The Steilacoom Town Hall and Museum (253/584-4133, www.steilacoom.org/museum , 1–4 p.m. Tues.–Sun. March–Oct., 1–4 p.m. Fri.–Sun. Nov.–Dec. and Feb., closed Jan., free) focuses on the town’s pioneer period. Pick up the Guide to Historic Steilacoom here for a walking tour. It is located downstairs in the white New England–style Town Hall on Main and Lafayette.
Housed in a 100-year-old Congregational Church building, Steilacoom Tribal Cultural Center and Museum (1515 Lafayette St., 253/584-6308, 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Tues.–Sat. year-round, $2 adults, $1 seniors and kids, children under 6 free, $6 families) documents the history of the Steilacoom tribe with exhibits that feature the prehistory of the Tacoma Basin, historical artifacts, and contemporary artistry. The Steilacoom were one of the eight Washington tribes that were never allotted a reservation. The gift shop sells native crafts, and the snack bar serves light breakfasts and lunches.
East from the town of Steilacoom is Fort Steilacoom (253/584-2368), right next to the massive Western State Hospital mental institution. Four small frame houses remain from this fort, established in 1849. One of the buildings has an interpretive center and small museum open for summertime tours 1–4 p.m. on Saturday.