Skip to comments.Chief's headstone destroyed to disprove legend
Posted on 06/30/2006 4:46:13 PM PDT by robowombat
Chief's headstone destroyed to disprove legend June 16
LITTLE FALLS, Minn. - There's a legend here that if anyone disturbs the nearly 160-year-old grave of an Ojibwe chief, Mother Nature will bring down a natural disaster on the town.
Now the headstone of Chief Hole-in-the-Day I has been destroyed, but this central Minnesota town is still standing. The law, however, had landed on three men in their 20s who allegedly desecrated the burial site.
"These knuckleheads were trying to disprove that theory and see if Little Falls would be destroyed by a tornado if they destroyed his grave," Morrison County Sheriff Michel Wetzel said.
It could be a week until charges are filed against the three suspects, the sheriff's office said. The men were caught after investigators got a tip from the public.
The severity of the charges depends on the monetary damage and whether the site is officially considered a grave.
The chief was buried 1847 in the bluffs north of Little Falls, but it's believed his bones were later dug up and scattered, said Mary Warner, museum manager at The Charles A. Weyerhaeuser Memorial Museum.
"To me it is still a desecration of a burial site" because that's where the chief was originally buried, Warner said.
Warner said the legend comes up often during museum tours. "Everybody's heard it," Warner said.
The chief reportedly died shortly after crossing the Platte River near Royalton when he fell off the wagon and being crushed beneath the wheels.
It's believed the legend of the protection was developed well after Chief Hole-in-the-Day I died, Warner said.
Historians believe the chief knew that weather often goes around Little Falls, which was built in a river basin.
A previous flood in Little Falls was connected to highway construction, but some felt the flood came after the chief's grave was disturbed, Warner said.
Tornado and flood strike Little Falls Jail, three killed.
LOL good one. The legend doesn't have a time limit I'll bet.
Mess with his gravestone, and bad things happen to you?
I dunno. I'd say going to jail is pretty unfortunate, wouldn't you *smirk*.
The legend is true! Only Mother Nature brought the calamity upon Little Falls in New York State with the greatest flood there since 1913.
Little Falls lies in the Mohawk River Valley which preliminary estimates say suffered one hundred million in damage. 06/28/06