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MEEKER | Bring your friends and family to visit one of Meeker’s iconic historical sites during the July 4 Range Call celebration. Jay Sullivan will be providing a guided tour that lasts about two hours. Just show up on July 3 at 10 a.m. at the White River Museum where you can you drive your own vehicle or carpool. The tour is free but donations that contribute to site maintenance are always welcome.
Why visit this site?
The Milk Creek Battle Site preserves the longest encounter in the United States between American soldiers and American Indians. Although history often emphasizes the mantra of “western destiny,” the reality is that these lands had already been given to the Ute Indians. The saga of the ensuring battle relates some harsh stories of American history from 140 years ago.
This tour will tell you a bit about Nathaniel Meeker for whom the town of Meeker is named. Come hear the full story and then decide if he deserved this naming honor.
Upon entering the overview of the battle site you will be welcomed by a stunning metal gate where Indians are depicted on one side and U.S. cavalry on the other. Here is an outstanding piece of art honoring both sides of this battle. You will also find a beautiful gazebo with benches along with memorials to both Ute Indian warriors and American soldiers.
2019 marks the first year signs are being installed that honor those who died and tell the story of a significant battle between whites and Indians in American western history.
Hopefully you will appreciate all the effort that has gone into preserving this spot of history with more than 30 years of research, fundraising, and constancy of purpose for creating a historical monument. Countless people have contributed time, funding, research, and outreach to preserve this spot of history. Thanks to the Rio Blanco Historical Society and all who contributed to its preservation work.
By KAYE SULLIVAN | Special to the Herald Times