High Salt Ground

MR 606

This may look like a regular mountain meadow, but it has an interesting history. A local historian told me this story a few years back, hopefully Im remembering it right!

Apparently during the Indian Wars (1850s-1860s), the US carvery had captured a number of Nongatl Indians and were taking them to the Round Valley reservation in Covelo. By some luck, the Indians managed to escape. However their luck was not long lived, as they were attacked by Lassic Indians on their way home. When the survivors made it back to their territory with their tale, they set upon their revenge, with a little help from their neighbors.

It was at High Salt Ground where a coalition of tribes (Nongatls, Whilikuts, and Chilula) gathered before heading south to battle with the Lassic Tribe. This was in 1863.

This is a surprising story (to me) considering the amount of pressure all of the aboriginal people were facing from the US Calvary – who had been fighting with all of the tribes for over a decade. Chief Lassic had many incursions with the foreign invaders himself, being captured and escaping many times. Was this the best time to battle other Indians when they all were being attacked by the whites? Obviously these were people of principle, and when war was need, they were not making any exceptions.



  1. Try to find a book called Indian Wars of the NorthWest “A California Sketch” by A.J. Bledsoe. My father used to pass along many stories of Indian skirmishes between tribes as described within these pages of The Language of the Salinan by John Alden Mason. Interesting bit of reading about the area and the times.
    Google it and you’ll find exerpts from the actual book.

    1. Thanks Ross. I actually have read some excerpts from it and I find it the stories to be very compelling while ultimately sad. Sometimes downright disturbing such as the accounts of Larabee.

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