Saturday, June 23, 2018!

The 2018 St. Jean-Baptiste Day Celebration will be held at the Frenchtown Historic Site (8364 W. Old Highway 12, two miles west of the Whitman Mission) on Saturday, June 23, 2018.

St. Jean-Baptiste Day is the national holiday of Québec, a celebration of French-Canadian culture held on the birthday of Quebec’s patron saint, Jean Baptiste (John the Baptist). This year’s event will feature a historic tour of old Walla Walla led by local historian Sam Pambrun, tours of the St. Rose of Lima cemetery (1876) and the Prince’s cabin (1834), displays by the Whitman Gem and Mineral Society, wood-working demonstrations, French-Canadian music, artifacts of the fur trade era, a mining history display, and Living History players.

10:00 AM: Tour bus leaves the Frenchtown Site for a tour of early Walla Walla. Reserve your free ticket at https://tinyurl.com/SJB2018.

12:00 PM: Free potato bar lunch at the Frenchtown Site.

1-3:30: Tours, demonstrations, and events at the Frenchtown Site.

The scenic Frenchtown Historic site brings together many threads of the history of the Walla Walla valley. It lies within the homeland of the Walla Walla and Cayuse Tribes. French-Canadian voyageurs associated with the Hudson’s Bay Company trading post at Fort Nez Perces settled here with their Métis families beginning in 1823. In 1855, this area was also the site of the Battle of Walla Walla, fought between Oregon Mounted Volunteers and members of the Walla Walla, Cayuse, Palouse and Yakama tribes. Points of interest at the site include the St. Rose Cemetery and the recently restored “Prince’s cabin”, believed to be the oldest example of French-Canadian construction in Washington state. Interpretive signage provides family histories and burial records as well as information on the Oregon trail, the fur trade, the interactions between local tribes and settlers, and more.

Maintenance and development of the site is made possible by contributions to the Frenchtown Historic Foundation, a as well as the volunteer efforts of local historians and descendants of the original families.

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