Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla receive battle site land

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The Frenchtown Historical Foundation has given 30 acres between Old Highway 12 and the Walla Walla River to the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation.

A public ceremony commemorating the transfer will be held at 1 p.m. Monday at the site where the St. Rose of Lima Mission Church was located. A reception will follow at the new Frenchtown Shelter on the upper portion of the site.

The Tribes will manage the land in cooperation with the Foundation as part of the larger Frenchtown Historic Site located two miles west of the Whitman Mission, foundation Secretary Dan Clark said in a release.

The upper portion of the Frenchtown Historic Site consists of 27 acres replanted to native grasses and includes the Frenchtown cemetery, a new interpretive shelter, trails and interpretive signage administered by the Frenchtown foundation. That portion of the site is open to the public daily, dawn to dusk with no admission charge.

The whole site is part of the Battle of Walla Walla, which took place in 1855 between local tribes and militiamen of the Oregon Mounted Volunteers. Walla Walla Chief Peopeomoxmox and others on both sides were killed in the four-day conflict. For more information go to the Foundation's website, email frenchtownpartners@charter.net, or call 509-629-0044.

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