Graves on Pennock?
By Gregory Fast
July 14, 2005
I have been hearing about these graves on Pennock for long enough!
Don Huff makes it sound like the entire island is one giant
cemetery. This simply is not true. I lived on Pennock Island
for 10 years in Whiskey Cove. I have walked over the island
from the western tip until the last house on the town side.
I have walked the area that is planned for the bridge over to
the south side. There are about ten visible graves on the western
tip. There were probably more burials in this area, than anywhere
else. My dear departed friend, Emma Williams, a Tlingit native
who lived to the age of 98, told me her mother was buried on
the western tip. She said that the people from Ketchikan were
buried there and that the people from Saxman were buried on the
eastern end of the island starting just south of Baldheaded Cove.
In the areas where there are graves, there are pieces of turned
wood, much like a bedpost. The graves were small fenced in areas,
with the turned wood on each of the corners. Around the northern
end, the woods are full of the remnants of these fenced in areas.
These were made of red cedar and have held up very well.
There are no remnants along
the town side! There are no remnants in the muskeg fields along
the bridge route. I haven't explored the eastern grave area.
(It was too far to walk from Whiskey Cove and no paths to get
there.) About 20 years ago, I was shown burials in that area
that were in the trees that you could see from the water. I
was told that the burials in the south were mainly in the trees,
but I don't know if that is true or not.
I just wanted to shed my perspective
as a former Pennock Islander on this debate.
Ketchikan, AK - USA
Note: Comments published
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