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Real Life Mystery with Lisa Jackson
For as long as I can remember, my family owned property around Molalla, Oregon part of my mother’s family homestead.
As children we cousins played for hours in the woods of old growth timber and deer trails on the forested hillside of my grandparents’ farm. It was a magical place, made all the more so by my grandfather’s tales of growing up in the late 1800's. He was rumored to be the only living person who knew where the grave of Chief Henry, the last chief of a local Native American tribe, was located.
Grandpa had been questioned for most of his life about the grave site not just for local interest but because grave robbers believed there was great wealth buried with the chief. Grandpa scoffed at the speculation and kept the secret, taking it to his grave, but as a child, running through the forest, I wondered where the chief was buried. On the property was a small overgrown family cemetery, but I didn’t think the chief would find his final resting place with the original homesteaders. Nor did I think he would be buried near the stately but crumbling old house the settlers had built a hundred years earlier. However, I was convinced if my cousins and I dug up the pile of moss-covered stones at the base of one of the trails, we would uncover a moldering skeleton dressed in rotting deerskin and hiding immeasurable treasures.
We cousins wondered about the stones placed in the elongated shape of a coffin, but we didn’t dig them up. To my knowledge one ever found the grave.
Now the forest surrounding the farmhouse is being logged, the last parcel of the homestead leaving the family that held it for a hundred and fifty years and I’m saddened a bit, nostalgic for my childhood and the stories we told in those towering fir trees. However my memories remain of that magical forest, the lore of Chief Henry, fond remembrances of my grandparents and a nostalgia for a time of innocence and wonder, when I first began dreaming up stories of fantasy and mystery.
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