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National Historic Trails Interpretive Center
Release Date: 12/16/09
Contacts: Lesley A. Collins 307-261-7603    

Trails Center Showcases New Exhibit,
"The Sand Creek Massacre: Tragedy on the Plains"

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) National Historic Trails Interpretive Center (NHTIC or Trails Center) is showcasing a new temporary exhibit titled, "The Sand Creek Massacre: Tragedy on the Plains." The exhibit opens Jan. 5, 2010, and will continue throughout the month. The exhibit interprets the history of the massacre, along with the significance of the Sand Creek Massacre Trail.

On the morning of Nov. 29, 1864, more than 700 U.S. soldiers descended on a Plains Indian camp located along Sand Creek, in Colorado Territory. The soldiers proceeded to massacre between 150 and 200 people, mostly the elderly, women and children. This event has become one of the nation's most notorious and controversial Indian conflicts, and one of the darkest episodes in the Plains Indian wars.

Many of the Arapaho survivors traveled north and eventually settled on the Wind River Indian Reservation in Wyoming. The Sand Creek Massacre Trail links the site of the massacre in Colorado to the Northern Arapaho tribe of the Wind River Indian Reservation.

"The Sand Creek Massacre was a tragic, and often overlooked, event in western history," said Krystal Wragge, a Trails Center employee and creator of the exhibit. "At the Trails Center, we often receive questions about the Sand Creek Massacre Trail, so this exhibit will help us provide our visitors a history of the Sand Creek Massacre and the trail. The exhibit also discusses the impacts of the massacre on local history."

The Battle of Platte Bridge and the Battle of Red Buttes occurred in the Casper area, and are direct results of the Sand Creek Massacre. Lieutenant Caspar Collins was killed during the Battle of Platte Bridge. Later, Platte Bridge Station was renamed Fort Caspar, in honor of the lieutenant.

For more information, contact Alex Rose at the NHTIC, (307) 261-7780.

The NHTIC is a public-private partnership between the BLM and the National Historic Trails Center Foundation. The facility is located at 1501 N. Poplar Street, Casper, Wyo. The Center is currently operating on winter hours, and is open from Tuesday through Saturday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and is closed on Sunday through Monday.

The BLM manages more land - 253 million acres - than any other Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The Bureau, with a budget of about $1 billion, also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM's multiple-use mission is to sustain the health and productivity of the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. The Bureau accomplishes this by managing such activities as outdoor recreation, livestock grazing, mineral development, and energy production, and by conserving natural, historical, cultural, and other resources on public lands.

National Historic Trails Interpretive Center   1501 North Poplar Street      Casper, WY 82601  

Last updated: 12-29-2009