Lucy Dick

J.F. Ball

It is said that a picture is worth a thousand words and this picture portrays the plight of a once proud and peaceful people: the southern Oregon Chetco (Cheti) Indian. The tribe loved their native lands along the lower regions of the Chetco and Winchuck Rivers. This peaceful tribe of hunters and gatherers, fished, hunted sea lions, harvested shellfish, picked berries, and acorns. They lived in dwellings made of wooden planks and their clothing was made of deer and other animal skins, Cedar and Maple bark, Tule grass, and skin robes to protect them from the cold.

Though the Chetco tribe probably never exceeded a thousand members, the coming of the white man took a heavy toll. In 1856, they were removed to a reservation in Siletz, Oregon.  Lucy Dick was the last full-blooded Chetco to return to the Chetco Valley where she lived out the remainder of her life helping to raise her grandchildren and greatchildren.  She died in 1940 and is buried in the Pioneer Cemetary on East Benham Lane in Harbor, Oregon.  The descendants of Lucy are enrolled members of the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians of Oregon.   

Edited for historical accuracy by permission of author.