Pioneer Historic Byway
Bear River Massacre Site (ID)
This now peaceful valley is the site of one of the most tragic meetings of two cultures that the United States ever experienced. At 1 am on January 29, 1863, an infantry of soldiers with all their weapons moved through the snow drifts into position to attack a band of 450 Shoshoni men, women, and children that had camped along the banks of the Bear River. The troops began the attack at the crack of dawn just as the Shoshoni were lighting their first campfires. The Shoshoni lost nearly 275 people due to this attack by the California Volunteers.
The site was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1990 and is being considered for National Monument status. Currently, there is a pullout marked by a stone monument. Several brass plaques and markers relate the history of the event. As of 2006, an overlook, with parking, pathway, and interpretive signs, is now in place across the Bear River.
- Public domain. Photo by A. E. Crane