Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Legend of Chief Wabasis' Lost Treasure - 133

Chief John Wabasis' Lost Treasure still waits unclaimed in his secret burial spot. Many have searched by day and with lanterns at night within the confines of Wabasis Lake Park and Campgrounds, the ancestral home of Wabasis and family. Men with glistening eyes don't come as frequently, but when they do come they bring the most sophisticated metal detectors and small digging tools. Some bring flashlights, lanterns and shovels hoping to find the lost cache that someone else missed.

Anyone who has ever dragged out metal detectors for any length of time knows that no matter how expensive the unit you still find lots of junk. Treasure hunting isn't for everyone and certainly not for couch potatoes who suddenly go wild over something they saw on TV. Treasure hunting can be exciting, but do some homework whether buying metal detectors or researching possible treasure cache sites. Treasure hunting is an excellent hobby for those who need to get outdoors and exercise, but it can also be physically challenging depending on what it is you seek. Beachcombing is wonderful to take in the sights of beauty - not just coins, but sea girls and boys, too, but do it from behind sunglasses dark enough so the girlfriend, wife or husband doesn't catch you staring distantly too long.

Treasure hunting can be an exhilerating sport that pits machine against man. Having good treasure hunting equipment and vehicles means little if you aren't physically capable, too, to handle the rigors of walking, climbing and digging getting your hands dirty. Be aware, too, the fact that it is important for you to be current on tetanus shots since you will encounter many rusty nails, metal, etc. Not everything a metal detector finds is worth money at a pawn shop or artifact swap meet. For most relic hunters it's a never ending battle to find something that others missed in a park. Depending on where modern age relic hunters prospect go to find artifacts it is important to understand that some sites require the hunter to show respect; namely old battefields and cemeteries. Tread carefully on cherished ground. To thoughtlessly litter or disgrace the landscape is nothing short of desecrating hallowed ground especially if that ground has been stained by human blood from dying soldiers and Indians. Indian cemeteries and graves are hallowed ground. Act human and tread lightly. It is when we get caught up in the excitement of the hunt that we sometimes get careless and forgetful.

Be wary of your surroundings while you listen with detector headphones. Be careful where you step because some of the biggest finds are where you don't expect them. Wabasis was a smart, jovial Indian, who listened to his own gut feelings when traveling. It wasn't until after his death in May 1863 that incoming settlers; farmers and lumbermen began to hear about Wabasis' lost treasure at Wabasis Lake. For more than twenty- four years they couldn't fathom what Wabasis had done to local Indians to make them so mad as to banish him for life to live at Wabasis Lake. Not all Indians hated Wabasis - just those who claimed Wabasis was stealing their treaty monies, but these were those Indians that were not recognized as worthy by the Great Chiefs and Indian superintendents. The Indians were required to maintain certain standards of which Chief Mucktasha didn't abide by, but rather scorned both government and incoming settlers.

Most treasure hunters search by daylight, while some of the most nocturnal use metal detectors, EMF recorders and infrared photography hoping to find a ghost hovering above or in the vicinity of a treasure cache. Hunting for ghosts is not for the squeamish or those afraid of paranormal activity. Ghost appearances do turn off relic hunters and there are those treasure hunters that have hunted for Wabasis treasure who say he protects the treasure. Even after Wabasis' death the Indians who searched for the lost treasure report Wabasis' spirit haunted their best attempts to locate the gold and silver cache. His spirit's energy field won't tempt you into hunting longer, and so, too, he won't give you the key to finding his treasure.

"All of us have an energy field (magnetic) within us... (or that surrounds of every being). Ghosts are energy forces left behind. The main reason for a ghost's existence is a traumatic or violent death. The spirit stays behind to continue doing what it did when it was incarnated in a body, replaying the death scene, perhaps in a robotic way, or resolving some conflict at the time of death," said Norm Gauthier, founder and director of the Society for Psychic Research.

Do ghosts exist? Wabasis' ghost reportedly exists? It's been seen in the Wabasis Lake Park on dark nights. Rarely is a white ghost form seen in moonlight, but those who report they've seen his spirit are sure he protects the treasure cache from those lantern holding treasure and relic hunters. Wabasis' spirit legend has deep roots acquired from those who have searched in vain and found nothing. Just because you've never seen the treasure doesn't mean it never really existed and just because you've never seen Wabasis' ghost does it doesn't it mean it doesn't exist. Wabasis' ghost, the spirit of his dead body continues to rise and haunt the living who search for his treasure or could it be just the foggy mists of Wabasis Lake hovering above the trees on cooling nights?

