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Centennial of monument marking Battle of Pine Creek spurs Rosalia event

A 25-foot granite column commemorating the Battle of Pine Creek at Rosalia, Washington, is 100 years old this month.

The Esther Reed Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution in conjunction with the town of Rosalia will lay a wreath at the base of the column on Saturday.

The ceremony will immediately follow the 11 a.m. Rosalia Battle Days Parade.

The town and DAR chapter dedicated the monument on June 14, 1914, years after the 1858 battle between Col. Edward Steptoe and his Army forces and a large contingent of Native Americans from several Columbia Plateau tribes.

DAR chapter Regent Christeen Olson will lead the ceremony at the monument in Steptoe Battlefield State Park, a 4-acre day-use area in Rosalia at the site where the fight was waged.

The park is situated on the south side of Rosalia off South Summit Avenue.

The Esther Reed Chapter spearheaded the research and donation efforts to create the monument and the park with the help of local residents, according to chapter members.

In the battle, Steptoe departed from Fort Walla Walla on May 6, 1858, on an excursion to the Colville area as a way to discourage Native American harassment of settlers.

The troops were confronted by tribal forces on May 16 at present-day Rosalia. As many as 1,200 Indians streamed into the area. Fighting started as Steptoe attempted to retreat on May 17. Under cover of darkness late that night and the next morning, the Army force escaped to the south and Fort Walla Walla.

Seven Army personnel from Steptoe’s group of 160 soldiers were killed. Tribal forces lost nine to 15 fighters.

In addition to the monument ceremony, local historian Glenn Leitz will receive the national DAR Historic Preservation Award for his efforts in Spokane and Whitman counties to relocate and preserve the 1904 Prairie View School on a new site in Waverly.

The school had been listed as endangered by the Washington State Trust for Historic Schools. The school was moved last fall.