There’s a lot of history in this area, as you would imagine, and this will be your history lesson for today. Lewis and Clark camped just above the mouth of the Niobrara River. There are memorials to the explorers and the American Indians who were forced from their home in this area.
Here’s a picture of where the Niobrara and Missouri Rivers meet:
The town Niobrara is one of the oldest in Nebraska, and in August 2006, they’ll celebrate their 150th anniversary. The town has actually been relocated twice because of flooding waters. The latest move was in the 1970s. They moved a whole town? I’ve heard of that happening, but I’ve never actually been in a place where it happened.
Here’s a picture of the town from one of the hilltops in the park:
The Ponca Indians made their home in Niobrara before they were forced to move to Oklahoma, the Ponca Trail of Tears. Chief Standing Bear made a famous trek back to Nebraska to bury his son. The Chief Standing Bear Memorial Bridge crosses the Missouri River to link Nebraska and South Dakota.
Here’s a picture of where the Ponca lived:
Here’s a picture of the memorial bridge:
This area is also known for being where Mormons wintered with the Ponca Indians. Ten Mormons died during that winter, including Mormon leader Newel Knight, and there is a monument marking their graves.
Here are some other random pictures of the area:
A 15-star flag down by the Missori River:
Trail Riders in the Park:
Another pic of the Missori River:
Coming up next, a day trip to the Ashfall Fossil Beds!