Indian Henry's Cemetery: Results of GPR Scan...













    Part of  the Ground Penetrating Radar Study conducted by kemp Garcia at Indian Henry's Cemetery included the above computer readout. The text accompanying the scan is: "The top reading was up to the monument and the bottom is 2.5 feet to the east. The corresponding markers are the same reading, but 2.5 feet to the east. On the bottom reading there are two additional sites indicated as burials." The black lines point to burials.

How it's Done? Kemp Garcia Works the GPR Equipment...

Photos by Dixie A. Walter

     Kemp Garcia spent several hours mapping the burial remains of Indians at Indian Henry's Cemetery on the Mashell Prairie Road. He found fourteen burials after working the site. There have been several rumors about the Indian burial site. Some went so far as to say no one was buried there and that Indian Henry wasn't there either. Although  from Garcia's discovery of the burials, it isn't possible to know which of the remains, if any, belong to the unsung Indian who offered the white settlers so much. 

Could This be Indian Henry's 
Final Resting Place?

      This photo shows a few of the stakes pounded into the ground after the GPR study was completed.  If research is accurate about the description of Indian Henry's burial place, it would fit in closely with the above stake. This burial, whoever it may have been, is right in the walkway through the newly built gate. 
      Plans are now underway to move the gate so the burial site won't be walked on.  There is far too much we don't know about Indian Henry -- Soo-Too-Lick. We don't even know what tribe he was from.  What we do know is that he was good to the new white settlers. He helped Ohop Valley settlers learn to farm the land that was new to them, and he guided the Longmire Party to Mount Rainier.  
      One of the questions asked is whether or not this Native was actually buried in the above cemetery. The late Lena Malm told children, back in the 1940s, that Indian Henry was buried there. At the time no one seemed to question where this man was buried. Mrs. Malm was very elderly when she died decades ago, but her memories weren't elderly. Otto Haynes, son of an original settler in the Ashford area, remembered going to "feasts" held by Indian Henry and his tribe. Haynes was ten-years-old when Soo-Too-Lick died in 1895.

Another View of Mapped Cemetery...

                                                  (photo by Dixie A. Walter)

      Another view after mapping the little cemetery - Stakes pounded into the ground, gently and with respect, are seen in this photo.  More stakes can be seen in the photo below. Working toward his Eagle Scout badge,  Ryan Ames, son of Richard and Cynthia Ames, and a junior at Eatonville High School, has plans to to put crosses on the graves, seed the area and restore the cemetery sign, among other things.

Does Each Stake Represent a Human Life?

     The majority of burials were found toward this area. Each stake represents a person who had hopes and dreams, who loved, laughed and cried - people buried here for so long, who have always deserved to be treated with respect. 

Mom is Very Interested in Her Son's Progress...

    Monica Ingalls stands for a moment with her son Zach. He is a kid who has already made a difference, and he's 14 years old. Zach took on a very complex, and in some aspects, controversial project, and has done a wonderful job.

Always Add a Touch of Beauty...

      Earlier, people who worked so hard physically and emotionally to make the cemetery a place of peace and tranquility, built a raised garden base for the cemetery sign, and planted flowers, which the dead deserve after all. 


Zach Keeps Historical Society Informed about His Project...

(photo by Bob Walter)


       By Bob Walter - Local boy scout, Zach Ingalls, 14, explained his Eagle Scout project to the South Pierce County Historical Society at their monthly meeting Sunday, April 24. Left to right: Zach, Madora Dawkins, Audrey Roley and Carol Cook.  Zach's project involves major work on the Shaker Church Indian Cemetery, where Native American legend and friend of the white settlers, Indian Henry, and at least 13 others, are buried. With help from many friends, scouts and parents, brush was cleared, a stone monument was restored, a beautiful picket fence was erected and a raised flower bed was constructed as a base for the cemetery sign, which is being restored.
       On May 26, historic Fern Hill Elementary in Tacoma will hold a closing ceremony prior to renovation. The school was built in 1880 where the (Byrd) Mill Road crossed the old Indian Trail to the Sound (Indian Henry Trail). Zach will describe his project and invite those in attendance to visit the historic gravesite of Indian Henry, or Soo-Too-Lick, on Mashell Prairie Road. 

Generation Gap? What Generation Gap? 

(photo by Bob Walter)

     Zach Ingalls, 14, and Evelyn Guske, 90, stand by the crude, lovely and memorable stone monument in the center of Indian Henry's cemetery. Guske is a descendent of the first white setter in this area, Robert Fiander born in Dorcetshire, England in 1847. Fiander filed a homestead at Swan Lake.  He lived for two years with his brother, Richard, who had moved to the area while working with the Hudson's Bay Company. Evelyn Guske is not only descended from English men, but also from Native Americans in this area/
       If it weren't for Evelyn Guske, her commitment to the Indians and  her "kids," the small cemetery, purported to hold the remains of an extremely an historically,  important Pacific Northwest Native American, would undoubtedly have been forgotten completely. At least for thirty some years. Guske, and her Silver Lake 4-H kids, kept  this site cleaned up and "alive" in the mind's of the local public. Guske remembers wondering if there would be anyone else in the future who would care about the burial ground.    
       Evelyn also remembered there were only a few graves which were marked at the site. "There are a lot more graves than we knew."  Why? "We only knew the ones that were ringed with small stones or flowers."  By the time Evelyn was going to the site, there were few, to no, relatives left. Now there appear to be none. Evelyn also asked a very pertinent question: Why aren't people looking for the bodies of those women, children and elders killed on the Mashell Prairie? The same technology could be used to find the remains of the villagers executed by Maxon's Raiders, a vicious group from Oregon. Indian Henry would have been about 39 years old at the time, but wasn't in the village when the massacre took place.


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