Pioneers presented at museum


Fort Walla Walla Musuem

755 Myra Road, Walla Walla

Fort Walla Walla Musuem

Entrepreneur and farmer Annie Mix will be portrayed by Deanna Underwood at 2 p.m. Saturday in the Pioneer Village at Fort Walla Walla Museum, 755 Myra Road

It is one of two Living History performances to be featured during the weekend.

On Sunday, Grandma and The Boys will play bluegrass from 1-2:30 p.m. Sunday during the daylong Ice Cream Social and William McBean will be portrayed by Rich Monacelli at 2:30 p.m.

Annie Mix, Walla Walla’s “New Orleans Lady” was known for her sophistication and elegance. Mix was born Anna Dwight in New Orleans in 1831 and arrived in Walla Walla with her husband and three children in 1863, a time when Walla Walla was the biggest city in Washington Territory. Her husband, James D. Mix, was born into a Virginia family of some standing. James served as city attorney in Walla Walla, as a member of the City Council, and twice in the Territorial Legislature. After retirement from public duties, he was involved with farming and stock-raising endeavors.

Following her husband’s death in 1881, she took over the operation of the family business interests, including agriculture, stock ranching and commercial properties, such as the Palace Hotel which stood on Third Avenue in downtown Walla Walla.

Mix was widely known for her gracious hospitality and judicious business abilities.

Grandma and The Boys is comprised of Jo Shay, Terry Smelcer, Shawn Wray and Jack Carico. They’ll play bluegrass, old-time tunes, gospel and country songs in the shade at the Pioneer Village.

McBean was a fur trader and factor and manager at Fort Walla Walla, which was built near present-day Wallula and first know as Fort Nez Perce in 1818 when it was constructed by the Northwest Trading Company.

It soon merged with the Hudson’s Bay Company. The structure was so sturdy that its first factor called it the “Gibraltar of the Northwest,” but as strong as it was, the fort was destroyed by fire 10 years later. A second fort on the same site suffered a similar fate. McBean arrived as factor of the third enterprise, The Hudson’s Bay Company Fort Walla Walla.

He was born around 1807 in Canada of British and Indian parents and came to the Walla Walla Valley in 1846, a year prior to the Whitman tragedy. He left Fort Walla Walla in 1855 during the Indian wars, but later returned with his Indian wife and children. He remained in Walla Walla and was active in assisting various Catholic institutions until his death in 1872.

Museum hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Paid admission is $3 for children 6-12; $6 for students and seniors 62 years and older; and $7 for adults.


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment

Click here to sign in