Battle of Beecher Island, Wray, Colorado

beecher island monument base

Base of the Beecher Island Monument

The Battle of Beecher Island, also known as the Battle of Arikaree Fork, was an armed conflict between elements of the United States Army and several of the Plains native American tribes in September 1868. Beecher Island, on the Arikaree River, then known as part of the North Fork of the Republican River, near present-day Wray, Colorado, was named afterwards for Lieutenant Fredrick H. Beecher, an army officer killed during the battle. [wikipedia]

beecher island 1917

Beecher Island As It Appeared in 1917

Annual gatherings of Beecher Island survivors were held; the photo here was taken at the 1917 reunion. Visiting this site was so strange; it played such a huge role in the Indian Wars and yet today it feels like a forgotten footnote in American history.

This is the second monument erected here; the first (built in 1905) was washed away in a 1935 flood of the Arickaree River.  The site is located on County Road KK just west of the Arickaree River bridge. To get there from Wray go south about six miles on US 385 and follow the Beecher Island signs ten more miles.

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