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. 

Across the Pond: The Voyage of a Beaver Pelt     

March 21 – July 19, 2015  

Beaver pelts were at the center of the fur trade, and the reason Fort Nisqually was established. Where did the pelts come from? How did they get here? Where did they go? 

This family-friendly exhibit is a kid-sized view of Fort Nisqually's fur trade heritage. Children and their parents can trace the journey of a fur pelt from the hands of the trapper to Fort Nisqually and through to England. Meet trappers, Company officers, and sea captains as you travel along the transportation routes of Hudson's Bay Company. 

There are fun hands-on activities too. Kids can pack a horse, load the steamship Beaver, and make their own top hat. A scavenger hunt leads to a discovery of the trade items on display throughout the fort.  

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.