Walla Valley. When he returned to the Whitmans' Mission after the tragedy of 1847, he found his daughter had died of illness while she had been held as a captive of the Cayuse in the aftermath of the incident. He then made his famous winter ride to Washington, D.C., to plead with President James K. Polk for U.S. troops and a federal presence in Oregon. As a result, he was appointed U.S. Marshal for the new Oregon Territory that included all of what are now Oregon, Washington and Idaho, as well as parts of Montana and Wyoming.

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 for general admission. Membership includes free admission to more than 40 Living History performances and other benefits, beginning at $25.

For more information, call 509-525-7703, email info@fortwallawallamuseum.org or visit fortwallawallamuseum.org.

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