Spirits can be good or evil. Ghosts have been on earth since the days when Brutus and Cassius plotted the assassination of Caesar and Brutus was later haunted by Caesar's ghost (44 b.c.) as he was making battle plans against Anthony and Octavian (Augustus when emperor). Brutus was sitting alone in his tent when a spirit of horrifying gigantic proportions with a pale, emaciated face startled him saying 'I am your evil spirit' and said, 'You will see me again at Philippi'. This evil spirit Brutus saw again the night before he died on the battlefield at Philippi. The Holy Bible is no stranger to ghost sightings for even Job was nerve-wracked when a ghost appeared in front of him in which he said "Fear came upon me, and trembling, which made all my bones shake... as the spirit passed before my face; the hair of my flesh stood up.' He might have seen the Holy Ghost or Holy Spirit.

Paranormal researchers believe those who die violent deaths leave in imprint on localities caused by strong emotions experienced. The spirit or ghost is seen as a echo of the past that can last for years or centuries. This is why ghosts are associated with sightings where there has been a lot or misery, violence and murder. Wabasis lived all three threats for twenty-four years so theoretically his spirit was recorded somewhere in space and those who say they've seen his ghost have fallen into a momentary time-warp, which allows those who've seen him a quick glimpse of his past (pre-recorded on film). Want to find Wabasis' treasure?

Simply get some infrared film and EMF recording equipment and enjoy the park on the darkest of nights. His ghost has never been described as evil - just haunting those who search for his possible treasure cache of gold and silver. Wabasis was killed in Section 5 of Cannon Township and his spirit today hangs out in Section 29 of Oakfield Township (Kent County) Michigan. Wabasis might have died seven miles from Wabasis Lake, but unknown if any sightings of his ghost or spirit exist in the Leach Swamp region of Cannon Township and Barkley Creek glacial canyon in Plainfield Township. Unknown is where he hid the bulk of his treasure between Michael Smith's residence near the mouth of the Rogue River to where Wabasis was killed.

What physical feature existed in the 1840's that still hasn't been found today? That I believe is the key to finding Chief John Wabasis' Lost Treasure. Is it lost in Leach Swamp or Barkley Creek region. The stream's headwater is Lake Bella Vista. Maybe it's your time as a treasure or relic hunter to skirmish with Wabasis' ghost.

As a steward of history it is important to keep the history of our area and the people who live there ALIVE for the generations to follow. Legends never die, but sometimes legends get so big it becomes hard to understand what is factual or fiction. Whatever you do show some respect for the dead and study hard and take the time to reason with others and listen with a straining ear what others report. This concludes "The Legend of Chief Wabasis' Lost Treasure."

Friday, January 14, 2011

The Legend of Chief Wabasis' Lost Treasure - 132

Chief Wabasis' banishment to his farm property at Wabasis Lake was a livesaver. Mucktasha was hoping to get a more favorable response out of the Grand River chiefs. He argued against sparing Wabasis' life. He sought revenge against Wabasis for his portrayal of Wabasis as a scoundrel and thief, but Wabasis at the council meetings defended himself repeatedly with "That's all the money there is and no more." It was 'tit for tat' and most of the chiefs refused to believe that John Wabasis, the pillar of Indian honesty would do otherwise. The chiefs knew of Mucktasha's hatred for Wabasis and incoming settlers and did their best to neutralize the situation.

Mucktasha wanted retribution for Wabasis helping the Grand River chiefs cede their lands to the U.S. government or sold to settlers. Legend has it that Wabasis didn't share the money, but kept it for himself, burying it, which earned him the fury of Mucktasha's tribe and a few other outlying chiefs. The biggest tribal chiefs chose to spare his life so that Wabasis in a moment of weakness would hopefully lead them to recover the gold and silver he supposedly stashed. To step off Wabasis' property meant instant death by any Indian.

