LOCAL NEWS

Utah archaeologists help to restore the land of the Bear River Massacre

Oct 11, 2022, 6:54 PM | Updated: 7:38 pm

FRANKLIN COUNTY, Idaho — Some archaeologists from the University of Utah are helping prepare the site of the Bear River Massacre to be restored to what it once was.

A piece of land known for a massive tragedy is beginning to have its greater history uncovered. Something important to people like Brad Parry.

“Largely, this story has gone untold, you know, one of the largest, if not the largest, massacre in the United States history,” Parry said.

Parry is vice-chair of the Northwestern Band of the Shoshone nation. He said the work archaeologists are doing this week is helping change that.

“The first two-thirds of my life, it was always really sad to come here. We didn’t own it,” he explained. “We take a lot of pride in making sure that we keep these grounds sacred.”

Vice-chair of the Northwestern Band of the Shoshone nation, Brad Parry, on the site. (KSL TV)

Archaeologists like Dr. Brian Codding are slowly combing the land. Graduate and post-doctorates are helping, too, all from the University of Utah.

“For me personally, it’s an extreme honor to be a part of this project, and if I’m representing the University of Utah archaeological center, it’s exactly the type of work that we want to be doing,” Codding said.

It can be some slow and methodical work.

It’s hard to see what’s underneath all the grass, which is why the archaeological team will be back to make multiple passes. The tribe is using additional tools, like lidar and radar, to see what’s under the soil.

Archaeologists combing the land to find pieces of history. (KSL TV)

And they already found a few things.

“An arrowhead projectile, made out of what they call Elko flint,” said Parry showing some of the findings of the team. “This would have dated a couple of thousand years ago.”

It’s the evidence that Parry’s ancestors were coming to this winter home for the tribe long before any pioneers.

“Very significant, a very important place for us here in this spot,” he expressed.

An Elko flint arrowhead found on the site. (KSL TV)

Much more than the site of a massacre that took upwards of 400 Shoshone lives.

The land is a small piece of a sprawling history that will be shown as the tribe works to restore the river and vegetation to what it once was before settlers by removing hundreds of invasive Russian olive trees in the process.

“It helps it feel more like home. It’s helping to heal kind of those hard feelings that you know something horrible happened here,” Parry said.

As both teams start healing the land and restoring pieces of rich history, Parry is hopeful the land will be restored.

“And the peace that’s coming back out on the land is really something that we enjoy.”

KSL 5 TV Live

Local News

A former San Juan County sheriff’s deputy has been arrested on suspicion of child sex abuse. (San...

Daniel Woodruff

Former Utah sheriff’s deputy arrested in child sex abuse case

A former San Juan County sheriff’s deputy has been arrested on suspicion of child sex abuse.

2 hours ago

FILE - President Joe Biden participates in a briefing in the Oval Office of the White House, Dec. 2...

Mary Culbertson and Mark Jones

Utah leadership reacts to Biden’s decision to drop out of the 2024 presidential race

Following President Biden's announcement that he would stop his reelection campaign, leaders in Salt Lake City offered their thoughts.

4 hours ago

FILE -The Lucin Cutoff is seen in a flight over the Great Salt Lake on April 9, 2024. (Scott G Wint...

Mary Culbertson

Plane goes down in field near Great Salt Lake

A plane went down in a Weber County field. Authorities said there were no injuries.

4 hours ago

A man and young girl were injured following a motorcycle accident on Tuesday....

Mary Culbertson

One dead after semitruck, RV collided on I-70 in Grand County

One person is dead after a semitruck and an RV collided on I-70 near the Colorado border.

5 hours ago

West Valley City firefighters on the parking lot of the strip mall....

Mary Culbertson

33 Utah firefighters to deploy in Oregon through emergency compact law

Thirty-three firefighters are being deployed to Oregon through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact.

5 hours ago

Adre Seldon Jr. is pictured in his gear ahead of the Utah State University 2024 football season. (U...

Mary Culbertson

USU mourning loss of student-athlete whose body was found in Porcupine Reservoir

The body of a football player at Utah State University was found after he had been diving at a reservoir and didn't resurface.

9 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

young male technician is repairing a printer at office...

Les Olson

Unraveling the dilemma between leasing and buying office technology

Carefully weigh these pros and cons to make an informed decision that best suits your business growth and day-to-day operation. 

A kitchen in a modern farmhouse....

Lighting Design

A room-by-room lighting guide for your home

Bookmark this room-by-room lighting guide whenever you decide to upgrade your lighting or style a new home.

Photo courtesy of Artists of Ballet West...

Ballet West

The rising demand for ballet tickets: why they’re harder to get

Ballet West’s box office is experiencing demand they’ve never seen before, leaving many interested patrons unable to secure tickets they want.

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 internet safety tips for kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why printer security should be top of mind for your business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Utah archaeologists help to restore the land of the Bear River Massacre