Former congressional candidate Darren Parry of Providence will discuss ongoing effort of the Northwestern Band of the Shoshone Nation to restore the site of the Bear River Massacre in Hyrum on Saturday, Jan. 8.

HYRUM – Throughout this month, the Hyrum City Museum is joining the members of the Northwest Band of the Shoshone Nation in commemorating the 159th anniversary of the tragic Bear River Massacre.

Mayor Stephanie Miller explains that, in recognition of that tribes’ continuous membership in the Cache Valley community, the Hyrum Museum is honored to focus its January programming on the current Shoshone efforts to reclaim the massacre site.

That programming will lead off at 11 a.m. Saturday with a presentation by local icon Darren Parry, highlighting the work by members of the northwest band to restore native species of plants at the massacre site and prepare that area for construction of an interpretive historical center.

Parry is a Providence resident, the former chairman of the Northwestern Band of the Shoshone Nation, an unsuccessful congressional candidate and author of the historical monograph The Bear River Massacre: A Shoshone History.

Other museum events scheduled during January include Back in Time activities for children from 1 to 1:30 p.m. on Jan. 25 through 27. During those events, museum volunteers will explore the beauty of the massacre site and discuss why that area made such an appealing winter camp for Shoshones back in 1863.

Museum docents will also discuss Shoshone artifacts on loan from Parry, which will be on display at the museum’s Community Exhibit until June.

The Bear River Massacre took place in present-day Franklin County on Jan. 29, 1863, when a cavalry detachment of California Volunteers attacked a Shoshone encampment gathered where Bear River and Battle Creek meet near the current site of the city of Preston. Hundreds of Shoshone men, women and children were killed in that largely one-sided engagement.

After decades of being inaccurately remembered as the Battle of Bear River, activism by descendants of Shoshone survivors of the massacre resulted in the little-known event now being recognized as possibly the deadliest unprovoked slaughter of Native Americans on the U.S. frontier.

The site of the Bear River Massacre was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1990. The Northwestern Band of the Shoshone Nation acquired the site in 2008 with the intent of raising a monument there to the victims of the massacre.

Tribal leaders have since revised their plans to raise an interpretive facility at the site that they refer to as Boa Ogoi. Parry is heading the fundraising campaign for that effort.

The public is invited to the museum activities throughout January and encouraged to practice usual COVID-19 safety precautions.

The Hyrum museum is located in the basement of the city library at 50 West Main St. in Hyrum.

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