Handcrafted Native American masks in the Epidemic Memorial exhibit.
Imagine walking through Washington's history and encountering intriguing sights, sounds, people, places, and ways of life.
Meet William Clark, ride in a covered wagon, and explore a coal mine. Take a video trip down the Columbia River in the
three-screen Columbia River Theater. Use an interactive computer to learn Native languages. Drop in on Mac and Leon as
they discuss the Depression while avoiding the rain in a Seattle Hooverville shack. Ask Jasper a question in Walla
Walla's Schwabacher General Store. Walk through a traditional Southern Coast Salish plank house and listen in on a
conversation with a basket maker and her granddaughter. Colorful, interactive exhibits and walk-through dioramas depict
the natural setting, the lifestyle, and culture of the first inhabitants, exploration and settlement of the region, and
the important people and milestone events that have shaped our state.
Children creating collages at the Decameter exhibit in the History Lab.
Located on the fifth floor of the Washington State History Museum, the History Lab Learning Center engages
visitors with interactive exhibits featuring such historical concepts as Time, Place, Viewpoint, Exploration, and
Precedent. In the learning center, visitors of all ages are encouraged to use the Tools of the History Trade
(artifacts, ephemera, books & periodicals, people, maps, and images) to think like detectives in search of
evidence. Because, as History Lab virtual curator Inspecta Detecta points out, "every time we turn around,
we're faced with a History Mystery that needs to be solved." You just need to know how. And discovering how
to "do history" is what the History Lab is all about.
The Puget Sound Model Railroad Engineers (PSMRE) have built the largest permanent model railroad layout in the state of
We are still working on the railroad! Don your conductors cap and climb aboard the History Museum's own model
railroad. Watch history being made as the Puget Sound Model Railroad Engineers club continues construction on the
1,800 square foot permanent layout depicting the rail lines from Tacoma's Point Defiance Park to the Stampede Pass
tunnel in the Cascades. Steam and diesel engines travel past the ASARCO tunnel and tower, the Sperry Flour Mill &
Sperry Ocean Terminal, the Seybold-Miller shake mill, and of course, Tacoma's own Union Station as it appeared in the
1950s during the golden age of railroads.