Amanda's Trail

One of Oregon's Many Trail of Tears

Amanda's Story
Pam Stoehsler's Painting of The Forced March

Amanda's Trail is dedicated to a blind Native American forcibly marched to the Oregon Coast Reservation Sub-Agency in Yachats.

What is known about Amanda comes from a diary kept by Royal A. Bensell, a corporal in 1864, and one of the soldiers tasked with rounding Indians.

Excerpts from his diary (includes terms now considered racist):

"May 1, 1864. Clear. Pike, Plunkett, Clark, [Indian Sub-Agent] Harvey & Luce (Mill-man) go up Coos River 25 miles to-day after some Indians. Filed at the head of tide water a small ranch owned by one De-Cuys. He had a pretty little girl, some 8 years old. We got two Squaws and a Buck. After getting in the boat I was surprised to hear one of the Squaws (old and blind) aske me, 'Nika tika nanage nika tenas Julia (Let me see my little Julia).' I complyed with this parental demand and was shocked to see this little girl throw her arms about old Amanda De-Cuys neck and cry, 'Clihime Ma Ma (dear mama).' De Cuys promised the Agent to school Julia.

"May 2, 1864. The lumbermen up these bayous and Sloughs are the roughest of men. Nearly all are married to Squaws or else have a written obligation that will marry rather than allow the Ind Agt to deprive them of their concubines. They conceal the Indians, warn them, and otherwise enhance the difficulties of catching the red devils.

"May 3, 1864. Agent Harvey proves himself an old fogy. We have taken among the rest several infirm Squaws which the Agent proposes leaving behind to die because he says 'it will cost so far transportation.' Herzer informed the Agent if the Squaws were left he (Herzer) would report him. This was the last thing desired by Harvey, and he is now making preparations to take the old Ladies.

"May 9, 1864. I dread to-morrows journey, rough trail for lame Indians. Harvey expects the Blind to see, the lame to walk, and all Siwash to subsist on nothing.

"May 10, 1864. This coast along our route to-day seems volcanic, rough ragged, burnt rock, here and there a light rock which I called pumice-stone. ... They were wicked looking places. Amanda who is blind tore her feet horribly over these ragged rock, leaving blood sufficient to track her by. One of the Boys led her around the dangerous places. I cursed Ind Agents gnerally, Harvey particularly. By 12 we reached the Agency. The great gate swung open, and I counted the Indians as they filed in, turned them over to the Agent, and God Knows, we all felt relieved."

Pam Stoehsler's Painting of The Forced March

There is a record of Amanda entering the Reservation. There is no record of her leaving.

The Amanda Trail's trail-heads are at the top of Cape of Perpetua and the site of the Amanda Statue.

To access the 2.5-mile trail from Yachats, walk south for a little over a mile on Yachats Ocean Road. At Windy Way cross Highway 101, continue on the east side of the highway, go in front of  Ocean Creek Bed and Breakfast, go up a driveway, and on to the Amanda Statue.

The original Amanda Statue dedicated in 2009 was washed away in a 2016 flood and never found. Fortunately, the artist, Sy Meadow, had made three statues at the time, all a bit different.

Do you have stories and/or photos about this location? Did you ever work here? Live here? Have family and/or friends who told you anecdotes? Send interesting stuff to us and we may add them to the website.


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Site researched, designed, and maintained by T- (Theresa) McCracken of