Arts & Entertainment

Living History Series draws to close on Oct. 31

A territorial judge and attorney will spar with each other on judicial issues of the late 1800s during the next Living History Series on Oct. 24 at the Fort Walla Walla Museum.

The series will focus on William G. Langford, the last territorial justice of the Washington Territorial Supreme Court to serve in Walla Walla County and California attorney E.A. Clark.

"Shyster lawyers was a big deal for (Langford and Clark)," said Paul Franzmann communications manager for the museum. "Corruption in general terms. It was often an unsafe (environment) for a judge, jury or witness when a trial came to pass. The stories are (many) about alleged criminals getting dragged out of jail and strung up or disappearing in the dark."

The judge, played by Don Schacht of Walla Walla, was appointed to the post by President Grover Cleveland in 1885.

Clark, played by Clark Colahan of Walla Walla, was a Midwesterner who migrated west to California and homesteaded in the San Jose area. He was a real attorney but he never actually visited the Washington territory.

Still, the museum thought it might make for a bit of historic fun to hear a couple of legal types discuss some issues of that era, Franzmann said.

And as the museum's season winds down, Franzmann said the Oct. 31 Living History segment will present a troupe of early 19th Century pioneers who will talk about other issues of that time.

The museum also is staying open later than normal this year. It usually closes for the season at the end of October but will keep its doors open through Dec. 23 except for Thanksgiving Day.

"Since April 1 when the museum began its 43rd season of service to the region, it has been a year of firsts and unusual happenings," Franzmann said. "The new entry hall and exhibit galleries attracted a record crowd for the museum."

Other attractions that have brought the museum's visitation to record numbers include additional Living History segments and more kid-friendly events.

"The kid camps were enormously successful and the museum enjoyed its best ever attendance at the August Women's History celebration," he added.

Museum hours are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission to the museum, at 755 Myra Road, is $7 adults, $6 students and senior citizens, and $3 kids 6-12.

More information is at or call 509-525-7703.

*Dori O'Neal: 582-1514;