• Nez Perce National Historical Park. Front Page banner photograph is of Heart of the Monster, an ancient place where the Nez Perce creation story originates. The secondary page photograph is of Nez Perce beadwork.

    Nez Perce

    National Historical Park ID,MT,OR,WA

The Bredell Cemetery

The Bredell family cemetery is located in front of the park visitor center.

The Bredell family cemetery. The Clearwater River is in the background. The family home would be where you see the roof of the building in the background.

(Nez Perce NHP)

Long before the National Park Service came on the scene, the area that surrounds the park was a small community of Nez Perce families and non-Indian homesteaders. The land around this small family cemetery was once the home of the Bredell family. For three generations, from 1861 to 1927, the Bredells lived on a rocky terrace overlooking the Clearwater River.

By the standards of the time, the Bredells were a prosperous Nez Perce family that lived in a house surrounded by an orchard. Noah Bredell was one of the last surviving family members and grew up in a world that was changing. In his later years, he raised racehorses and owned the stables that provided horses for the U.S. Postal Service for mail deliveries up the Clearwater River valley.

There are three generations of Bredells buried in the cemetery. The last direct descendant was Rose Bredell, who died in 1926. Many of the children buried in the cemetery died of a tuberculosis epidemic that swept through the reservation in the 1920s.

Did You Know?

Josiah Redwolf, the last survivor of the 1877 Nez Perce War in 1968 with the Big Hole Superintendent. NPS Photo NEPE-HI-3044.

Josiah Red Wolf was five years old when the 1877 war began. His parents were killed at the Battle of Big Hole in Montana. He returned to Big Hole at the age of 91 to help dedicate the new visitor center in 1968.