Charles Saranto as pioneer blacksmith and builder Fred Stine

Fort Walla Walla Museum living history member Charles Saranto will portray pioneer blacksmith and builder Fred Stine.

As pandemic restrictions lift, Fort Walla Walla Museum’s Living History Company is resuming on-site performances at the museum, 755 NE Myra Road.

Charles Saranto will portray rags-to-riches businessman Fred Stine at 2 p.m. Sunday, May 30, in the museum’s Pioneer Village.

Stine arrived in Walla Walla in 1862 with the clothes on his back and 75 cents in his pocket. He eventually built the largest brick hotel in the Washington Territory.

Upon arrival, Stine quickly went about earning the trust of local residents who lent him sufficient funds to set up a lucrative blacksmith shop serving the needs of miners making their way to Idaho’s goldfields, pioneers from the Oregon Trail and the military at Fort Walla Walla.

Stine retired his debts in a few short months with the fortune he made and soon amassed enough to construct the Stine House in 1872, the region’s largest brick hotel.

Fort Walla Walla Museum is open from noon-5 p.m. Friday-Sunday. Find event listings and living history performances online at

Admission is free to members and children younger than 6, $4 for children ages 6-12, $8 for students and those 62 and older and $9 general admission. For more details, call 509-525-7703.


Annie joined the U-B news staff in 1979 and since 1990 has written Etcetera, a daily community column. She was promoted to a copy editing post in 2007. She edits copy, designs and lays out pages, including the weekly arts and entertainment guide Marquee,