Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site

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Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site
Sand creek 1985.jpg
The site, July 1985
Map showing the location of Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site
Map showing the location of Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site
Map showing the location of Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site
Map showing the location of Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site
LocationKiowa County, Colorado, United States
Nearest cityEads, CO
Coordinates38°32′27″N 102°31′43″W / 38.54083°N 102.52861°W / 38.54083; -102.52861Coordinates: 38°32′27″N 102°31′43″W / 38.54083°N 102.52861°W / 38.54083; -102.52861
Area12,583 acres (50.92 km2)[1]
EstablishedApril 27, 2007 (2007-April-27)
Visitors5,701 (in 2019)[2]
Governing bodyNational Park Service
WebsiteSand Creek Massacre National Historic Site

Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site is a National Historic Site in Kiowa County, Colorado, commemorating the Sand Creek Massacre that occurred here on November 29, 1864. The site is considered sacred after the unprovoked assault on an encampment of approximately 750 Native people resulted in the murder of hundreds of men, women and children. Near Eads and Chivington, the site is about 170 miles (270 km) southeast of Denver and about 125 miles (200 km) east of Pueblo. A few basic park facilities have been opened at this site.

Entrance sign for Sand Creek Massacre NHS

In 1999, archaeological teams from the National Park Service, Dept. of the Interior BLM, Colorado Historical Society and accompanied by Native American observers, made a major archaeological discovery of remains of the massacre site. Large numbers of period bullets, camp equipment, and other items convinced the NPS that they had found the correct site.

Sand Creek massacre site

The Historical Site was authorized by Public Law 106-465 on November 7, 2000, in order to "recognize the national significance of the massacre in American history, and its ongoing significance to the Cheyenne and Arapaho people and the descendants of the massacre victims." The law authorized establishment of the site once the National Park Service acquired sufficient land from willing sellers to preserve, commemorate, and interpret the massacre. The site near the junction of County Road 54 and County Road "W" was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on September 28, 2001. The site contains a small visitor center, interpretive plaques and signage, monuments located on a hilltop overlooking the massacre site, and two walking trails.[3] The massacre site itself is off-limits to visitors.

On August 2, 2005, President George W. Bush gave final approval for the site. On April 23, 2007 it was announced that site would become America's 391st official park unit[4] with an effective date of April 27, 2007.[5] The dedication ceremony was held on April 28, 2007.[6] In October 2022, leaders from the Northern Arapaho Tribe, the Northern Cheyenne Tribe, the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes along with descendants of some of the massacre’s victims and survivors joined Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland at the site as she announced the purchase of an additional 3,478 acres (1,407 ha).[7] The area included lands listed on the National Register of Historic Places for their significance. Archaeological remains include evidence of the village where Cheyenne and Arapaho families were camped, along with an intact viewshed that is key to the integrity of the site.[8] The expansion of the site contributed to one of the most intact shortgrass prairie ecosystems within the National Park system, providing habitat for a wide range of plants, wildlife and species of special concern.[9]

Currently the site encompasses 12,583 acres (50.92 km2) of which 2,385 acres (9.65 km2) are federally owned.[1][needs update] By 2004 the federal government acquired 920 acres (3.7 km2) from private land owners. On September 9, 2006 the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma conveyed to the United States title to 1,465 acres (6 km2) to be held in trust for the National Historic Site.[5] The site includes 640 acres (260 ha) acquired and preserved by the American Battlefield Trust and its partners.[10]

References[edit]

Public Domain This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the National Park Service.

  1. ^ a b "Listing of acreage – December 31, 2011" (XLSX). Land Resource Division, National Park Service. Retrieved March 19, 2012. (National Park Service Acreage Reports)
  2. ^ "NPS Annual Recreation Visits Report". National Park Service. Retrieved March 19, 2012.
  3. ^ Sand Creek Massacre Site Pamphlet. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office. 2017.
  4. ^ U.S. Dept. of Interior. "Secretary Kempthorne Creates Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site". Retrieved May 2, 2007.
  5. ^ a b Dirk Kempthorne (Federal Register Volume 72, Number 81, pp. 21048-21049). "Notice of Establishment of the Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site". Archived from the original on May 9, 2012. Retrieved May 2, 2007.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  6. ^ National Park Service. "Sand Creek Massacre NHS Dedication, Schedule of Events" (PDF). Retrieved May 2, 2007.
  7. ^ Cooke, Kyle (October 5, 2022). "Sand Creek Massacre site expands by nearly 3,500 acres". Rocky Mountain PBS. Retrieved October 9, 2022.
  8. ^ Langmaid, Virginia (October 9, 2022). "The Sand Creek Massacre site will be expanded to preserve Native American tribes' sacred land". CNN. Retrieved October 9, 2022.
  9. ^ "Secretary Haaland Commits to Telling America's Story at Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site" (Press release). October 5, 2022. Retrieved October 9, 2022.
  10. ^ [1] Land Saved by the American Battlefield Trust, accessed May 18, 2018.

External links[edit]