Wabasis remained on his property for twenty-four years. His wife and children could come and go and they remained at his side until his death. Muctasha arrived each May for his share of money, but Wabasis stated there wasn't any and after many more years of Wabasis silence, the blackskin chief became more enraged by his failure to collect his money and he convinced Chief Neogamah, that it was hightime to carry out Indian justice and pass sentence and execute Wabasis. Both Indians in a visit to Wabasis lake enticed Wabasis to go to a corn festival at Prairie Indian village at Plainfield. What they never told Wabasis was that Prairie Village had been deserted since 1860. The Treaty of 1855 ended Indian occupation of any lands north of the Grand River. Most of the Indians went either to Mt. Pleasant, Pentwater or Petoskey. Muctasha and his band were considered derelicts or renegades who had always been trouble makers and who didn't abide with any treaties.

Chief Neogamah and Mucktasha convinced the depressed Wabasis in a friendly sort of way to trick him into leaving his property. Under whiteman law it'd be known as premeditated murder, but under Indian law it was justifiable execution. So in May 1863 Wabasis left by way of the Plainfield-Sheridan Trail, but he only walked about 10 miles when he met Neogamah and Muctasha at the Rum Creek crossing (Kies Rd.). As they sat in the lite of the campfire they all drank firewater in excess until liquor seized their minds and then the two stood angrily above Wabasis and beat the life out of him with firebrands and rocks. It was a violent death scene. No longer were they interested in finding the treasure, but revenge.

The next morning two farmers traveling down the trail noticed the smoldering fire and checked it out and found the bloodied body of Wabasis lying on the blank. Albert Pickett, the Marshal in Rockford and a Cannon Township Constable arrived and they confirmed it was Wabasis and the lawmen told the farmers Indian justice had finally been dealt out and it was none of their business to interfer. Wabasis was executed with the help of whiteman firewater, but if his death sentence were carried out in 1848, the outcome would have been even more brutal.

If Wabasis would have been sentenced and executed by the chiefs, they would have put a hatchet in his hands and led him to a large hollow log for which he was to fashion his own coffin to admit his body. He was then led away and tied to a tree and for the next several days to a week was tortured nightly in firelight, his skin burned by flames as drunken Indians took turns flitting arrows at his standing body. They'd have cut off his ears and nose and more cruel torture by liquor ensued until at last his head drooped towards the earth. Indian justice was mutilation.

Wabasis' body was removed by Indians and taken reportedly to Prairie Village. Legends say he was buried inside a crib with his head above ground and his knife at his side to display Indian retribution. His head could look out over the land he helped cede to the US government, but Wabasis wasn't buried looking south from the bluffs.

Wabasis was buried south of the Grand River looking north. In fact, I visited his monument in the late 1950's in Plainfield Township. Wabasis' monument was in the island south of where Plainfield Avenue meets the East Beltline that forms Northland Drive. The bronze marker plaque on a large granite stone was vandalized and removed by hoodlums in the early 1960's. The stone was then removed over to the Grand Rapids Gravel Company (where Walgreen's and Wendy's is today). Chief Kewaycooshcum's grave does look south from the bluffs of Prairie Village, but not Wabasis'. Kewaycooshcum signed the Treaty of 1821 ceding all lands south of the Grand River, but Wabasis wasn't a signee of the Treaty of 1836 or any treaties.

The Legend of Chief Wabasis' lost treasure didn't end here, but ever since 1863 wandering Indians and treasure hunters with greedy glints in their eyes with lanterns, picks, shovels, metal detectors and flashlights in hand have been seeking Wabasis' treasure troves. Upon hearing of Wabasis' death other Indians were angier at those who killed Wabasis so viciously. Down thru the years many have searched for Wabasis' gold, but what they encountered on dark nights has scared the living daylights out of some by Wabasis' angry ghost. Indian legends foretell how an angry ghost scared them, too.

Sightings of Wabasis' ghost rise to haunt the living when someone gets too close. Whether Wabasis' spirit is being used for 'evil' or good depends on the searcher for Wabasis' treasure trove. His violent death would indicate that on certain occasions his spirit is seeking revenge against those who killed him. His strong emotions at the time of his death may have left an imprint on the locality because he felt he was wrongly judged. Ghosts seem to only inhabit sites where there was lots of misery and violence or murder, but one would think that his ghost would be where he was murdered. Some believe the whole of the past is recorded somewhere in spacetime as though it were on film to be shown in the future. Those who see Wabasis ghost are caught in a momentary time-warp (trap) that if one were thinking as a treasure hunter might get a quick glimpse of the past in rerun time.

