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.