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Dick Phillips will portray great-grandfather William Rockfellow at 2 p.m. Sunday at Fort Walla Walla Museum as part of the Living History program.

In the Living History presentation this weekend, the life of a wagon master and prospector will be made at Fort Walla Walla Museum, 755 Myra Road.

On Sunday Dick Phillips will portray is great grandfather William Rockfellow at 2 p.m. in the museum’s Pioneer Village.

In 1853 Rockfellow was the wagon master of a wagon train headed to Southern Oregon near the present day city of Talent. 

He came north during the Gold Rush days in eastern Walla Walla County and operated the Rockfellow & Co. Pony Express, which ran between Walla Walla and the Boise Gold Basin in Idaho. 

While working as a prospector in Oregon, he, his brother Albert, and three other Jackson County, Ore., friends discovered the famous Rockfellow ledge of gold, now known as the Virtue Mine. 

He and his partners set up their stamp mill to extract the ore on Powder River and eventually Baker City grew up around it.

Meanwhile, William’s wife operated a boardinghouse in Walla Walla. One of his daughters, Alice, married Harvey Meacham, who owned the Meacham toll road that ran between Idaho and Oregon and a hotel near the summit of the Blue Mountains between La Grande and Pendleton. Museum hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily. 

Admission is free to members and children under 6, $4 for children ages 6-12, $8 for seniors 62 and older and students, and $9 general admission.

For details call 509-525-7703 or visit fwwm.org.

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