Old Chief Joseph Gravesite

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Wallowa Lake Site
Old Joseph Gravesite.jpg
Gravesite of Old Joseph
Location Wallowa County, Oregon, USA
Nearest city Joseph, Oregon
Coordinates 45°20′11″N 117°13′20″W / 45.336360°N 117.222204°W / 45.336360; -117.222204Coordinates: 45°20′11″N 117°13′20″W / 45.336360°N 117.222204°W / 45.336360; -117.222204
Built 1877
Governing body National Park Service
NRHP Reference # 89001082
Significant dates
Added to NRHP May 5, 1989[1]
Designated NHL May 5, 1985[2]

The Old Chief Joseph Gravesite, also known as Nez Perce Traditional Site, Wallowa Lake, Chief Joseph Cemetery and Joseph National Indian Cemetery is a 5-acre (20,000 m2) Native American cemetery near Joseph, Oregon. The area was also a traditional campsite of the Nez Perce and may be archaeologically significant.

It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1985, listed as Wallowa Lake Site.[2][3] It is a component of the Nez Perce National Historical Park.

It is the burial place of Old Chief Joseph, the father of Chief Joseph.[4] When Old Joseph died in 1871, he had a traditional burial at the forks of the Lostine and Wallowa rivers.[5] In 1886 his grave was desecrated by local property owners and his skull was removed as a souvenir.[5] In 1926, the remains of the elder Chief Joseph were reburied. His grave is marked by a tall stone marker bearing the legend, "To The Memory of Old Chief Joseph, Died 1870." The cemetery is a sacred place for the Nez Perce people.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2007-01-23. 
  2. ^ a b "Wallowa Lake Site". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. Retrieved 2007-11-18. 
  3. ^ National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination: Wallowa Lake Site PDF (508 KB). National Park Service. , 19.  and Accompanying photos, exterior and interior, from 19. PDF (179 KB)
  4. ^ "Nez Perce National Historic Trail: Old Joseph's Gravesite". United States Forest Service. Retrieved 2007-11-20. 
  5. ^ a b c Nez Perce National Historic Park - Old Chief Joseph Gravesite