Seek Truth Without Fear

"You must teach your children that the ground beneath their feet is the ashes of your grandfathers. So that they will respect the land, tell your children that the earth is rich with the lives of our kin..."

~ Chief Seattle


Zach Ingalls Eagle Scout

                                                                                                                              (photo by Dixie A. Walter)

     Zach Ingalls takes the pledge for Eagle Scout June 10, 2008 at the Eatonville Baptist Church. This home-schooled young man worked hard on an important Eagle Scout project, renovating the Indian Cemetery where legendary Indian, Soo-Too-Lick aka Indian Henry is buried along with other members of his tribe.
    The project transformed a long neglected cemetery into a place of beauty and peace. See stories and photos of this amazing and dramatic transformation below.

Thanks to Boy Scouts Indian Burial Ground Now Looks Wonderful... 


                                                                               (photo by Monica Ingalls)

      In a photo taken last fall, Micah, Savannah, Harrison, Tucker and Zach Ingalls stood at the monument to Indian Henry at his neglected graveyard before Zach's Eagle Scout project to restore and improve the site.


                                                                                                       (photo by Bob Walter)

     June 19, 2005: The same view today after two local Eagle Scout candidates Zach Ingalls and Ryan Ames completed their total makeover of the little Indian cemetery. Zach and Ryan planned and completed their projects to restore, improve and beautify the site. At last those buried in the small cemetery have the respect they deserve. There is a string of beads hanging from the monument, a small bowl which has been sitting empty on the monument now if half full of coins. Also, in the Native tradition someone has left a small amount of tobacco. 

The Indians Finally Have Crosses...

                                                                                                              (photo by Bob Walter)

     Gleaming white crosses built, and placed, by Ryan Ames, stand at the site of fourteen graves located by the use of ground-penetrating sonar used by the Puyallup Tribe. 

The Scouts Created an Inviting Entrance...

                                                                                                                (photo by Bob Walter)

     Sturdy, attractive benches built by Ryan and a colorful flower planter now provide an inviting entrance for visitors to the Mashell Prairie Indian Cemetery. The benches are set deep into the ground. 

More Additions at Indian Cemetery...

(photo by Bob Walter)

     Boy Scout Ryan Ames, 17, worked hard along with family and friends to prepare the small Indian Cemetery for planting grass seed. Ryan has made restoring parts of the cemetery his Eagle Scout project.

     by Bob Walter
     May 23, 2005

    Saturday, May 21, the Shaker Church Indian Cemetery, on Mashell Prairie Road west of Eatonville, was once again a beehive of activity, culminating yet another Eagle Scout project benefiting historic preservation in South Pierce County.
yan Ames, 17, of Eatonville, son of Rich and Cynthia Ames, and member of Boy Scout Troop 599, gives credit to Zach Ingalls, for inspiring his Eagle Project. As Ryan says, “Zach started a project, and I saw another project waiting to be done.” Ingalls’ Eagle Project involved making major improvements to the site where the legendary Indian Henry, and at least 13 other members of the Nisqually Tribe, are buried. Please see Cemetary  for more information about the site.
     As about two dozen children and adults happily worked just beyond him, Ryan described the improvements which he had planned, and were now being completed. All of them complemented other recent improvements to the little cemetery, and met the approval of tribal representatives, with whom Ryan had first consulted.
    Rebar had been driven into the ground beside the orange stakes, so that in the event a stake was dislodged, the location of the grave could be easily relocated with a metal detector. The scouts had built fourteen wooden crosses, and painted them white, to be erected at those locations. But first, several yards of topsoil were being trucked in by wheelbarrow, to be leveled, compacted, raked and seeded. 
    Two benches were being permanently installed near the entrance to the cemetery. A walkway would be constructed, leading to the recently built gate, which itself had to be moved slightly, after the sonar pinpointed a grave just inside it. The large cemetery sign was also being restored, and will soon grace the new planter constructed just outside the fence. The cemetery is located near the end of Mashell Prairie Road, about one and a half miles west of Highway 7.  

A Beehive of Activity at Indian Burial Ground Over the Weekend...

(photo by Bob Walter)

Indian Cemetery Mapped
 for Burial Sites...