Shortly after Wabasis' death the Mucktasha tribe descended upon Wabasis property and searched nightly, but each time Wabasis angry ghost appeared spooking their horses, which in turn made them run, too. What they saw rattled their bones. Other treasure hunters report when Wabasis' angry ghost appears the hairs on their flesh stands at attention causing them to tremble and shake violently as if Wabasis' ghost has beseiged them. Don't laugh for legend has it that Caesar's ghost haunted Brutus who plotted his assassination. In the Holy Bible even Job saw a ghost that caused him much fear. Ghosts appear in darkness, not by light of day.

There is another legend within Wabasis' legend that fortells that when Chief Neogamah and Muctashas visited him to entice him to leave his property he was depressed. In the mid 1850's Wabasis' daughter who was in here early twenties had fallen in love with an Indian brave whom he didn't approve of. He forbid her to marry him, but she fell out of love for her father and reportedly stole the hidden stash and ran off with her lover. It is said she broke her father's heart and will to survive. Whether this legend is true is unknown. It has been said that ghosts are often associated with dire warnings for the living, but sometimes ghosts can save lives, so be careful where and what you do as you search for Chief John Wabasis' lost treasure. History has shown that when you mix Indians with treasures to be found they come with curses so beware!

Maybe the reason why Wabasis' lost treasure has never been found is because that's the way his ghost wants it. To my knowledge nobody has ever found anything of value, but just because you haven't found it doesn't mean it never existed.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Legend of Chief Wabasis' Lost Treasure - 131

Chief John Wabasis lived the life of a condemned Indian for nearly twenty-five years. He escaped certain death by disgruntled others who swore out their own version of imminent death if he left his farm along the most western shores of Wabasis Lake. For twenty-four years he lived in his log house atop the high hill that overlooks lake and farm of present day Kent County Park and Campground. Frequently old John Wabasis could be seen near the limestone caves and it has been the contention by many treasure hunters that Wabasis' lost treasure lies within the inner regions. Many have searched in vain on land, but the size of the wetland areas has changed since 1863. Could the kettle be buried in the cattail marshes?

If gold and silver were kettlelized inside the caves it is lost forever, but as you've learned each family of Indians had its own kettle for cooking and I doubt Mrs. Wabasis would let her husband take it and bury his riches in it for safe keeping. Kettles were for cooking and the old pots were not taken back and forth from summer to winter quarters, however, when they left the summer grounds most Ottawas and Chippewas would put their most prized possessions in them and bury them until they returned from winter grounds.

The majority of Wabasis' lost treasure was buried many miles beyond Wabasis Lake. Sure when Chief Wabasis left his farm he had a few coins, but the whole purpose of banishing him to his property was so that Mucktasha's tribal members could spy on him to find his stash. It's amazing how Chief Wabasis kept the treasure hidden for twenty-four years without tipping off those like Mucktasha who convinced Chief Neogamah it was time to kill Chief Wabasis. The Blackskins had lost hope of ever finding the treasure.

Still Chief Wabasis left his banished property and faced the prospect of death many times. Fact is the legend concerning the "kettle" burial happened not during the year he was killed, but about May 1848, when he had a premonition that danger lurked along the Plainfield-Sheridan Indian Trail. He had just picked up his last Indian payment as a half-breed and those of his family unit along with the payments going out to about 1,200 other Indians.

The Indian superintendent would call out the names of chiefs and heads of families to get a certain amount. Spread out in piles of $10 and $20 in half-silver dollars on the council table each man was called up by the Indian superintendent and the interpreter told the clerk who one by one checked them off the list. As the 'crier' called off the names the Indians would present themselves and once paid off family members would gather around them and receive their share and beyond them stood the traders to collect Indian debts, which sometimes left the Indians with little to show for a years wage.

The treaty language of 1836, which changed the way Indians were paid in 1834, which stipulated now that each family head must appear and account for himself and members of his family. No proxy (Wabasis) could receive payments for others. Payment in gold lasted about five years until the government was running short of gold coins. Sometimes the chiefs depending on who signed the treaty got $2000 a year, but that figure was subdivided amongst his family members. It was only the single or widowed chiefs who received lump sum payments.

