Let's keep it real: Beavers and Sea Otters are the reason why the oldest building in Washington state is located at Fort Nisqually inside Defiance Park in Tacoma.

The last time I heard about The Oregon Treaty of 1846, I was likely in middle school. To this day, I don't remember a dang thing about it. TVW host, Ralph Munro, explained the treaty (on the video below) quite plainly, "The British fought over this territory [of Washington state], the U.S. wanted this territory, the Russians wanted this territory. Everybody wanted this area because of this pelt."

I wouldn't have believed it either if you had told me this before I watched the video (below). I do recall that a long time ago, Washington state was part of another nation's territory, but I ignorantly thought it was purchased from Native American Peoples. Boy, was I wrong! Our state was governed by the Brits when the oldest building was constructed. Fort Nisqually became the home base of the Hudson Bay Company (which is now owned by some billionaire).

I've lived here for 18 years and I (foolishly) never stopped to take a deep dive into the geographical makeup of Washington state. Lately, I have been trying to do some digging around to learn everything I can about our state history so that I can be ready with answers the next time my 9-year-old daughter, Willow, "pelts" me with questions.

Beaver pelt. Sea otter pelt. Two of the most expensive furs across the globe and the territory that made up Washington state was teeming with both of them. Fort Nisqually was built back in the 1830s during the time of settlement of the Europeans who moved in and overtook much of the sacred Native lands on which we live today.

The Fort Nisqually Living History Museum had closed due to COVID-19. Fortunately for travelers, it is now open Fridays thru Sundays for visitors once again, however, you must purchase an online ticket (in advance), wear proper face mask coverings, and use social distancing while you're on the grounds. Get ticket price information here!

Don't want to drive all the way to Tacoma? Take a VIRTUAL sightseeing trip here.

I cannot wait to take Willow to visit Fort Nisqually!