A press release from Metro Parks Tacoma.
In the 1800s, the Hudson’s Bay Company used the Brigade system to collect furs from far-flung trading posts throughout the Pacific Northwest. Part business, part celebration the annual Brigade marked the end of a long year of social distancing for company employees.
Fort Nisqually Living History Museum’s annual Brigade Encampment will once again recreate the lively visit of a large group of fur traders to the Fort in 1855. This year’s Brigade Encampment will be held from 11a.m. – 5 p.m. on August 14 and 15.
Description automatically generated with low confidence“The event is shaping up to be something quite special for the museum,” said Events Coordinator Elizabeth Rudrud. “It feels appropriate that our first in-person event since 2019 celebrates the coming together of diverse peoples after long stretches apart.”
Visitors will witness the arrival of the fur brigade, welcomed by a volley of musket fire. The event includes friendly competitions, Punch and Judy puppet shows, as well as music and dance – all documented in written accounts of the 1855 Brigade. Visitors can participate in “Engagé for the Day,” learning heritage skills from living historians to earn their own contract from the Hudson’s Bay Company.
Those who have grown a quarantine beard or stepped up their grooming game in recent months can enter the ‘Battle of Brigade Beards’ hosted by Grit City Society of Beards on Saturday. Whiskerless visitors can create their own beards from craft materials provided. On Sunday, Fort Nisqually welcomes the Pacific Ohana Foundation for music and dance celebrating the many contributions of Hawaiians to the Hudson’s Bay Company and Fort Nisqually.
Fort Nisqually Living History Museum is a restoration of the Hudson’s Bay Company outpost and headquarters of the Puget Sound Agricultural Company. Visitors travel back in time and experience life in Washington Territory during the 1850s. Ten buildings are open to the public, including the Granary and the Factors House, both National Historic Landmarks, and a Visitor Center with Museum Store.
Brigade Encampment is sponsored by Navy Federal Credit Union.