By Nancy Covert
Mining Engineer, Musician, Author, Speaker of Chinook Jargon, Collector, wife, mother…etc. Just who was she? Laura Belle Downey-Bartlett was all of these—and more.
When she was two years old, Laura Belle traveled with her parents, brothers and sisters from Missouri over Naches Pass in 1853 into the soon-to-become Washington Territory. The family was part of the first wagon train into this area.
Throughout her life she continued to travel: from her first home in Roy, to Steilacoom, and then to Oregon, this remarkable woman experienced a life whose actual story can only be imagined from the wealth of photos, papers, books, and other artifacts she left behind.
In 1975 Laura Belle’s family donated a trunk full of costumes and other artifacts to the Steilacoom Historical Museum Association. Come, learn more about this adventurous “Woman of Steilacoom”.
An exhibit of Laura Belle’s Legacy is on display at the Museum at 1801 Rainier Street in Steilacoom. The display can be viewed between July and October.
Hours of Operation are:
Between 2-5 p.m. on Wednesdays during the Summer.
Between 1-5 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.
Admission: $2 Donation.