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Mail Tribune 100

June 19, 1915


How long has it been since the last burial chant of the Rogues sounded near Gold Hill? If the memory of pioneers went back to the final entry in the old burial grounds of the Sleepy Hollow ranch, that question might be answered. More than sixty years have elapsed, that is certain. Workmen of the ranch, excavating a deep sewer trench recently sank their implements into a veritable treasure trove of relics — and the bones of vanquished tribesmen.

The find was uncovered at the point where Sardine Creek enters the Rogue, in the high creek bank. No attempt was made to ascertain the extent of the burial grounds and the excavation has been filled up. Three distinct skeletons were disclosed. One of these has been retired in the splendor of a uniform cap, the visor of which alone remained; over this was drawn a copper kettle. The bones reposed in a prodigal wealth of glass beads, all colors and sizes.

Brass Buttons Found

Various brass buttons, one of the United States naval service, many of the army, were found. The oddest button of all, when polished, disclosed the symbolical phoenix surrounded by flame. It bore the inscription, "Je Renais de mes Cendres," and No. 1. Freely translated the French motto reads: "I am reborn from my ashes." Soldier buttons were favorite adornment of the tribes.

A very fine granite pestle was also disclosed, close to the surface, and evidently buried as an afterthought. It was splendidly proportioned, 17 inches in length, with a knob and grip of 3 inches length. A spear point of dark red obsidian, six inches long and of remarkable workmanship, was found.

By each form rested the rusted length of an old-fashioned rifle — the walnut stocks completely fallen to dust and decay. A single-shot horse pistol such as Kidd might have flourished was one conglomerate of red ruin.

Find Parts of Armor

Perhaps the most interesting relics were peculiar three-lobed plates of brass, which fitted and overlapped to a nicety. Six or eight of these were found. Were they parts of ancient Spanish plate armor?