Metro Parks Tacoma

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Special Exhibits

Temporary exhibits in the Great Room showcase objects from the Fort's permanent collection. They provide insights into the daily lives of the Fort's historical residents and into the workings of the Hudson's Bay Company, of which the Fort was part. All exhibits include hands-on activities for visitors of all ages. 

Graced in Glass: Trade Beads and Native American Beadwork

July 25 – Nov. 15, 2015

Hudson's Bay Company traders and outposts throughout North America stocked beads among their wares. The beads were traded to Native American people in exchange for furs. Indians used them to create jewelry and intricate decoration on clothing and personal belongings.

This exhibit includes examples of the types of beads that were carried at HBC outposts in the Pacific Northwest, along with information about where and how they were made. The highlight of the show is a selection of beautiful historical beadwork.  

Dr. Tolmie, the Physician: Practicing Medicine on the Frontier

November 21, 2015 – March 13, 2016

“Doctor Tolmie arrived …to restore us to health” -- Journal of Occurrences, May 27, 1837

The Hudson’s Bay Company hired William Tolmie as a doctor in the early 1830s. The company needed a physician to help combat the “intermittent fever” that was sickening its employees and killing large numbers of Native American people. In this exhibit, visitors see the methods and means of 19th century frontier medicine as Tolmie practiced it. During his career, Tolmie treated malaria, smallpox, and a broad range of injuries and illnesses suffered by Company employees, Native Americans, and American settlers.