                                                                                                             (photo by Dixie A. Walter)

     May 1, 2005: by Dixie A. Walter -  Left to right: in back row Jim Wescott, Puyallup Indian Tribe Projects Engineer, Zach Ingalls, Boy Scout, Jack Kendall, Eddie Butler, Puyallup Indian Tribe caretaker for tribal cemeteries, front row Harrison Ingalls and Kemp Garcia.  In late April members of the Puyallup Indian Tribe and others visited the small Indian Cemetery on Mashell Prairie Road as Garcia used ground penetrating radar (GPR) to locate burials in the cemetery. The project is sponsored by the Puyallup Tribe. (The Town of Eatonville has, through the years, brought up the idea of mapping the local cemetery.)
     Zach Ingalls, with much support from his mother, Monica, other scouts, family members and the Puyallup Tribe of Indians, made upgrading the cemetery his Eagle Scout project. Fourteen-year-old Zach has been working on the project since last fall. 
     The group above is focused on Garcia's laptop computer which shows where a possible burial site may be in the small grave yard. Garcia made grids inside the cemetery and walked back and forth with is GPR machine. After each pass through a portion of the grid he went back to the computer to check his findings. After assessing the fenced area Garcia checked the area outside the fence. No burials were found. If the remains of one person had shown up during the test the fence would have been moved, not the remains.
    Garcia's initial findings showed 14 burials. Local lore, while sketchy, said there were 17 people buried in the little Shaker Church Cemetery. Garcia said that was possible as infants and some children may not show up during the geophysical survey.
    According to Eddie Butler, Indians in this area were buried with their heads facing east to be met by the rising sun. Garcia's report to the Puyallup Tribe states, "Provided is a printout of an area that is around the existing monument. Here is where the greatest density of burials were found. It is unknown if there is an additional burial under the monument...In conclusion, it is believed that using GPR at the Indian Henry Cemetery was successful in locating burials...There may still be some unknown burials on the site but readings may be less than adequate due to size and/or deterioration of the remains." 

Today Meets Yesterday...

                                                                                                             (photo by Dixie A. Walter)

      Nestled among ferns and flowers and run by a generator, technology interprets the past. Kemp Garcia points to a white spot identified as a burial during the mapping of Indian Henry's Burial Ground. Garcia's business, Underground Detection Services, Corp., also locates such varied underground conditions and objects  as water leaks, sewer lines, septic tanks, gas leaks, electrical faults and much more. 
      Eddie Butler said among the Indian cemeteries already mapped are Cushman, Fort Georges, Gig Harbor and now Indian Henry's cemetery. For more about this story and to see a closer detail of the computer printout with burial locations please see 
Mapping Indian Burial Ground


   Letter to the Editor:

Indian Henry Fan in Alaska

    May 6, 2005

      To the editor:

      I have thoroughly enjoyed reading the articles on the restoration of the Old Shaker Cemetery and site of Indian Henry's grave.  Monica Ingalls has kept me updated on each new event and each article that is published.
      I have been involved in this project from the beginning, even though I live in the middle of Alaska.   My sister, Nona Stephenson, who lives off Stringtown Road, sent me some photos several years ago of Indian Henry's monument. She knew that I, as the family genealogist, was interested in cemeteries.  Nona was concerned that the old Shaker cemetery had fallen into such disrepair - no-one was tending to it anymore, as they had in previous years.
    I contacted the Washington State Cemetery Association and learned that they were not aware of the site.  I sent them the information I had, and they put the information on a the web.  Zach Ingalls, looking for a project, came across my website (, and you know the rest of the story.
      Monica Ingalls plans to contact my sister, who is now 80 years old, and take her to see the results of the project she started when she sent me the photograph. 
      My sister, Nona's a long-time Tacoma-Spanaway resident (grew up in Fern Hill, lived many years next to the Spanaway Airport). She and her husband, Mack, moved to Eatonville years ago and built a cabin off Stringtown Road.  Mack died last year, and Nona now lives alone.  She's 80, but gets around better than I do at 60!
      I went to Bethel High School, and both my husband and I have/had family living in Eatonville, so Eatonville has always been part of "home" to me.
     Would you have any objection if I used part of your article and some of the photos for our local Fairbanks Genealogical Society Newsletter? I am Vice-President and editor of the newsletter.  We have a circulation of about 30.  Our group is becoming involved in cemetery preservation and restoration here in Interior Alaska, and I think the information on the ground penetrating radar would be especially of interest to our folks. We are hoping to do some restoration of old cemeteries in abandoned gold mining towns in the Fairbanks area. Also, do you have a contact e-mail, address or phone number for Kemp Garcia?  We would be interested in learning more about how this GPR works.
     Thank you for your wonderful coverage of this project.  I look forward to watching it continue as Ryan Ames begins his part of the project.
     Sue Renkert
     Fairbanks, Alaska, formerly of Tacoma


Soo-Too-Lick "Indian Henry" Cemetery Gets a Facelift...

