Our blog is to keep family and friends informed of our motorhome journeys.
We have dreamed of this for many years and finally our dream has come true.
We are looking forward to many happy miles ahead.
One's destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things. Henry Miller.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Nez Perce NHP and Points Beyond

21 June 2017

Our main purpose for visiting Idaho was to explore the Lewis and Clark travel through here and to study the Nez Perce history  following the trails of both. This will almost complete our following of the expedition from Harper's Ferry to Cape disappointment in WA. We have visited most of the Discovery Centers and walked in their paths.

The Nez Perce (Nimiipu) meaning "the people" settled in the prairies and river valleys of north Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington. Today there are 38 sites commemorating the legends and history and their interaction with other Native Americans, traders, soldiers,missionaries, settlers miners and explorers. The entire trail through the 4 states is over 1,000 miles.

The Nez Perce moved their camps with the changing of the seasons. The women were responsible for setting up and taking care of the tipi. As explorers, trappers, missionaries, soldiers and settlers moved into their area,  anxious to avoid conflict, a treaty was signed in 1855 that created a large reservation. However, in 1863 following the discovery of gold on the reservation, a new treaty was forced upon them that reduced their land to 1/10th the size. This led to the Nez Perce War of 1877. After the war many were relocated.

Our stops today included the Nez Perce NHP south on Hwy 95 and the Spalding Mission Site below the Visitor Center. The museum features many artifacts and displays concerning the Nez Perce. I  couldn't resist buying a cute Husky Dog to keep on the console.

View of Hills from Visitor Center

Nez Perce Tipi

Vistor Center

My Traveling Friend

We then toured the Spalding Site which the Nez Perce called home for thousands of years. It is a beautiful setting on the Clearwater River. It was here in 1836 that Henry and Eliza Spalding settled and established a mission. They remained here until 1847. As you walk the grounds you can see several remaining structures and the cemetery.


The Indian Agency occupied the site from 1860 to 1904 when they moved to Fort Lapwai. After they left several homesteads were established. The Green House is where the Superintendent lived. Watson's Store opened for business in 1910-1965.Across from the store is Spalding Church.

Agent's Residence

After touring the site we had our picnic lunch and continued down Hwy 95 to visit other sites. Our next stop was the site of Fort Lapwai and the only remaining structure, Officer's Quarters closed to the public and in disrepair.The fort was built in 1862. It was here in 1877 that General Howard met the non treaty Nez Perce chiefs and ordered them to bring their  families and livestock to Lapwai in 30 days or the Army would comply by force. The chiefs argued that this timeline was impossible and asked for an extension and were refused. This led to conflict with lives lost on both sides. Some tribe members were held in a Stockade in Vancouver, WA others fled to other areas including Canada.

Our final stop of the day was St Joseph's Mission  established in 1847 by Father Joseph Cataldo. This was the first Roman Catholic Mission among the Nez Perce.

I have very strong feelings on the treatment of the Native Americans. They occupied this land for over 10,000 years and to have it taken away with  greed and treaties made and broken is wrong.

Our drive today passed several canola fields. This is beautiful country with the rolling hills and mountains.

Returning to Lewiston and Clarkson we stopped by the Lewis & Clark Visitor Center and park.
This is one of the smaller Lewis and Clark Centers we have toured.

Snake River

Story About Old Toby

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