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Canku Ota

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(Many Paths)

An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America


April 5, 2003 - Issue 84


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Old Timer Recalls Site as Early Burial Ground for Superior in 1860s

From: Superior Evening Telegram - February 2, 1934
credits: submitted by Timm Severud (Ondamitag)

This site in East End, near the bay front, is recalled by John A. Bardon as an early Superior burial ground.

Nobody has ever heard of heaven in the earth but there is Pink Sky buried in a sandy mound on the earth on the east side of Thirty-first Avenue East, at the foot of East Second Street. Pink Sky was an Indian maid whose real name was Osowagezik and who was buried in Allouez back in the 1860s.

Within a radius of several feet from the Indian maiden are buried the remains of two white men who died in the 70s. Their names are not known, but to John Bardon, veteran Superiorite remembers that many years ago children would run around the mound with fantastic ideas of ghosts inspired by such a lonely grave.

Planned Indian Cemetery
The mound is nothing more than sand and clay accumulated at the spot years ago by wind. The Indians undoubtedly head the idea that burial at the spot would mark the beginning of an Indian cemetery there, according to Mr. Bardon. There was no street in this vicinity at the time of the burial although this part of the city was the only place where men had settled to any extent at the time.

In the early 70s another burial ground was designated at Twenty-fifth Avenue East and 7th Street, now only two blocks from the East End business center. On this spot now merely a vacant lot, were interred the bodies of three people who died of small pox. A small wooden building several feet from the deserted grave served as the isolation hospital at that day and it was planned that people who died there should be buried near the spot.

Graves Unmarked
Today the graves of these three unknown people are unmarked and 'rightly so' according to John Bardon since it would not be desirable to have a cemetery where people live. 'Small pox was the worst disease of that day in all parts of the United States since no preventive toxin had been found,' Mr. Bardon said. 'It was not rare to have people die from this plague during the middle of the last century. Today the disease is a terror only in out-of-the way places where antitoxin cannot be easily procured.

The number of unmarked graves in Superior, most of which are in the East End, will remain unknown according to Mr. Bardon. 'There were undoubtedly white men and Indian buried there long before the earliest records of Superior were preserved. On the eastern end of Wisconsin Point a white woman and baby were buried in the 70s and were among the first of the early settler to die here.'

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