Lehi Museum Unveils New Bear River Massacre Mural

Jan 19, 2021

Credit Hutchings Museum

A new mural depicting the Bear River Massacre was unveiled in Lehi over the weekend.


“The story’s always been told from the white settlers’ point of view, and we have an opportunity now as we're working with the tribes and really tell the Native American story in Utah from the Native American point of view,” said Daniela Larsen, the executive director of the Hutchings Museum and Institute.

The museum hopes to showcase more Native American history with a new mural they unveiled on Saturday. The mural depicts the Bear River Massacre, an attack by the United States Army on a Shoshone settlement in 1863. The mural is a collaboration between local artist Rick Kennington and Darren Parry, the chairman of the Shoshone Nation.

Few other visual depictions of the massacre exist, as far as Larsen is aware, and the mural is unique in that it shows the moments before the attack.

“It's actually chief Sagwitch on his horse by the river, and you see the army coming. [They] really wanted to capture the fact that this was a peaceful village in the early morning hours. It captures the moments before the attack, so that it can lead into the conversation about what happened,” Larsen said.

To further shine a spotlight on local Native American history, the museum plans to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the United States with an expansion in 2026.

“To really celebrate that year, our hope is to really capture a picture of what Utah was like in 1776. It's going to be a lot more about Native American culture and what was happening here. We still have a lot of the Native American collection to go through, and we're always looking for anthropology or archaeology interns and things like that,” Larsen said.

The Hutchings Museum is currently open by appointment. For more information about the museum and how to schedule an appointment, visit johnhutchingsmuseum.org.