BWCA Cache Bay Indian Princess Boundary Waters Listening Point - General Discussion
Chat Rooms (0 Chatting)  |  Search  |   Login/Join
* BWCA is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Boundary Waters Quetico Forum
   Listening Point - General Discussion
      Cache Bay Indian Princess     
 Forum Sponsor

Author

Text

06/22/2024 11:28AM  
Interesting article regarding Cache Bay history.

Press release

Release on receipt
UMD NEWS SERVICE
108 Main Building
University of Minnesota, Duluth
September 20, 1960

DULUTH--The royal remains of an eight year old Indian
princess---reverently viewed for half a century by hundreds of
travelers in the wild, beautiful Gunflint Trail canoe country---
were destroyed by a forest fire last Labor Day.

Word of the loss of the prize Indian monument on Cache
Bay, Saganaga Lake, was received this week from Quetico Park
Ranger M.D. Ross by Dr. Julius F. Wolff Jr., associate professor
of political science, University of Minnesota, Duluth.
Just a month ago, Dr. Wolff, who is conducting a
University research project on "The Legendry of the Quetico-Superior
Country," had photographed the grave and obtained additional facts
on the death of the Indian princess from pioneer Saganaga residents.

While men of the moccasin and boot had, for more than
50 years, paused in their wilderness journeys to stand silently by
the island grave, the first known official record of the Indian
monument was recorded by Dr. Wolff for the Minnesota State Historical
Society in the summer of 1959.

The Indian princess---whose name is unknown---was the
daughter of the chief of the Kawnipimininock band of Chippewas who
lived on the eastern shores of Lake Kawnipi at the mouth of the
Wawiag river, to the north of Saganaga. On a canoe safari from
Kawnipi village to the American Chippewa village on Basswood Lake ,
sometime between 1902 and 1905, the Indian birch bark canoes struck
rough water on Cache Bay.
- more -

-2-
The chief's canoe capsized and his eight year old
daughter was drowned. The tribe remained in the Cache Bay area until
the girl's body was recovered, then buried her with her dish and an
an assortment of Indian trinkets in a crude packing box on a bare rock
island on the north side of Cache Bay, not far from_Silver Falls.

During the half century, the box gradually disintegrated,
trophy-hunters made off with the dish and the trinkets, but the
skeleton remained completely intact.

Passing canoe parties, over the years, wore a well-beaten
trail in the second growth forest floor from the water's edge to the
grave. Mysteriously, the many bears, wolves and foxes in the area
never disturbed the remains.

Death of the princess was only the first of several
tragic events for the Kawnipi Indians. During the influenza epidemic
of 1918, the village was practically wiped out by the disease. The
fever-ridden chief, father of the drowned princess, tried to snowshoe
from Kawnipi to the Basswood village for help, a distance of more than
50 miles. The chief was found dead of exhaustion on the ice of
Knife Lake, only half way to his destination. The Canadian government
later removed the handful of survivors to the Indian reservation
on lac la Croix.

Ranger Ross said the fire which destroyed Grave Island,
as it came to be called, apparently was caused by a cigarette
discarded by a careless smoker early in the labor Day weekend. The
flames smoldered and were not detected until they flared up on Labor
Day, literally engulfing the island. By the time Canadian rangers
had the fire under control, the grave had been crushed under debris
and the remains of the princess scattered and buried in rubble.
- more -

-3-
Dr. Wolff, who has been recording sites of historical
interest in the Quetico- Superior country for the last two summers,
has been assisted in his wilderness research by William H. Magic, Sr.
of Duluth, Executive secretary of the Friends of the Wilderness, and
by three Duluth Boy Scouts- William Kubiak, Paul Prusak and Peter
Prusak, all of Troop 40, Lake Superior council.
 
