The lives of a developer and Frenchtown wife will be made in 2 p.m. Living History presentations this weekend, at Fort Walla Walla Museum, 755 Myra Road.

On Saturday Tom Williams will portray Ed Burlingame and on Sunday Judith Fortney will portray Suzanne Cayouse Dauphin in the museum’s Pioneer Village.

In 1893, Burlingame arrived in Walla Walla to inspect the plans for an ambitious irrigation project and stayed to dig the ditch that bears his name today. 

The Burlingame Ditch turned more than 5,000 acres of sagebrush into productive farmland. More than 100 years after its completion, the Burlingame Ditch still conveys water by gravity within its earthen banks.

Suzanne Cayouse Dauphin was born in 1825 in the land of the Cayuse, one of this region’s Homeland Tribes. 

In 1840 she married Mathieu Dauphin, a free trapper of St. Louis, Missouri. 

Mathieu and Suzanne traveled to Fort Hall in Utah Territory (near present day Pocatello, Idaho). The first two of their seven children were born there. Subsequent travels took them to the California gold fields in the Yuba River area and French Prairie on Pudding River near Gervais, in Wasco County, Oregon, before finally homesteading near Frenchtown, a French Metís community located just west of Walla Walla. Their 160 acre donation claim encompassed the present town of Lowden. Mathieu died in 1867 and was buried north of the family home on their land claim. Upon his death, Suzanne became one of the first Indian land title holders in the Northwest. Suzanne died in 1876 and was buried in St. Rose of Lima cemetery at Frenchtown.

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 more details, call 509-525-7703 or see

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