Welcome to the
National Society Daughters of the American Revolution

Uncompahgre Valley Chapter

 

Chief Ouray and Wife Chipeta between 1865 and 1880. Source Library of Congress
Chief Ouray and Wife Chipeta
Courtesy Library of Congress

After the conclusion of the Brunot Treaty of 1873, Ouray, subchiefs, white friends, brought to Washington. Photo taken 1874. Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division, Washington, D.C.
Chief Ouray, sub-chiefs, and white friends, brought to Washington
after the conclusion of the Brunot Treaty of 1873.

Courtesy Library of Congress

Ute Basket


Montrose, Colorado
Chipeta Spring Ceremony


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Uncompahgre Valley Chapter Dedicates
Bronze Plaque at Ute Indian Museum

Written by: Erin Smith Berge (Mrs. Patrick)
then regent and public relations chair
Uncompahgre Valley Chapter NSDAR

A new bronze plaque commemorating the 1924 land acquisition effort by the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution Uncompahgre Chapter for the establishment of the Ute Indian Museum and park was dedicated on Saturday, November 21, 2009.

The dedication took place in front of a concrete tepee, which rests over a natural spring, and will replace a painted inscription inside the teepee’s walls with a new solid bronze marker permanently mounted to a large boulder.

The local DAR chapter, which was re-chartered in 1993 and re-named “Uncompahgre Valley Chapter,” felt the original marker should be replaced due to its age and concern that it could be potentially painted over. The idea of a more permanent fixture appealed to the members who desired to preserve this historic land for future generations and forever honor the Ute Chief Ouray and his peace-loving wife, Chipeta. Several chapter members spent four years gaining approval for the new bronze marker from the national office in Washington D.C.

The inscription on the commemorative plaque reads:

In Memory of Chipeta, Wife of Chief Ouray. Teepee erected over Ouray and Chipeta’s Spring 1924 by the DAR. Permanent Marker placed by Uncompaghre Valley Chapter, NSDAR 2009.

In 1945, the land purchased by the original DAR chapter was deeded to the Colorado Historical Society. This was the beginning of the Ute Indian Museum, which now serves as a central cultural base for Ute Indians throughout the southwest and attracts thousands of tourists each year.

The plaque dedication was one part of a day-long National American Indian Heritage Month celebration, which included several other museum events and presentations sponsored by the Ute Indian Museum.

Colorado State Regent Charlotte Hubbs, Honorary State Regent Linda Sandlin, and Colorado State Historian Chris Ruth were in attendance. Mrs. Sandlin and Jane Murphy, the chapter’s current regent, were instrumental in assisting the local DAR chapter in obtaining national DAR permission to replace the memorial.

Shirley Sutphen, DAR past chapter regent and genealogy research specialist, C.J. Brafford, Ute Indian Museum Director, and Linda Smith Sandlin, Honorary State Regent, provided dedication messages. Roland McCook, second great grandson of Chipeta, President of Friends of the Ute Indian Museum, and Vice-Chairman of the Smithsonian Institution’s Native American Repatriation Review Committee, gave a special presentation.

In Mrs. Sutphen’s address, she said, “We owe these ladies [of the original chapter] dearly for their foresight, their fortitude, and their commitment.” She explained that when the local chapter was re-chartered in 1993, members began to study the projects of the original chapter, and it soon became apparent this one particular project felt unfinished and should be completed in proper fashion.

“While we truly appreciate the work of those who upgrade and paint this tepee, we feared that the inside acknowledgement could some day be covered over when painting was done to the inside of the tepee,” she said.

During the gold rush in the San Juan Mountains in the late 1800s, Chief Ouray and his wife, Chipeta traveled to Washington, D.C. to testify at land hearings. Treaty negotiations stalled after Chief Ouray died in August of 1880 and by September of 1881 the Ute Indians had lost the battle and were sent to the desert of Eastern Utah, where Chipeta died in 1924.

The following year, her body was removed and returned to Montrose, where the local chapter of the DAR purchased 8.65 acres from Ouray’s original homestead and erected a tomb for “Queen” Chipeta. This is now the site of the Ute Indian Museum and memorial park. Chipeta’s brother John McCook returned to Montrose with her body and at his death was laid to rest beside her, his grave marked by a white cross.

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We wish to express our deep appreciation to Shirley Baker Sutphen (Mrs. Earl),  who  worked for years to bring about the Chipeta Spring renovation project.  Our sincere thanks to Shirley for seeing this important project through to fruition and for making the momentous Chipeta Spring Ceremony possible.

Shirley Sutphen, Uncompahgre Valley Chapter Regent 2006-2007.