Remember, too, the half-breeds were paid at higher rates than Chiefs, but the payment was at the descretion of the various tribal chiefs. Still those Indians like Mucktasha's blackskin tribe near Greenville objected to how much Wabasis was paid. Wabasis invested it in white man ventures and actually did purchased treaty lands for his own use. Wabasis could have been paid slightly less or more than $50,000 for helping the government acquire land north of the Grand River, but he inherited lots of money from Wobwindigo, Cobmoosa and his family unit, too.

As I've said frequently Wabasis' lost treasure, the largest share isn't buried and Wabasis Lake but elsewhere. In May 1848 he on his way back home with a large cache of treaty money and had just crossed the Grand River near the head of Grand Island and stopped at his white man friend's house. Michael Smith entertained Wabasis who clutched a heavy bag inside his light buckskin jacket. The coins jiggled and clanked when Wabasis walked for several hours and then 'out of the blue' Wabasis asked Smith if he had and old iron kettle and a horse he could borrow for a little while. Smith was puzzled. 'Did his friend have a premonition of impending doom?' Wabasis never told him why he needed a kettle. Smith thought he might collect some wild strawberries and return, since it was a warmer than normal spring. No snow or little in 1847-48. Michigan was a tinderbox. Bonfire and campfires were prohibited.

Chief Wabasis looked nervous as he climbed onto the horse's back and Smith gave him the kettle. Chief John Wabasis rode up the trail northward and James House (age 17) who lived with his parents about a mile north or Prairie Village saw Wabasis pass, the old horse plodding with gruff man on his back. House watched him fade off over the hill and that's the last he saw of Wabasis that day, but he missed his return with the horse minus the kettle.

Smith said, "Wabasis was only gone for three or four hours, but he returned minus the kettle and bag of money - no clanking of coins." Wabasis returned the horse and paid him for the kettle, thanked Smith and walked towards home on foot. The kettle of money was buried somewhere along the Plainfield-Sheridan Trail.

If this is true (this is the real kettle of treasures) how far can a hefty Indian riding an old plow horse travel in 3-5 hours before returning to the Smith residence? That's between the mouth of the Rogue River and Prairie Village (Blythefield Country Club). The House residence was just below the Kuttshill Hill just short of present day Blythefield Baptist Church. The House family farm looked down upon Prairie Village.

On foot Wabasis could probably have walked about a mile per twenty-minutes or less, but how far on horseback along the trail and what physical land features could have existed in 1848 along this trail? It is highly possible that the kettle of treasure is buried somewhere in the Barkley Creek glacial canyon and Grass Lake (Bella Vista) that meanders northwest thru Leach Swamp.

Leach Swamp was known to Constables as the place where those they sought, like Vincent Tucker, an emboldened thief who seemingly disappeared during a summer manhunt without a trace in 1878. Rockford Marshal and Cannon Township Constables chased him into the swamp and personally noted it was someplace nobody should visit. I have reason to believe the kettle of real treasure is between Myers Lake Ave (east), Ten Mile Road (north), Belding Road (south) Jericho/Gibralter Rd. (west). This is the vicinity in which Wabasis traveled. Remember this $50,000 treasure in 1848 might be worth just under $1 million today. The legend of Wabasis' lost treasure has been morphed and twisted so badly over the past 150 years that the original "kettle of treasure" and its original burial spot do not exist. Everyone keeps looking in the wrong place at Wabasis Lake. Whatever lies in an undisclosed location at Wabasis Lake is a 'minor' treasure, but it is still worth looking for since the "Curse of Wabasis' Lost Treasure" exists in the hearts of many treasure hunters who say something haunts the park on dark nights. You'll want to read the next installment #132 for his death and the paranormal activity surrounding his death and treasure still that lies within the park.

The only reason the Kent County Parks Commission sealed the limestone caves is because they were dangerous. In fact, Carl Tower said, "the caves crumbled when he was inside once" as a young boy. Bumping any rock outcroppings caused rock slides and the caves went straight back in about 40-50 feet, but he never found anything of Indian culture inside. To disturb the rocks caused cave-ins and that scared him when playing inside them. Yes, it is possible the minor treasures of Wabasis might be buried here, but surely someone would have found it between 1863-1943.

Sixty-seven years ago government officials decided nobody else should investigate the caves for fear the crumbly limestone might crush them and they had no expert "spelunkers" who wanted to risk life and limb to rescue treasure hunters. To go inside small caves in Michigan without telling someone or carrying GPS or cellphone is foolish and downright stupid like the three Utah treasure hunters in 2010 who tried to find the Lost Dutchman's Mine in the Superstition Mountains of Arizona.

