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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.


undefined“Saving Fort Nisqually”
January 20, 2017 – May 7, 2017

Discover the story behind the 1930s era restoration of the fort at Point Defiance: This exhibit explores the 1930s era restoration of the Fort at Point Defiance Park by the Tacoma Young Men’s Business Club, Works Progress Administration, and local work relief programs. Artifacts illustrating the process by which the Fort was rebuilt (items such as hand tools and blueprints) help tell the story of the people who conducted the restoration, and the significance of the Fort for local history both then and now. Read More >



Next exhibit:


From the Islands to the Inland Sea: Hawaiians at Fort Nisqually

Open  May 13 - September 17, 2017

This family-friendly exhibit explores how Hawaiian laborers brought to the Pacific Northwest by the Hudson’s Bay Company left a lasting legacy in communities throughout the region. Try your hand at some of the tasks the workers did around Fort Nisqually, such as pressing wool into bundles, and learn about the maritime networks that reached across the Pacific Ocean.






“Inspired by Fort Nisqually” exhibition closes

The Fort’s first juried art show “Inspired by Fort Nisqually” closed January 7, and the votes are in! Nan Leiter’s painting “Just Trying to Survive” won the most votes from visitors, taking the “People’s Choice” prize. Thanks to everyone who participated, and a special thank you to the artists for sharing their talents with us.

Congratulations to all our winners!

Best in Show – Gary Gillespie for “Salish Matron Mask”


Honorable Mentions – Richard Repp for “The Right Whales”


and Leah Amyakar for 1850 Medicine Cabinet”


People’s Choice – Nan Leiter for “Just Trying to Survive”


Purchase Prize – Victoria Anderson for “Blacksmith and Gardner”