The Mission Site: What Came After
Period of Captivity: At the end of eleven years endeavor among the Cayuses, Marcus and Narcissa Whitman and eleven others were killed at Waiilatpu in the autumn of 1847. The Cayuses made captives of the surviving whites, ransoming them one month later.
Later Occupants: Depending on a few turns of fate, the site may instead today be a college, a farm, a ranch, a church, or even downtown Walla Walla. More . . .
Making a Memorial: Mr. Gray had strained relations with the Whitmans while they were alive, but after their deaths he devoted his remaining years to establishing a memorial in their honor. Unfortunately, he died before it was completed. More . . .
A National Monument: Established as a unit of the National Park Service in 1936. Today, over 60,00 people visit the site annually. The park is at the cutting edge of "green" practices and is an important haven for birds and other wildlife.
Did You Know?
In the fall of 1842 Dr. Whitman decided to travel from Waiilatpu to Boston. He wanted to convince the board members to keep his mission station open. Dr. Whitman was in such a hurry when he left that he forgot his compass.