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By Curtis Hecla
Class of 1956 GCHS 

Re: "Popular beach at Steamboat Rock closing permanently" Jan. 27, 2021 Star

 

Last updated 2/24/2021 at 8:11am



I am a former resident of Grand Coulee. Three brothers were born there, the first in October 1935, coinciding with the opening of the Mason City hospital. As a pre-teen in 1950, an older Indian befriended me and spent time describing local native history. When the canal first delivered water to Banks Lake, he invited me to visit a place which would “be lost forever.”

He took me to the base of Steamboat Rock as the water was rising. We entered a cave with ancient paintings on the side walls. Very unforgettable moment for this youngster. A few weeks later and the cavern was submerged.

He disclosed another site higher on a cliff reachable only by a precarious access from the top.

I purchased property in Grand Coulee several years ago and intend to scan the cliffs with a drone looking for the cave. The childhood dream of finding a lost treasure never leaves.

I’m sure my professional diver business partner could find the now-underwater cave. That possibility will no longer exist with the new regulations.

About 20 years ago, a gentleman who had lived in Grand Coulee, advised me there were several other locations that have been documented by the University of Washington and sealed.

If this is true, rehabilitation of these sites could be a component of the tourist economy.

Based upon what I witnessed, perhaps there is some truth to these stories.

Curtis Hecla

Class of 1956 GCHS

 

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