July 16, 2019

Living Historian Ray Egan to Portray Willis Boatman

In 'Willis Boatman: First the Trail, and Then the War', our program for September.

Sep 25, 2018

Survivor of the Oregon Trail, settler, carpenter, hunter, hop grower--examine the many facets of pioneer Willis Boatman as portrayed by noted local Living Historian, Ray Egan.

In 1852 Willis Boatman came by wagon train to what was then the Oregon Territory, where he settled on the shores of Puget Sound in the little town of Steilacoom. Six years later, having honed his carpentry skills by helping erect the buildings at Fort Steilacoom, Willis built a hunting cabin for himself and wife Mary on a site just across 112th Street from today's Clover Park High School.

In 1878 Boatman sold his cabin to Captain John Ainsworth, founder of the Oregon Steam Navigation Company. Ainsworth expanded the house to its current dimensions by adding rooms to its front portion. Known thereafter as the Boatman-Ainsworth House, the structure still stands today as the oldest private residence in Lakewood. Made a landmark by the City in 2002, the significance of the property was further recognized with the installation of an historical marker, dedicated in 2015 by the Lakewood Historical Society.

There is, of course, much more to the story of Willis Boatman than the building of a little cabin on the Lakes District prairie 160 years ago.

Come to the 'source', so to speak, and hear Boatman's own words as interpreted by Ray Egan in a period-costume impersonation that has entertained and impressed audiences around our region.

'WILLIS BOATMAN: FIRST THE TRAIL AND THEN THE WAR' A FREE presentation by the Lakewood Historical Society.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018, 7-9 pm.
St. Mary's Episcopal Church, 10630 Gravelly Lake Drive SW in Lakewood.

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