Shirley Baker Sutphen (Mrs. Earl),
(b.1935 - d.2016)
past regent 1997-1999 and 2006-2007
Uncompahgre Valley Chapter DAR
 

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~ Chipeta Spring Ceremony Photos~ 

Permanent marker placed by the Uncompahgre Valley Chapter, NSDAR, in 2009 in memory of Chipeta, wife of Chief Ouray.


Permanent marker placed by the NSDAR Uncompahgre Valley Chapter in honor of Chipeta, wife of Chief Ouray
Ute Indian Museum ~ Montrose, Colorado

2009

 

Permanent marker placed by the Uncompahgre Valley Chapter, NSDAR, in 2009 in memory of Chipeta, wife of Chief Ouray.

Inscription:

"In Memory of Chipeta
Wife of Chief Ouray
Tepee erected over
Ouray and Chipeta's Spring
1924
By the DAR
Permanent Marker placed by
Uncompaghre Valley Chapter, NSDAR"

 

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Chiptea Spring Ceremony

NSDAR Officers: (left to right)
Linda Smith Sandlin (Mrs. Larry), Colorado Honorary State Regent;
Jane Murphy, then Uncompahgre Valley Chapter regent;
Jane Newman, then Colorado state chairman of Volunteer Information Specialists;
Charlotte McKean Hubbs, then Colorado State Regent

Chipeta Spring Ceremony ~ Ute Indian Museum
Montrose, Colorado ~ 21 November 2009
 

Dedication Ceremony 21 November 2009

Roland McCook, great great grandson of Chief Ouray and Chipeta, delivers speech

Chipeta Spring Ceremony ~ Ute Indian Museum.
Montrose, Colorado ~  21 November 2009


 

Dedication Ceremony 21 November 2009

Charlotte McKean Hubbs,
NSDAR Colorado State Regent,
delivers speech at Chipeta Spring Ceremony held at the Ute Indian Museum in Montrose, Colorado,  21 November 2009
 

Dedication Ceremony 21 November 2009

Roland McCook, great great grandson of Chief Ouray and Chipeta, delivers speech at Chipeta Spring Ceremony held at the Ute Indian Museum in
Montrose, Colorado,  21 November 2009

 

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Chipeta Spring Ceremony  - 21 November 2009

(Left to right)
Shirley Baker Sutphen (Mrs. Earl),
 
(b.1935 - d.2016)
past regent 1997-1999 and 2006-2007
NSDAR Uncompahgre Valley Chapter;

Jane Murphy, NSDAR Uncompahgre Valley then Chapter regent;
Roland McCook, great great grandson of Chief Ouray and Chipeta.
Chipeta Spring Ceremony ~
Ute Indian Museum
Montrose, Colorado ~ 21 November 2009

Chipeta Spring Ceremony ~ Ute Indian Museum ~ 21 November 2009

(Left to right)
Shirley Baker Sutphen (Mrs. Earl), (b.1935 - d.2016)
past regent
1997-1999 and 2006-2007
NSDAR Uncompahgre Valley Chapter;
Roland McCook, Board of Directors,
Friends of the Ute Indian Museum;
Marsha Kirby, vice regent,
NSDAR Uncompahgre Valley Chapter
Chipeta Spring Ceremony ~
Ute Indian Museum
Montrose, Colorado ~ 21 November 2009

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Dedication Ceremony 21 November 2009

CJ Brafford, Ute Indian Museum Director,
performs on Native American flute.
Chipeta Spring Ceremony ~ Ute Indian Museum
Montrose, Colorado ~ 21 November 2009
 

Dedication Ceremony 21 November 2009

Linda Smith Sandlin (Mrs. Larry), NSDAR Colorado Honorary State Regent, delivers speech at Chipeta Spring Ceremony held at the Ute Indian Museum.
Montrose, Colorado ~ 21 November 2009

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Chipeta Springs Dedication Ceremony 21 November 2009

Jane Murphy, then NSDAR Uncompahgre Valley Chapter regent, introduces Roland McCook, great great grandson of Chief Ouray and Chipeta, who serves on the Board of Directors of the Friends of the Ute Indian Museum.
Chipeta Spring Ceremony ~ Ute Indian Museum
Montrose, Colorado ~ 21 November 2009

 

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Tepee in Montrose, Colorado honoring Chipeta, wife of Ute Chief Ouray.

Tepee prior to restoration.
 

         

Tepee inscription.
 

 

 


Original Tepee Inscription:
Erected 1924 by the DAR
In Memory of Chipeta

 


Colonial
Cannons

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