                                                                                                    (photo by Bob Walter)

     Zach Ingalls’ Eagle Scout Project to clean up and spruce up the little Indian Cemetery on Mashell Prairie Road is nearing completion. Zach, friends and family worked busily Saturday March 12. Zach is holding the piece of wood while Chris McNicol lends a hand. Zach's dad, Brian carries equipment at left. 

     by Bob Walter
     March 13, 2005

     There was beehive of activity Saturday morning at the Shaker Church Indian Cemetery out on Mashell Prairie Road. The gravesite of Indian Henry, friend and guide of the early white settlers and adventurers in the late 1800‘s, was getting a facelift, thanks to Zach Ingalls and the supporting cast of his Eagle Scout project.
    The quiet little plot on Mashell Prairie Road has at times been all but forgotten. The last couple of weekends the plot has been transformed. The owner of the surrounding property, Bob Henrickson, did some land clearing, and has been very supportive of the project. Last weekend the fence post holes were dug and the poles set in concrete. Gas generators hummed, a table saw whined, and an air hammer popped.
    Dukeyboys, Inc. supplied lumber, and the expertise of one of its expert fence builders, Zach’s dad Brian. When asked what a fence project like this would cost on the market, Brian offered some quick numbers: 220 feet of fence, at the going rate of $18 per foot. That would make the fence alone equivalent to about a $4,000 home improvement project.
    Gravel was being donated and delivered by Harry Hart, Washington Rock Quarries in Kapowsin. The topsoil was coming from Barker Enterprises in Sumner. Lowe’s Home Improvement also donated materials. $800 in cash has been donated, over $300 of it from Zach’s Snowman Soup Mug sales.
    Before, blackberry vines crowded the short, wire fence that had surrounded the square plot, a boulder marker with an engraved granite plaque standing in the center of it. By late morning Saturday, March 12, Zach’s team was installing the two-by-four rails to which the pickets would be attached. A large fir tree toward the south corner shades the plot.
    Everyone was having fun and working together. Ed Miller, the troop’s advisor, was there helping cut the pickets. Zach’s sister, Micah, was handing him the rails to measure and mark for cutting. Eagle scout Tony Wells and Tyler Zlatkus hoisted one of the two, heavy, cemetery sign poles, placed it in its new hole, and held a carpenter’s level against it.
    Ray Fulk, supervising the crew working at the front of the plot, was visibly ecstatic about how people working together can do so much. The large cemetery sign was being moved closer to the plot to make room for a visitor parking area. Several huge boulders slowed, but did not deter, the boys digging two large, deep holes for the massive, treated, 8” diameter sign poles.
Meanwhile, working along the fence were Chris McNicol, Caleb Ames, Kyle Litzenberger, John Ames and Steven Wells. As they worked, Zach’s mom Monica, who has developed a passionate interest in preserving this historical setting, looked to the future, talking of other possible Eagle scout projects to help keep this cemetery protected and beautified. She even has a message in to Nels Bjarke of the Fern Hill Historical Society, who was protecting and passing on the story of Indian Henry and the people of the upper Nisqually well over 50 years ago.
      After all their hard work the group enjoyed a bar-b-que at the site. Micah and Savannah Ingalls cooked forty hamburgers and hot dogs "all by themselves" for the hungry workers.

The Monument will be Repaired...

                                                                                                        (photo by Bob Walter)

     The granite marker at the cemetery says, "Indian Henry, Soo-Too-Lick, 1825-1895; Silver Lake 4H Club; Standard Oil Company; Dedicated 1975." Indian Henry helped town founder T. C. Van Eaton and other pioneers and local legend says he is buried at the site pictured. However, there is no proof this is his final resting place. But it doesn't matter to the folks fixing up the cemetery, his spirit lingers on the Mashell Prairie where he and his tribe made their home. 
   The spirits of Indian elders and infants killed in the infamous massacre of 1855 still linger on the prairie also. The village was attacked when all the young men were gone. Maxon's Raiders executed all the women, bashed babies heads against trees and hung the old men from the trees. It has never been clear if Soo-Too-Lick was with the young men or not.

Scout Throws Himself into His Work...

                                                                                         (photo by Bob Walter)

     This young man, Eagle Scout Tony Wells, threw himself bodily into the project. He is encouraged by Ray Fulk, Steven Wells and Kyle Litzenberger. 

     To view "before" photos of the cemetery please below.


Local Boy Chooses Indian Henry's Cemetery for Eagle Scout Project...