Don't miss "Wabasis death and The Curse of Chief Wabasis' Treasure." Bet you didn't know the later topic?

Monday, January 3, 2011

The Legend of Chief Wabasis' Lost Treasure - 130

"If Chief Wabasis' lost treasure pot hasn't been found near Wabasis Lake for nearly 150 years where is it hidden?" The pot or kettle containing his stash is real, but it is buried in two different places. At today's gold prices it'd be worth about $750,000. He was a smart Indian; full of wisdom to know you don't put all your money in one account or place when you feel threatened by those who have a penchant for killing you and stealing the wealth you have hidden. Old Indian Joe of Cannonsburg put his money in mason jars and buried it. Banning Wabasis to live the remainder of his years on his own garden plot at Wabasis Lake wasn't in the best interest of his immediate family or those who wanted him dead. It sure wouldn't to those who wanted their money or would it?

Knowing the relationships of the Indians and who respected Wabasis more, well that's what kept Wabasis alive for 24 years, more years than the disgruntled wanted to put up with. Not all the Indians thought Wabasis was a scoundrel and thief, for the most popular chiefs stayed out of fray and kept the peace with settlers and removed to reservations in Missouri or Michigan. Wabasis never sold the land, but peacefully helped the Grand River valley tribes and Federal government settle their differences with a treaty that meant no bloodshed.

What Wabasis wasn't privy to was the fact that Congress had changed the way Indians were being paid in 1834. When Wabasis appeared to pick up the Indian payments for the Blackskins and Ottawas in 1838, he was suprised to learn that each head of the families must appear for payment - no proxies. He could only pick up his share, that as a head of his family unit and since he was a half-breed he was awarded higher pay than if he was a full chief who signed the treaty. When Chief Wobwindigo died in 1837, he got another share as the adopted son of Wobwindingo and another as the foster son of Cobmoosa and the shares of his mother, too. The various chiefs got paid about $2000.00 yearly who invested those sums in settler futures; steamboats and freight businesses of early Grand Rapids.

The Treaty of 1836 left the Grand River Ottawa tribes vulnerable to forced removal. McCoy felt they should be removed to Missouri or anywhere west of the Mississippi, but this was never formally ratified, so Congress wrote an amendement after the treaty was signed placing the Indians in Michigan reservations, but for five years and after 1841 they must move west. They got no permanent status.

When the chiefs got wind of the 'forked tongue' decisions by Congress and President Polk they immediately filed suit claiming that President Andrew Jackson's treaty with them was broken by Washington bureaucrats and they began pressuring the Federal government to negotiate a new treaty that guaranteed them permanent reservation status in their traditional territories in Michigan. As a result of this conflict some Indians thought it fruitless to engage the Federal government and either moved while those who stayed died of white settler diseases before they could collect one government payment. As sickness spread so did the various Indian families who disappeared into the wilderness or buried in Indian cemeteries. These families didn't receive their payments until a census showed where they took up residence.

As for Wabasis he returned to Grand Rapids to pick up his treaty monies each May. Those pesky Blackskins who were always threatening him with death if he left his banishment property weren't very good at watching him only because they were loafers and derelicts, but they were always the first to condemn Wabasis as a traitor and thief.

Yes, Wabasis was the selected one to bring the chiefs money, but it was the Federal government who changed the way the Indians would be paid. The Indian agents didn't allow proxies to pick up payments for other heads of families and neither were Indians who were loafers going to be paid. The government had placed certain standards on the Indians and they were to adhere to the provisions of payment as the treaty stipulated. When Wabasis returned with the money and as Indians appeared for payment, the amount he doled out was far below what they expected.

Those who were disappointed and became irate protested, but Wabasis didn't cave in to their demands. He insisted "That's all there is, there wasn't anymore!" When Wabasis wouldn't capitulate and furnish additional gold coinage, the newly elected Chief Neogamah of the Prairie Village at Plainfield in association with Chief Mucktasha banished Chief Wabasis to live on his 40-acre garden plot at Wabasis Lake for the remainder of his life. They classified him as a scoundrel and thief and should he leave any Indian could kill him wherever he was found. This all happened before 1842.