      Print Top Bottom Previous Next
Findian
senior member (59)senior membersenior member
  
06/22/2024 07:14PM  
Thanks for posting. I have been to her grave with my grandmother. My Grandmother was born on Basswood Lake in the Indian village on Jackfish Bay. The little girl's father was Chief Blackstone. Blackstone died of the Spanish Flu. I have also been to the Chiefs grave. My Great Grand Dad also died from the 1918 pandemic. I visited the sites more then 50 years ago. I was at the Graveyard at the village on Jackfish Bay about 5 years ago. If you don't know where to look you would have a hard time finding the graves. "Trophy-hunters" seems like a nice term. Sig Olson was also one of these trophy hunters.

Chief-Blackstone
 
06/24/2024 09:20AM  
Findian: "Trophy-hunters" seems like a nice term. Sig Olson was also one of these trophy hunters.

Chief-Blackstone "


Miigwech for posting. Pretty shameful behavior by many academics and regular people who encountered Native graves and mounds. For a long while it was common practice to dig and remove items and bones of Native people. That's led to thousands of funerary items and bones of people's grandparents in museums across the country. The Smithsonian still has around 15,000 different Native remains that have not been able to be repatriated to the families and tribes from which they were taken. There's a pretty comprehensive book on it and subsequent legislation called "Skull wars"

Very cool you've got family ties to this area. My family is from LCO in Northern Wisconsin and all those places and stories are very special to me.
 
Findian
senior member (59)senior membersenior member
  
06/24/2024 05:45PM  
I am very familiar with the Indian girl story, but I have never heard her name. Like I said Chief Blackstone was her father and this is his Grave- Spirit House . There was a door on the grave house. Inside there was a shelf with his pipe and rosary beads. As time went by the tourist took the wampum, pipe and took the whole place a part. Today there is no sign of the grave.
 
Chieflonewatie
distinguished member (152)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
06/24/2024 09:34PM  
So sad that people felt the need or want to disturb these sites.
 
thegildedgopher
distinguished member(1682)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
06/25/2024 12:13PM  
This shouldn’t surprise me but it’s still shocking to hear that someone as beloved as Sig Olsen would have stooped to that level. Up til now my negative feelings toward him have been limited to his penchant for stocking smb in shield lakes. This is obviously far more damning.
 
06/25/2024 01:33PM  
thegildedgopher: "This shouldn’t surprise me but it’s still shocking to hear that someone as beloved as Sig Olsen would have stooped to that level. Up til now my negative feelings toward him have been limited to his penchant for stocking smb in shield lakes. This is obviously far more damning."


I'm not seeing any mention of Sig in the linked stories, can you elaborate?
 
06/25/2024 02:20PM  
These stories are interesting and cool to hear, but at the same time disappointing and shameful.

Findian, appreciate the accounts you have to pass along and educate us more.

I've heard there a re lot more grave sites in the BWCAW/Quetico, but due to previous issues with "trophy hunters" they are no longer shred or were never shared. Sad to say, but this seems to be the best policy.

T
 
06/28/2024 12:49AM  
timatkn: "These stories are interesting and cool to hear, but at the same time disappointing and shameful.


Findian, appreciate the accounts you have to pass along and educate us more.


I've heard there a re lot more grave sites in the BWCAW/Quetico, but due to previous issues with "trophy hunters" they are no longer shred or were never shared. Sad to say, but this seems to be the best policy.


T"

+1. Thank you.
 
thegildedgopher
distinguished member(1682)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
06/28/2024 06:53AM  
YaMarVa: "
thegildedgopher: "This shouldn’t surprise me but it’s still shocking to hear that someone as beloved as Sig Olsen would have stooped to that level. Up til now my negative feelings toward him have been limited to his penchant for stocking smb in shield lakes. This is obviously far more damning."



I'm not seeing any mention of Sig in the linked stories, can you elaborate?"


See findian’s post above. Taking their word for it.
 
      Print Top Bottom Previous Next
Listening Point - General Discussion Sponsor:
Cliff Wold's Outfitting Co.