There was a time...  

 John Salicco 
Historical Impersonator, Writer and Musician


The 49er:
A Gold Run Musicianer
Time frame: 1850's

The Klondike
Tales of a Sourdough
Time Frame: 1898

The Banjo:
An American Gypsy*
Time frame: 19th Century

Jacques Portier:
Old Nor'Wester*
Time frame: 1830's

The Great Depression:
How do you spell relief?
Time frame: 1930's


Story Telling


There was a time in History
 Seminar Series




Originally developed for Inquiring Mind, a program  of Humanities Washington, this presentation is now offered to the general public.  Please contact me for details..  

Jacques Portier - Old Nor'Wester

This presentation deals with the early opening of the North West and present day Washington State to "European" influence from 1792 to the 1820's.  It is a first person impersonation based on Jacques Portier, a Métis,who reminisces about his time as a voyageur and a partner in the old Northwest Company.  From the founding of Astoria, Spokane and Vancouver, Portier in story and in song provides first hand accounts of the exploits and adventures of his contemporaries - Finlay; Thompson; Simpson; Fraser;  McKenzie  - the first explorers and traders of the old northwest.

A decade before Lewis and Clark made their epic journey and long before the great migrations of the mid-nineteenth century, the opening of the North West was first and foremost a business enterprise. It started at the mouth of the mighty Columbia with British and American traders in the 1790's. Later commerce came overland by the traders of the North West Company and after 1820, the HBC. What came about, through give and take was a negotiated understanding and working relationship among the parties. Each retained an element of uniqueness, but assimilated changes into their own way of doing things. It was by and large a prosperous peaceful coexistence based upon the common ground of commerce.

This presentation is suitable for elementary school age through adult audiences.

Fee for this program is $300 + transportation & lodging, if outside the greater Seattle/ Tacoma/ Olympia, WA area. 

Usual program length is approximately 1 hour.


For booking information:

email or call 206-497-0049
Write: 3607 Broadmoor Dr NE, Tacoma, WA  98422

  Click Here for John's past performances











John Quincy Adams/ The 49er/ The Banjo: An American Gypsy/ Jacques Portier/ The Great Depression/ Story Telling/ Nisqually Seminar Series/ Flat Seventh/ Inquiring Mind/ About Us/ John Salicco Bio/There was a time in History/ John's Performance Calendar/ Links