They Passed the Mountains

This site was the camp of the Chief Moses band of Sinkiuse Indians near Ephrata, Washington. It was one of their most important camps as it was used for trading with other tribes from across the Rocky Mountains.

They used this camp in the late spring and early summer. Then, the Rocky Ford Creek was full. The other side of the creek was reserved for guests, usually from Montana.

This rock in particular was about 300 feet south of Chief Moses’ lodge. It also marked the starting line for their race track. From here, it headed north (the direction in which the camera was pointed) to about the horizon. It then doubled back, hugging closer to the ridge.

Upon this rock the tribes would place their bets and conduct regular trade – one buffalo hide for a horse.

One of the last to remember these meetings and races was Billy Curled, a chief of the Moses Band in 1940s. In 1946, he took a forest ranger on a tour of various sites.

“The rock is still here,” he observed, “but the people have gone.”


‘They Passed the Mountains’

Camera: Crown Graphic 4×5 (1962)
Lens: 127mm f/4.7 Rodenstock Ysarex
Film: Kodak Commercial Internegative Film (4325) (x-09/04); 15iso
Process: C-41

Rocky Ford Creek, Grant County, Washington

Rocky Ford Creek, Grant County, Washington


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