Sand Creek Observes Massacre Anniversary
November 29, 2013 marks
the 149th anniversary of the massacre of over 200 Cheyenne
and Arapaho men, women, and children along the banks of the Big Sandy
Creek in southeastern Colorado. Known today as the Sand Creek Massacre,
this dark chapter in history of the United States will be commemorated
at the Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site (NHS) on Friday,
November 29, 2013.
Gates will open at 7am
for visitors wishing to access the Monument Hill Overlook shortly after
sunrise. “We invite the public to visit the site and have an opportunity
to contemplate the incomprehensible events that unfolded here at sunrise
on this date 149 years ago. This is a special, quiet time for those who
wish to pay respects to those who lost their lives on that unforgettable
day in our nation’s history,” said Alexa Roberts, Superintendent of the
Sand Creek Massacre NHS.
Beginning at 8am, park
staff will present an interpretive program about the Sand Creek Massacre
at the Monument Hill Overlook. Visitors are encouraged to dress warmly
for this 40 minute program. Outside temperatures in November can range
from the lower 30’s in the mornings to upper 50’s in the afternoons.
At 1pm, park staff will
offer a narrated walking tour beginning at the picnic area and ending at
the top of Monument Hill Overlook. This one hour program will discuss
events contributing to and culminating with the attack at Sand Creek.
Entrance into the park
and all interpretive programs are free to the public. Restroom
facilities and parking are available at the Visitor Contact Station and
Monument Hill parking area. The Visitor Contact Station and park
bookstore will open at 8am.
To learn more contact Sand Creek Massacre National
Historic Site call (719) 438-5916 or go to
The Sand Creek Massacre National Historic
Site was authorized by Public Law 106-465 on November 7, 2000 to
recognize the national significance of the massacre in American history,
and its ongoing significance to the Cheyenne and Arapaho people and
descendents of the massacre victims.
President Bush Signed the Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Ste
bill Tuesday August 2,2005
MASSACRE NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE
Dedicated as the 391st unit of the nation’s National Park system
April 28, 2007
Sand Creek Massacre NHS Park Switches to
The Sand Creek Massacre
National Historic Site will change to its winter schedule beginning
Monday, December 2, 2013. The park will be open Monday through Friday,
9:00 am through 4:00 pm and closed on weekends. This schedule will
remain in effect through March 31, 2014.
The park will be closed on Christmas Day and New
Weekend guided tours of the park can be arranged in
advance, when staffing permits, by contacting the park Administrative
Headquarters at (719) 438-5916. Entrance to the Sand Creek Massacre NHS
For additional information, please contact the Sand
Creek Massacre National Historic Site at 719-438-5916 or 719-729-3003.
The Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site (NHS)
Establishment of the NHS, to help preserve and commemorate the
site of the 1864 Sand Creek Massacre, was authorized by Public Law
106-465, in November, 2000.
In the summer of 2005, Public Law 109-45 authorized the Secretary of
Interior to accept trust responsibility for 1465 acres within the site,
currently owned by the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma.
This area, the former ‘Dawson Ranch’, was acquired by the Tribes in
Title work to convey this land from the tribes to the United
States has been completed. The Secretary of Interior
formally establish the Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site April
28, 2007. Initially, the NHS includes about 2,400 acres.
Currently, the National Park Service (NPS) is working to understand and
protect the site’s natural and cultural resources. Through various
partnerships, the NPS has initiated wildfire prevention and management
efforts, environmental history and stewardship projects, plant and
animal species inventories, and other projects. The NPS has worked
closely with Kiowa County, the Northern and Southern Cheyenne and
Arapaho Tribes, the Public Lands Corps, the Rocky Mountain Bird
Observatory, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, the Colorado
State University Cooperative Extension Service, and Northern and
Southern Cheyenne tribal fire crews.
Through the Rocky Mountain
Cooperative Ecosystems Studies Unit, which partners university
researchers with federal land management needs, the site has received
assistance from the University of Colorado, Colorado State University,
the University of Montana, Utah State University, and the University of
The Sand Creek Massacre is one of Colorado’s most profound historic
events. The legacy of the attack and its aftermath has
reverberated throughout the west for more than a century. The
Indian Campaign which culminated at Sand Creek, involved several
Regiments of Colorado Volunteers.
Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site
For additional Information
Photo Provided by
P.O. Box 249
Eads, CO 81036
The Sand Creek Massacre site, located near the town of
Chivington, is one of Colorado's most controversial historical events.
The legacy of the attack and its aftermath has
reverberated throughout the west for more than a century. The Indian
Campaign which culminated at Sand Creek, involved several Regiments of
Before the five-day ride down the Arkansas, the
volunteers were joined by Colonel John Chivington. After a stop at Fort
Lyon, where the troops were augmented by additional by a battalion of
the Colorado 1st and a detachment of New Mexico Infantry commanded by
Major Scott Anthony, the command began an all-night ride to Sand Creek.
The Cheyenne and Arapaho people
believed they were under the protection of the U.S. Army
were winter camped along the north bank of Big Sandy Creek. There were about 100
lodges of Cheyenne and a few lodges of Arapaho, about 500 people total. The village consisted mainly of
women, children and the old. Many of the men were away seeking food, at the time of
The assault on the camps of Chiefs Black Kettle, White
Antelope, Bear Tongue, Spotted Crow and others extended for several miles along
the valley of the Big Sandy began in the early morning hours of November 29.1864. By the end of the day around 150 Cheyenne and Arapaho
The Coloradans also suffered, with several dozen
casualties in killed and wounded, including some 13 commissioned and
Atrocities committed by some soldiers, and questions
surrounding the attack, resulted in a military inquiry and several Congressional
investigations. These Investigations labeled the attack a massacre, and
condemned the role of Colonel Chivington.
Efforts by the NPS to locate the Sand Creek Massacre site began in 1998 when
Congress passed the Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site Study Act. Using
a range of research, including archeology, historical documentation and tribal
traditional methods, a boundary roughly 5 miles in length and 2 miles wide was
identified. In 2001, the “core” of this area, about 7,500 acres, was added to
the National Register of Historic Places.
According to the Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site
Establishment Act of 2000, the park unit was established for the following
reasons (NPS 2000a):
• To protect and preserve the site, including the topographic
features that the Secretary determines are important to the site; artifacts and
other physical remains of the Sand Creek Massacre; and the cultural landscape of
the site, in a manner that preserves, as closely as practicable, the cultural
landscape of the site as it appeared at the time of the Sand Creek Massacre; and
• To interpret the natural and cultural resource values
associated with the site and to provide for public understanding and
appreciation of, and preserve for future generations, those values; and
• To memorialize, commemorate, and provide information to visitors to the
site to enhance cultural understanding about the site; and to assist in
minimizing the chances of similar incidents in the future.
Alden Miller -
the Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site.
You may contact the Sand Creek
offices at 910 Wansted, P.O. Box 249,Eads, Colorado 81036 Phone
719-438-5916 -719-729-3003 . The parks
official website is