Fort Nisqually museum celebrates spring in the 1850s

Visitors to Fort Nisqually Living History Museum Saturday can get a feeling of what it was like to be a settler in springtime in the 1850s.

From 11 a.m.-5 p.m., the museum will hold “Sewing to Sowing: A Living History Day” that will include a garden talk by Northwest horticulture expert Marianne Binetti at 1 p.m.

Throughout the event, visitors can tour the fort’s heritage gardens and sow seeds. The garden also includes a patch of wheat. The plants are Hudson’s Bay Co. wheat – a soft white winter wheat cultivated by the company in the Northwest during the 1850s. It was recently rediscovered at the U.S. Department of Agriculture seed bank in Washington, D.C., and reintroduced to the Northwest by Richard Scheuerman of Seattle Pacific University.

Visitors will have the chance to learn hand sewing techniques from the fort’s seamstresses, see a display of sewing handiwork, and watch demonstrations of one of the world’s earliest sewing machines, the Wheeler and Wilson.

Families also can take part in playing 1800s games, churning butter and meeting the fort’s chicks and chickens. There will be several dozen re-enactors working in the forst.

Admission is $5-$8. Children 4 and younger receive free admission. For more information, visit fortnisqually.org or call 253-591-5339.