                                                                       (photo by Bob Walter)

       The granite plaque on this stone monument reads: "Indian Henry, Soo-Too-Lick, 1825-1895; Silver Lake 4H Club; Standard Oil Company; Dedicated 1975." Someone recently placed a necklace of beads, cowrie shells and a black feather on the monument.

     by Bob Walter
     October 18, 2004 

     Out at the end of Mashell Prairie Road, high above the confluence of the Mashell and Nisqually Rivers, sits the tiny Shaker Church Indian Cemetery. Indian Henry, friend to the white settlers and travelers in the late 19th Century, is believed to be buried here, along with an unknown number of other deceased residents of the village at Mashell Prairie. 
    This little cemetery, with its primitive stone monument and granite plaque, has been maintained for many years by the Puyallup Tribe's cemetery crew. At the suggestion of local scouting committee member, Jack Kendall, the cemetery has been chosen by Eatonville teen Zach Ingalls for his Eagle Scout project. As with all Eagle Scout projects,  Zach's must benefit the community in some way, and be approved by three levels of scouting administration, as well as by any direct beneficiary, and by any individual or organization owning the property involved. 
    All of these steps must be completed before work can begin. Zach and his mother, Monica, have spent considerable time researching to determine who owns the property. This, says Monica, has been the most complicated step in the project so far. They have now talked with the property owner, who has been very helpful and supportive of the project. 
     Zach's Troop 599 Scoutmaster, Chad Hoover, has also signed off on the project. Once all approvals are obtained, and any and all revisions to the project have been incorporated, Zach will be ready to organize a number of work parties. He will tear down and replace the old fence, get rid of the blackberry vines encroaching on the small plot, improve the quality of the grass, repair the monument, and create a garden of native plants under the cemetery sign. 
    Other possible improvements may present a project framework for a future Eagle Scout candidate. A huge, new state park is planned for this part of the Nisqually Basin. Zach's project may help to raise interest in the historical significance of this site, as an integral part of that new park. He hopes to begin work in November. Zach has already learned a lot about a very colorful character in the history of Pierce County - Soo-Too-Lick, or Indian Henry. Perhaps Zach's work to preserve Henry's memory will help others to learn about and acknowledge the role he played in the settlement of this area.

Boy Scout Zach Ingalls...

                                                      (photo by Bob Walter)

Zach Ingalls will soon begin to help preserve Indian Henry's Memory. 

Soo-Too-Lick is Believed to be Buried at this Tiny Site... 

                                                                                                           (photo by Bob Walter)

     Soo-Too-Lick named "Indian Henry" by a Tacoma pioneer, Henry Winsor, lived from 1825 to 1895. Historians aren't sure which tribe he belonged to, he has variously been thought to have been a Klickitat, Nisqually or Cowlitz. At one time there was an Indian village about five miles outside of Eatonville where the Mashell River meets the Nisqually. 
     The natives in this area were peaceful and caused no troubles with the white settlers. The following excerpt  is from the History of Tacoma Eastern Area by Jeannette Hlavin and Pearl Engle: "In 1855 open warfare broke out between the Indians near Steilacoom and the Territorials. One day when all the young men of the Mashell Village were away on a hunting trip, the village was invaded by the Maxon Raiders, described by Jels Bjarke of the Fern Hill Historical Society as a 'company of gunmen recruited in Oregon and used by the Territorials to harrass and exterminate hostile Indians.' 
     "Although there is no record that the Indians of the village on the Mashell had taken any part in the war, the raiders slaughtered all the women and children, beat out the brains of the babies against tree trunks and hanged old men from trees. It was one of the most heinous crimes committed during the Indian War of 1855 and 1856, and was the end of the first village."
      Eventually Soo-Too-Lick and his family returned to the massacre site and and a new village was born. The natives owned about 600 acres of land granted by the government. 

The Ingalls Clan at the Cemetery

                                                                           (photo by Monica Ingalls)

        Left to right: Micah, Savannah, Harrison, Tucker and Zach. The family found this cemetery overgrown and semi-abandoned. Later someone did cut the dead grass.

A Broken Indian Head Tells the Tale of 
Neglect and Disrespect at the Grave Site...

                                                                                  (photo by Bob Walter)

     At one point someone placed a ceramic Indian head and bowl on the monument at the Mashell Prairie Cemetery. The bowl is still intact but the head has been smashed by vandals.

Indian Monument with Flowers...

                                                                  (photo by Bob Walter)

     Soo-Too-Lick and other natives knew "The Mountain" well and it was Soo-Too-Lick who guided the James Longmire party to what we now call Mount Rainier. The Indians have several names for Rainier, Takhoma, Tahoma being two. All the name variations meant "big mountain" or "snowy peak." Mount Rainier's Indian Henry's Hunting Ground is a popular 13 mile trail and wilderness camping area. It takes eight hours to hike the trail round-trip.
    Someone placed a planter with blooming flowers at the base of the monument. Only one white petunia was still blooming when the above photo was taken. There was also a broken pot with a dead plant at the base of the monument.

