McNeil Island Prison

During territorial days, US Federal Marshals in Alaska made regular trips South, first delivering prisoners to McNeil Island Prison in Washington, then taking patients to Morningside Hospital. Warren Gohl is part of a group attempting to locate the graves of Alaska Natives who died while serving sentences at McNeil Island.  Please leave a comment if you have any information or ideas for Warren

From Warren Gohl

[image title=”800px-McNeil_Island_Prison_-_NARA_-_299549″ size=”full” id=”1007″ align=”right” alt=”McNeil Island Prison circa 1890″ ]I  act in collaboration with the 13th Heritage Foundation which represents the 12 Alaskan Native Corporations in the lower 48 States and Hawaii. The foundation has initiated a  project:  “The Search”. This project has as its sole purpose  the discovery of the grave sites of  22 Alaskan Natives  sent to the Federal prison at McNeil Island, Pierce County, Washington between 1872 and 1951 (dates approximate), where they passed away  while serving their Federal prison sentences. Their passing at McNeil Island prison has been  confirmed through record reserarch at the National Archives, Sand Point, Seattle in 2011. However, their McNeil Island gravesite locations remain unknown in spite of considerable inquiry to agencies of the State of Washington who assumed control of the former Federal prison and co-located properties on McNeil Island following closure of the Federal prison in 1981. The 13th Heritage Foundation seeks the physical  location of the Alaskan Native grave sites in question so as to begin closure to the Alaskan Native families who lost track of their loved ones upon their incarceration under Federal custody and subsequent demise. Any guidance, assistance, advice, etc. you may provide is of great importance, no matter how seemingly insignificant.

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  1. Posted July 2, 2017 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

    How can I get a list of Alaskans, please?

  2. Steve Dunkelberger
    Posted August 27, 2019 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

    I’ll be going out there on Thursday to take photos and can report back the state of affairs and next steps on our efforts to match names with headstones if that would help. It is an initial trip for some of the folks in the group, but they have done this work at WSH, called Grave Concerns.

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