Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Drumheller Springs

My sister Kim at Drumheller Springs.
Copyright © 2006 Barry G. Moses.

Flowers near Drumheller Springs.
Copyright © 2006 Barry G. Moses.

Several months ago my sister moved into a new house, but I only got around to seeing her new place today. I know, we're all too busy these days.

As it turns out, her new house is just down the road from an ancient cultural site: Drumheller Springs. Of course, the site received its current name less than 200 years ago. Who knows what people called it before? Thousands of years before my Spokane Tribal ancestors made contact with European settlers, travelers camped near the spring to rest from their journey. A major trail extended from Spokane Falls and passed by Drumheller Springs before continuing north all the way past the present-day Canadian border. The site was important enough to host the first western style school built by Spokane Garry after he returned from the Red River School in the 1820s or 30s. In fact, my great aunt once told me the site was still actively used as recently as 1930. She remembered camping there as a little girl. Her family used to ride buck-board wagons from Wellpinit and then camp at the springs before going into town for shopping. She remembered staying in a tepees on the field just above the hill before the Spokane city limits estended that far. If I remember correctly, my high school art teacher once told me her father used to live below the spring and remembered visiting the Indian people camped there.

My sister's family and my family walked to the spring and talked about the historical significance of this place. We had a wonderful visit.

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