A more compelling story (Indian Boarding Schools)

One of Kym’s photos , which was incredibly beautiful, inspired me to share my own.

Just ’cause…

Sherman Institute, 1939

As you may have guessed, this is not the photo I had in mind.

 I truly meant to post a lovely landscape photo, but couldn’t find it on my computer.  This one came up instead and is certainly more important than a grove of trees.

The young man on the left is my husband’s second cousin.  He attended the Sherman Institute , along with many of his family members,  in the 1920s and 1930s.

During that time Native Americans were not able to attend “white” high schools.  Local tribal members attended Hoopa High or went to Riverside.

The history of the Native American boarding schools is huge and I will only touch on it right  now, but is certainly history to be aware of.   I once spoke to “Edie”, a local Wiyot woman,  about her experience. 

Edie was sent to the Hoopa Indian School in the 1920s when she was five years old.   She traveled first to Arcata where she stayed the night and readied for the all day trip (that started at 6 a.m.) over the hills to the Hoopa Indian School.  When she was 7 or 8,  she convinced her parents to let her board the train and go to the Riverside school with her big brothers. She liked it there, she claimed, though she worked a lot. 

Her great grandmother had survived the Indian Island Massacre. Yet, yet… Edie didn’t know her Wiyot language because she was never, in all her youth, home to learn it.

Indian Boys in Hoopa


Hupa school boys, 1907

The boy on the far left is Francis Colegrove, the grandson, most likely,  of  the first California Francis Colegrove, an early Hoopa Settler and my (very distant) cousin.

13 Responses to A more compelling story (Indian Boarding Schools)

  1. skippy says:

    Beautful pictures.
    ‘Raising Long Lost Cousins’, discretely hiding in the last link, throughly rocked.

    • Lynette M says:

      Isn’t that just crazy? Crazy, crazy.

      Jay (my brother- in- law/cousin) is also descended from the original settlers of the property we live on now near Blue Lake–the Luddingtons.

      I also discovered that by accident researching the history of our house. Luddington’s daughter married a Colegrove in Hoopa…

      The kid has some magic to him…..

      • Randy Murphy says:

        I know this is out of the Blue, but did any of the Luddington boys have any sons, I just did a y DNA test and all of my matches came up Luddington. My grandfather was raised by a Murphy family in Utah, and never new his real parents. He was left with them at the age of five. He was told he was part Indian, we do not know that for a fact but i am trying to check all i can. he was born Jan 17 1912. I have not seen any of the sons i want to say Alfred and Fred were the ones i was looking for the sons of John and Emma.

        • Lynette M says:

          I am short on time but will try very hard to get back to you on this. I do have some genealogy info and have to say Alfred sounds familiar. One of the Luddingtons did “marry” an indian woman. If you don’t hear from me within a week or so, please email back to remind me.


          • Randy says:

            Were you able to find anything on the Luddingtons?
            It seems like there were two families a Gilbert and John Luddington. One family was at ED 201 Putah Township,​ Yolo,​ California,​ United States in the 1900 census and the other was at the Hoopa Valley Indian Reservation,​ Humboldt,​ California during the same census.

            • randy murphy says:

              were you able to find anything. From what i have found there are no male luddingtons left from the luddingtons that were from the now Yurock tribe.

            • CJ Collingwood says:

              My maternal great grandfather was Gilbert Luddington, a judge in Yolo county CA. Would love to hear from you.

  2. olmanriver says:

    Another fine post Lynette.
    There is so much to be said about these Indian schools, the philosophy underpinning them was so hideously racist. This link will take the reader to an excerpt from a 1892 paper by Captain Richard Pratt “Kill the Indian, Save the man” philosophy which describes the thinking underpinning the schools. I have another paper from 1912, by which time Pratt is now a General, in which he emphasizes training the Indian out of his past…”There must be no holding on to Indianism”… for the Indian to become an American citizen.
    Anthropologist C. Hart Merriam wrote “The Pratt Policy, briefly stated, is:
    To deprive the developing child of its mother’s kindly influence; to stifle affection and fratricism; to abolish family and tribal ties’ to create contempt for one’s parents and people, and for all things Indian; to teach young Indians the social practices and business vocations of the White, and scatter them far from those of their same tribal blood to try to earn a living in lonely solitude–a heartless inhuman policy and one which has filled many a drunkard’s grave. chm”

    As you uncovered in your Blaxine research, the thinking of the day was that Indians weren’t educatable after a certain age, so a white education would be wasted on the child.

    • Lynette M says:

      Greetings ‘River,
      I think I’m going to have to borrow your comment as content in a post so it doesn’t get lost.
      I want to do more on this topic eventually.

      I talked to another local woman who said that as children, she and her siblings were told to hide whenever they heard a car on the road. Children were taken forceably from their parents and sent away to school. Terrible, awful history that did untold damage to generations of people who lost their culture, who had no parents to learn from and model…

  3. olmanriver says:

    should read ‘Richard Pratt and his “Kill the Indian, Save the man” philosophy’ –sorry

  4. skippy says:

    Another nice link, olmanriver. Thank you.
    Lynette, I’m probably ambling down the wrong trail here, but any Allens on the Flores’ side of the family?

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