Early area settler Sigmund Schwabacher portrayed at Fort Walla Walla Museum

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WALLA WALLA -- Early settler Sigmund Schwabacher will be portrayed at 2 p.m. Sunday at Fort Walla Walla Museum, 755 Myra Road. The living history portrayal is by Steve Rubin.

The three Schwabacher brothers, Louis, Abraham and Sigmund, born in Germany of Jewish heritage, moved to America out of an increasingly anti-Semitic Europe.

Louis, the first brother to come to America, made an inspection trip to the 6-year-old Washington Territory in 1859. During that time, he sent for his brothers to join him.

On Sept. 1, 1860, the brothers opened their mercantile store near the northeast corner of Third Avenue and Main Street in Walla Walla. Their business flourished, and by 1862 they had outgrown their first building.

In 1876, they erected a two-story brick building which was described in newspapers of the day as "the finest building north of San Francisco, its front resplendent with massive iron columns and arches; its seven entrances each with double doors, the outer ones being iron, the inner cedar ..."

"The interior was 16 feet high, painted white. Its six iron pillars were painted and gilded. In the northwest corner, there was a glass space of 12 by 16 elevated with a fireplace where Mr. Sigmund Schwabacher could observe and direct the activities."

Sigmund Schwabacher later became director of the newly chartered First National Bank of Walla Walla.

The museum is open daily from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. April-October. Admission is $7 for adults, $6 for seniors and students, $3 for children ages 6-12.

For more information, call 509-525-7703.

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