Nez Perce Traditional Site, Wallowa Lake

Nez Perce Traditional Site, Wallowa Lake
Wallowa Lake Site
Gravesite of Old Joseph
Location: Wallowa County, Oregon, USA
Nearest city: Joseph, Oregon
Coordinates: 45°20′11.76″N 117°13′17.14″W / 45.3366°N 117.2214278°W / 45.3366; -117.2214278Coordinates: 45°20′11.76″N 117°13′17.14″W / 45.3366°N 117.2214278°W / 45.3366; -117.2214278
Built: 1877
Governing body: United States Bureau of Indian Affairs
NRHP Reference#: 89001082
Significant dates
Added to NRHP: May 5, 1989[1]
Designated NHL: May 5, 1985[2]

Wallowa Lake Site, also known as Nez Perce Traditional Site, Wallowa Lake, Chief Joseph Cemetery and Joseph National Indian Cemetery is a 5-acre (20,000 m2) Native American cemetery near Joseph, Oregon. The area was also a traditional campsite of the Nez Perce and may be archaeologically significant.

It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1985.[2][3] It is a component of the Nez Perce National Historical Park.

It is the burial place of Old Chief Joseph, the father of Chief Joseph.[4] When Old Joseph died in 1871, he had a traditional burial at the forks of the Lostine and Wallowa rivers.[5] In 1886 his grave was desecrated by local property owners and his skull was removed as a souvenir.[5] In 1926, the remains of the elder Chief Joseph were reburied. His grave is marked by a tall stone marker bearing the legend, "To The Memory of Old Chief Joseph, Died 1870." The cemetery is a sacred place for the Nez Perce people.[5]

See also


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