La Grande, Washington: Indian Henry's Grave Monument

Memorial to a friendly Indian guide and pal o' the pioneers.

Mashel Prairie Indian Cemetery

Address:
Mashel Prairie Rd East, La Grande, WA
Directions:
I-5 exit 127. East on Hwy 512 for 2 miles, take the Pacific Ave./Mt. Rainier exit south. Follow Pacific Ave. about five miles to where the road splits in a "Y." Follow signs for Mt. Rainier (the left branch) taking Hwy 7 south. Drive about 17 miles, passing Ohop Valley Rd. About a mile further turn right onto Mashel Prairie Road East, a dead end. There's no street sign, but there is a brown, state landmark sign for Nisqually-Mashel State Park; go about 1.5 miles. The road narrows slightly into a gravel/oil road, and on the right is the Mashel Prairie Indian Cemetery Shaker Church. Tiny cemetery on right, limited parking.
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Indian Henry's Grave Monument

The place is neat and clean. The cigarette butts have been removed. Atop the Indian Henry monument are offerings from past visitors that include beads, bones, coins and other trinkets. There are many white crosses in the cemetery, some with pennies on top, but no information on the marker as to who it is marking.

There is room for about 3 cars to park.

[Kellie, 03/29/2016]

Indian Henry monument.

Indian Henry's Grave Monument

A monument to Indian Henry, a once-well-known Indian legend, guide and friend to pioneers in the Tacoma-Olympia, Washington, area during the latter half of the 19th century. Indian Henry's trails became the highway over Mt. Rainier and White Pass. His old hunting grounds now carry his name, as well as does a major hiking trail, both in the Mt. Rainier National Park. The rock monument is in its own fenced cemetery and stands about five feet high and three wide at the base. Legend says two of his wives are also buried there, along with 17 other tribesmen, but there is no way of knowing where the bodies may lie.

The sign at the monument says: "Mashel Prairie Indian Cemetery Shaker Church." The Shaker Church was long ago made into a barn by nearby residents.

The face of Indian Henry has been broken by vandals, and cigarettes and other offerings litter the top of the monument. There are no other graves that we could see, but someone mows the grass and keeps the tiny cemetery clean.

There are no facilities, no trash cans, no food or water, and parking for only one vehicle at a time off a narrow gravel/oil road.

[Pete Hall, 05/22/2004]

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In the region:
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February 22, 2020

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