Wabasis retired to his garden plot and never ventured more than one mile from Wabasis Lake. So instead of confining himself to his property he had access to more than 12 square mile of land or water upon which to bury a 'pot or kettle of gold and silver' where he could save some cash, but this isn't where the bulk of the treasure is hidden. Sure Wabasis always had some coins in his hands or rustled them in his pockets for 24 years, but he never tipped off the Blackskins where it was hidden. The Blackskins in the vicinity were renegades and instead of farming chose to panhandle incoming settlers for food and supplies. Wabasis watched the years pass, the cemetery fires dwindling and, so too, did Indian families trickle by heading towards a reservation at Mt. Pleasant.

A new treaty was signed in 1855 and within the next five years all Indians living north of the Grand River must relocate to a reservation at Mt. Pleasant, Pentwater or Petoskey. This treaty provided for individual Indian occupancy of lands in 4 adjoining townships in Oceana and Mason counties. Single, sole Indians, received 40 acres and heads of families 80 acres. All the Grand River Valley Indians left in 1859. A virtual sea of approximately 3000 Indians went down the Grand River and U.S. government vessels took them up to Pentwater as Wabasis and family stayed encamped on Stephen Towers property until his death. Mucktasha and Neogamah roamed freely and always anticipated that Wabasis would accidentally show them where he hid his pot or kettle of gold and silver and that they'd recover what they thought he was stealing from them. Mucktasha was so lazy he never went to Grand Rapids to get his monies still waiting for him. He always countered he wanted nothing to do with whitemen.

Thousands of Indians left for Pentwater and Petoskey Bay and within two years the Indians on the reservations heard the Civil War had started between the North and South and the U.S. government was seeking Indian fighters. In the deep south the Cherokees of Arkansas were enlisting and word came that some of the Indians old white settler friends living at Prairie Village had enlisted and were seeking Ottawa Indian fighters, since they were accustomed to living with Indians. Area red men and white men joined the Union Army together.

Martin House, the bother of Andrew House enlisted at Grand Rapids and called upon his Ottawa Indian friends to enlist and serve with him in Co. F, 6th Michigan Cavalry, and he was killed at the Battle of the Wilderness in May 1863. Martin was at ease fighting alongside Co. K, which was made up almost entirely of Ottawa Indians from the Petoskey Bay Indian Reservation. Company K's flag in the Capitol in Lansing shows the most tattered of all Michigan military Civil War flags. The screams of Indian fighters (Cherokees and Ottawa Indians) was terrifying to white soldiers as they battled to survive a blazing forest fire. This is where guerilla warfare earned its reputation.

Serj. James Cowan, a friend of Chief Wabasis, who lived about 2 miles west of Wabasis' plot saw the guerilla warfare of area Union Ottawas Indians from Michigan and Cherokee Confederates from Arkansas fight each other through walls of flaming forest fires during the Battle of the Wilderness. Cowan was killed in action May 1864, but in his letters to home he said that Union Indians were buried on the same battlefields together with white men. When he received word that Chief Wabasis was killed off his garden plot he couldn't fathom why Neogamah and Mucktasha could foster so much hatred for such a well respected Indian. Cowan grew up with Wabasis' kids and knew Wabasis as an honest, well respected man. How could so much violence be perpetrated against him from the disbanded renegades living in northeast Oakfield and Greenville areas at a time when the sobs and wailings of grief stricken families could be heard on still nights drifting over the countryside after receiving news from the war department on the loss of sons, grandson's and husband's on distant southern battlefields.

Although forced onto reservations the Michigan Indians fought side-by-side with farming friends and those who once forced them into exile, but who still joined the Union Army. Time was nearing an end for Wabasis. He knew the day would come when if by chance he sneaked away and were found out that he left his farm he could be killed, but he always disappeared into the bush and traveled just out of sight along the Plainfield-Sheridan Indian trail. The days and year slipped away, and he saw the pilgramages of Indians leaving the area and yet over the years he managed to slip away unnoticed to pick up his annuity payments and return unscathed. Surely he could leave now that the Indians had left until one day when Mucktasha appeared and ... that's all for today.

You must read - #131 for Wabasis demise and why the majority of the treasure is outside the Wabasis Lake area. Ponder this statement, "Each family had its own kettle, but Wabasis had two separated by twenty years and within lies two secrets to why the treasure hasn't been found and where you might start your search.