Fort Nisqually


Fort Nisqually

Infobox nrhp
name = Fort Nisqually Granary
nrhp_type = nhl


locmapin = Washington
caption =
location = Point Defiance Park
Tacoma, Washington
nearest_city =
lat_degrees = 47
lat_minutes = 18
lat_seconds = 12.2256
lat_direction = N
long_degrees = 122
long_minutes = 31
long_seconds = 58.9872
long_direction = W
area =726 square feet
built =
architect =
architecture =
added = April 15, 1970cite web|url=http://tps.cr.nps.gov/nhl/detail.cfm?ResourceId=988&ResourceType=District
title=Fort Nisqually Granary |accessdate=2008-06-26|work=National Historic Landmark summary listing|publisher=National Park Service
]
designated = April 15, 1970
visitation_num =
visitation_year =
refnum = 70000647
mpsub =
governing_body = Metro Parks Tacoma
Infobox nrhp
name = Fort Nisqually Site
locmapin = Washington
nrhp_type =


caption =
location = NW of Dupont off I-5
nearest_city = Dupont, Washington
lat_degrees = 47
lat_minutes = 6
lat_seconds = 20.1168
lat_direction = N
long_degrees = 122
long_minutes = 38
long_seconds = 36.474
long_direction = W
area =
built =
architect =
architecture =
added = October 16, 1974
visitation_num =
visitation_year =
refnum = 74001971
mpsub =
governing_body = The Archaeological Conservancy

Fort Nisqually was an important fur trading and farming post of the Hudson's Bay Company in the Puget Sound area of what is now Washington but in its heyday was part of the HBC's Columbia Department. Today it is a living history museum located in Tacoma, Washington, USA, within the boundaries of Point Defiance Park. The Fort Nisqually Granary, moved along with the Factor's House from the original site of the fort to this park, is a U.S. National Historic Landmark.

19th century history

Fort Nisqually was the first European trading post on the Puget Sound. The vast British fur trading enterprise, known as the Hudson's Bay Company (HBC), established the fort in 1833. William Fraser Tolmie spent the year there, writing about the region extensively in his journal. Fort Nisqually was located on the plains around the Nisqually River Delta near the present town of Dupont, Washington.

Fort Nisqually was operated and served by Scottish gentlemen, Native Americans, Kanakas (Hawaiians), French-Canadians, Metis, West Indians, Englishmen and, in the last final years before the British cession of their claims to Puget Sound with the Oregon Treaty, a handful of American settlers. Fort Nisqually grew from an obscure trading post to major international trading establishment. The fort's main export was beaver pelts that could be used for making a beaver-pelt top hat. Along with the Puget Sound Agricultural Company, a subsidiary of HBC, Fort Nisqually also started to export livestock and crops for local consumption and export to Russian America, Hawaii, Mexican California, Europe and Asia. From 1843 to 1857, during the transition from British to American control, as well as the Puget Sound War, Dr. William Fraser Tolmie was Chief Factor of Fort Nisqually as well as the manager of the Puget Sound Agricultural Company. He was well respected due to his experience with the region and friendly relations with British, American, and Indian peoples.

Fort Nisqually was never a military outpost and only one small military engagement was recorded in the fort's history. Nevertheless, American and British military forces occasionally visited the fort. The 1846 treaty between the United States and Great Britain established a compromise border between Canada and the United States at the 49th parallel which left Fort Nisqually on American soil. With the fur trade in decline and increasing harassment from American settlers, tax collectors, and revenue agents. In 1869, Fort Nisqually closed and the United States paid the HBC $460,000 for its land.

Restoration

In the 1930s, Fort Nisqually was rebuilt in its current location in Point Defiance Park in Tacoma, Washington. The restoration was part of President Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal program to provide jobs to the Depression stricken nation. The effort was funded and backed by the WPA and the Tacoma Businessmen's Association. Only two buildings, the granary and factor's house, were moved from their original locations, the rest having fallen into decay.

The Fort Nisqually Granary was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1970.citation|title=PDFlink| [http://pdfhost.focus.nps.gov/docs/NHLS/Text/70000647.pdf National Survey of Historic Sites and Buildings: The Granary and Factor's House, Fort Nisqually] |32 KB|date=February 16, 1967 |author=Charles W. Snell |publisher=National Park Service (includes also Fort Nisqually and Nisqually Farm, similar document by Charles W. Snell, Nisqually Farm document by Snell, and National Historic Landmark Nomination document by Maul, and other documents including maps, drawings, and photographs, 80 pages in total] citation|title=PDFlink| [http://pdfhost.focus.nps.gov/docs/NHLS/Text/70000647.pdf National Historic Landmark Nomination: Granary at Fort Nisqually / New Granary at Fort Nisqually] |32 KB|date=September, 1993 |author=David Maul |publisher=National Park Service (text from pages 24 to 49 included within same scanned PDF file as other documents cited, additional accompanying pages include drawings, photographs, maps)]

Fort Nisqually Today

Today, the restored Fort Nisqually is a living history museum run by employees and volunteers. Two of the original buildings, the Factor's House, and the Granary remain. In addition, there is a trade store, working black smith shop, laborers dwelling house, demonstration kitchen, and kitchen garden. Fort Nisqually has seen recent changes designed to capture its original character. These changes include, most significantly, the restoration of the Factor's House, and the relocation and restoration of the two 1930s era bastions. In addition a section of the palisades wall is designed to replicate the 1847 era wall.

Archeology was conducted in 1988-89 to determine the placement, orientation and size of the northeast bastion and palisades wall. Hundreds of artifacts were discovered and catalogued and have added to the historical record. In addition, much research has been conducted using the original journals as well as hundreds of letters of Edward Huggins. Huggins was a clerk of the HBC who arrived in 1850. Huggins, originally a Londoner eventually became an American citizen and homesteaded the land and buildings after it was abandoned by the HBC. He lived on the land until 1906 when he died of colon cancer. The restored fort is managed by Metro Parks Tacoma.

The original location near DuPont is owned and managed by The Archaeological Conservancy, and is closed to the public. Logs mark the location of the original walls, but there are no buildings remaining. The only visible remnants of the original fort are a line of black locust trees, planted in the 1850s. [cite web |url=http://www.thenewstribune.com/news/local/dupont/story/135838.html |title=At Fort Nisqually, a rare glimpse of history |date=2007-08-18 |accessdate=2008-02-04 |work=The News Tribune]

References

External links

* [http://www.fortnisqually.org/ Official site of Fort Nisqually]


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