Bethel Students Seek Information about Mashell  Massacre of 1856...

                                                                       (photo by Bob Walter)

     The granite plaque on this stone monument reads: "Indian Henry, Soo-Too-Lick, 1825-1895; Silver Lake 4H Club; Standard Oil Company; Dedicated 1975." Someone placed a necklace of beads, cowrie shells and a black feather on the monument.
     At the end of Mashell Prairie Road, high above the confluence of the Mashell and Nisqually Rivers, sits
the tiny Shaker Church Indian Cemetery. "Indian Henry," friend to the white settlers and travelers in the late 19th Century, is believed to be buried here, along with an unknown number of other deceased residents of the Indian village on Mashell Prairie.

Ninth Grade Honors Class Researching Tragic Indian Massacre...

   by Bob Walter
   April 29, 2007

     Abbi Wonacott, granddaughter of Clair Daly, daughter of Lois Daly Brown, and teacher of the Honors Class for grade 9 at Bethel Junior High, visited with South Pierce County Historical Society members attending the April meeting Sunday, April 22 at the Eatonville Library meeting room.
   Wonacott told them about the work of her honors students in doing in-depth historical research on a major event of nineteenth century Pierce County that occurred just two miles west of Eatonville - The Mashell Prairie Massacre. Amazingly, it is rarely found in Washington history text books. Wonacott’s students aim to change that. When they’re finished with this project, there won’t be too many school districts that don’t know about the Mashell Massacre.
    During the Indian Wars of 1855-56, a volunteer militia led by Captain Hamilton Maxon snuck up on a small village of women, children and two elderly men, and slaughtered them all, except perhaps any who may have been able to swim or run away, or might have been out foraging or attending to some other task or pastime.
    Maxon's Washington Mounted Rifles had been recruited from near Vancouver on the Columbia, and commissioned by Territorial Governor Isaac Stevens to sweep the upper Nisqually and Puyallup of hostile Indians, which to Stevens meant virtually all Indians. Murray Morgan's book, Puget's Sound, which relates the surprise attack, is just one of many sources the students have researched.

Students Find Knowledge in 1856 Newspaper

   The students discovered an April 11, 1856 newspaper article in “The Pioneer Democrat” of Olympia, about the massacre. They were also able to conduct an interview with well-known, longtime Northwest historian and author, Cecilia Svinth Carpenter, who related the story of the incident in her book, “Drums Remembered.”
   It was a time before any real settlement had been attempted in the South Pierce County area. There were a few Hudson’s Bay Company trappers and other foreign-born settlers in the area, some of whom had intermarried with the Natives, and otherwise had peaceful relations with them, which made Isaac Stevens suspect. He even ordered these settlers removed to Fort Nisqually to prevent their aiding the enemy.  
   Years later the next wave of settlers came to Muck Creek, Silver Lake, the Mashell and the Ohop. They too, had good relations with the Natives.
   The tale has challenged many students of history for years, with questions about how and why, many years later, a village was reborn up on the Mashell Prairie on the top of the bluffs. Did anyone survive the massacre? Did they share the story with their descendants? 
    Where did the Nisquallies of the Mashell River live in the years between the massacre and the congenial trading and feasts held years later between the white settlers and the Indians? Chief among them was Indian Henry or Soo-Too-Lick, a friend to all who came up the trail from Puget Sound or over the Cascades.
The research project continues, and the Bethel class is asking for anyone who may have articles, documents, or any history linked with the Mashell Massacre or the Mashell Prairie, to contact Abbi at work, 253.683.7308.

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"...It does not require many words to speak the truth."

~ Chief Joseph
Nez Perce











"...So we will consider your offer to buy our land. If we decide to accept, I will make one condition - the white man must treat the beasts of this land as his brothers."

~ Chief Seattle














"We were taught to believe that the Great Spirit sees and hears everything, and that he never forgets, that hereafter he will give every man a spirit home according to his deserts; If he has been a good man, he will have a good home; if he has been a bad man, he will have a bad home. This I believe, and all my people believe the same."

~ Chief Joseph













"When the Earth is sick, the animals will begin to disappear, when that happens, The Warriors of the Rainbow will come to save them."

~ Chief Seattle















"Everything on the Earth has a purpose, every disease an herb to cure it, and every person a mission. This is the Indian theory of existence."

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"Man does not weave this web of life. He is merely a strand of it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself."

~ Chief Seattle













"Treat the earth well: It was not given to you by your parents, It was loaned to you by your children. We do not inherit the Earth from out Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children."

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