Tuesday, March 12, 2019

The Oatmans and stuff

Trucks of Art

 1911 Walker 3 ton Electric Truck

In an earlier entry I mentioned shore lines. MA (What’s New at My House) brought up the beaches she and many have known, the beaches around the Great Lakes. Oh yes MA, those surprised me. It was hard for a country boy from the south to picture or imagine a Lake you cannot see across. Much less have beaches. That was another, ‘I never expected this, moment.’

Deserts… While walking in the desert we found a set of deer antlers. One had obviously been broken and grew at an angle. It inspired one of my kid’s stories of a small deer who became a hero among the desert animals called ‘Broken Antler’.

I loved what we learned out walking, the paths from the desert to water were obvious. I did a little research of how desert animals, even antagonists, share water supplies. (I wish our politicians would learn from them!)

Sherry and I set out to locate the site of the ‘Oatman Massacre’ in the desert near Gila Bend, and did. There were no directions, no arrows pointing the way but only by our research and dogged determination did we find it. Marked only by this sign:

 The story or the Oatman’s (A Mormon family) had caught our interests. It was no ‘big deal’ to the people in the area. But the whole story was to us, fascinating. 

This is Olive Oatman, the chin tattoo labeled her as a slave. She and her sister were captured by the Indians, enslaved and sold to the Mohaves.
The rest of the family was killed. The younger sister died in captivity.  Her brother, was clubbed with a tomahawk and thrown over a cliff. Miraculously he lived to search for his sisters for years. 

Olive was found with the Mohave’s after 5 years in captivity and bought by a missionary for blankets and a white horse. Olive was reunited with her brother Lorenzo who never gave up hope. She lived to receive schooling paid for by proceeds of a book written by the missionary. 

There are tales hidden in the desert!
Nite Shipslog


betty said...

Fascinating story! I'm glad her brother survived his brutal attack and kept looking for her! You and Sherry were great sleuths to find that marker in the Gila Bend area. Hope you weren't hiking on too hot of a day!


Lisa said...

Interesting story! I have never heard this one before.



fascinating story.

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

Thanks for the mention of our Lake Erie Beaches, they are beautiful. The lake was 86 percent frozen at one point this winter. Hard to imagine that. Desserts of any kind are an unknown quantity for me but I've seen many on TV and in movies. What an amazing story you've told, but like you say there were a probably lots more buried in the dessert. Shifting sands to cover up a multitude of things.

Mevely317 said...

I have to say (once again), if you were teaching U.S. History I might have paid better attention. Even tho' my family cruised the Great Lakes, until I read Ma's posts I didn't realize the also contained were beautiful beaches!
The Oatman family's story is tragic, indeed. How many of today's young people could even fathom such an ordeal.