Actors bring pioneer stories alive at Fort Walla Walla Museum

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WALLA WALLA — Fort Walla Walla Museum will present Living History performances at 2 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday in the pioneer settlement at the museum, 755 Myra Road.

On Saturday, Maria Whitman will be portrayed by Barbara Clark.

Whitman came to Walla Walla in 1862 to join her husband who had been recently elected as the city’s first mayor. She was born in 1828 in Portland, Maine. She was the daughter of a lawyer and was educated in the Boston area where she met E.B. Whitman. The couple married and had two sons.

In 1850 E.B. Whitman traveled west to seek his fortune in the California gold fields. Maria Whitman remained in Boston to raise their children until E.B. chose a new location for the family. After 12 years, the couple reunited in Walla Walla, where they were active in civic affairs and lived the rest of their lives.

Maria Whitman will share music of her time with Museum visitors.

On Sunday, early brewers John and Catherine Stahl will be portrayed by Stahl’s great-great-grandson, David Emigh, and his wife, Jill.

John and Catherine Stahl were born in Germany, met in California during the gold rush and came to Walla Walla in 1870.

They soon purchased the City Brewery located on Second Street where Stardust Lanes bowling alley now stands. In 1880 they erected a brick brewery on the site, as well as a brick home next door, where they lived.

After John’s death in 1884, Catherine successfully continued running the business.

The Stahls also built an opera house next to what is now the plaza at First Avenue and Main Street in downtown Walla Walla.

Museum visitors are encouraged to question the Living History re-enactors about their lives and times.

The museum is open daily, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission is free to Fort Walla Walla Museum members, eligible service personnel and their families through the Blue Star Museums program, Tamástslikt Cultural Institute’s Inwai Circle cardholders, enrolled members of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, and all children under 6; children 6-12 are $3; seniors 62 and above and students are $6 and adults $7. For more information, call 509-525-7703 or email: info@fortwallawallamuseum.org.

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