• bible sitting next to a teapot

    Whitman Mission

    National Historic Site Washington

The Mission Site: What Came After

Dirt mound in foreground. House can be seen in background.
Small mound is the Great Grave. Reverend Cushing Eell's home can be seen in the background. Photo taken circa 1860.
NPS photo
 

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.
Experiences of the Captives
Release of the Captives

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.

 
Looking down onto the monument grounds today. Pond, lawn, and trees are easily seen.
Looking down from the top of the hill. Dr. Whitman's mill pond has been repaired and filled with water. Lawn and trees cover the area where the mission buildings once stood.
NPS photo

Did You Know?

singing sparrow

Over 200 different species of birds can be found at Whitman Mission National Historic Site. A large proportion of these are migratory and wintering birds indicating the importance of the 139-acre parcel as a stop over for those species. More...