Last weekend I persuaded J to take me south to Ft. Nisqually, just outside of Tacoma, WA. There are quite a few gals that interpret there that I have met online on a historic sewing forum called The Sewing Academy. I am looking for a place/places out here to get involved with costuming and living history as US CW is not quite as popular this far west. Pretty much my only option thus far is Husdson Bay Fur Trade stuff - not quite as much fun for me to dress up. Ft. Nisqually offers what seems to be a happy medium. The original occupants of the fort in 1858 had had quite a bit of English/French influence so the clothing is a little more what I am looking for. The factor at the fort was a Scottsman, William Fraser Tolmie and his wife was Jane Work, the daughter of John Work, an Irish fur trader and Josette Legacee, a Metis woman. Jane had adopted more of the European lifestyle, likely due to her heritage and schooling. This is opposite of what was going on at Ft. Langley, another Hudson's Bay Fort, at the same time (further blog post will follow).
Fort Nisqually is staffed with some wonderful volunteers, many of whom are exceptionally knowledgeable about the Fort and the dress of the time. They rotate years from 1855, 1857, and 1859. Those representing life at the Fort are dressed in the normal English dress of the time and do a wonderful job of interpreting the people who lived and worked at the Fort.
This is one of the first food processors in the kitchen at Ft. Nisqually. There is a blade in the bowl that moves up and down to chop the food as the handle is turned.