Remembering the Chetcos
The Chetco Indian Memorial will help protect the remains of a historic Native American village site that was unearthed at the Port of Brookings-Harbor, OR. Our goal is to construct a historical marker at this place. The site will consist of redwood kiosks forming traditional plank house walls to simulate the village, and these kiosks will hold interpretive panels sharing the story of the Chetco people who lived there. They will include key moments in the Chetco people's historical timeline, as well as information about village life, housing, arts, and technology. Together these elements will help show the story of the ancestral Chetco over time.
REMEMBERING LUCY DICK
One important component of this project will be a bronzed statue of Lucy Dick, the last known full-blooded Chetco woman to live in the Chetco Valley. We are currently raising funds to finish and install this statue at the memorial site.
Lucy Dick was born into a relatively isolated Chetco community at the mouth of the Chetco River, saw the first white settlers, survived a massacre at her village site, experienced forced removal to the Siletz Reservation as a teenager, and heard the gunshot that killed her father on the 200-mile march to Siletz. Her mother prevented her from turning around to see him fall, saying: "No. Walk on, and don't look back."
Over the next 20 years, Lucy tried to adjust to her new life on the reservation. She married Chetco Dick according to the custom of their people, and eventually received permission from the Siletz agency to return to their Chetco homeland, where Lucy's husband died. She remained in the Brookings-Harbor area over the decades that followed, where she witnessed the founding of the town of Brookings and the development of new industries there. Through the decades that followed she served her community, helped deliver many babies, and was finally laid to rest in 1940 in the Oceanview Cemetery at approximately 100 years of age.
Lucy Dick has hundreds of descendants today, living in Oregon and across the country. Because her life spanned nearly 100 years of Oregon coastal history, her story not only helps represent the journey of the Chetco people through time, but also serves as an important piece of the larger community’s history as well. Every person who lived at this village site had a story to tell, and had their lives changed forever by removal. Focusing in on one of these stories will add a personal element to complement the other parts of the memorial.
The sculpture of Lucy Dick has been designed by artist and sculptor, A. Vincen Talbot, who is best known for her memorable sculptures of Sacajawea such as those found at the Sacajawea Center in Salmon, Idaho, and the Sacajawea Monument in Boise. The Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians have committed some of the funds needed for the statue enlargement, bronzing, and installation on-site at the Port of Brookings-Harbor. We are currently raising funds for the remaining amount.
We know that this beautiful memorial will help preserve an underrepresented part of history and will be a site of which the surrounding community will be proud.