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Beebe Springs, Washington

Beebe Springs

An area along the Columbia River that was known for Indigenous settlement, fishing, and traditions. It is now a habitat for fish, birds, and wildlife. Formerly an orchard after a settlement, it is now notable wetlands, shrub-steppe habitats, and a protected area. It was first a village area by the Chelan peoples of the Columbia River over 8,000 years ago. Euro-American settlers to the area pushed out the indigenous and it eventually became an Orchard.

    Living a seasonal life

    the Chelan people who have occupied this area of the Columbia River for 8000 years lived in permanent villages and seasonally dispersed into family or small groups depending on the season and the resource being sought. Most villages, constructed of mat lodges and semi-subterranean structures were located along rivers and lakes. Usually winters were spent in the villages where people made and repaired tools and clothing, and engaged in ceremonial activities. In spring the bands would break up into smaller groups to gather plants and to fish the spring runs of salmon and steel head. In the late summer or fall, some groups would move to higher elevations to gather berries and hunt deer or elk. As settlers, miners, and homesteaders flooded the area in the 1800’s, numerous tribes and bands were forced onto the Colville Indian reservation 20 miles north. In 1998, the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation celebrated their 125th anniversary. Few native people still occupy these lands but their culture and descendants live on. Tule plant reeds were bound together with Indian hemp cordage and wrapped around pine poles to make temporary dwellings during food gathering seasons. Camas bulbs were dug in Spring. Smoker Marchand, sculptor and artist, was born a member of the Lakes Band of the Colville Confederated Tribes and raised on the Colville Reservation in north central Washington. He graduated from the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, NM where he received training in the fine arts. He now lives in Omak, WA surrounded by his children and grandchildren. He wants to preserve the history and culture of his people through the various disciplines of his artwork. ” ~ park sign at Beebe Springs, Washington.

    “Beebe Springs Natural Area: Through the efforts of many organizations and people, this former orchard is being restored to provide habitat for fish, birds, and other wildlife adjacent to the Columbia River. Over time, the wetlands, stream, and shrub-steppe habitats will become home to many species.” ~ park sign at Beebe Springs, Washington.

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