Wednesday, May 21, 2008

{The Savage WEST}

On Monday night, my son, Kaleb informed me that his class needed another parent to attend their school field trip the next day. I had somehow missed the sign up sheet to volunteer and was thrilled to be part of the adventure! Care to join us? OK come on – keep reading and learn some very interesting facts about the savage west.
What to pack:
Rain gear, warm clothing, walking shoes, a sack lunch and a spirit of adventure!

Whitman Mission
Walla Walla, Washington

(National Historic Site)

Back in 1836 five missionaries made the long trek across America for the Oregon Territory. Two of them were a newly married couple – Marcus & Narcissa Whitman. Marcus had 6 weeks of education and was a Doctor. (Amazing how things have changed!) Narcissa wanted to come out west so badly that she agreed to marry Marcus without having met him. Their honeymoon was their journey to the west. Narcissa was one of the first white women to ever set foot in Oregon and Washington.

The reason for their journey was due to the Indians requesting a copy of the White man’s religious book (The Bible) and they wanted to learn what it said. So these missionaries agreed to come to the west to meet the Indians and teach them of the white man’s ways and about the Bible.

Marcus and Narcissa set up the Whitman Mission and had a lot of interaction with the warlike Cayuse Indians. They were not as receptive to the Bible’s teachings or the ways of the white people as was hoped.

(Covered wagon like the ones used long ago)
The kids loved seeing this ...

{Tragedy Strikes}
This is the Great Grave at the Mission where the 14 people killed are remembered

After episodes of illness and other hardships, the Cayuse Indians attacked the Whitman Mission (known as the Whitman massacre) killing 14 people (including the Whitmans). There is a monument at the Center that stands way high on a hill. It is beautiful and you hike up to it. Once at the top you can look out over the place where the mission used to be. I couldn’t help imaging what it must have been like to live in such hard times. I am always amazed when I learn or visit places of our past how strong and brave our pioneer anscestors were. They inspire me.

It was a really cold, rainy day and as we toured the site, pelicans flew above us ...

Cheers to history and the past that we LEARN from ...
Thanks for joining us!!

PS -
I really enjoyed the field trip and would encourage any who visit Walla Walla to make this part of the trip. Tid bit: The elementary school I attended was called – Marcus Whitman Elementary. It’s nice to know I attended a school named after such a good, brave man!

Whitman Mission web site -


Alyson said...

Thanks for taking us along on a cool field trip. I don't know how people managed to get by back then. It makes me feel quite spoiled.

Jayci said...

Great trip! That is so fun that you got to spend some time together like that. I love it!