Bear River Massacre memorial set for Tuesday

In this Jan. 29, 2010 photo, the National Historic Landmark where the Northwestern Shoshone suffered a massacre in 1863 is seen near Preston, Idaho. Tribal members descend each year to the burial ground near the Bear River where soldiers felled hundreds of their ancestors in one of American history's bloodiest but little remembered massacres. (AP Photo/Jessie L. Bonner)

Members of the Northwest Band of the Shoshone Tribe will gather north of Preston, Idaho at 11:00 a.m. Tuesday, to commemorate the 156th anniversary of the Bear River Massacre.

Patty Timbimboo-Madsen, the cultural resource manager for the Northwestern Band of the Shoshone Nation, says there are some pretty impressive people coming to this year’s Bear River Massacre memorial ceremony.

“Idaho Governor Brad Little, Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes are two that will speaking tomorrow,” says Timbimboo-Madsen. “So far, we have invited 139 people and all have confirmed they would be there and that doesn’t include members of the tribe that usually come.”

On a bitterly cold morning of January 29, 1863, Col. Patrick Edward Conner and about 200 California volunteers attacked the winter camp of the Northwestern Shoshone in the area near Preston along the Bear River.

The soldiers brutally killed more than 300 men, women and children. They burned homes, stole Indians’ supplies and walked away with their horses, according to historians.

The Bear River Massacre was the single greatest loss of Indian lives in American History.

The memorial is open to the public and is located at the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers Historical Marker on Highway 91, north of Preston, at milepost 13.1.

Cache Valley Daily reporter Rod Boam contributed to this report

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1 Comment

  • Warren s Pugh January 28, 2019 at 9:08 pm Reply

    Very impressed to see this. It has been developing slowly but surely. Thanks for writing this story.. At ‘that’ time the press let it die. Reminds me of a few more well kept secrets from the press. Though the Muslim cop who killed the Australian woman near two years has gone to trial there has not been a peep. Blame Keith Ellison> Perhaps not, but where is the story. There has not been a word about the 1980 Resettlement Act and the states that are suing the state department for failure to monetarily sustain the program in the states. See you Tuesday. Not sure what time sso will leave early.

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