The American Revolution Experience here, for a limited time


Lives of ordinary people in extraordinary times

The American Battlefield Trust and the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution have collaborated to create the American Revolution Experience. With a limited number of engagements, it is touring the US, through the end of 2025.

At the Schmidt House, starting April 5th

The exhibition is on the road now, leading to the celebration of the US 250th birthday in 2026. This year, its exclusive run in Western Washington includes only three venues, one of which is truly local, the Olympia Tumwater Foundation’s Schmidt House, in Tumwater. The other two venues include DAR Rainier Chapter House on Capitol Hill in Seattle and the Meeker Mansion & Museum in Puyallup.

"We're so excited to be one of the few places in western Washington to host this exhibit in 2024.” Stated Karen Johnson, curator at the Schmidt House. “This DAR display will help teach today's citizens about the importance of what was begun and accomplished 250 years ago."

The exhibit is supported by the American Battlefield Trust and the Daughters of the American Revolution. It also receives matching funds from the National Park Service’s American Battlefield Protection Program. This outstanding exhibition captures the spirit of both organizations by showcasing lasting connections to the people and places indelibly linked to our fight for independence.

 Exhibit focus

The exhibit consists of 12 panels arranged in pairs that cover thematic topics raised by the individuals featured in the exhibition. Examples include “Choosing Sides,” “On the Front Lines,” and “Freedom or Slavery.” Three touch-screen displays augment the panels: one focused on the featured individuals, one highlighting places connected to those stories that can still be visited, and one that includes animated maps that offer deeper context.

Hard-won independence

The American Revolution would not have happened without the decisions, sacrifices, and valor of ordinary people. Although the Declaration of Independence may have been declared in Philadelphia by the 56 signers, it was hard-won in local communities and on the battlefields, sometimes one and the same, by thousands of individuals, soldiers, and civilian Patriots.

It’s about the people

The American Revolution Experience invites visitors to consider the choice faced by members of the revolutionary generation as tensions mounted in the 1770s: Would these ordinary citizens risk their lives and livelihoods in pursuit of liberty? Or would they remain loyal subjects of the British crown, coming into conflict with neighbors and family? The exhibit surfaces diverse viewpoints and experiences, touching on the journeys — both literal and figurative — of Patriots and Loyalists, men and women, Black and Native people, and even international allies. Rather than focusing only on generals and famous statesmen, it introduces audiences to drummer boys, military mapmakers, and other ordinary people who were impacted by global events.

Popping up right here in Thurston County

The American Revolution Experience will visit the Schmidt House, 330 Schmidt Place SW Tumwater, WA, from April 5 through April 17, 2024, 10 a.m.—4 p.m., excluding Mondays and Tuesdays. Private groups and school groups may schedule times on Mondays and Tuesdays, subject to availability. The exhibit is ADA-accessible. Admission is free. For more information, phone the Schmidt House at 360-890-2299.

Days for children - Sundays, April 7 and 14. 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. will be special children’s days, adding activities for kids. Julien Bancroft-Connors, president of the WA State Children of the American Colonists and rising star in WA State Children of the American Revolution, will host the exhibit on these two dates. Julien is 19 years old and a student at The Evergreen State College. Also, on these special days, student pianists and their teachers from the Olympia Music Teachers Association will provide background music during the exhibit on the resident Steinway grand piano. Admission is free.

Shirley Stirling, of Lacey, writes about good things people in Thurston County are doing. If you’d like to nominate someone to be profiled, contact her at or comment below.


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  • What an exciting opportunity for us here in Tumwater to see this special national traveling exhibit! The days for the Children of the American Colonists sound especially engaging. This article has me fully convinced to go to the exhibit!

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