By Nancy Covert
Steilacoom‚ÄîA Place of Firsts‚Äîis gearing up to commemorate another of its ‚ÄúFirsts‚Äù‚Äîthat of having the first public library in Washington. On Feb. 9, the Steilacoom Library‚ÄîPierce County Branch‚Äîwill mark its 150th anniversary as the oldest library in the state.
Another Steilacoom landmark will commemorate 150 years this year, and community visitors can learn more about that occasion‚Äîas well as about other ‚ÄúFirsts‚Äù from this Pierce County waterfront community by visiting the Steilacoom Historical Museum.
Located at 1801 Rainier Street, the Museum Association hosted a Gala opening on Jan 19 to showcase an exhibit that focuses on those ‚ÄúFirsts‚Äù, including the first Territorial Court, the first Port of Washington, the first incorporated town, the first Protestant Church north of the Columbia River, the first jail and the first brewery.
The Steilacoom Historical Museum Association’s (SHMA’S) newly opened museum, with its permanent exhibits, was made possible by a generous bequest from Sara Lint, a gift from the Shalikashvili Family, donations in memory of Jim Dyer and Marcia Smith, and an anonymous contribution.
The Museum, its gift shop, the adjacent 1857 Orr Home, and the Wagon Shop¬†are currently open¬†with¬†winter hours¬†from 11 am to 2 pm, Saturday and Sunday. Phone 253-584-4133 for more information.
SHMA hosts several community events during the year such as the Salmon Bake (on the last Sunday of July at Sunnyside Beach) and the Apple Squeeze (on the first Sunday of October). Other upcoming events include an exhibit of Pioneer Middle School photos (in March) and a Silent Movie Night (March 15), and a series of combination lectures and displays featuring the Women of Steilacoom (April-August).
The 150th commemoration of the first library in the State will be held from 2-5 pm, Saturday, Feb. 9 at Steilacoom Town Hall. There is an exhibit in the museum about the first library.
SHMA will host a Silent Auction in conjunction with the traditional Steilacoom Chamber of Commerce’s Spaghetti Dinner from 5:30-7:30 pm, Friday. Feb. 22 at the Steilacoom Community Center. Tickets are available at the door.
Watch the Museum’s Readerboard for information about other events.