Friends of Bear Paw, Big Hole & Canyon Creek Battlefields

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New Visitation Hours at Big Hole National Battlefield

  Welcome, visitors of History Channel after viewing Battle of the Big Hole, February 3.

Spring has arrived at Big Hole







Holding a unique place in our nation’s collective memory, the Nez Perce War of 1877 was unlike any other Indian war in American frontier history.  Chief Joseph and his people displayed remarkable skill and tenacity as they fought the U.S. Army over a distance of about 1,500 miles through what are now four states, including the newly established Yellowstone National Park. The courageous and almost chivalrous manner in which the Nez Perce conducted their side of the war created an unusual sympathy for their cause by a large portion of the American public even during the time of the war, a sympathy that was expressed as well by many of the army pursuers.

Chief Joseph -- photo courtesy National Archives

The final destination for the Nez Perce was Canada where they hoped to find shelter with Sitting Bull’s people.  During their long journey they fought at least three major battles with the army, the sites of which have been designated by the National Park Service as important components of the Nez Perce National Historical Park.

Jon James, NPS Former Superintendent of the Battlefields and the board of directors of the Friends of Bear Paw, Big Hole and Canyon Creek Battlefields are pleased to announce the organization of a non-profit association that will operate under a Memorandum of Agreement with the National Park Service.  The Friends will support NPS management programs and objectives relating to these battle sites through monetary support, membership activities, and other events.

The website begins with narratives of the Big Hole, Bear Paw, and Canyon Creek Battlefields.  In addition, you will find photographs of events at the 125th anniversary of the Big Hole Battlefield held by the National Park Service in August 2002 and messages from the Superintendent of the Battlefields and the Friends’ President.

Photos courtesy of the National Park Service


Montana Units of Nez Perce National Historical Parks Has a New Superintendent

On September 19, 2004 Tami DeGrosky started work as the Superintendent of the Big Hole National Battlefield, Camas Meadows, Canyon Creek and Bear Paw Battlefield sites of the Nez Perce National Historical Park. Tami and her husband Mike moved back to the west after spending three years working in Wisconsin.

A graduate of the University of Montana School of Forestry, DeGrosky has worked for the National Park Service for 22 years. She started her career in Glacier National Park working as a laborer on the road crew.  Before she left Glacier DeGrosky had been hired as an equipment operator and worked on the spring opening of Logan Pass for several years. 

In 1995 Tami and Mike moved to Grand Teton National Park where Tami became the first woman Road Crew Foreman in Grand Teton.  At that time Mike ended his career with the State of Montana, Department of Natural Resources fire program to start a consulting business.  Specializing in wild land and structural fire consulting Mike is mobile and successfully moves the business to accommodate Tami’s career.

In 2001 Tami was hired as the Facility Manager for the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore in Bayfield Wisconsin.  The Apostle Islands offered DeGrosky a chance to acquire management skills and experience in a park that has not only wonderful natural resources but extensive cultural resources.  In addition Tami was able to work with the local Anashanabe (Chippewa) Indians and learn the history of the Anashanabe and Lake Superior.  

Tami and Mike currently live on site at the Big Hole National Battlefield which is park headquarters for the Montana Units of the Nez Perce National Historical Park. 

Please read Tami's message to The Friends' members.  

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